Another short story for you lovely people.
The disease spread through her system like wildfire. She felt it every day, the burn as it ravaged her body. But she couldn’t stop it.
She felt the hope there when she looked into his eyes, heard his breathing as he slept next to her. She needed sleep so badly, but she couldn’t bear the thought of sleeping and missing even a second of his company. The fear of what the disease was doing to her scared her, but not as much as the thought of losing him.
But now she had something to live for, she fought back, she battled day after day. Now she had something to lose, she had something to fight for and she clung to it, holding the memory, letting it give her the strength she needed. She couldn’t let him know how much she thought of him, terrified that he’d leave, think she was obsessed.
She woke next to him, suddenly horrified that she had slept, had lost a few precious hours not absorbing every memory of him, locking them away where the disease couldn’t get to them. She lay next to him, feeling bad that she had slept, but not feeling bad that she risked waking him. Wanted desperately to wake him, just to hear his voice, see his eyes, but couldn’t bring herself to break his obviously needed slumber.
She crept from the bed, feeling the disease crunch and crack her joints, flinched with the sudden stab of pain the disease inflicted on her. Crept to the bathroom to get cleaned and dressed, slunk from the room, taking a minute to watch him sleep, taking more memories of him downstairs to make a cup of tea.
She knew his friends would be over that night, and she was so nervous, scared they’d hate her, agree with her inner thoughts that she was too hideous to love.
She waited impatiently for him to wake, occasionally stepping outside to smoke, feeling the smug grin spread over her face that she was cheating the disease, taking herself before it could take her. Then felt the grin fade that when the disease took her, she would be without him. She knew the afterlife was there, and was terrified at being in it without him, but wanted him to have a full and rich life. The confusion tore her in two.
When he awake he found his bed empty of her, her perfume still sat ingrained in the pillow next to him. He felt the twinge of fear that she had gone, but heard the kettle boil and felt the relief wash over him that she hadn’t gone. He thought of her eyes, the pale blue that held his heart everytime they turned on him, and felt his heart soar that she was his.
He thought of when he’d woken in the night, turned to look at her and watched her sleep for a while, listened to her breath in her chest. He gently stroked her hair from her face, loving every second the soft tresses touched his skin. He felt the happiness grow in him, defeating the disease that would one day take his life, felt the warmth inside that her presence gave him. He couldn’t tel her how much he loved her, scared that she’d leave.
He knew she was nervous about meeting his friends, but he couldn’t be happier about it. He was so proud and impatient to show her off to his friends, the prize that made his life better. He loved his friends, but knew without doubt that none of their partners could compete with his; her mind, her personality, the hourglass figure that she couldn’t see.
He thought of her, how she made him feel, and inwardly frowned at the thought that he would have to one day leave her alone. His disease would kill him, and he was terrified of leaving her alone, feeling he knew he would die before her, leaving her alone, knowing how she cared for him. He thought of her, her smile, how it crept onto her face, settling onto her mouth, a quiet restrained smile that belied nothing of the hilarious lunacy and kindness he knew she held within. He had seen the things she would do, wearing herself out to entertain sad people, he knew the disease was taking more and more from her each day, but that she would never let it show. The fact that he had seen her flinches of pain told him how much she loved him, that she trusted him enough to let the mask slip, the fact that she slept next to him spoke volumes.
He felt the cooling dent left in his bed and felt a twinge of unhappiness, worried she never stayed in bed when she woke early. He worried that she didn’t want to stay next to him, but he didn’t question, scared she’d leave.
He wanted to stay by her side until one of them died, even if she died first, he was certain he wouldn’t find her again, he would never find another her.
She wanted him forever, to stay in her heart until she died. She was certain the disease would take her first, but biologically knew it was more likely to take him first. She knew she would never want anyone after him. No one would be good enough.
The disease worked it’s way through humanity, killing indiscriminately, taking all when it’s time was done. All creatures, plants and civilisations.
Everything fell to life eventually. Death just collected what was left.
Life and Death have always been close, he keeps every gift Life sends him.