In Peace

Today’s Daily Prompt – Faint


My eyelids fluttered open; my heart skipped in surprise that they had. My body eased with relief.

The faint smell of her perfume tickled my nose before any of my other senses kicked in. The scent was as much a part of her as the hair on her head. On our first date it had lingered long after she’d left my car just as it would later when she left the room, only I didn’t think I would be around to enjoy it as I had for the last thirty years. Not physically anyway, the time was here.

I blinked. The faint sound of whispered words came to my ears but I did not know what was said. Then, as it had been for the last however-long, she came into view. Her image was faint at first but then she became clearer as I blinked her into focus.

“Hi.” Her pained and quiet voice came to my ears as she leaned over and pressed her lips to mine. When she pulled away her lips shaped into a faint smile. I smiled back or at least I did in my head. I wasn’t quite sure if I had, if I could. “Do you want some water?” She said.

I wasn’t thirsty. I stared at her for a moment until my mouth moved in some way and a strangled and faint voice answered her question. I wondered if the sound had actually come from my lips.

She squeezed my hand, and I returned the action, though I was sure she didn’t feel my faint response. In my head, it had been strong and warm. I wished I could hold her in my arms and give her the hug she needed but it was not possible. The most I could do was to allow her to climb in beside me and rest her head on my chest.

I wondered, as she rested beside me, if she could hear my slowing heart. Did she know our time was drawing to an end?

I stared down at her. Her blond hair swept across my chest. Her scent filled my nostrils. Her body was solid and warm against mine – a heavy comfort. Her fingers brushed up and down my arm. She sang our song, the one we danced to on our wedding day. Her voice faltered, she regained her composure and continued. She was strong, and I knew she would be okay. I allowed my senses to absorb everything and fill me up with all that it could as my brain replayed every memory I could summon. My slowing heart overflowed with love for everyone and everything that had touched my life.

My eyelids closed, ending the last of what my eyes would ever see. I inhale; my skin stretched; my ribs moved; my diaphragm contracted. When my lungs allowed the air to escape, I enjoyed the sensation of the warm air as it faintly blew out my nose. There was a strange rattle in my chest and I waited and wondered when my lungs would fill again.

When it came, the sensation of breathing woke me and I focused on all I could once again. I sensed the pressure of her hand on my arm but it was no longer warm, just there. Her perfume was less than faint, it was non-existent. Everything faded. My body felt weightless, like I floated above the bed. I waited to inhale but it did not come. My heart fluttered and stopped. Our song filled my ears as I faded away, faint, quiet and in peace.



2017 © Sandra J. Jackson

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