He unfolded the letter and blinked hard. Her body lay supine before him, and as he stood beside it, he read the words quickly, then over again slowly as he sank down on the edge of the bed.
“Tell them that she wasn’t a saint.
Tell them that she was selfish and moody, that she harbored resentments and nursed old wounds like children she’d birthed after long labors. Tell them she was a woman of excesses, and a role model for none, unless she was to be held up as an example of how NOT to live.
Tell them she fell, over and over, and that the stone she tripped on, every time, was her own mind. The only part of her worth reclaiming. But with it gone, she cannot enjoy the smooth road before her. Therefore, the journey ends here.
Tell them she is sorry.
Tell them goodbye.”
He folded the letter, then picked up the box that had been sitting beneath it. He removed the lid, and sucked in his breath at the sight of the gun, nestled gently onto a washcloth, with another note atop it.
“While I still can make this request, knowing what it means…. Please.”
He looked over his shoulder at her sleeping, breathing lightly as if she were a carefree child. He pictured her tempers, her remorse, the scenes that were becoming more and more frequent as her memories ebbed away…as the connectors between reality and oblivion dissolved and left her bereft of a future.
A tear formed in the corner of his eye, as he stood and gripped the handle of the seemingly weightless instrument.