The Answer

His breaths were weightier than her mind, and each rise and fall promised an unpronounceable challenge that squeezed her heart dry. He looked so still in his slumber edging toward eternity, pale with the peace and rest life deplored him of. Her hand found its way about his cold, bony fingers, sought for hope and grasped, lacing their hands together as though the memory of the infinite walks when she leaned against his shoulder with her arm tangled in his was enough, enough to restore a hint of liveliness.

She wasn’t completely wrong, for he stirred and sighed at the contact, finally reaching a breaking point in his negotiation with his eyelid, beholding her tear-stained face in blurred, wavering vision cleared by imagination.

The question wavered in the air, and neither one of them wanted to answer it.

She tried the bitter paste of mortality that glued her tongue to the roof of her mouth and strangled her stomach. It made her sick, but he was wearier still. Some illogical voices told her that it wasn’t the disease that he was weary of, but rather…


She strained to hear, he strained to think.

So weary, so weary of…everything yet nothing. Was his walk long enough? Had he not fell and break and hurt enough? If this is enough…In the incomprehensible blur he settled upon the spot he’s assigned for her. This is enough. More than he deserves. Yet his complacency that ends his walk would continue to hurt and break. Break. Break? Enough.

She wanted to yell at, punch, and belittle him jokingly so he would return a quip. She tried that earlier, actually, and his silence horrified her.

Afterall, a stirring was all that the Creator granted her. A stir, a stare, and a squeeze, then at last one of them answered the question lingering in the air.


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