A 300 word short story
I held her hand as she slept. Wires monitored her life dwindling away. Any moment could’ve been her last; I didn’t want her to be alone. We were happy before this started, but happiness wasn’t our fate. We got chemo and radiation. Cancer was a revolt against the body, ending with excruciating pain. Stripping away her soul with “treatment” couldn’t fend off the beast.
She called my name. Then she saw me there. There was clarity but not pain. “Promise me something.”
“Find love again.”
I couldn’t speak the lie she wanted. Tears sprang to my eyes. I wanted things to be different, but nothing could change our fate. Life isn’t fair — the moment you find a sliver of happiness, the bony hand of fate snatches it away.
I opened my eyes. She was looking at me with sad eyes and a smile. Everything started to change. Her face softened; her grip slackened. I saw the life slip out of her, shed off its corporeal skin.
My wife Ansell was gone.
I didn’t feel anything for days after. Oblivious people made things harder. The funeral was a farce of celebration, not changing a damn thing. There’s no preparation for your life imploding in on itself.
I was jogging in the rain and ended up at her grave. My sweet wife Ansell was gone now, buried under my feet. My heart broke in half and brought me to my knees. Falling against her gravestone, I didn’t want it anymore. I didn’t want to reassemble everything and live a sham. I wanted to wither away to nothing. Ansell was gone, and I was no more.
Her words hurt, like a dagger twisting in my chest. Find love again.
Her words were what I needed to hear, but I couldn’t understand.