‘Till Death Do Us Part

“I always thought someone should do something, until, one day I realized I was someone.”

John F. Kennedy

She came to us, covered in Blades and rose tattoos. She Sought out the king herself, demanding to speak with him; she didn’t let them ignore her. “This world is ending.” She warned. Her voice carried, but ultimately, was ignored. The royal family didn’t want any ‘Trouble’. They hunted her like an animal; a criminal. I was the only one who really knew her. Because, i fought with her.

“You’re proud of me, aren’t you?” She pauses, gasping for breath. Thick, red blood runs down her arm like a river. “We’re the good guys.” Her pitch raises, sounding more like a question.

I watch the corner of her lip curl into a weak grin, her lips cracked and dry, stained with fresh blood, her blood. Her expression twists with pain, she held the grin anyway. I suppose, she didn’t mind the pain.

“We’re the good guys,” I repeat in a whisper, my voice cracks and my eyes blur with hot tears. A few deep breaths are enough time to regain my composure and bring my voice back, “You’re the most precious thing-” I choke.

“Don’t cry, darling.” Sputtered coughs interrupt her, and when she speaks again, her voice is rough, she forces out the next sentence, “I’ll see you later.” Again, her face twists in agony as she swallows down her pain.

I mindlessly wipe at the blood over her lips, pretending it would ease her pain in some way. Its dark, rose red color matched the lipstick I always found her wearing. There wasn’t time for makeup today. I feel drawn to her lips, deeply disturbed by the sight. I used to trace the ink roses down her arm, down her thighs, kissing every inch of her pale skin. Now, I didn’t want to see her covered in red anymore.

“Take your time, got it?” Her voice is more rushed than before, the sand running out. She cups my cheek in her hand, tangles her fingers into my mangled hair, and brushes off layers of dirt and dust with her thumb.

“Not yet, Arianna!” I howl, everything was moving so fast. Too fast. My eyes sting from the tears. I’m too afraid to blink. Her long nails dig into my hand, the only physical proof of the panic rising in her.

Her body grows weaker, that last sliver of strength fading. When she wheezes, her lungs giving up, the force shakes me too. I whimper as her hand drops from my cheek like a feather blown in the breeze. For a minute, I think she’s gonna turn to ash. She closes her eyes seconds before her breathing stops. If I didn’t know any better, I’d guess she was asleep. She didn’t fight to stay, just let go.

Death has a way of humbling a person, no matter how strong you are. You can’t evade the end, it comes for us all.

“How can you be smiling right now?” I sob, knowing she can’t hear me anymore, I brush dark brown hair out of her face and steal one last look. After everything, I didn’t expect her death to be so quiet. She just stopped, and that was it.

I wrap my arm under her knees and hold her shoulder against me, lifting her effortlessly. My rib cage caves in, every breath heavy. My knees nearly buckle, holding her limp body in my arms. There were spots damp with her blood, still warm. “Go put your feet up, love.” I kiss her forehead.

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