Not now, not like this

Interruption before response: first a crash, then a scream. Bathroom window. Her scream.

I dropped the tackle box I’d been packing, scattering lures and lines across the linoleum. Down the hall into the bathroom. Pat on the floor, eyes shut. A shadow jumped out the window.

The degeneration has begun. No thoughts of justice, just of Pat.

Not now, not like this.

I reached down with as much delicacy as haste, put my fingers to her neck and my cheek to her mouth. Pulse and breathing. Only fainted.

Amongst the glass is a pearl. The thief took her pearl necklace: last year’s big 25th anniversary gift, made from Tahitian black pearls.

The trip to Tahiti, an event worth the memory. A year before the End and we were off playing hedonist, just like everyone else.

A week of play amongst years of making a life. Seems so irrelevant now.

But the end is the same. Retirement. A small piece of rest at the end of a hard life. Pat’s eyes fluttered open.

“No dear, we’re going to be awake for this.”

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