"Does it hurt at all?"

"It's only like being torn in half."

The room is the starkest of whites. So bright it blinds. Even when her lids close over her eyes she can feel the white reaching into her. Forcing her eyes open again. The static silence is so heavy. She wants to cup it in her open palms and offer it to him like his antidote. His anti-pain, his anti-hurt. She could see it seeping into his veins and being his cure. Filling him up and making him alive again.

Because surely, he wasn't alive. Arcing and lovely, devoid of pigment and monochromatic. Hollowed out, eyes intense. Radioactive. Maybe this was somewhere inbetween.

She can almost trace the spider webs of thin, delicate veins lacing his lids. Soft pink, creeping. His eyes fly open, suddenly. She can feel her heart dissipate. He has heartbreaker eyes. Piano player hands. Music's laugh. "Is.. The light on?"

His music's laugh is replaced by cracking leaves, remnants of autumn. "No.. The nurse thought.. It'd hurt your eyes.. Close them, sweetie. Keep them closed." He doesn't speak again for a few minutes. She can see his Adam's apple working furiously.

"Can I have some water, please?"

Her stare, directed up at the lights. On and bright, burning down to their supposed wicks. Flaring, corrupted, polluted. She hands him the cup of water, moving aside a card. There is nothing frantic in his voice. Just weary acceptance. "The light's on. I'm going blind, aren't I?"

"Don't worry. They'll.. Find the cure. I promise. You'll see soon. I promise."

"But I can see you. On the bridge, twirling. Will everything be as lovely as you are, where I'm going?"

Her throat catches. The knot is thick and as she tries to swallow the saline trickles down her cheeks, burning down their familiar tracks. She hates to see him as the poison, as it travels into his veins, furious, burning everything beautiful. It controls him, seeping into his veins, his sickness creeping behind him and pulling him down.

This is the last time she would see his lashes curve. This is the last time she could imagine those lips against hers. This was the last time she would feel warmth from his body, his hand against her own, the edges of a smile quirking at his lips when he tried so hard to be serious. In wild panic she tried to memorize this. Memorize him. But he was too lovely and nothing as wretched as her deserved to breathe in his loveliness all it once, it was as if stealing beauty, as if taking pieces of his fragile soul.

"Will you.. Just this.. Once?"

She nods. Her hand curls into his own as she sits on the edge of the thinly sheeted bed. Too thin for the knobbly bones lining his back. Too thin for his baby's breath hair and lovely face. She lowers herself. Afraid of crushing him, their hands curled around each other. Her's squeezing, his limp, eyes closed, lips parted. Her head rests on his chest. Faintly she can feel each burst of oxygen released from his lips. She closes her eyes. Matching her breathing to his own, she realized it's too hard. She is vital, she is full of wretched health. And he, robbed of it, can only sputter, flail like a fallen child. Will everything be as lovely as you are, where I'm going?

Fallen, like an angel.

The sun sets. The hospital machines continue beating. Keeping time to this tragedy. He waits for her to fall asleep, eyes lightly closing, before opening his eyes again. Just to look at her, once more. The worry smoothing out on her fine, pale face. His lips, pressing against her dark hair. She falls asleep, breathing for the both of them. One soul lost in between two bodies. His muscles relax, luxorious lashes sweeping to a close one last time. He is untroubled by the labor of expelling breath.

Will everything be as lovely as you are, where I'm going?