Pray

by racheleroh

He asked me how I’m doing, how’s school, what are my friends like. I answered every question with a smile and kept the topic on myself. I couldn’t ask him how he was doing, how he was feeling, how his day was going. I already knew the answers.

I hadn’t expected him to be so frail. He looked too small compared to his armchair. His body seemed to be slowly and painfully caving in on itself, it was hard to watch. It was hard to look away.

I noticed the way her eyes savored him, as though she was worried it would be the last time she would see him laughing… Or breathing. It very well could have been the last time. You never know.

I watched her as she struggled to stand up from the couch. She rocked back and forth four times before successfully pushing off. With her back curving towards the ground and eyes cast down, she made her way to him. She put her hand in his and I swear she was just a skeleton with a thin layer of skin covering her bones. How did I not notice her shrinking before?

She stood next to him and smiled for a picture because my mother feels the need to document every moment in life. Then, once the photos were done, she continued to stand next to him for awhile. I could see how difficult it was for her to stand up straight but she wasn’t ready to leave his side. How could she ever be ready? They’ve been together since they were 15. She would never be ready to let go. She spent her entire life with this man and now she has to watch him decay right before her very eyes.

I wanted to hug her and tell her that it would be alright. I wanted to tell her that they would be joined together for eternity in heaven, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I didn’t even believe it myself. I haven’t had faith in heaven since I was young.

However, in that moment, I bowed my head and prayed to a God that I didn’t even truly believe was there. I prayed that there was a place where they could join each other again. A better place than here. Somewhere where they could be young and healthy. There has to be a place where lovers can be free after death. I prayed to God that there was a heaven waiting for them.

-r.e.

 

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