Sour smell of the algae inhabiting the crevices of the wall had replaced the aroma of her lustrous hair which once spread in the air of this house. And replaced were her soft chuckles by the viscid silence which made it almost impossible for him to make a move from his old wooden chair.
He was old now. He lost count after about seventy. He remembered her teasing him calling him old when he turned sixty. She was about the same age, but a lot younger than him. Her smile used to take a decade off from her face. He used to sit with her on the front porch at night, leaning against the wall, recalling the memories of the old happy times. Gazing at the stars in the sky, they would fall asleep in each other’s arms.
One cloudy afternoon when they were planting a rose in their garden, she asked him,”If we did have a child, would this life have been any different?”. He laughed at this and replied,”Oh, yes, a lot different. Then I would hate it.”
He could tell how much did it hurt her by the tone of her voice when she used to cheerily announce that she was fine. Despite the cancer, she never let him feel that she was in pain. But he knew. He wept silently in bed when she was asleep in his arms. He felt so impotent. The only person he cared for through his whole life, she was dying prematurely, and he couldn’t save her.
Then one morning, it happened. She did not wake up. He was all alone now. He had not been without her since he didn’t remember when. He had spent his entire life protecting her. He had endured all the pain of the world to protect her from a single scratch of destiny. But alas, he could not protect her from death.
And now, he was waiting for that cruel old enemy to strike back, so that he can submit himself to it, with a smile on his cracked lips.