Burn: TenMature

-August 24, 1987- seventeen minutes remain-

What would you do if you only had an hour left to live?

      What would you do if you only had seventeen minutes?

      Back in the living room, I knelt down beside Donnie and gently shook him awake. It was painful to do it; he looked so beautifully peaceful in his sleep. The world in which we lived held no peace, and it hurt me to take that away from him.

      When at last he was awake, he pulled me down to him and kissed me gently. There was a despondent, melancholy tone to every move he made. Perhaps the creatures that roamed his dreamland had made him understand what was happening, even if he didn’t fully know why.

      “Donnie,” I murmured, “There isn’t much time left.”

      He sighed, perfectly motionless, his clear blue eyes burning into mine. “It doesn’t have to be this way,” he told me softly. “You don’t have to leave me.”

      The tears were back, threatening to spill over, feeling too strong to express as mere words breaking free from their confinement and sparing me their misery.

      “We both know that’s not true,” I said. My voice cracked on the last word. There was little point in breaking down, I knew. Besides, when you’re given something as magical as the time I’d had with Donnie, there was no justification for clinging to it when it was time t let it go. There was a time to let go of everything. Donnie’s had come.

      Donnie adverted his gaze to the window. Time stretched on before us; I could practically see the end of it, barreling down upon me.

      “How do you want to do this?” he asked in an achingly broken voice.

      I hadn’t put much thought into it, honestly- but then again, the average person doesn’t put much thought into their choice form of death.

      I cringed at the finality of it.

      “Fire,” I said finally. “Burn the house down.”

      Donnie didn’t move, didn’t make any motion to show that he’d heard me.

 

      Our final moments together were spent in silence, at opposite sides of the room. But it was a comfortable sort of silence, one that was so filled with emotion it made up for it.

      Then at long last I stood up and I went to stand beside him. he looked up at me from under his lashes.

      “I suppose it’d be a waste of breath to try to talk you out of it.” It wasn’t a question.

      I nodded numbly, giving him a tiny smirk. “I’d rather you waste that breath kissing me.”

      He rose as well, and in a moment was doing just that. When he broke away, he was holding a packet of matches in his hand, the packet he always carried on him, for some reason or another. And then he turned towards the door in one swift turn, never looking back or telling me goodbye, or that he loved me. And I did not speak as I watched him go.

The End

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