** * * * **
I saw the light leave her eyes. It seemed to be the only thing I had seen in months.
“TALIA” I yelled as she fell to the ground. I dropped into the mud next to her. “Talia.” I whimpered. “Talia, what have I done?” What does it matter? The shadow’s voice questioned. She would have abandoned you. Just like everyone. I am the one; I am the only one who will stay with you. His voice whispered into my ear. “No, she’s different.” I pleaded; I fruitlessly tried to wipe the rain from her face even as it pelted us. “She didn’t struggle.” I continued “She let me take her life.” It is no matter; a single act does not deem the course of the future. It whispered. “YOU ARE WRONG. She was different.” I said. I turned to the shadow beside me. “Leave me.” I yelled at it. I started pushing on Talia’s ribs as the shadow recoiled. I breathed into her, and repeated. Over and over my tears mixed with the rain on her face. I pumped once more and couldn’t continue for my sorrow was growing too much. A breathe, faint in the wind. I couldn’t look; I couldn’t let my hope be shattered. Yet I did look. Pain riddled her face, but a smile as fresh as dew graced her lips, directed at me. A tear of joy now descended off my face. How unworthy of her affection was I. I reached for her and wrapped my arms around her.
“Thank you.” She whispered in my ear.
“You thank me?” I asked holding her shoulders away from me so I could see her face. “What have I done? I took your life.”
“But you gave it back.” She smiled. I smiled and hugged her once again.