This is the moment that she always feared would come. They fall in a pattern around us; we know they are far away but the blasts rock the floor. They can’t harm us. Not that I am ignorant enough to think that what I cannot see cannot harm me. “Shit.” The word creeps from my lips thoughtlessly; I instantly regret it. I didn’t want to let the fear slip out. Against my chest her spine straightens and her muscles tighten. Beneath the hard exterior her nerves pound away, shaking her gut, churning her up; inside she’s crying, outside she is too scared to. She looks up from amidst my tangle of worthless arms, the arms that are meant to protect her but will just provide a cushion for shrapnel when the time comes. The thought recoils through me, the helplessness, the uselessness. All the words seem to amount to nothing when all I can provide is two useless lumps of flesh to bandage her with. My eyes hurt from the pounding in my skull, from trying to fight back my tears. And they spill. Trickling down my face; blinking through the dull street lights as they fall. The tears christen her head. I shake my head. I curse, wipe the tears away, apologise for being weak. “Why are you saying sorry?” I tell her I am weak. I tell her that metal ribbon around her finger isn’t the promise I meant it to be. I tell her that nothing I do will stop this. I tell her I am not god. I hate myself for sounding angry. I hate myself for making these last moments scared, when all I can really think about are the eyes that look like the moon crashing into the sun, exploding into the sky. The kiss I will never have again after a few moments have passed. I curse, wipe away her tears, apologise for being weak.
She looks up, her eyes, those exact stars I mentioned exploding flicker in the flames, and she tells me no one can save us now. And we smile. For the first time in weeks. We smile.