The Deathbed Song
by J. P. Estillana
She lies down with eyes slightly open. He sits next to her, brushing her hair and her thinning fingers. They laugh as she tells him how watching Evita bored them, and why their unexpected make-love in a car on their vacation in Prague was publicized by a local newspaper. Then he mounts his lips on hers, pressing harder while tears on his eyes brim, and then trickle down his cheeks as “While We Were Dreaming” by Pink Mountaintops is being played over the radio.
He doesn’t want to let go, all he wants right now is to stay beside her deteriorating body, even if it gives up right before his eyes. Why is it always hard to face the truth and why is it the one that makes us great liars? He thinks matter-of-factly, as he feigns happy while looking at her.
Her breathing seemingly becomes uneven, and he fears the time has come. He leans closer to her, his ear to her mouth, listening to her life as it fades out, savoring the very moment. He lifts up her hands and places them on his chest. Then she asks him to sing her a song, and he sings.