Word Count 1,545
Death fic warning
Close your eyes my darling.
Close your eyes and drift away.
You’ve fought so long and fought so hard,
but the battles done, the war is lost.
Surrender to the softness of the darkness, the oblivion that’s free from pain and fever, from struggle and fear.
I’m here for you; I’ll never leave you.
Not until your eyes have long since closed forever,
not until the frost has touched your skin, the breath has left your lungs.
I’ll never leave you.
I’ll hold you like I hold you now.
So close against my breast like a mother with her son, as a woman holds her lover.
And in my dreams you are that lover, just as you have been from the first.
From the very first day that you stepped down from that Stage.
I wanted you then, to touch your skin, to see your blue-eyes sparkle just for me.
But I was a child and you were a man.
You were my hero, bold and dangerous !
You spoke to me softly and teased me gently,
brought me bunches of prairie flowers after a day on the range………………
Helped me peg out the washing on the line, peeled potatoes with me as we laughed together in the kitchen.
A brother by proxy, and always my friend.
Infuriating and stubborn, single-minded and proud.
Oh how I feared for you, fretted over you, and clock- watched each time you went away.
And always I loved you.
Dear God, how I loved you !
Watched as you stripped off your shirt at the pump-handle, weary and dust-covered from a day on the range.
Water sparkling on your brown skin, the clean lines of your body and flexure of your muscles.
You have always been so beautiful.
You take my breath away.
And I’d watch, my heart pounding, as you glistened in the sun.
Hair sleek as a seals, sinews strong and corded like a panther.
How I longed to touch you.
To run my hands across your bare chest, to trace the definition of those muscles, taste the rose-coloured sensitivity of your nipples on my tongue…………….
Feel your strong hands on my body.
God I wanted you.
And I’ll want you forever.
Even when you’re gone.
And I always knew that one-day, I would lose you.
You were always too reckless, took too many chances,
fought-in too many lost causes.
And however brave you were, however strong, however fast, there were always those who sought to take you down.
Time and time again you defied the odds.
How many times I sat in vigil over you !
Counting your breaths and the rise and fall of your chest, soothing your fevers and easing your pains.
Could you ever tell, and did you never know in all those nightmare days and hours, just how much I loved you ?
That I didn’t want to be your little sister ?
Did you ever really notice, did you never really see?
that I’m not a child anymore.
Not the little sister you teased so unmercifully or defended so quixotically ?
That I didn’t want your protection or your help round the Estancia !
I wanted your arms around me.
Your body against mine.
The feel of your long brown fingers in my hair, across my scalp………………
Your mouth on my lips, on my face,
on my skin………………
Warm breath mingling, soft flesh touching, quiet voice whispering that you love me,
you want me,
that you’ll be mine forever……………
I wanted your secrets, your pain and your memories.
I wanted to take them and wipe them all away.
To be the one who stole the heartache from your eyes !
Such blue, blue eyes.
I wanted it all, wanted you all.
Wanted it so badly that how could you never know ?
And now it’s all too late.
Too late to tell you and too late to have you, except in my dreams, except in my heart.
A captive forever.
The echo of a dream .
Close your eyes my darling.
Go softly to the night.
The candle flickers at your bedside like the last light of your soul.
Fragile and insubstantial, the dying of the flame.
I remember when they brought you home.
Broken and bleeding, tortured and tormented.
The monsters that did this have paid for their huge crime, but not before they’d wrought their savage evil.
And you fought.
How you fought !
You strained and struggled so hard for your life, to live,
to come back to us, and never let us down.
You always were so very scared you’d let us down.
And we fought so hard to keep you too.
How we hoped and prayed you’d make it !
Bargained and pleaded with God !
But in those days, there was still hope then.
Hope that you’d recover despite the awful gravity of your injuries.
Hope despite the terror in my soul.
Hope that love alone would beat it !
A miracle would happen, and you’d survive the odds again………………
But it was not to be.
Not this time.
You were just too badly broken.
Just too badly hurt.
And the fever raged inside you and filled your lungs with fluid.
The sickly sweet infection that poisoned your neglected wounds, and grew too strong to fight……………
But how we kept on praying for you.
The desperation hard as stones inside our hearts,
the denial holding back all rationale as we told each other how tough you were.
What a fighter you were.
How once again, we knew you’d win this battle.
But it was not to be.
Your father and your brother cannot face it.
So lost and swamped with grief they’re barely functioning.
One filled with guilty sorrow and regret.
One filled with disbelief and bereavement.
To have what was so recently his, taken so cruelly from him.
And I’ll be there for them both when it’s over.
When you no longer need me anymore.
But I’m the practical one.
Your little practical one.
Practical, pragmatic and capable, I can’t afford to crumble till you’re gone.
Not whilst I can give you comfort in the nights and soothe your agonies in the days.
Cool your burning forehead, bathe your raging body, ease your cruel hurts.
In these, your final days, you are so truly mine.
Mine and mine alone.
Every part of you, each intimate inch of your body.
All the creases and folds, softnesses and hidden places…………………
Every bit of you is mine in a bittersweet gift of parting.
A lonely benison of sorrow.
And now, this is the last night.
I know it in my soul.
Your breathing slow and shallow, skin so cold and dry.
I trace the tiny blue veins on your eyelids.
Fluttery and patterned like a butterfly’s wing……………
Lashes long and feathery,
Your head is heavy on my breast,
the pain is heavy in my heart.
Already, you’re half gone.
I sense your spirit’s gradual departing as though you sense my hurt and wish that you could mend it.
Nothing ever will again.
The candlelight gleams on your silken hair as I make us more comfortable against the pillows, pull you closer into my arms where you always should have been.
Press my lips against your hair so soft as baby-down.
I hope that you know peace here.
I hope you know you’re loved.
Oh dear God, how you’re loved !
My tears fall on your face now, silent silver rain.
I want to stop you going, but I want to end your pain .
You’ve fought so long and hard now; I just want to end your pain……………
Did you never guess I loved you ?
I have nothing left to lose now, nothing left to gain.
“ I love you so much, I always have…………”
I whisper the words and tell you my heart,
gift you the words as the last I can offer.
“ Always, from the first, as a woman loves a man.
I love you so much……………”
I feel your breath like a sobbing sigh,
light and insubstantial as a ghost’s, as I realise with a heartbeat that you’ve opened your eyes.
Did you hear me, do you know now ?
I kiss your forehead with a sigh.
Your lips move, soundless, silently against me,
soft as a flower petal, as I strain to hear your words.
Blue eyes lucid.
The first time in weeks, untainted by delirium, but dull,
the light dying…………
My name like a whisper, the wind through the trees.
Soft in the Spanish style, gentle and beautiful,
a caress on your tongue.
I bend my head closer.
“ Yes love, I hear you.”
“ Te amo Teresa, Te amo…………”
Those words, so sweet, too sweet, too late…………
You are leaving.
I sense your departing.
The essence of you slipping inexorably across the veil.
“ No veo………”
But your eyes are still open.
Your beautiful azure eyes are still open.
“ Close your eyes my darling, close your eyes and drift away…………”
And your lids drop and shut forever.
Your breath stills and stops forever.
My heart alone and cold forever.
As I hold you ‘till dawns grey light.
Lisa Paris. July 2002
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