"I have found it!" she cried, her smile too
wide for her frail face.
Tired, he sat in the chair next to the bed that she sits, Indian-style and child-like.
"What have you found?" he asked, glad to hear the alive quality in her voice again, absent for so long.
"Truth." Her skin was translucent, showing veins deep purple and blue. She traced them with her finger, not having to look; for she had traced them so many times before that they were etched in her memory. It was an unwritten map, one that was traveled for years and years.
"What is this truth that you have discovered?" She did not look her twenty-eight years, but nor did he. Time and disease had worn them both.
"The end has no end." There was a silence, short but bitter. "It is the last truth." His smile disappeared as the familiar glaze coated her eyes, unmoving and transfixed on a brightly colored orange on the bedside table. It was an odd addition to the room, for it was pale and washed out (similar to themselves), but for the four years they had lived there she insisted one be there each day.
She never ate them, but threw them away the next morning when he brought her a new one.
"What are you talking about, Fiona?" He asked cautiously. She sighed, rolling her eyes and lifting her frail body from the bed, venturing to the closed window.
"That is my doctrinal name," she said, dim eyes staring out onto the busy street. She opened the window and sat on the ledge, putting him on alert. She had never before seen the street so clearly. "The name of a slave to comical gods. Do not call me that name, please," she said. The room was chilling quickly, for it was winter.
"I won't," he said, getting up. "Come out of the window." She licked her lips, transfixing her eyes upon his tall, skinny frame. The shock of her clear blue eyes was still there, but the vibrancy had been long gone.
"I want to feel the freshness hit against my skin." She looked away from him and lifted her arms, and for a moment she was flying again, a child in the fields with her whole life ahead of her. "Haven't you ever yearned for something as fresh as the wind?" He knew what she meant and sat again, deciding reluctantly that he would let her have her simple pleasure and take the chance of stupid actions. They sat there together in silence for a moment, cold.
"Movies, songs, books," she began, "all have an end. The visionary kills its child once again, but it is the mind of the enjoyer to let the end continue."
"Imagination," he volunteered. Her lips stretched over her teeth, a happy gesture but pathetic in its stature.
"Exactly." The pathetic smile faded from her face.
"The end has no end," she whispered. Hot fat tears ran down her cheeks, but she did not feel them. The cold had made her face numb. She turned her face to the street, the sun giving her heat. He smiled at her, and for a moment the past seemed to evaporate under the heat, water in a jar that had burst by a thunderbolt. What was the choice? Kill or be killed. Be lifted into the sky or melt away into nothing. She lifted her hand and gripped the side of the window, knuckles turning white. "I have found, along with this epiphany," she said in a loud voice, "that I lack the imagination to make the end continue." He drew in a breath and tried to get up, but he was stuck. The smile he had felt was genuine only moments ago was plastered on his face, his tongue becoming dry.
He croaked. It was a sound of protest, one that he already knew she would ignore. She had waited too long for this moment to be stopped by him.
"Life needs passion. That was present long ago, but not now." Her old face, still so young, was still turned towards the sun even though it was beginning to hide itself behind the clouds. She was not sitting her on her windowsill now, but in a field as a child, the wetness of the flowers keeping her nourished. She was now speaking to the sky, not her partner. Everything was simple to her. "I do not feel the need to continue to wish that the end keep going." Her eyes moved to him, dreamy smile on her face. It was a smile he knew well, had seen so many times before.
But something was different now.
"Wishing is not good enough for anyone. There must be action! Yet I have no desire to use the little energy I have left on something as simple as that." His back was rigid, stuck in the chair. His feet would not move like he wished them too. She closed her eyes and bathed herself in a sun that was not there. "You will see me one day," she whispered to him, "writing stories in the clouds with the stars. Everyone will see it, and it will be beautiful."
She pushed herself out of the window, the wind slicing through her. She laughed in the air for a second, knowing that long after her end the people who saw her fall would keep it going. They would create their own beginning, middle and end of her, mostly to understand why they felt so strongly about someone they did not know. She hit the ground with a smile on her face, assured that even though she was not strong enough to think about the ends continuing, someone else would be for her.
The stunned onlookers heard a scream from an open window, a window with a white curtain dancing in the wind like a train on a wedding dress that the girl would never get to wear.