He’d laid out the room the way he knew she would like it- her pictures covered the wall behind him. Her favorite blanket cradled her still form and saved her from the cold hardwood floor beneath. He’d lit the incense she had out and the sweet smell of vanilla filled the room. And laid out around her were her favorite flowers- lilacs. Laying there with the flowers haloing her softly curling amber hair he felt like he could weep- she was already an angel.
He stole himself for the task in front of him now, clenching his stomach as he straddled her. He couldn’t be weak, he couldn’t be timid- she deserved better than that. No, he would hold her tight, he would leave her no doubt as to where she was headed, he would give her the farewell she deserved.
This was not the cruel, thoughtless dismissal of a gun shot where the departing leave without even seeing who pulled the trigger. This was an act of love. In some ways he loved her more than anyone in her life ever had or ever could because he took this task upon himself with honor and respect. No one else in her life loved her enough to save her from the misery awaiting her on her path. He tightened his knees on her hips and gently wrapped his hands around her throat, waiting for her to awaken.
At first she didn’t respond, didn’t move. So he began to squeeze. Just a tiny bit of pressure, securing his grip. It had taken practice to get used to holding so tight with gloves on but he’d perfected the art over time. Her skin was too perfect, he couldn’t risk contaminating it. As he began to squeeze he felt her pulse in her throat and saw her eyes quiver. A burst of excitement shot through him as her eyes shot open and focused on him in horror. She opened her mouth to scream and he watched in eager anticipation as he squeezed the noise down her throat.
She bucked beneath him trying to kick and reached up toward his face with hands made into claws. But his arms were too long and his grip to tight for her to reach and his weight on her thighs made it impossible to kick. But she bucked with a strength that far exceeded what he would have expected for someone of her slim build.
He stared into her eyes, at the light that still shined there. He knew he wasn’t too late, he knew she was still there. The little girl smiling in the earlier pictures still lurked inside of her and he looked at her through those wide, horrified eyes.
He tried to imagine where she could have gotten the strength she now displayed in those bucking hips. Had she played a sport when she was younger, before the evil of the materialistic world had kidnapped her into the lifestyle he was now snuffing out? Maybe little league, he thought. But no, she was too feminine for something so rough.
He looked down at her slim frame, her arms waving wildly before him, the line of her neck. Swimming? Ah yes, he thought. She must have been a swimmer. He imagined her thin body gliding through the water, her strong legs kicking off the wall and propelling her forward with ease, her arms stroking strongly. He connected with the imagine in his mind so strongly that he almost forgot she was dry, her arms pounding on his chest and the strength in her legs buoying his imagination.
But then her arms flailed less wildly and her hips started a more involuntary spasm as if she were losing control. He focused on that dimming light in her eyes and spoke softly to her.
“Ssshhhh- don’t fight it. It’ll all be over soon. All of this will be over and you’ll finally be able to rest, secure that your serenity remains intact,” he cooed. Her eyes widened for a second and a renewed force began hitting his chest. He knew he would have bruises and he would savor them for as long as his body showed the mark.
“Ssshhh, just let go, my angel. I’ve got you. You can let go now.”
Her arms fell lower and stilled as his steel grip remained and the strength in her legs gave out. He inhaled sharply and her body began to let out its last spasms, its last signs of strength.
“That’s it, that’s it- just let go. Let yourself fall and know that you will land safely…” He leaned over to stare into her eyes as the light began to fade. Her body stilled and he felt the heartbeat under his grip fade until he no longer feel it. And he watched as the spark in her- the life that had been everything she ever was and everything she ever could be, faded and went out. “I love you, my angel. Sleep now.” And with that he let go.
Her now lifeless eyes stared up at him, still wide, still dark. But now the light was gone and with her perfect features she looked more like a doll than a human being. He reached out a hand and closed her eyes. And he smiled as the tears of relief started to run down his face.