Don't you just hate to say goodbye...

by James Lloyd Davis

         There is no silence like the echo of snow falling on a wide, whited field.  Wish you could hear it, see the grey tones of a sky so filled with snowflakes, the clouds have no shape, no form to give away the fact of their presence.  Wish you could speak to me just a while longer, but the fog of your breath is long gone, the depth of your eyes, that flash of brilliance within, gone.
         I should close them the way I've heard it should be done, but the odd diamond facets of your blue iris fascinates me.  Even in death, hypnotic.
         I'm sorry.
         You thought we were home free.
         Only one of us can go on. 
         Only one can survive.
         It will be me.
         Blood in the snow doesn't seem to blacken as quickly as it would, as I've seen it turn in the warm sun.  You bled out so quickly, though it took so much longer than I'd imagined it would.  I was surprised at how far you could run, bleeding all the way, hand to your throat as though you could stop the flow of it. 
         Blood on my hands.
         It'll have to remain, the stain of it.  Too cold to wipe my hands with handfuls of snow.  The wind would make it unbearable and I left my gloves in the car.  I didn't want you to imagine we'd be walking so far from the road.  You were… so distracted by the beauty of this field in the virgin snow, you forgot about time.  I've always loved that in you, that you could so appreciate, as I do, the beauty of the natural world that nothing else matters in the moment. 
         You were surprised, but at least you were spared those long moments of fear.
         A hunter once told me that fear puts a bad taste in the meat, so he always took great pains to make the kill clean and quick.  But this wasn't hunting, just business.
         You'll be covered in fresh snow, a pristine shroud, quite safe out here until spring.  By then, I'll be somewhere and someone else altogether.  I'm not a monster.  In the cold air, the razor must have seemed inconsequential, a love tap, perhaps even painless.  I did my best, under the circumstances.
         It's so peaceful out here, I hate to leave you.
         I've always hated to leave you, babe.