Paper Ashes

[For the Name on Your Wrist Competition] She cries. He sighs. She smiles. He files. She writes. He lights. She dies. He lies.

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11. Breathless

Ty Somme slumped in the waiting room, his head in his hands. After he had received the cryptic letter from Addy telling him to visit her, he'd raced his thoughts to the hospital. There, he saw her, even more beautiful in the flesh than in his memory. She loved him. She really, really loved him. But she was breaking.

 

"They've given me until tomorrow to decide whether I should have the operation or not. If I don't, it's slowly losing my memories until I die. If I do, it's the chance that I could die anyway in the process of removing it. I can't do this, Ty. I just can't. I'm sorry. But please, tell me what to do."

She looked so helpless as she spoke, despite the fact that most of her bandages had now been removed.

"I love you, Addy. I love you so much. I don't . . . I don't want to lose you. That's so selfish of me, I know, but I can't handle it without you." She caressed the tender, purple skin around his eye.

"I understand. I'll tell them I don't want the operation."

"That's not what I mean. If you lose your memories, you won't be you anymore. I don't want you to die, Addy, but I'd rather die than lose my memories. I don't know how to explain this without it sounding stupid. I'm sorry."

"Then I'll have the operation."

"But what if you die?"

"I'm prepared for that."

"I'm not."

"Promise me something."

"Anything."

"Don't cry for me."

 

At last, a doctor crossed the room to stand in front of him.

"Is she alright? What happened?"

"You might need to sit down, son."

"I'm not your son. Tell me."

"I'm sorry."

"No."

"It was too deep."

"No, no, no."

"She'd already started to forget some of the staff."

"No, no, no, no, no, stop it, don't say this."

"She talked about you until the end."

"Please. Please, tell me you're lying, please."

"She loved you a lot."

"You're using the past tense."

"She told us to tell you, even if you didn't want to hear it."

"Don't, please, don't."

"Blue is the best colour."

The dam broke.

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