Her body begins to fail. An explanation, an apology, a plea for forgivenessshe has practiced this goodbye many times. But faced with him, she only thinks of one thing:
"I love you."
She hopes it is enough.
Ambulance lights glitter on the jagged teeth of broken windows. A police cordon surrounds the diminishing husk of a primordial nightmare, buried in the remains of 33rd street.
It is a place she tries to forget but visits often in dreams.
"None of this is real, you know." Her husband slouches, hands in his pockets. They wait behind police tape. "You've been deluding yourself. I think it helps you cope."
Here he is neither devil nor a saint, just the truth. She hates it. "He wasisreal. I have to find a way back to him. I saved him"
"And you'll keep on saving him, in a million terrible worlds. It doesn't mean anything. He's gone. He never was. You gotta wake up."
Her world shatters; the fragments melt like wax. Tears roll down her cheek as she offers her husband a heartbroken smile.
"I know. But I can dream, can't I?"