She still looked beautiful there in bed. If it weren't for the straps holding her limbs, I would say things looked almost normal. That isn't the case, though. The straps are glaring along with sunkeness of her eyes and of course the wound on her neck. I dropped the object in my hand on the floor next to her bed and just stared at her - trying to find some kind meaning to it all. Looking to find a solution other than the one an emotionless mind would have determined some time ago.
It was just a short few days ago when I held her and tried to will her demons to stay away. "It is going to be alright," I would console. "I will not let it take you. I will not let it change us."
How empty those words feel today, yet I meant them with everything I had. I watched daily how her sweet way melted into something horrifying.
It was gradual at first. She would tell me she loved me and have me hold her. Then she would sink into her illness. The fever, and the red pupils would come and go. I tried to time the rhythm of it in order to maximize the time I had left with the "wife" that was slowly being strangled by the pure evil that is surely engulfing her.
It wasn't long till there was only glimpses of the angel that she used to be. Her voice would sink octaves and utter the most horrifying things. Still, she was my wife and I loved her. Should I stay, go, vanquish her, end my own misery or just set her free and let her take me. What is left to live for, anyway?
The struggle continued until there was nothing left of my wife there. The only sign that she ever lived there is when her exhausted body gave up consciousness. I can still see the shell that she lived in, but she is long gone.
I know now that those straps will not be able to contain her much longer. I needed to deal with this fact before all of it is completely out of my hands.
As I walked slowly toward her, her eyes opened and she gently mustered, "Free my arms so I can hold you one last time." I reached with my left hand across her body towards the strap restraining her left hand. With my right hand, I gripped the wooden shaft that I dropped on the floor beside her bed a little earlier. A week ago, it was a support in the garden. Today, it set two souls free.