I will Follow You Into the Dark

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Chapter 1

Chapter 1

"The time for sleep is now
It's nothing to cry about
'Cause we'll hold each other soon" - I will follow you into the dark by Death Cab for Cutie

Danny Karl lay on his side of the old double bed, clutching the limp hand of his wife as a tear rolled down his wrinkled cheek. Her empty blue eyes stared past into another world, but he knew that the hint of a smile still etched in her kind face was for him. He slowly brought his other hand up and tucked a loose strand of grey hair behind her ear - it was always falling in front of her eyes. Then he gently closed her lifeless eyes with one thumb and pressed his lips to hers one last time.

She'd known for a while, he was sure of that now. That was why she had insisted on him climbing up to the loft to fetch down those old, dusty photo albums. She'd sat there, flicking through them with that devious smile of hers - the smile of a sixteen year old girl. He'd asked her why it was that after at least fifteen years she'd wanted to look at them now. She'd just laughed, "Is it illegal for an old woman to want to revisit her glory days?" He'd sat down next to her then. "Old?" He'd pointed down at a picture taken well over forty years ago and smiled. "Darling, you haven't aged a day."

Danny got out of the bed slowly, his back aching as it did every morning. He walked across the worn cream carpet into the tiny bathroom and splashed cold water on his face before bending down slowly, painfully and grasping a tall thin bottle. He straightened up and made his way back to the bed, clutching the bottle to his chest. With a sigh he sat down on the sky blue duvet - her favourite colour - and flicked open the lid, his hands remarkably steady. She wouldn't have liked it, but he had to do it. He needed her. Sure, he loved his boy, Samuel, his daughter in law Christa and their two kids, but they could live without him. He couldn't live without her.

The bottle was only a quarter full, but those pills were pretty powerful, he should know. He'd had to take one every morning for the last six years to ease the pain in his back. Every morning she'd smiled sympathetically at him and patted his arm. Now he had to do this one last time, on his own. Staring at the picture on his bedside table - the one taken so many years ago on their wedding day - he smiled. He wasn't crying any more as he stared into the sparkling blue eyes of his wife in the photograph.

"Goodbye Sam, I love you and I'm sorry." He took a deep breath and closed his eyes. "I love you Eliza."

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