What are you going to do in your last heartbeat?
Look into someone's eye?
So many things to do. So little time.
When you think about it, what's in that last beat could define one's entire life.
And that was what's going on right now.
Beep. Beep. Beep.
So loud it was ear splitting. So fast it was heart rending.
One by one needles get poked into his skin. One by one flicker of lights came shooting off the ceiling. And slowly everything just goes away. Just like how a feather slowly falls to the ground.
"No good. Patient's unresponsive!"
Mingle of voices, chorus of pleas, they all sounded like they came from a very far away distance.
Who's unresponsive? Him? He was conscious. Very much though no matter how lacking his expression was. Or no matter how limp his limbs appeared in the eyes tearfully looking at him.
"Papa!" that voice, sweet and sorrowful called. "No, please don't!"
Papa? Why is that woman calling him that? He thought long and hard. Papa?
"Bloodpressure dropping! Pulse, cannot be detected!"
It was just so white. Blinding pure white. So white that he just wanted to close his eyes. And he did.
There was just nothing he could see. Just sounds everywhere. Nothing. And even the chorus was starting to decline, to lower down, to fade away.
Somehow, that voice was different from the rest. A mellow tone resonating deep inside him. Such sweetness he wanted to catch in his palms.
"Ritsu...see you soon."
Ah. Ahhhh. It's Masamune. He remembered. Finally.
He had a perfect family. A full of issues, perfect partner named Takano Masamune. A perfectionist, clumsy adoptive daughter named Rima.
Fifty-nine years then had passed.
How fast it had been.
It was so hard at the beginning. But also fun that everything felt like it wrapped up in a split second.
"Thank you. You're everything I wished for."
Really that man, although already old, could say the most embarassing things.
"Thank you for spending the rest of your life with me Ritsu."
Although it was weak, the sound of voice cracking in a soft sob somehow sounded clearly into his fading hearing.
Right. Ritsu was leaving. He was dying. Not of sickness but purely of old age. Thank God they were so blessed.
"You're just going off first...But it's still us in the next life...right?"
Ritsu had wanted to say 'no' and maybe joke that he's had enough. He had wanted to say 'no way' then shake his head. Too bad he couldn't even lift an eyelid open.
So it was like this. You only hear your heartbeat as if it was right at your ears.
Thump. Thump. Thump...
Takano Masamune gripped his partner's hand tight. Inhaling and trying to see past through the tears marring his wrinkled face.
Ritsu managed to smile. A small one. A very faint gesture.
And Takano just swallowed the pain down his throat. Being a gay couple had never been easy for the two of them. And smiling was something Ritsu never gave so easily.
That smile of Ritsu in his last hearbeat said it all.
As if Ritsu had said, 'it was all worth it'.
chapter end notes:
hello. i didn't intend to write this. but somehow, while listening to Radiohead Amnesiac album, it was so beautifully depressing that I ended up typing this.