The best story I've written so far! Even if it is 4 years old...

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Vale
By Trekkie6

She watched as he slept, wary of the presence of peace spread across his handsome face, illuminated by lights overhead, shining bright as the new morning sun. For him she was happy, for right now, he had no worries, not about himself, not about her, and not about anything else. His duties had been revoked, a large weight lifted from his shoulders. She wondered what he was thinking this very moment, selfishly hoping it was of her.

Her fingers traveled the length of his bed, the cool black surface soothing her swollen fingers as she continued. Thinking he looked awkward, uncomfortable even, she adjusted the soft green pillow under his head, stroking one hand through his soft brown hair.

Tears sprang to her eyes as she noted the pictures near his bed. One was of him and his kid sister, standing near a tree, long dark braids falling down her back, his short hair cut into one of the styles of the time, both of them grinning at whomever was stealing this rare occasion when they were getting along.

Another photo was of him and his sister and their parents, the four of them dressed as if they were on their way to a Sunday church service. He looked to be seven at the time.

The last photo was of him and her. Memories of that day two and a half years ago played in her head. They'd taken a much-needed day off and had gone to a local carnival, something neither of them had ever done. And they enjoyed themselves. So much in fact that they had purchased a disposable camera to mark the occasion. Til this day she could not remember the stranger kind enough to capture this rare moment in their lives, the joy they'd felt at the time evident in the grins on their faces. His arm wrapped around her neck, resting on her shoulder, her arm wrapped around his waist, glooming lights from various rides creating a portrait of colors behind them. It had been that moment that she realized how much he meant to her.

And now, the tears that had made themselves at home in her eyes sprinkled down her rosy cheeks like a gentle April rain. She placed one hand on top of the clasped fingers on his chest, blocking out their cold, rigid, feel and leaned to kiss his forehead, touching it softly with her full pink lips.

"I'm sorry I couldn't be there for you," she whispered. "I'm sorry I failed you." Like an avalanche, tears fell harder as she brought her hand to rest upon her swelling belly. "I'm sorry." And for a second, she thought, hoped, he would open his eyes, awaken from his slumber. But it was not to be. What was done was done.

She kissed him again, this time on the lips, for the last time before bringing the heavy lid down on his casket.
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