The very second before the bucket of water covered her body, she went through an impossibly trite moment of reliving her life.
It began, though she wasn't sure how she recalled it, with her birth. She remembered little besides the midwives frowning down at her, shrieking at the bitten finger, leaving her in the clock to depend on her drugged mother. Then, she was Elphaba.
Next in her life was Turtle Heart, a funny red Quadling man. Melena loved him dearly, as did Frex. Somehow, Frex cared for Elphaba too. Fatherly affection, affection that came before Nessa was born, unforced fondness for a child he could never truly love. He called her Fabala.
In a valley of Gillikin, far from mountain colds and plain gusts, Shiz loomed. She met Galinda and was instantly detested. Soon enough she met Glinda and was roped into love. Glinda cried desperately, kissed her fiercely, would simply not let go until the carriage forced them apart. Glinda might never have forgotten her dear Elphie.
There was something detestably erotic in the way Fiyero would pant into her ear as they made love-- Fiyero's term, not hers-- and whisper sweet things as she raked her fingernails down his back. She wished, for once, he would force her into something. She wished he would growl fierce threats and squeeze her shoulders. She wished he would fuck her into submission instead of making love to her until she pushed him away disgustedly. Fae? he would question. Fae?
Leaving Fiyero behind her was impossible, as Liir tagged along with her to the Vinkus. He would not fully realize his connection with her until she was gone, but at the time he was merely an annoying reminder of Fiyero's infidelity. She noticed with a pang of remorse that Sarima's face fell whenever Liir trotted by. And yet Sarima and the sisters were unfailingly polite to her and to Nanny after the trek from Munchkinland. They offered her tea and biscuits, let her lodge in the southeast tower, gave her the prominent seat at the table. Anything for a guest, they hummed under their breath-- though secretly nursing a grudge that she was not a male to marry them. Anything for Auntie Witch.
The water splashed down upon her, but there was only numbness. She heard herself shriek and saw the flesh melt from her bones, but felt nothing. Her mind still raced with recollections of past names, past nicknames, past identities. Others had always given her an image to be, a person to live up to, a personality jagged as her angles and yet memorable as her skin. But from birth to death, she relied on those personas. Who was she, really? Why was she here, now, dying from this bucket of water?
She died as she saw herself, as she was destined to be: an unmarried widow; a fairweather friend; an ungrateful daughter; a complete, unparalleled failure. To die as the Witch... how disappointing.