Beauty In Death

He clings to the memories he has left of her.

Her face is so beautiful and so angelic in his mind; her hair a golden halo around her brilliant green eyes, and her smile dazzling. Her skin is painted like that of a porcelain doll and he longs to reach out and run his fingers over her cheek to feel it's silken surface.

He does just that and is immediately alarmed at how cold she feels. She is so terribly cold. She has always been the warmest person he's known.

(This isn't real, he tells himself firmly. This isn't real.)

He moves his hand slowly from her cheek to just above her lip and then presses his index finger to the skin there. He traces the contours of her mouth as he had done so with his own lips the day before.

Cold. Too cold.

He wants to warm her and so replaces his finger with his lips. He holds still with his mouth against hers, trying to burn the feeling into his memory and then pulls back.

Her time is up and as much as he doesn't want to leave her side, he continues to belong to the living. She no longer does.

They exist in separate worlds now.

Every step he takes away from her tears wider the hole in his heart. At the morgue door, he turns and gives her one last lingering glance.

"Goodbye, Stella," he whispers.