Disclaimer – I don't own Wicked! I'm not making any money from this; it is only Fan-fiction!

Summary – No-one knows what goes on in a person's mind, except the person. That way he could lie.

Six Minutes

She had been lying in our bed, surrounded by fluffy red pillows, when she had requested that she couldn't die alone. She had grasped my hand, weakly though with all the strength she was capable of mustering, and pulled me beside her.

It only took Glinda the Good six minutes to die, once the doctors had confirmed the unstoppable spread of the virus. Six minutes of torture, during which I could just hold her hand, stroke her hair and fill her head with a false sense of hope.

Hope that she wouldn't die, that she would come through it and we could continue to live our lives with a 'happy' persona. But that was just me, wasn't it?

It took my wife six minutes to die. Six minutes of listening to her soft whimpers of pain as all the life within her slowly left. Each minute, I involuntarily noticed her breathing becoming less and less frequent, like a countdown, until her shallow breaths ceased completely. Six minutes, each one representing a year of our marriage. She had been thrilled, it had been my duty.

Her last words would haunt me forever, although not in the way they should. I'll never forget how she had craned her neck upwards, which had caused her obvious pain, to meet my eyes. How she had to draw a few sharp breaths before managing (though barely) to tell me on last time that she loved me, before slipping away. Another star into the night.

Her face, once rosy and usually flustered, was pale, almost grey and utterly still. Her dying expression still sat upon her features. Pain and regret, so apparent, it was readable. Moist tear tracks trailed down her cheek bones, though the tears existed on my own hand, where they had fell from her face.

The biggest feeling of betrayal fell upon me at that moment. Betrayal at how I couldn't bring myself to repeat those sacred words back to her. As my thoughts as she died in my arms had betrayed her, made a mockery of our vows.

Then came the feeling that I couldn't shrug off, the feeling of utter relief. Relief that the body I held…

…was not Elphaba.