Short Story – An Execution of the Heart

This is a short story I wrote in March of this year. I was reading an article on cancer research here on the internet and it got me thinking. If I can find the article I will add the link here.

An Execution of the Heart

By Nicola Brooks

I stand at the bedroom doorway, unseen, I am able to look at her, my lover, my soul mate, my wife, and remember her and all our years together. Her face is as beautiful as it ever was, with a story to tell.We met, 45 years ago, eating fish taco’s on the Las Vegas strip. I’d run out of money, she’d run out on her boyfriend. Ah, time has taken us on a journey; Las Vegas was just the start, then followed marriage, children, and grandchildren. Now I have to be stronger than ever and help her end the pain. Because I love her.I watch her apply a layer of red on her lips, the way I remember her doing in a cracked mirror, in that one-stop shack, the morning after we met. We haven’t spent a day apart since, not even the night before our wedding.

My thoughts escape me as she closes the lipstick and turns and frowns at me. “Do you like this outfit, is it too much?” she say’s nervously and pats the blue matted skirt at the thigh.

She probably knew I was there all along, but didn‘t want to see my heart breaking, or see me with doubts. I look her up and down; she is wearing the white blouse that I bought her last year, the one with a pattern of a rose on one side of the collar. I step inside and place both hands on her arms. “You look just perfect.” I nod and try to smile at her.

“I love you, Burt.” she say’s, taking my shaking hands in hers, steadying them none.

I can not speak and so I pull her into me and hold her. She is warm, and I tell myself over and over to remember this.

With her head on my shoulder she whispers into my ear “It’s time…” and pulls away from my grip on her. As we separate she takes my face in her hands, and I close my eyes as she gently places those red laced lips against mine. I do not open my eyes, even after her hands slip from my cheeks.

“Sweetheart?” She beckons me to open them again, and even though it hurts, I find her green eyes and caress them with mine.

I hide the words I long to say – selfish words, and we do not speak as we follow each other into the bathroom, our hands linked until I reach for the bathroom cabinet. On the second shelf, her pharmacy sits in some daily order; Selenium, Beta Carotene, Vitamins A… and my hand finds the desired bottles; Melatonin and Astragalus.

I take them bringing them closer to my enfeebled eyes. She looks at me as I do, and reassures me with a smile, they are the right ones.

In the bedroom, we open the bottles and lay the pills out, a set of white and pink dots on the bedside drawer. I pass her a glass of water and with my hand in hers, I watch as one by one she takes them.

She holds the last one out in front of her and smiles at it. That smile is the same smile I found myself falling in love with, and watching her is breaking my heart.

Her eyes are already closing when I lay her back against the puffed pillows and her lips start to bleed red, as the lipstick smudges from my kisses. I whisper sweet words and I cry at her frail body as it weakens and falls loosely on the bed; her eyes are closed, her face stiff.

I look at her, I beg for her open her eyes again, long to hear her speak – tell me I’m a useless husband for not washing the dishes last night! Anything!

She does not move.

I panic… I can not see it through!

The ambulance arrives minutes later. I tell them I found her on the bed. They think it’s an attempted suicide, and try to save her by pumping her stomach, but it is too late.

My wife dies on the way to hospital and I am left alone with my guilt. I am lost without her. She is left in peace, without the scares of Cancer




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