I remember holding my Biographer's hand when I knew I had to let go, that I had to be free, or let him be free, and I was so selfish, because I wanted to hold on forever.
I remember how warm his hand was, when I was holding it, and I was afraid that if I let go, his hand would grow cold and stiff and I would lose him forever.
I remember placing my head on his chest to listen for his heartbeat and not hearing anything, but his chest was still warm, so his heart had to be inside there, somewhere deep inside there, even if I could not find it.
I touched his face, his forehead, his hair. If this was earlier in my life, he would not have allowed me to do this, but this was his time to let go, and my time to let go as well.
I did not want to leave him. I don't think he wanted me to leave him, either; at least, not right away, not right then -- not yet.
I held his hand and felt his fingers and then I switched hands when I grew tired, my own hands on his hand. I switched my hands so he would not grow cold. I wanted his warmth. I wanted to breathe in his warmth. I needed to feel it.
I wanted to feel his warmth all over me, to cover me like a blanket. And then he looked at me, and he did not blink his eyes once, but he looked at me, and slowly I knew that this was the moment we dared not speak of. Not exactly, at least. Not speak of in precise terms, I mean.
I followed the warmth, from the tips of his fingers to his knuckles to his wrist, to his elbow and shoulder. The cold was following both of us, so I had to keep going. This was a race. We were track stars. We were running a a marathon, away from the cold. We ran as fast as we could.
I put my head back on his chest and I tried to hear his heart beating -- I tried again! -- so much did I try to hear, to listen, to block out any other noises, even though we were surrounded by silence. But no matter how hard I tried, it was too distant.
And then the cold got closer to us, so I placed my hand on my Biographer's forehead, and that part of him was still warm, and I smiled because the cold had not won yet. It had not defeated us!
He looked at me. He kept looking at me.
He was telling me to go, or stay, or I don't know what he was telling me. There were no words. I was the words. I was all of his words. He gave me life. He gave me his life, so that I could live.
I tried to wipe a tear from his one of his eyes, but the tear had turned to glass, like a tiny marble.
I kissed the warmth on his forehead.
I held me close to him, because I could not hold him close to me, and I thought, how strange is this, how very strange this all is.
The cold came across us in waves, like a breeze almost except maybe more like it was snowing or something, but it was a dry snow. Everything was turning white.
I told my Biographer that I wasn't ready, that I would not leave him alone, ever. I told him, so he would hear me. I whispered in my Biographer's ear so he was sure to hear me. I told him this, over and over. I won't leave you alone.
My Biographer had told me that this time would come, for both of us. And it really wasn't so much that I was free now, but that I was next. That it was -- well -- I guess you could call it my turn.
The snowy white was beautiful because it was pure, but I shivered, and I made my promises.