I love him.
The doctors look at me apologetically,
feeling sorry for the state of me.
‘Try to be strong’ they say,
‘He’s having a rough time’ and they walk away.
I wipe my tears and fix myself before
opening the door to see him lying there somberly, in a deep, disordered sleep.
I walk towards him and kiss his head,
he wakes up abruptly and I smile.
‘Let’s go home.’ I say, because I love him.
He’s angry because he can’t feel his legs,
they feel numb and useless, he says.
He’s upset because the control in his arms is limited to the light flicker of his fingers that he has to spend hours to be in control of.
‘Don’t worry baby, everything will be fine.’ I say because I love him.
The first few days are the worst,
the doctor had told me.
The doctor said that he’d be miserable
and in pain, that he’d plead to be alone
and get frustrated because of the constant attention that I’d give him.
‘Don’t let him alone for even a moment’
the doctor said.
‘I won’t.’ I reply, because I love him.
The first few weeks were a nightmare.
Whenever I tried to prop him up on the pillows, he looked at me sternly,
whenever I tried to feed him, he felt ashamed, whenever I tried to caress him, he felt bitter.
He didn’t want this life and I knew it,
but I kept trying because I love him.
I never let him out of my sight.
I left my job, my house and my life.
But wait. He was my life.
I wanted to make sure that he was safe,
that he took his medicines on time.
That he was placed on the bed properly
so that his bones wouldn’t be sore,
so that he wouldn’t be in pain.
I cared, because I love him.
Weeks turned into months
and the man I once knew changed.
He became miserly.
He hated everything that I did
and I thought he started to hate me too.
He tried to find reasons to keep away
I want to sleep for a while,
I won’t need any assistance he’d say.
But after minutes of my leaving him
I’d hear the loud blaring of the radio
or the soft chatter of the TV
and I knew that he just wanted
to get rid of me. But I loved him.
Months turned into years
and everything changed.
He became quieter, more restrained.
He felt that the way to cope with his
pain was to silence his thoughts
He loved me and I knew it,
but his actions showed that he wanted
nothing other than freedom from his life.
I want out. He finally said one day.
‘Okay.’ I said, because I loved him.
And so we journeyed
to the other side of the horizon
in search for a cure of his pain.
The day it happened, I saw a gleam
in his eyes that I had long forgotten.
A sort of passion that I knew
existed in him long ago, he smiled
and said I’ll finally be free from this pain.
I kissed his forehead and smiled back,
knowing at the back of my mind
that what I was about to do
would ruin my life forever.
But I loved him.
And so I did it. The doctor said to
feed him the cream liquid through
the beaker when he’d ask for it.
‘It’ll be pain-free.’ He said.
The doctor would’ve preferred to do
it himself, but it was a sincere request on
our part – or should I say his part –
that I perform the duty.
My heart stopped in my mouth the
moment it happened.
I laid the beaker aside and caressed him in my arms,
crying quietly into his unkempt hair,
completely aware of what I’d just done,
and knowing that after this I didn’t
have the power to change anything.
He finally gazed up at me with a twinkle
in his eyes that said he wanted this.
Thank you for everything. I love you so much.
He croaked, his eyes were brimming with tears.
I shook my head slowly as my own tears fell abruptly on his cheeks.
I watched as his flushed face
slowly turned pale, and his soft smile
faded until finally, his eyes closed for the
I stopped breathing.
I knew that I’d never see him
smile again, that I’d never see that
gleam in his eyes that made me fall
in love with him, that I’d never kiss
his soft lips, I’d never feel his heart
beating against my ear as I placed it
on his broad chest.
I’d never do any of those things again
and suddenly, I felt numb.
A part of me hated myself
for what I’d just done.
How could I have just let him go,
after all of these years,
after everything that we’d been together.
I continued to cry into his lifeless body,
hating every part of what’d just happened.
But as I continued to gaze at him
and the thin smile that was on his lips,
a part of me started to feel courageous.
That part knew the pain that he’d suffered.
That part knew how much strength
it took to do what I did.
And that part knew that I did it all
Because I loved him.