he loves her.

He chooses the drapes. He isn’t particularly fond of interior design, but he knows that a detail like that–the coral will accent the wainscoting nicely–will be appreciated by her.

He loves her.
He builds the bench for her; he thinks it’s a terrible idea and that she will begin to drown in her own disappointment, but that’s what he does. He saves her.

He loves her.
She wants their first to be a boy. It’s a girl. They are both girls. She feels guilty about being sad at first; he draws his finger lightly below her eyes, stopping the tears.
They worship him. His girls. He tells the best stories. Makes the best lunches. He braids their hair at 7; the braids loosen and fall by 9 but they love it anyway.
She wants to move to The City to find herself, and though he has a name here and a job here and their house and the drapes are here, he goes.

He loves her.
He thinks about the love and feels sorry and he hopes they forgive him eventually. He hopes they don’t miss him too terribly. He considers writing it down, but the pen has no ink and he has no time.

He loves her.
It is his last thought as he takes the gun and presses it into his lips as he leans against the window without drapes and casts himself into eternity.

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