‘First Light, Soft Quiet Of Peace,’ by Michael Millwood

Any moment now, she will cease to breathe. It’s only a matter of minutes before the injection takes effect and all the pain is finally, mercifully gone.

It’s for the best, Nicky tells himself as he lights a cigarette and fixes himself a bourbon and Coke. Had to be this way. Was never gonna change for the bettter, so might as well get it done and not pretend otherwise. Nothing was ever accomplished by trying to put back together what’s been broken from almost the beginning. Nicky raises his glass and makes a silent toast: To me. To having the balls to do what has to be done.

He should be crying right about now, he knows, but he’s not gonna. He’s made a pact with himself and he won’t back away from the promise now. Tears aren’t gonna make things any different, not to mention any better. He takes a puff of the cigarette and inhales deeply, as if the smoke can push down the deeper hurts he’s been carrying his whole life.

Shoulda never made the promise six months ago. Seems so long now that it starts to feel more like six years, but it was just January when he nodded and sealed his fate. Well, to be honest, their fate. In a matter of a few minutes, fate will no longer exist for her, and he will be left to sweep up the memories, dispose of the dreams, and call for assistance. Doesn’t really matter now, does it? Nope. Not in the least.

Nicky shakes his head and starts to chuckle. To you, old gal, he says under his breath. You were a good mom, but sooner or later we all reach the end of our lines. Best part about it all is this time tomorrow all your pain will be gone and the house will be mine. Then he can invite his friends over and party as much and as late as he’s always wanted.

No more disapproval. No more shame. No more hiding. If only he’d known sooner this moment would be so freeing. Makes him wish he’d been braver,  more bold.

He drinks to the moment and picks up the phone to begin making the calls.

Copyright 2016 by Michael Millwood. All rights belong to the author and material may not be copied without the author’s express permission.

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