Thursday, 8 January 2015


They got into the car. Pearl was silent, dazed after her rush of anger and outrage.
Simon reached out, took her hand and pressed it to his lips.

"Pearl, we will get through this storm. We will win."

"No. This is not a battle any-one wins."

"You are wrong, my Pearl. No-one knows how long they will live, no-one knows when they will see the sun set for the last time. We know that Thali has a short time, yes, but we KNOW; so we can make that time a time of love. Make everyday special, say all the things we want to say, and she needs to hear. And one day, when she sleeps finally, we will have no regrets. We will have left nothing unsaid or undone. We will know we have given her a time of love. We will let her go in peace, and the remembering of her will bring no bitterness, only joy."

Pearl wept silently, her cheek pressed against his shoulder, her hand in his cradled to his cheek.

Simon closed his eyes and let the tears come. A pain, a sorrow such as he had never felt before. This was no anger masquerading as pain. This was a slow agony seeping through his veins, soon it would reach his heart, and then, he felt- for all his brave words-then he would surely die.

Simon turned and wrapped his arms around Pearl in the narrow confines of the car. He nursed her trembling body and his own grief. He wept, as did she. This was the first and last time they would grieve for what would not be.

Pearl was right, let the undertakers look to the dead. Thali was stil alive, there was work to be done. Work to prolong her life, to make it worth living, not just surviving.

There was work be done , and so they would have only this short time of grief, together, in this car; and once they opened the door and got out, self-indulgence must end.

They must be towers of strength, resilience and courage. If they wept in silence in the night, no-one would know.

Pearl and Simon, locked in each other's arms, wept; and somehow in that bitter moment there was a promise of sweetness. They lips, slippery with tears, somehow met, clung together.

Their first kiss, and it was a kiss of desperate promise, not of lust, or passion. It was a kiss of love, flavoured with the salt of pain.



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