The Dying Room

By Abigail Thomas

May 27, 2019

The Dying Room

When he woke again he questioned how had he come to be here in this terrible room, who had allowed it to happen? And he raged at his wife for betraying him, and when in her pained look he could read nothing he understood, I should never have trusted you, he said and went on that way like a bath overflowing until his voice softened, I loved you passionately, always, and let his head fall back on the pillow. She wasn’t his wife anymore, but she would always be his wife. She took his hand when he startled, his eyes rolling like a wild horse, and he wanted to say she need not trouble herself, as it was only a moment and gone, part of the hard work of it. The body that held him to the bed was loosening its hold and he scattered and filled the room. I love you, his not wife whispered as he died, and the family woke and rose and stood about the bed, weeping, while over by the window a glass of water fell to the floor, which was goodbye and goddamn and he knew she knew, because she smiled.

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