“Horace?” I put my hand over his in a vain attempt to stop whatever this nonsense was. The solid warmth of him eased my nerves somewhat, but only briefly, because when he spoke, his voice still sounded far away and wholly mysterious.
“Yes, dear,” he said.
I looked at him, the little bird in my chest reminding me how temporary everything was. How life can change in the blink of an eye. These have never been subjects I like to dwell on. Unlike Horace, death was never an event that fascinated me. It scared me. Its permanence. The absence it brought. The missing.
What would it be like to not wake up beside Horace? To not have his solid presence, his steady breathing, next to me each night lulling me to sleep?
“I love you, you old Norwegian,” I said, stroking his cheek.
He leaned his head towards mine—his vision still somewhere yonder, a fact I chose to ignore—and I leaned my head towards his, until we rested against each other. Anchored. Or so I’d always imagined.