The last of the sunset lingers behind the hill glowing orange as the sky darkens.
Sitting beside your bed, I reach out and brush my fingertips onto the paper thin skin covering your cheek bone. I will you to respond to me, just a flicker of an eyelid or a ghost of smile. But you lie still and silent and a chill creeps into my soul.
My memory does a rewind to the day we climbed that hill, laughing and stumbling as we tugged at each others clothes, trying to make the other go slower. You reached the top first and stood there arms above your head, waving and smiling as I collapsed, breathless onto the ground beside you.
“Look, down there ! “
My eyes followed your pointing finger to the field below us where a small child held onto the string of a coloured kite. The kite swooped and swirled pulling the string taut then loose as the child struggled to stop it escaping.
We watched spellbound, willing the kite to stay aloft.
Then, in an instant, it was free of it’s tether. The string slipped effortlessly out of the child’s hand and we gasped together as the kite swirled off into the sky. Away and away on the wind while the child stood motionless, watching it float into the distance.
You inhale deeply, then exhale one last time. You are off, soaring into the air as I raise my hand to wave you on your way.