Once upon a time, there was a boy who lived vicariously through others and the parts of their lives they shared with the world, with him. He rolled his eyes at the senior proms with their corny Homecoming kings & queens and cried with others as they were surprised in their homes, schools and restaurants by their dearly beloved returning from military duty. He saved every single one of those videos, and escaped to them when things got bad, and they were very bad a lot recently.
He had taken to watching a lot of comedy, just enough to keep hus days the usual blend of laughter and silence and throw her off the scent of his decline. He looked at the ring on his hand and then at the woman who was home. He was a lost little boy who wandered too far and couldn’t find his way back to her, who didn’t know how to ask for the way. He drew on firmly the mask of joy he wore and laughed with her as Vision handed Thor his hammer on the screen. He fell further with every sound he made to deceive this woman, his dearly beloved.
The nights were particularly tricky. That which led him to falsehood by day sought to bring him mortality by night. He had contemplated how he would go, not that he could help it in the quiet sleeplessness. Bleeding in the bathtub was too messy and just too cliché. So was a rope, a gunshot or an overdose. He owed it to her to make it look like an accident. It was the only way she wouldn’t blame herself—perhaps to death—for what happened. He thought of getting drunk and driving—a car crash would be thought possible and his blood alcohol would make it highly probable; but that was too unpredictable: there was no telling the number of souls he’d condemn in the process.
Death was a sort of homecoming in his culture. You lived a long happy life and then went home, to Heaven. His was not a long happy life but what came after death for him looked very peaceful. Not unlike home. He felt his ring with his thumb and heaved a sigh, taking a step towards the resting form of his wife and then another. He moulded himself around her as she held onto him. She too felt like home.