by Jack O’Hagan
The fire crackled with a tenderness that only intensified the affection pouring from his gaze. He drew her closer, whispering as he pressed his cracked lips onto her forehead. You’ll never be alone again. He’d always fancied himself as a bit of a romantic but even so, he was nervous. It didn’t help that she’d done it all before. As he sipped from his favoured wine-glass, he winced slightly at the sharpness. It was strong, he sighed. Good.
His fingers flickered across the engraving on the glass, before dancing across her earlobe, along her chin and eventually tracing the outline formed by her lips as she smiled at him. Her smile, although crooked, filled him with a delight. He caught himself smiling back at her, as he tried to push the lopsided piece of hair from her unblinking, twinkling, bright blue eyes. He touched her gently, savouring her familiar warmth. He wallowed in her beauty, understanding that he’d never satisfy her the way she did him. She was perfect. Too perfect.
His legs buckled. As he fell he watched the Polaroid twirl momentarily, before being engulfed in what was now a roaring fire. He managed a delicate chuckle at the irony. An overdose of painkillers left nothing but a great, burning agony. He drew one last spluttering breath. His last memory was not of her, but a shattered piece of glass. Happily married. He knew he was going to a dreadful place, but at least she’d be there, for company.