We were in a white room. That much I knew. There were images on the walls but I couldn’t quite make out their colors or shapes. Lately, things were mostly just smudges of light and dark. But it didn’t matter. I could see her, and that’s all I needed to know that everything was okay … that everything was going to be okay. 

There was muffled discussion from a strange voice in the room, but I couldn’t quite make out what they were saying. Even though her eyes felt sad, her smile never wavered. 

“She is so beautiful,” I thought. “God, I wish she knew how beautiful she was.”

Looking down in reassurance, she whispered, “Good boy. You’re my good boy,” while running her hand down my back in a steady, thoughtful stroke. 

And though the pain that coursed through my aching limbs, I forced my most handsome smile. Because nothing else mattered, I was hers. I was her “good boy.”

Her hug grew tighter around my neck, so I accepted it by melting into her embrace. 

Remembering every summer evening. Every morning walk. 

Remembering her contagious laughter when I licked her face, her celebrations when I retrieved a ball.

Remembering her cries as I sat alongside her through heartbreak, caused by boys who never deserved her heart to begin with.  

And in this moment, I lay thinking; “I love her so much. She is my world. I am her good boy”.

“It’s going to be okay…” she said through forced, unsteady breaths. 

And it was, because she was there. And that’s all I ever needed for things to be okay. 

My body went numb but I knew she was still holding me because she’s not one to let go. 

She leaned in close enough for me to hear and said, “I love you.” 

And with every ounce of strength I had left, I reached out to kiss whatever part of her face I could reach, as a way to say, “I love you too.” 

Because I did. I always have and I always would. She was everything. 

I love her so much. 

She tasted salty but she let out a genuine smile, not like the smile before when she was talking to the other voice in the room… who I no longer heard. 

It was just us in this moment. And in this moment my heart was full. Because in this moment I was here, with her, and that’s all that mattered. 

“She is so beautiful,” I thought. 

Then she was gone. 

This touching story was written by my daughter Agatha Rose (pictured above with Bogart) as a challenge to “write the happiest fictional scene possible, but with a sad ending.” Man, I love her imagination. And heart.

***

Jim

My Catastrophe of Life: How I've Managed to Live in Sobriety for 30 Years

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.

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