The ride to the hospital, short as it is, is quiet. Charlie follows me inside without my needing to ask. Every face I see is somber as I head to Esme’s room. Taking my seat at her side, I reach for her hand, already so cold, it seems.

The doctor follows me in soon after, stopping at the other side of her bed. He takes a few last readings before turning to me. “Mr. Cullen?” he asks quietly.

I swallow hard, blinking tears from my eyes as Charlie clasps my shoulder, giving me his silent support.

“Mr. Cullen, sir, have you come to a decision regarding your wife?”

Lifting Esme’s hand to my lips, I take a wavering breath and nod. She’s been gone for so long now, it seems. The only thing that’s still here is her body, and even that isn’t making it on its own. Charlie’s hand slides from my shoulder to my back as I stand to lean over and kiss my wife one last time.
Pressing my lips gently to her forehead, her eyes, her cheeks, her nose, and finally her mouth, I whisper hoarsely, “Goodbye, my love. Be at peace, now.”

I step back to allow the doctor room to take her off life support, then take my place at her side again once he’s finished. When the machine measures her heartbeat for the final time, I murmur, “I’ll always love you, Esme, and I’ll always remember.”

The End