She opened up her eyes, and, for a moment, watched time fold in on itself. The man she lay next to no longer held her as tightly as he once did. She remembered the pure joy she felt when they first exchanged glances and secrets. She looked closely at him now. His experiences in the world of calendars and clocks had tightened his features. His youthful exuberance had faded. She thought of how he shambled through life wraith like. Her proud warrior had become one part of an engine used to dull passion and deny experience.
She looked at him and she loved him. She loved his worn heart. She loved his dull face, but, most of all, she loved that he’d sacrificed everything to let her avoid the machine. She watched as he shook through the anxious terrors brought on by night. He shifted in his sleep and she held him tighter to remind him she’d be there to get him through one more night of his dying dreams.