During those weeks we were lost in each other’s passion. Lost in each other’s love. And one night, when we were half asleep and she was in my arms, I whispered my love to her, and from that day forth I knew that I would stay on the island, forevermore close to her side.
Winter came, and along with its illness came the escalation in patients. The day Rose was diagnosed with cholera was a sickening, saddening day. We were never the same again. She had been fighting for many years against the disease that was now killing her and in some ways killing me as well.
I spent what was, unknown to me at the time, my last evening with Rose reading soothingly to her while she shook violently and silently wept. “Some things are more precious than others, because they don’t last long.” my voice faded as I realised what she had just quoted. She became stiff, her back arched. The silence was deafening. She broke it with a tone I had longed to hear since her body had been plagued, “Come with me to the beach where we first met.” Her sudden energy and the spring in her step left me in awe; I remained silent while walking towards the beach with her, my hands gripping in between the cracks of her vulnerable hand. Night had now come, the golden sands were cushioning beneath my feet. The harsh cold of the black night had crept in over the hills, reflecting the deathly feeling I had of skeletal remains scattered around me. I remember the ocean in the darkness, the slur followed by the peaceful silence that was soon broken by our feet, walking simultaneously into the ocean. Here was our haven, our open fields where we would thrive. In the water Rose moved effortlessly, she was weightless. We embraced in the midst of the water, her lips touched mine and I was returned to summer; where we are happy, content and full of promises. My thoughts were broken by the parting of our lips; her eyes were no longer sparkling by the despair within them but now full of love and passion.
“This is how I want to be” she smiled, splashing me teasingly and then humming a song that I faintly recalled. I started to hum