Somewhere along the way, they stopped saying “It wasn’t supposed to be like this.” Somewhere along the way, they stopped having to listen to the comforting words of friends, acquaintances, strangers. Somewhere along the way, she stopped leaving, and took to sleeping in the extra room, a silent presence that would be there and gone again, somehow knowing when he preferred to be alone, and knowing when he preferred company, if not necessarily conversation. At the funeral, she let her bare hand trail over a peaceful face, beckoning to the fore the soul that had to be there. Had to. Begging, really, and it was only the look of steel-grey eyes that finally let her step back and go to sit along with the few mourners that came along to share their own grief.
It wasn’t until about three weeks later, after the coffin had been put in the ground, that he woke to find her standing near the bed, her large eyes wide in the dark, one bare hand touching the empty pillow next to his head, a look of grief on her pretty face.
There were no words, none at all; neither had them, never really had them, and when she lifted her eyes to let them rest on his, they both realized they didn’t need them.