The Final Rectitude

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Her footsteps and desperate digging through debris are like a twisted lullaby to me now. Routine.

She doesn't cry anymore. Her monotonous moans are worse. She can't find it.

My arm remains bent uncomfortably underneath my torso. I keep my right hand clenched. It's warm steel contour gives me strength.


I keep digging, too.

Trying to find it.

But not what she wants. I already have what she wants.

Trying to find it.

I keep digging, too.


The last can of creamed corn. She drops it. It clinks against the ground and rolls. The noise is new and catches my attention. I drearily lift my eyes open. She's staring at me mournfully.

Her eyes aren't jade green lately. They're constantly a swirling storm of grey.


She vigorously shoves me awake. It sends a screaming pain throughout my body. Her expression is wild and unnerving.

"Where is it, Kurt?"

I can hardly hear her through the thick swirl of pain.

She continues shaking me. "Where is it!?" She yells, and I flinch.

"...What..." I dread it. Because I know.

"The gun." She stops shaking me. Her voice is low and potent. "Where is it?"

"Mmm..."

"Where's the gun Kurt!?"

I don't respond. She begins to hyperventilate.

"The..."

I feel its comforting presence beneath me.

"...gun, Kurt."

I slowly pull my arm out from underneath my body. The steel glimmers in the few streaks of sunlight. She eyes it.

"Listen to me, Genny." I hadn't said her name in forever, years it felt like. She's frozen with a conglomeration of emotion.

"I... was trying to protect you." I whisper between shallow breaths. "I didn't want you... to leave me..." She holds her breath.

"But... I..."

But I kept digging. I feel mindless, mad, insane. I kept digging, and I finally found the courage.

We wordlessly communicate. I know what she wants me to do, and I can do it, honestly. I love her. I don't want her to suffer here. The only thing holding me back is greed.

I kept digging. But Genny... I only found one.

My arm is numb. I haven't moved it in a while. I doubt I'll ever move it again. I raise it and pull back the hammer.

Her shoulders are slumped. She's tired and ready. Her beautiful eyes close.

It occurs to me I'll never see jade green in them again.

Tears fall onto the tarmac. She holds my hand, leans over and kisses me on the lips. It's bittersweet.

"I love you."

"I love you, too."

It echos, reverberates. Then it's silent again.

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