I’ve seen my best friend wither today.
She became no more than a sliver of life in less than a moment; the vitality of her eyes dimmed into the recesses of skull and left her emotions protruding from the sockets, wet and glistening, angling from beneath her brow towards mine in a desperate attempt to reach me.
Her face was hollowed, puckered; no character remained within her skin; only infinite desperation seeped from her gaze to mine, and my heart burst towards her need with my own selfish need to comfort guiding my arms to cradle her shoulders, taking the withered soul into my chest and holding it close. Together, we clung to one another; I the guide, she the wounded explorer. I found myself cradling her head into my chest, feeling the damp skin under my fingers, slack and yielding. It seemed to be lighter to my touch, not as firm as I remember from our drinking days, all those student years ago, and I found a tiny part of my mind recoiling from the unfamiliarity of her intimacy.
The breathing was ragged and as un-coordinated as I remembered from our drinking days, but the reasoning behind it now was not the 14% proof we downed regularly over kebabs and Wonderstuff records, but was now 100%, loss.
(Trying to capture a more tactile experience. Any suggestions, all appreciated!)