I should be there. I know I should be there. But I cannot this time. I cannot stand it.
Life after life, loving him fiercely and watching him fall.
I can do this no more. How much can you ask of me?
His laughing eyes, his ready smile, gone forever. Gone again. This time in war, the time before to an animal – stretching back and back and back into antiquity, loving and losing, and then decades, centuries without him; death, rebirth, and brief moments in his arms until he is torn away once more.
Again and again.
The smoke rises up, wreathes me. His last touch. I breathe him in.
Still looking down at my city, I step back off the wall.