Boy, Taylor sure knows how to tug on the heartstrings, doesn’t she?
All I’m going to say about this one is to make sure you have a box of tissues; it may be short, but she’s really at the top of her game.
The boy’s breathing slows. I can feel the fever in him, hot and unforgiving. He wheezes. He pulls at my fur. I hold steady. It isn’t right to move or make a sound. Together we lay there like that, the boy and I, cuddling against each other on his bed as Patsy watches. I stretch my neck and expertly lick the sweat from his bald head with a very wet tongue. He giggles as if it takes all of his strength to do so. He is too young to die. Yet, here I am, guiding him gently into paradise by my presence alone.
The boy’s heartbeat grows weaker, his breathing slower.
“Bye Sasha,” he whispers.
Sadness swells within me. He is almost gone and he knows it. How freeing it must be to know when your time on Earth is over. He inhales his last breath, slow and shaky. Just before his little body slips off into stillness, his soul reaches out and holds mine in an embrace – our final goodbye. A soft whimper escapes from deep in my throat, despite the knowledge that he is going somewhere beautiful, a place where his pain will no longer exist, where he will forever be smiling. “Paradise.” humans call it. It is different for them all, they say. Some souls are washed away to beaches with eternal warmth. Others are carried into a golden wood where it never snows. I close my eyes and let the boy’s soul drift away like waves to the sea. For a moment, I lay there and imagine him laughing without effort, frolicking through the water.
The boy’s parents come into the room, their eyes puffy and filled with tears They hadn’t the hearts to watch their little one die before their eyes. My tail thumps against the bed as Patsy stands to greet them.
“He’s in Paradise now.” she tells them, smiling warmly. “Sasha made sure of that.”