Patrick eased slowly into the country road. His beater car trudging it's way through the road. He stopped at the torn down rusty gate.
Beyond the gate lay a treacherous mountain path. It was a restricted area, but that hadn't stopped teenagers making their way through it for decades. He and Lena had done the same when they were in their teens.
In fact, the owed their love story to a trip through the same mountain. It was where they met.
He took his wallet out and opened it. On the left sleeve lay a picture of her, preserved through years of dust, as beautiful as the day they met.
Even when cancer ravaged through her body, she was as beautiful. She fought through and through.
The hospital visits, the dripping IV, the pain of barely moving about, all appeared in a series of nightmarish flashes across Patrick's glistening eyes.
He remembered how she fought through it all and managed to smile just to breathe some life into him and their daughter. Even in her pain, they were the only things she cared about.
When death finally came knocking,they were by her side holding her hand. She smiled one last time before death snuffed out the last piece of hope in her. She was at peace.
Her funeral and everything else that had happend after, seemed a bit blurry. Patrick wanted to be strong, he wanted to grieve, but he couldn't.
Eve had grown apart from him and stayed in her room the entire day.
He couldn't bear it anymore. He wasn't as strong as Lena. He needed to end it. The pain was too much to bear.
He wrote his will and kept it in their cupboard. He left everything to Eve, their daughter. She would have enough for her college and then some. She would be fine without him.
He slipped into his wife's old beater car and drove all the way, with one mission. He wanted to end it all, the pain and the misery. Maybe if there's an afterlife, she will be waiting there for him.
He knew he was going crazy but he couldn't hold it anymore. This was the end. The road to Never land.
A drop fell on the old photo. It wasn't his tear, it was a raindrop and a steady downpour appeared out of nowhere.He pressed on his gas pedal slightly, and started bouncing his way up the hills slowly over the rocky road.
He knew that there was a dangerous hairpin coming up. That was his chance.
He let go of the gas pedal, took in a deep breath and stamped on it with all his might. The car skidded across and hit a tree on the bend. The airbags exploded into his face.
The glove-box flew open and a revolver flew out of it and fell on his lap.
In his delirium, his eyes focused on the revolver. It was her's. He popped it open. A single bullet.
Of the things that flew out the glove box, he found her diary. He opened it and went to the last entry she had made.
The last page, dated a few months before her death, said " I am sorry but i can't take this anymore".
It dawned on him that she must have contemplated taking her own life, before her body got the better of her.
But she didn't. She chose to live through the last months of her life with them, albeit her pain. She chose to smile.
She chose to be there for them.
Patrick realized how selfish he was. In midst of excruciating pain, she remained selfless in her love for her family. Patrick sobbed uncontrollably with pain and disgust at himself.
He took out the photo from his wallet, and slid it under Eve's door.
He knocked but there seemed to be no response. As he turned away and headed for the stairs, he heard a creak of her door and a ray of light from her room shone across the hallway.
He turned around and Eve was ran into in his hands, sobbing uncontrollably.
Even as tears swept through their worn faces, there was relief. A ray of hope that they will get through it.
A sense of peace.