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Is killing ever justified…I have thought deep and long…

                                                       …but am still at the start point.

She lay writhing as the waves of pain assaulted and receded. Every night, I buried my head under the pillow, yet heard her moans piercing, like needles through fabric.

Six weeks, Mom had withered and Dad aged.  Mom’s cancer was killing Dad.

One night, a shadow wavered past my opened door. In bare feet and crumpled pajamas, I followed.

It was Dad, in one hand her medicine and in the other, a heavy revolver. I crept silently back to bed, my heart pounding out of my rib cage.

There was a loud crack, followed by soft sobs, then silence. I’ll never forget the acrid smell of cordite that filled the house that night. The note said suicide.

For fifty years, I refused to recount or revisit that tragic event. Today, looking down on the wrinkled face and shriveled body, which lay, gasping away the last breaths of life, I had to know…about that terrible night.

“…the insurance money…we decided…I was the better caregiver…you needed me more,” croaked the voice, before breaking into whizzes and coughs. “That is why…your Dad took his life.”

********** Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2012 **********