The Last Kiss
by Anita Klein
Eric fluttered trembling fingers against Anneliese's cheek then wrapped a velvet curl of her hair around his index finger, inhaling the scent of her hair. The beeping and blinking of the machines surrounding her hospital bed added a harsh note to the tender moment. He could smell the soap in her freshly laundered hospital gown. He gently placed his forefinger against her bottom lip and watched as the skin slowly unfolded. Her face lit up by the lonely moon skittering by the window, he was transported back in time to the first time he kissed her.
The first time he and Anneliese made love they were laying on the mass of white feathers of his feather quilt. The Giovanni Bellini and the Joshua Reynolds hanging over his bed faded into insignificance as they lay on the mass of white feathers. The inside of her mouth had tasted sweet and soft like cotton candy.
He bent over the railing of Anneliese's hospital bed and pressed his lips to her forehead, his heart becoming heavy. He stood straight, nodded to the nurse and left the room.