Is That Your Final Answer?

–This entry courtesy of Grim Reaper No. 3,425,258

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It’s a dirty job. But somebody’s got to do it.

I’ve been keeping tabs on the Bough family for a while. I’ve got an appointment with one of them that’s been due for a long time, and I’ve been stretching it out as much as possible.

I know he wanted to see his niece and best friend grow up to become a young adult. She did that yesterday, and he was there.

He wanted one last vacation with her and the family. Why not? We had a little time.

There was time for him to paint one last painting.

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Time for his niece to meet a gloomy, glutton ranger that loves the outdoors, and a gloomy, goofball bear that also loves the outdoors. It is the G generation, after all.

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And then, time was up.

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Like his mom, his last word was “Vadish.”

I’ve always had a soft spot for those who, at the final moment, remember it all with gratitude. Especially when they’re mean.

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His twin sister, that one who’s choosing to outwit me, came in first. Now she feels the true sting of drinking from the white cup.

His great aunt, another likewise time-cheater, also came to watch how youth falls to age.

And then came his niece, my friend. The girl–I can still call her a girl, for she has the heart of a child–then, she came.

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It was no coincidence that I waited for her for days, so that she could join me for a game of cards on the morning of her birthday.

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I had something to tell her, a secret to reveal. So when she asked me to spare him, how could I refuse?

One can’t find a heart more pure, or a love more sincere. And while we didn’t have a lot of time, we had some.

“Rise!” I cried through their tears. They never believe it until they see it.

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“RISE!”

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I love this part. The joy–even if temporary–is still joy.

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And when the wailing stops, the sound of warblers, sparrows, and wrens filters through the silence.

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And the sweetest sound, “Thank you,” from a pure-hearted girl.

“It’s no big deal,” I explained to his father, another time-cheater. “We nearly always have a little wiggle room, the first time.”

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But when the family arrived home at the end of the day, the wiggle room had slipped away. It was time.

They all heard me call this time, except for the niece, who was on the phone, inviting over her friend. Little did she know it, but it’s times like this when we need our friends the most.

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That purple light. It is beautiful, even to me, a celebration of the strength of a good life. Purple is my favorite color, too.

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It’s quick, and painless, and if you knew the incredible freedom and release it brought, your tears would dry and your hearts would sing.

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I can leave now. My pure-hearted girl has a friend beside her, who has a single point in his mind: to bring solace to this one he loves the best.

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I might be back, but whether it is in my official capacity or not, remains to be seen. Vadish!

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