“Can I ask–did you ever love me?”
There is laughter from the other room and a chill runs down his spine.
“I assumed we’d already discussed the uselessness of emotions. They get in the way. Imagine if I let that interfere during the last two decades. We wouldn’t be where we are, on schedule for the metamorphosis.”
“YOU wouldn’t be on schedule. The rest of us–well, me–would be fine. You don’t remember those times we were gardening at Fallen Branch, talking about the future? You said then you couldn’t picture anyone else by your side.”
“I couldn’t. That didn’t mean I loved you, though. You were the perfect partner…for a time. As you’ve said: you didn’t have control of your emotions and I could direct you easily. I gave you a list. You accomplished every bullet point.” The Killer stalks closer. “Is there anything you want them to know? I’m giving you this gift that we never gave the others. A thank you for your service. Let’s call it my ‘emotion’ for today.”
“Tell them I’m sorry. I wasn’t strong enough to continue by your side and I wasn’t smart enough to survive on my own.”
“That’s not at all what I thought you would say.”
“What did you expect? A lengthy speech? I’ve always left those to you.”
“I thought you might want them to know you were a brave soldier in our war. Kind of make them proud, at least.”
He throws his hands in the air. “I give up. You’ll make it your own story no matter what. I learned long ago that it’s impossible to please you. They’ll learn that soon enough.”
“I hope not.”
“Tell them…I tried. Just get on with it now. I can’t bear to think about it anymore.”
His killer hands him a cup. “Cheers, my friend. It was a good ride while it lasted.”
His hand brushes his killer’s and without looking up, he lifts it to his lips.