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Don't Ask This

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“He’s not lost to us yet. Take him to Doctor Frankenstein, let him perform his miracles. He will bring our son back.”

“You don’t know what you’re saying.”

“He pulled you from the grave and brought you back to us. He can do the same for Jack. We can love our son again, husband!”

“Don’t ask this.”

“He can live again -“

“Don’t even think it!”

“I will have my son back! I will love him again. Love him better and stronger, and he will not get sick and he will not bleed, and he will not die! Let me love him again!”

“And have all the humanity burned out of him? To become an unholy freak as he who stands before you?”

“I see the husband who I love, no other.”

“You see a monster. A grisly, undead thing. That is what I am, that is what Dr. Frankenstein has made of me.”

“Only because you believe it so. He can live again.”

“Don’t ask this. To make him suffer as I did? Those little bones… That face. To become something so unnatural, so hated. No, please.”

“Please don’t ask this of me,” John repeated. He was begging her.

Marjorie sensed the pain coming from her husband and could see the fear in his eyes of the task she entreated of him. He had gone through so much, suffered so much pain since their separation. John shook his head, almost robotically, his body was rigid.

“I – I’m sorry, John,” Marjorie said, her eyes averting to the side out of shame. “I see now that this is too much to ask of you. I just… I just…” Her eyes welled up with tears and she choked out a sob, unable to continue her thought. John looked at her with sympathy, and he could not help the tears that began to cloud his vision. She missed her son. They both did.

“I just love our son so much. He means the world to me. John, I…”

“Shh, shh, Marjorie.” John walked forward and embraced his wife. She lay her head on him and buried her face into his chest. John held her in his arms as she let herself go, tears staining the front of his coat. Neither of them knew how long they had been standing there when Marjorie finally spoke again.

“What will I do without Jack? He was the reason I held on, especially after you disappeared from us.”

John took Marjorie’s hands in his and looked into his wife’s watery eyes. “He would not want you to lose faith like this. He would want you to live, Marjorie. Fight until your very last breath like he did. We can move away from this place. We can take our beloved son with us, bury him there, and start a life anew. We do not have to live here in the apartment where our child was forced to suffer for years.”

Marjorie smiled, and it made John’s heart leap that he was able to bring a smile to her face.

“But where would we go?” asked Marjorie.

“Anywhere you like. Perhaps somewhere closer to the country, where we can get away from this gloomy smoke and noise-ridden city. Somewhere with trees and flowers, a place where we can see the sky at night.”

Marjorie smiled again. “That would be nice, I’ve always wanted that.” John could swear he almost saw her forgetting about their son, if just for a moment. “I don’t know what I would do without you, John, I would have no one right now if you hadn’t come back to us. I am forever grateful that Jack was able to see his father again before he passed. He loved you so.”

John tucked a stray lock of hair behind his wife’s ear. “And there are not enough words to express how much I loved him and how much I love you.”

Marjorie lifted her head up and kissed his cheek. “I love you too.”