by Steppen Sawicki
He heard the incessant whine of the machines as he flatlined and the shaky last exhale from his lungs, and he was gone.
Two floors down, she gave her first cry, covered in blood and mucus. The doctor cut her cord and handed her to her mother. She didn’t stop crying. Her soulmate was gone, taken away from her two floors above.
He drifted down to her, following her screams. She opened her eyes and was silenced. He was beside her, smiling to her in their greeting and goodbye. He turned, and left her, and she knew not to cry.