I looked down upon his body in a strange almost dizzied state of disunderstanding; was that it? Was that all it took to end a life? I watched as the last trickle of breath flickered out of his body like a waxy pale candle being blown out by subtle blow of the wind. A blow that had been far too subtle to kill a man, surely. It would seem not so. He lay there motionless in the snow and not a tear fell to my cheek. I leaned down to him and with my middle and index finger on my right hand I shut his eyes for when they were open he looked far too shocked, with them closed he looked like he was sleeping. I had never seem him sleep. As I stood up, I became aware that I still had the red rose in my hand. I took his cold phantasmal hand in mine and placed the rose in it and laid it across his chest. I took one final look at him; this truly was goodbye. Unlike my first goodbye to Sylvester, this one was so finite. I believed that Sylvester was alive, leaving me with some faint residue of hope, but I knew Marius was dead. Death is so finite. As I stood up, I noticed a large stone angel behind where Marius lay, with the name Francis August Palvine written across it in large swirling letters, almost obscured by the ice. Strange. I had never even asked Sylvester about his family.
Sylvester took my hand in his and led my firmly out of the graveyard. We did well not to linger in that place of hell and departed souls. As heled my away, I realized my femininity; it had been ridiculous archetypal masculinity that had brought us here. The blatant stupidity and blindness of the agreed upon protocols of society enfoced and willingly – lovingly – accepted. This time the young beholders were two men, young men, one of whom now lay dead. I remembered a time when Sylvester Spence Palvine was pure. When I had met him almost a year previously, he had lived his ow life, one untouched by the perfect unfeeling morals of the imperfect world of my life. Why had such reality and expectation had to corrupt him in the same way and it had ruined me I thought again of that night we had spent together back in the frozen February when he had told me virginity was simply a societal construct. He had been right. He had truly understood the world he had had no part in. It was strange to me to leave that graveyard. It was almost solemn as Sylvester and I left, never to return. I didn’t mention the gravestone to him for a while as I assumed it to be a coincidence. We returned home to Rue de la Liberte as the dawn broke and said very little on our way. I wondered what he thought I must think of him; but I didn’t have any opinion regarding the death, for if Sylvester was a killer then so was I, for I had written the note which had killed Camille. What he did was no worse than what I did, I wasn’t naïve enough to believe that just because she didn’t exactly die by my hand I wasn’t entirely responsible.