Peacefully in Your Sleep—A Short Short Story

“Goodnight, hon. Love you.” Judy went through her nightly routine that always ended by her saying goodnight to her husband of fifty-two years.

“Love you too, babe,” answered Bob, as usual before turning out the light. He fell asleep quickly. In mid-dream he was awakened by extreme pain. What the frick! He opened his eyes. Okay, that hurts. My left arm must have fallen asleep. Ow! Ow! That hurts. What time is it?

He tried to raise his head to see the clock. Ow! Ow! My neck. Can’t raise my head. He lay still for a minute, but the pain only intensified. It must be around two in the morning.

Gotta wake Judy. Bob opened his mouth but could not draw a breath. Something’s on my chest. Can’t breathe. Ow! Ow! Ah! Ah! An elephant is sitting on me. He tried to raise his arms, but the effort only increased the pain. Shit! I’m having a heart attack. Damn that hurts. Need to wake Judy. He tried to kick off his covers but, again, the pain stopped him.

Maybe it will pass.  He waited. That was his last thought.

Later that same day – the doorbell rang, and Judy answered the door. Her eyes were red and swollen from crying all morning.

“Oh Judy. I’m so sorry. I just heard about Bob.” It was Mary, the neighbor and best friend from next door. “How are you holding up?”

“I’m okay, I guess. I’m just… just numb.”

“I know, dear.” Mary hugged Judy. “What happened?”

“Heart attack said the doctor. He seemed fine yesterday. This morning when I went in to wake him, he was gone. Died in his sleep. He looked so peaceful.”

“Died in his sleep,” repeated Mary. “That’s the way to go. Just close your eyes and don’t wake up.”

“Thank God, he didn’t suffer. He didn’t feel any pain.”

The End

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