She blinked furiously, involuntarily struggling to swallow. She needed to think without tears fogging up the view and scrunching mountains into molehills. The reasons. They were the important things. Not reason, that treacherous bog but reasons. Was she doing this for the right reasons? That was all she needed to focus on. Using reasons had got her this far. She didn't know what other signposts to use for this ultimate decision that was proving so impossibly difficult.
She knew she couldn't keep waiting for something to happen. Hoping somehow to know when she was finally faced with the immediacy of absence, was left communing with a bunch of inanimate cells, pretenders to the throne. How did one know these things? Would there be a sign? Poignant last words maybe. It seemed fitting. Mumbled extractions of promises by the dead governing the rest of wretched lifetimes. Didn't the best movies dictate it? But the doctors, those grim purveyors of reality, had ruled that out. "Don't expect miracles. Comatose patients who haven't come out of it in half a year are not going to get up all of a sudden and be themselves." And if you're not going to come back and be yourself, what are you gonna be? she asked him silently, stupidly praying he'd answer. Vegetables can't hear, she reminded herself. Letting him go was the only thing she could do for him. Wasn't the hope of something better the best possible reason?
The thing that scared her was the shadow of selfishness. Just that subtlest suggestion that she was doing this for herself and not for him. It was true it would liberate her. But liberate her from what? From the struggling hope of someday. The nobility of the griefstricken but steadfast survivor, the sympathy and love lavished on her by everyone she knew. Liberate her to what? Endless nightmares, lashings of guilt. An irritated conscience. Irritated but never pearl-productive. Wasn't the acceptance of her own inevitable private darkness the best possible reason?
She got up briskly. There could be no farewells, no promises of eternal love. One did not kiss a tomato goodbye. She pulled the plug.