Silence is golden. Duct tape is silver.
He smiled as he read the worn piece of paper, creased to the point of ripping from years of being folded and unfolded. It was one of the more ridiculous things she'd written to him. He had tried to educate her on the finer points of prose, but she just laughed, and always scribbled down the first thing that came into her mind.
He stepped into the elevator and pressed the up button. So many memories flooded into his brain. One morning after they had been living together for about a year, she had come into the kitchen and announced,
"If I go to jail, I'm going to need a prison nickname. I was thinking of calling myself Pony Girl, and getting a gigantic tattoo of a pony inked into my bicep. You should come and visit me, but we'll have to get married first, otherwise we won't be able to have conjugal visits."
He had merely shaken his head at that one. He didn't know too many people who decided to get married in order to have conjugal visits when one of them went to prison. He had merely smiled, and said, "Well if you're asking, I'm saying yes."
She had laughed, and thrown her arms around him, and said,
"Oh, I knew you wouldn't object."
The elevator door opened, and he stepped out into the sterile hallway. He could never get used to the smell; always the lingering scent of death. He nodded a hello to the nurse on duty and went into her room. The curtains were still open; a brilliant sunset was displayed. He walked up to her still body, and gently kissed her forehead, careful not to dislodge the respirator tube.
"Hi Pony Girl, sorry I'm late. I brought you something."
He reached into his jacket and pulled out a roll of duct tape, placing it on the movable shelf where a food tray would go. She hadn't had a solid meal since she'd been admitted six months ago, when a drunk driver had made the decision to get behind the wheel and jumped the curb, throwing her body into a wall, crushing her spine and cracking her head open. He picked up a wash clothe, ran it under the sink, and gently began to wipe her face. The light in the room began to fade, the last bit of sunlight falling on the roll.
Silence is golden, duct tape is silver.