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This wasn’t what he thought dying would feel like. Instead of lingering in a bed in a sterile hospital, lonely in some nursing home, or even in a comfortable bed surrounded by greedy heirs and fat grandchildren, he felt the wind caress his cheeks as it blew through his hair. He was strangely calm, even oddly reflective. He looked, for the last time, upon the magnificent colors of the sunset as it cast its glow upon the city of Seattle. He was glad that this would be his last vision. The war effort had dimmed the lights of Seattle, giving all who loved the evening skyline a sense of loss, as though grieving a longtime friend. But the setting sun reflected off of the buildings and gave the appearance that the lights were on. He felt the thrill of relief now. He was grateful that his last memory would not be clouded by grief.

He relaxed; all of his earlier tensions ebbed away. The arguments, the fighting and the shouting all seemed like they happened to someone else. The accusations no longer rang in his ears and he no longer vainly uttered his denials. He wiped the corner of his mouth where he felt a trickle of blood, then chuckled as he realized what he was doing. Soon it wouldn’t matter anymore.

He thought about what they were doing in his apartment now; going through his things, laying bare the mementos of his life for the world to see. Would they appreciate them as he did? Or consider from whence they came and what recollections would be associated with them? He doubted it. They weren’t the sentimental types.

He vaguely remembered an engagement he had the next day. He was supposed to meet Chris for drinks. With regret, he realized that he hadn’t informed his friend of the sudden change in plans. But that was all right. Chris would find out soon enough. That probably wouldn’t make any difference, either. Not to him at least. Not anymore. That very thought made him smile. Nothing would make any difference to him anymore. He was free at last. Free from the threats hanging over him. Free from the retribution that he feared so much. Free from the rough hands that had grasped at him. He relished that freedom. The only surprise was the end. The end had come much quicker than he’d thought… almost as quickly as the pavement that rose up to meet him.