"The kids--," she said.
He nodded, knowing what she was asking. "The kids will be OK." He paused briefly. "In time, they will."
She squeezed his hand, hers so pale, his darkened by years of sun and wind. "I know," she said, "I know they will. But it will be hard."
"It's hard for them now. Jamie's trouble with his job--"
"And Sally with another baby on the way," she finished for him. "I know." She sighed as she looked out the window, the sun blood-red in the sky, the wasted trees marching in rows to the horizon.
"We had good years here," her voice soft now.
He placed her other hand atop hers and nodded again. "We did, but I can't keep it any longer. Everything's lost."
She turned to him. "No, no. I didn't mean anything. You've done all you could. You've done everything." She squeezed his hand more tightly. "We were happy here. I was happy here."
He bowed his head, his eyes closed.
They sat in silence a little while, then he raised his head and looked at her.
"We were happy. This place holds good memories." He cleared his throat. "But, if we can't keep it, we can't keep it. That's all there is to it."
She met his gaze. "That's all there is to it," she said. "We always told them we wouldn't be a burden. I'll not go back on that now. No matter what."
"No matter what," he said. The corners of his mouth lifted slightly. "Yes, we had good years here. That's worth remembering. Whatever about today, our yesterdays were happy."
She smiled back, her eyes bright. "I'm still happy. Even today."
He moved his hand to take hold of the shotgun's stock.
"Promise me," she said. "Promise me you'll be with me."
He placed the cold metal gently against her body.
"I'll be right behind you," he said.