At that, Hector hesitated. For a time, he merely sat there, letting his gaze fall from Garovel to the floor. “But,” he finally said, “I killed myself...”
‘I know. I watched you do it.’
“Then... then why didn’t you ask someone else? Someone who died by accident or something?” He breathed a curt breath. “Someone who actually deserves a chance like this...”
‘If you’d really wanted to die like that, then you wouldn’t have agreed to help me when I asked you.’
As he sat there, his head eased down between his hands. “But...” He sighed.
‘Before you died, I had been watching you for quite a while.’
He looked up. “What...?”
‘From the moment you decided to commit suicide, I could sense the aura of death around you.’ The shadows of Garovel’s missing eyes seemed abruptly more intent upon him. ‘That’s how it works. I sense death when the soul becomes directly imperiled. If you were about to get hit by a bus, I wouldn’t sense your death until you walked in front of the thing. Situations like that really suck. But for people like you, people who intend to commit suicide, I sense death when the decision is finalized in your mind.’
He blinked. “Then... you must’ve been...”
‘Yes. I was waiting for nearly seven months. That’s how long it took you to do it.’ Garovel gave a small shrug. ‘Not the longest I’ve ever seen, but definitely up there. I’d check on you from time to time, maybe two or three times a week. Eventually, I started to wonder why you were letting things drag out so much, why you didn’t just get it over with. And then I figured it out.’
His gaze returned to the floor, and his eyes eased shut as he listened.