“I don’t know how many times God allows our souls to walk on this earth,” she stared at him intently, her eyes, her mind, her existence bound to him as if they were always part of the same being.
“I don’t know how many times before He claims us all back to His arms,” her voice mirroring the crescendo of the crowd gathering around them, in perfect time with the sound of wood being stacked beneath them both.
“But I know that if it is one or it is one thousand times,” she said louder still, through gritted teeth as the reality of their mortality settled into her chest and began painfully exploding in symbol crashes of heart beats.
“I. will. love. you. in. every. single. one!” She screamed defiantly in staccato over the crackling life that began beneath their bound feet.
Tears streamed down Ali’s face as he helplessly watched his woman call to him. Unable to move. Unable to save them. Unable to save her.
“I will love you just as I always have,” he yelled to her with the guttural plea of a man being slowly ripped to pieces alive.
“With every peel of my flesh,” he called to her, his eyes making out the flames that began the lick the outskirts of his periphery.
“With every splinter from my bones,” his baritone cracking under the weight his despair.
“With every speck of dust from which God formed Adam,” his voice barely a whisper as his composure failed him, the last of his efforts sputtered out of his mouth and down his beard.
Time stopped for them, but the flames did not.