The winds of change had come, and he knew he couldn’t resist them. This was the year that he was going to have to make a drastic change. As he stood in the doorway to the living room, where his wife was playing with their 3-year-old son, he hoped it wouldn’t be too hard on them.

The two of them made a beautiful picture, and he lingered there for a moment, unseen. They were laughing – something she hadn’t done a lot of lately. They didn’t know yet. The scent of the spring blossoms was coming in strongly through the window, beckoning him to the new life ahead, but he stayed there, watching them, just a minute longer. Then, with a slight smile and one last glance, he turned and walked away down the hall.

Before he slipped out, he ducked into the master bedroom, looked at it for the last time, and let out a sigh that was comprised more of soul than of air. He noticed how the rays from the skylight illuminated their wedding picture on the dresser; how his wife had picked curtains that matched the bedspread perfectly. This day was even harder than he’d imagined. He could still hear her laughter and their son’s giggles drifting down the hall, and he wished he would have left them more to remember him by. Not just his money and his book collection, but something really special – something to let them know that, even though he was gone, he would always be with them. Now the steady ticking of his pocket watch over on the nightstand reminded him that it was too late to do anything, except –

Except maybe leave a message, he thought, feeling an idea slip into his mind. He eyed the smooth metal cover of the watch, and his screwdriver on the dresser. Maybe he could scratch something into the watch cover, something that would turn it into more than just an heirloom. His family would never know how long the words had been there; never know he’d done it in this fleeting moment.

He stepped over to the nightstand for it, and, on the way, dared himself to look down at where his vacant body was lying in the bed. The illness had ravaged it so thoroughly that his face was practically hollow, and his wedding band had slid halfway to his knuckle. But at least the eyes were closed – he’d been sleeping – which meant he would look peaceful when she found him.

I’m really gone, he thought, turning from the surreal sight. I have to let them know I won’t forget them. More determined than ever, he reached down for the watch. When he tried to pick it up, however, his hand slipped right through it. Why hadn’t he thought to do this while he still had the capability? Of course he couldn’t handle matter; he was only soul now.

Maybe that just meant he’d have to do it differently. The pull to leave was getting stronger by the second, but his instincts told him that if soul was all he had now, then that was what he would have to use. So, instead of trying to pick up the watch, he leaned down over it and let out a long, slow breath. It was a different kind of breath that what he used to know; rather than coming from inside him, it was a part of him. And, even as he thought the words, they etched their way into the metal:

See you in a moment

Love always, Drew

It wasn’t profound, but somehow it was perfect. He smiled. And then, quietly, he slipped out the skylight into the glorious morning.