Will remembered very clearly the last word he ever spoke. But he didn’t remember much before that.
He did remember riding an airplane, all alone, because he didn’t have a mommy or a daddy any more. He remembered the nice lady on the plane, one of those ladies that works on airplanes, taking care of him and bringing him food during that long, long plane ride. And when he arrived in this brand new country, in a brand new city called Paris, he remembered the lady taking him to meet a man in a uniform who asks questions and decides whether to let you into the new country.
He remembered the man asking him questions in a strange language, French, which he didn’t understand. Then the man started asking questions in English, but not very good English. He asked Will’s name, and his birthday, but Will didn’t answer, and the lady answered for him.
Finally, the man asked Will what he was carrying in his arms. He was carrying a book as wide as his body, a dusty, old book with golden edges that used to belong to his mommy and daddy, and which was the only thing he brought with him to Paris. Will didn’t understand any of the words or the stories in that book, but he loved the book all the same, and he hoped that one day he would be able to read it and understand it. He did know who the writer of the book was, because there was a picture of the writer on the first page inside the book, and he remembered being told once who that was.
So the man in the uniform asked Will what he was carrying. And Will answered him. And this was the last word he ever spoke.
He said, “Shakespeare.”