The fire went out. Nothing else at that point made any sort of difference. It didn’t flicker and wane either, dying as the fuel was consumed, hungrily, against the cold constant wind. It just…went. The embers gave up one last cough and the smoke curled lazily in the air for a moment before being swept away in a gust.
She sat, transfixed, as she huddled down deeper into the blanket that was serving as her only protection against the sudden storm, staring intently at the greying coals, as if she could will them back to life. In the same manner she tried to will Philip back to life not 24 hours earlier. Tears would not come now, not in the cold, not in the dark, but she can still feel his chest under her fists as she pounded on it, over and over, the rough flannel on her palms, the button that snapped off and flew across the room as she desperately tried to convince his body that his soul had not gone. Not yet. Not now. Not here. Each compression punctuated with an increasingly louder “NO”, until they, like the fire, spluttered and collapsed, sapped of energy.
But that was then. And then was, objectively speaking, very different than now. A week ago, she would have given anything for a change in her routine, Work, eat, work, sleep, lather, rinse repeat. Anything. This was not something she would have considered though, not on her darkest day during her darkest hour.