It was cold. The smoke from the fireplace burned my eyes and throat, but its warmth did not warm me. The hard chair I sat on had long ago caused my legs to numb. My equally bloodless hands gripped the arms of the chair, but the proximity to the fire made them hot.
I was cold.
The fire had dried my tear ducts, but somehow, from somewhere within, I found enough moisture and warmth to cry.
It was hot and sunny – a perfect day. I sat by the lake, fascinated by the play of light on the lake’s surface. Behind me I heard the sounds of Rachel lying out our picnic lunch. The sounds of plastic cutlery mingles with the sounds of the town’s children playing some childish game of ball.
“What is so special out there?” her gentle tones drifted over the water.
I smile to myself and glanced down at my dust coated boots.
Her hand touch my shoulder. A chill.
“Is it more important than me?” she continued, “More important than this?” I heard a brief rustle of material.
I turned to see her bared shoulder – the fragrance of her warmed flesh.
“You evil bitch” I moaned, “You always know how to make me forget what’s important.”
She smiled wickedly, “You have something more important that me on your mind?”
Somehow she managed an innocent look that melted me. I twisted around and crushed her against me.
“You’ll be the death of me,” I laughed.
“Will that be so bad?” she lilted.
“Not as long as I die before you,” I said, “I couldn’t bear…”
“Shh” she pressed her fingers against my lips, “Today is not for seriousness. I want this to be special today.”
“Why? What is today?” I asked, perplexed.
“I know you’ll be leaving soon, I want to give you something so you’ll never forget.~
“Leave? I’m not leaving. How could I leave, this is my home.”
“I dreamt it.”
“What – what did you see?”
Her cyan eyes looked at me. “Please, I shouldn’t stay, it won’t change anything and –”
She quickly pressed her lips to mine.
I pulled away – shocked at her forwardness and desperation.