The wind burns cold against her cheeks.  She pulls her coat more closely to her body and presses on down the street.  Snow billows all around her, enveloping her in its ebb and flow.  She welcomes the numbness in her fingertips, her nose and her toes.  Anything to distract her from the pain in her heart.

The streets are empty and dark.  All of the bars and shops are shut up tight.  The drunks are long gone home and snug in their beds.  She is completely and utterly alone.  Her mind is racing faster than she can process her thoughts.  She feels like a failure.  She questions her own choices, the things she has said, and the voice inside her tells her she should have done better.  She should have done differently.  She never does anything right.

She thinks of him the most–how she once had him and felt safe in his arms, how hard she loved him, how passionate their kisses, the graze of his fingertips on her skin.  How he made her feel alive in ways she had never felt before.  How she lost him.  How he is probably making someone else feel alive at this very moment.

Fat, heavy tears slowly begin to slide down her cheeks.  She can feel the rise and fall of her chest and attempts to steady her breathing.  All too easily, her emotions can take control of her body and send her into hysterics.  She is learning to control it, but she has to be careful.

She crosses the street and heads down a path into a deserted park.  Trees rise up on either side of her, great silent giants offering protection and comfort.  She has always felt connected to the earth, and awed at the beauty of nature.  She wipes her eyes with balled up fists and quickens her pace.

She reaches her place.  A fallen log lies on the side of the path, shrouded in snow and darkness.  She brushes a place for herself to sit, closes her eyes, and lets it all out.  Her sobbing is loud and ugly.  Her chest heaves and snot runs freely from her frozen nose.  She looks up to the sky, at the clouds and all the stars in the heavens above, and begs the Lord for forgiveness.  She begs him for mercy and for relief from the pain.  She begs to forget.  She wants to feel empty, to have a clean slate.  If she could only start over again, she would do everything differently.

After a time, the crying subsides.  She regains control of her breathing and no longer feels as though her lungs might explode.  Her head is pounding, but she feels release.  She straightens her hat and wipes her nose on her mittens.  She sits in silence, and her head is finally clear, if only for a moment.  She takes a deep breath, rises to her feet, and begins the long walk home into the night.



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