The door was made of ruby and carved with patterns she recognized but could not remember why. A bright light shone through from the other side and she heard a distant music. It was as her own Song, a song she had forgotten for countless years. It made her ache to think of the smallness of her life and all her lives.
Her hand trembling, she touched the handle and wondered why she was still hesitating. Then she drew it back. The handle’s edges were sharp and had cut her. A drop of red blood ran down her finger. In this room the pain seemed strange and foreign to her, like a dream from which she would soon awake.
She was about to open the door when she saw a crumpled piece of paper lying in her foot. In its homeliness it clashed with everything else in the room. She picked it up and saw that it was the star her student had given her. How had it gotten here? And then she remembered all the fragile connections she had made in her old life, and those who would miss her.
She sat at the foot of the door and wept.