Exultant yet exhausted I folded about myself in ragged attempts to catch my breath. Cold wind whipping through the open door seemed to rob the air of help and doubled my pain. Barreling into a starless night the train roared over anything more than shouted conversation and simplistic thought.
I looked to Hale for reassurance, but he only had that look, the previous warmth and encouragement now lost to cunning strategy. He didn’t mean to be distant. Right beside me, huffing and puffing, he hardly knew how far away he was or how much I needed him close.
My head found its way to his heaving shoulder all the same, an unstable but welcome platform. He didn’t resist, maybe didn’t notice. Cold and growing numb, mind and body, I felt consciousness leave me to tumble loudly into the dark of a troubled sleep.
Too many nights without sleep gave the slumber depth. Doubts and fears gave the dreams far reaching talons. A fool’s love gave the only glimmer of hope, a morning ray for which to pray.