The candle flickers faintly as the darkness deepens. Shadows begin to fill the corners of the room, and when she breathes, her breath makes a fog in the air. The darkness and cold go hand in hand.
She wonders how she got here. What happened to make her life so hard. "It's best not to dwell on it," she admonishes herself. What's done is done. She worries more about her cats than anything else. Her son is safe, this one, at any rate. He is warm tonight. Her other son, well, she likes to believe he is warm as well.
The silence is like a separate entity,keeping her company. She shivers in the cold.
There will be changes, she thinks. There has to be. She realizes she must learn to say no. Money has always been tight for her, but this has taught her a lesson. Lessons taught the hard way seem to take. And this one is hard. She doesn't want to think about tomorrow. She has no idea what she will do. She wants to talk with someone, anyone, so badly, it hurts her inside.
But there is no one. No one at all. She watches the candle flame ebb and flow with the currents in the air. She bundles herself up as best she can, not caring if her shoes are on her sofa. Its a long night ahead, and sleep does not come easy. Too many ghosts fill the night around her. Too many things left undone. God, please help me, she breathes.
And who is she? Just one of the millions of people who spend their nights shuddering in the cold. Some call her aloof, some call her friend, and some call her a gold star mom.