Piece 35: The View From the Bottom of the Lake

. I feel it in my bones
. she said, trembling violently under the crisp night air.
. Her heart beat [q u i c k ening] against my chest
. Slowing slowly, more ragged.
. She nuzzles closer, desperate for the two things I am unable to provide;
. Warmth and love.
.
. She attempts to blink back tears knowing they will freeze in mere moments
.                        obscuring what little there is left to see in our immediate vicinity.
.
. With her body slumped against me
.               It feels like I am trapped in a grocery store freezer
.                                 And we are two packages of meat waiting to expire.
.
. I try to comfort her, but, to be honest, prospects are looking bleak.
. I give her a quick squeeze and sigh, exhaling a swath of frosted regret.

. The subzero temperatures stab viciously as I wriggle my toes to stave off frostbite.
. The movement challenged by the ice-induced rigor.
. She looks up at me and tells me that she loves me.
. I mumble a response, vague, yet comforting and pray she believes it.
. After all, if I can’t give her hope in our last moments
.                                                                             then I guess I’ve completely failed her.
.
. Her small frame stopped moving,
. the gentle heaving of the ocean turned to a placid lake.
.
.                             A small tear forms in the corner of my eye,
.                             not from the pain of loss,
.                             but the guilt from my lack of pain.
.
.
.                                               Breaths get shallower, the corners of my vision fade.
.                                                                                               I succumb to the elements.

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