There was something within her, like an echo or chime, and dependent on different elements, it would remember or forget.
She sat, an elder of gentle gender, beside flames that were a flicker and of no threat.
I asked her why she bothered, why her heart ever cared so much but she hardly flinched whilst she stared into the fire once and said, “It’ll change in time. It’s just the leaving. It’s like ash, you know, it stains.”
And it does.
It burns for disguise and it yearns for more fire but it hardly ever disappears completely.
My heart is like a burnt out heap, she sleeps and eats and breathes underneath where it’s deep and I wonder when it will leave. Some days it’s regrowth against the edges of me. Some days, it still burns.
She turned to me then and said, “Should I extinguish it for you? Remember, it’s not the flame, it’s where you started it that matters.”
And of course my answer, was no.