Her body went into survival mode, eating when hunger overwhelmed her, bathing out of habit, wondering about the creature in the mirror, the one with the sad eyes that stared back at her if she chanced to look. She lived in the recesses of her mind, old memories and new fears merging into one long nightmare, chilling her.
Her body eased when she thought of what they once shared - his strong arms holding her, comforting her, the wall of warmth she had come to know. She remembered their laughter, the way he teased her, the way he touched her and suddenly, she was ice cold. She wanted that again, needed that again, unwilling or unable to reach for it.
She remembered how they talked, shared their day, their nearness, their joy in each other. She remembered their harmony, their closeness and she ached for that.
She remembered that words weren't necessary, content to share time and space with him, free to love. The memory haunted her. Day merged into night and back to day again. She didn't know how long she had been gone. On the morning of the fourth day of their separation, her body succumbed to her mind's demands, faltering, staggering, moving her away from life to mere subsistence.
I need you, she remembered thinking, as she searched to find some foothold, an edge to balance on... before the fever and her demons took her. I need to hear your voice, feel your heart beat against my own. I need to see your smile, your eyes, your mouth. I need the gentleness of you. I need your strength. I'm falling through space and only you can break the fall and make me whole again. I need you, Paul. I need you - now. Why did you do this to me?
"Do you know what it's like - to hurt?
It's raw - and wounded soul -exposed and festering
It's cancer - you can see - and false smiles for humanity...
It's broken - like some childhood's doll - void of sense and sanity...
It's inside out - and dizziness - and bile that is hard to swallow...
It's cauldrons of fire - and ice that burns - and a feeling that God has died."
Running Out of Sunshine