There was no movement, no warmth coming from the figure beneath her fingers. She kept telling herself he hadn’t been gone quite long enough to have died from exposure, but the truth was she had no idea. Right now, all she knew was fear and that with a desperation that caused her hands to shake and jump away from the body before her. Her mind raced back and forth as to whether or not she even wanted to know, if perhaps she could just walk away now and rewrite her own memory such that he walked away hale and hearty. Not in a death march resulting in a cold, snowy and solitary demise. But she couldn’t. She needed to know.
With a tug she looked upon the pale white, freshly shaven face of Christopher. His lips were a startling blue, eyes were closed tightly, and not even a flicker of movement crossed the tight face. Yet, she realized, his eyes were taught. Immediately she felt his cheek, his lips, hoping to find some vestige of life left. The sound was like a gunshot as she cracked her open palm across his cheek, her voice wavering as she raised it and called his name. There was a response, barely perceptible, but there.
She lay her head upon his chest, the painfully slow movement prompting her to position herself next to his head and place her mouth upon his. The desire to move quickly, to breathe fast and frequently into him, pushed through her as she forced herself to count. There was no way for her to know how long she worked, only a feeling of slow and exhaustive movement beneath her. As she looked at him laying amidst branches and snow, lips glistening with an amethyst hue, Susan knew there was nothing more she could do right now. Shrugging out of her coat she placed it over him and ran.
Minutes crawled by, her mind busily going over all the possibilities as she pounded the ground beneath her. The lights blinking in the distance, the cool amber of them, had her moving even faster, then sliding and cursing as she picked herself up and closed the remaining distance to the car. Her fingers were numb and clumsy now as she fumbled around, searching desperately for her cell phone. Not daring to so much as twitch from the spot with fragile signal she waited as the dispatcher collected all the information. And now, she waited.
Please come back Tuesday when Susan’s wait truly comes to an end!