t was cold. That’s what she recalled from that day. The ice glazed streets diced her town into neat, uneven sections, the red noses and misty breaths. That was the last thing she felt before it happened. Perched timidly in Dr. Porter’s office, she recalled her day as she had rehearsed time and time again, all the reiteration seemed routine at this point; ‘recall, discuss feelings’. Yet any time the latter arrived, she had nothing left to express. All she summoned was the chill of the winter breeze seeping into her skin, mellow and dull, painless yet agonisingly numbing. It seemed reasonable to her to take solace in the meaningless objectivity. After all, what could she say? What did she feel?

“So, Eleanor”, Dr. Porter stated sincerely, “How do you plan on spending your holidays?”. It was slightly jarring; she had subjected herself to therapy for the past year and she had heard hardly any small talk leave the doctor’s lips.

“Uh, I guess I’ll be staying with my sister and her family again”, she answered tentatively, stirring in her chair.

It was difficult to discuss the holidays after what happened, after the imprint it left on her. Right on cue, Porter clicked his pen and asked her to recount the incident and how it made her feel. She began as she always did, by explaining the way she felt about him, the way she would run her fingers through his hair and gaze as he melted at her touch. The way he would look at her, as if she were the sole person he could ever truly adore. The absolute passion that overwhelmed her when he held her in his arms. She lost herself in the recollection, like a pair of permanent rose-coloured goggles, driving her to grip tightly upon the special moments she found. She reminisced over the way his voice flowed like waterfalls of golden honey when he uttered her name. Her knees weakened even when illustrating the memories, of him.

It was long ago, yet she rehearsed the moment so frequently in her subconscious that the events of the night remained etched in her mind, branded into her emotions, suffocating her thoughts. Then, that night, fracturing her life into shards of self-loathing and pity, a barrage of sorrow and loss.

Hands intertwined, they trudged along the sidewalk, arms swaying as they hummed different Christmas tunes, entranced by the fluttering snowflakes planting themselves on their heads. She shivered, her numb fingers stuffed into the pockets of her jeans, desperately attempting to warm herself. He noticed her efforts and daintily placed his coat on her shoulders, he flashed an affectionate grin at her and chuckled. She smirked playfully and bent down, collecting a handful of snow. With a light-hearted giggle, she hurled the snowball at him, striking him directly in the chest. Unknowingly, he treaded upon a fragment of ice-coated concrete.

She could never erase the sound of his head hitting the pavement, nor the sight of his unresponsive body sprawled, unmoving, upon the bitter tarmac. It haunted her memories, captivating her every thought. At first, she didn’t trust it was real, she must have stared disbelievingly at him for a full minute before she truly acknowledged the situation. Her whole being was in shock. She collapsed and let out a wail, shuddering and weeping. Someone nearby rushed towards them and phoned the paramedics. Tears streamed from her eyes and streaked down her face, her body heaving with distress. She caught a slight glimpse of his body, lifted upon a stretcher and hooked to different machines, soon locked within a truck, speeding away without any notice or farewell to the moments they had shared.

It was all too fast. The ambulance, then the hospital, then the funeral. Life seemed to progress by her while she was unable to move, stuck within that moment, forced to relive the tragic sorrow she had undergone. Frozen within her own feelings and their supposed meanings. In that moment, emotion overcame her, however, in this one, she didn’t sense anything, she couldn’t, all she felt was a vast expanse of nothingness, a numbing that crept up her spine, spreading through her body like a virus. As she concluded her recollection, she pondered one notion; she couldn’t blame herself for being numb, after all, it was cold.