The fire was still burning when I left. I had a thought that I should put it out, but I was worried it might wake you. The house gets so cold so quickly.
Outside it was misty, the light pale gold. The sun pulled up into the sky, dragging the day behind it, nudging the reluctant world to wake. It felt like it could sleep another hour; birds hadn’t started chirping and the air felt drowsy, laden with the remnants of the night.
I looked at our house, the door we painted red so passers-by would know we were friendly, the spot where we planted tulips that never broke the earth, the porch we littered with rocking chairs no one would ever fill. We built a little birdhouse and hung it from the porch with wire. It never housed any birds. I think it held too much of our scent.
The road was dusty and cold, no cars in sight. The sun drifted aimlessly, alone in a cloudless sky. Trees shivered quietly against a meager wind. I could hear my feet crunching gravel as I walked down the road.
I left the fire burning. If it snuffs out the heat leaks away and a chill settles into the floorboards and walls, and the rooms just aren’t warm enough, no matter how many layers you wear.
I left it burning. It should still be warm when you wake.