A resoundent thump echoed throughout the canyon as the rock hit the dry, red ground. The late afternoon sun threw its last rays of light at the world before sinking behind the clouds for the night. The hot Arizona air had already begun to cool as the day grew old and Nicolasa pulled her jacket closer around her and said goodbye to the canyon. There were so many memories here. The fire that had completly destroyed her familys farm had created so much work that there was precious little time to visit the canyon but she still slipped away as often as she could. Her family didn't like the fact that she came here and Papa often told her to forget the past but there was still something here that pulled on her. It was beautiful right now with the rock aglow with the rays of the sun. Bright reds and yellows splashed the canyon with color. It was beautiful. Almost as beautiful as the night it all happened, the night her life had completley been changed. Even though the fire was months ago, she could remember every detail like it was yesterday.

The night had been a beautiful one, with the sky a deep velvety black and stars decorating the sky like lily-pads on a pond. Everything had been still when she met Miguel as usual at the sandstone pillar that stood at the pass. They had been meeting here every Tuesday night for the last 2 years. Their friendship had started at an early age when their mothers would gather together on Saturday to do the laundry. 2 years ago, something had changed. That night had been just one of the million that they had sat together by the edge of the canyon, enjoying the quiet beauty of the cool Arizona night. She lay in his arms and they talked and laughed together discussing the events of the day and other humerous tidbits they had heard. A couple hours before sunrise they said farewell and went their seperate ways. As Nicolasa came closer to home she smelled the faint smell of wood smoke in the air, thinking that it was a neighbor burning trash, she continued on thinking only of Miguel. Everthing was still as she climbed the lattice outside her window and climbed into her bed. She fell into a deep sleep full of sweet dreams.

She was awakened by the sound of pounding on the door. It was still dark outside her window but she could see the soft glow of the lantern in the next room. Quickly she climbed out of bed and tiptoed softly to her door, cracking it so she could see what was in the main room. What she saw in the next room was enough to make her want to faint. Miguel lay on the couch his skin completley blackened from burns his eyes closed with his hands crossed on his chest. "Miguel!", she called out stumbling across the wood floor. When she reached his body he was cold. She fell to the floor crying.

Nicolasa sat at the mouth of the canyon crying like she had that night. She could feel Miguels presense fill the air. A bird hopped along the ground and flew away. "Good bye my love" she whispered. She knew that tonight she had let go.