The smoke wove through her hair, lazily finding its way out to the sky. Sarah used the last stick to shuffle the smoldering firewood, separating them. Sparks fluttered down to the long dry grass, snuffing themselves out before she had to do it.

He was watching her from across the field, his truck parked by the woods on the beaten dirt path. She hadn't seemed to notice his lights in the early dawn, too preoccupied watching the fire die out.

The overgrown weeds waved slightly in the gentle breeze that blew across the deserted field. She stared into the cinders, letting her mind float away from where she was sitting.

The hint of wind had died, and everything was still again. Andrew began walking towards her, trying not to disturb the quiet silence that weighed down the landscape. The only change in the scenery before him was her. Sarah and the fire that hadn't belonged to her, and that she only came to after all the rest had left.

Dawn was barely breaking in the far east. Pale light had started to bleed across the plain, but only enough to keep Andrew from calling it night. The air was almost murky, and the curling smoke surrounded Sarah on her log.

He reached her sitting place at last. Her back was towards him, and he knew if he glanced behind himself, his rusting red truck would have faded into the woods from there.

He reached forward, entangling his hands in her long brown hair. The smell of wood smoke enveloped him, and he closed his eyes, breathing deeply.


He didn't respond, instead leaning forward and burying his face in her hair. She leaned back slightly into his chest.

"If that was you sneaking up on me, you need to work on it. I heard your door slam."

Sarah tugged gently on his tshirt, wordlessly asking him to sit next to her. She sighed quietly, relaxing onto his shoulder. He kicked an outcropping cinder back onto the dying fire.

"It'll be out soon."

He wanted to stir it up, but knew she would not like that. She always came out specifically to watch it die into the sunrise. It was where he met her.

"Sarah?" She was dozing off. "Why'd you help me, that first time?"

Sarah opened her eyes to stare at the fire but did not move to look at him.

"Because you needed me," she murmured. "And because that wasn't really you."