Her life was gone. Burned up around her leaving nothing but ashes and memories.

She had tried so hard this time. Smile here, laugh there. Keep the pain buried inside, a dull glowing ember as a constant reminder of what was there. No one could have guessed at her sadness- not because it wasn't there. No, it was there, just below the surface fueling that ember that remained hidden away. She longed for the company of man, woman or child, but she was afraid. What if the sadness leaked out? What if they didn't want to be around her? What if …

And there it was- the burst of What ifs came spilling down upon her, a lighter fluid to that hidden ember. She burst into the flames of her own pity, her self doubt, her hatred of everything her mind told her was true. The flames licked across her being until there was nothing left but doubt. She wanted to call out for help but she knew she had to protect those she loved from herself. She was being consumed by her mind, razed by her heart.

So there she lay motionless, a statuette of ashes and memories of times gone by. Times of happiness, times of love. Times of confidence and acceptance. As she laid there remembering, something changed. A stirring in her razed heart started her mind thinking. She still loved deeply, that had never changed. If she had been happy once, why couldn't she be happy again? She stretched her body, boldly breaking free of the ashes that had been her past life. With an unknown confidence, she extended her new wings. She was becoming free and this was only the beginning. She knew the fire could always start again, that it probably would. But she had to remember, out of the ashes of her memories she could rise again, beautiful and new.