She ran at night because it was cooler and helped her mind. A diversion from idle evenings she would spend thinking about him. Running through darkness defied death. Sometimes she would close her eyes and move her arms in a flailing motion, fighting the air as if it were drowning seas. At night it was quiet, people didn’t watch an aging woman. She would make large batches of Xavier soup (chicken stock and dumplings made with parmesan cheese) and freeze it, heat enough for a single bowl. His favorite soup. She would close her eyes sipping the warmth, imagine him sitting across from her, her eternal meal counterpart—death defeated, no more running in the darkness. But there was an empty chair; in her bowl floated lifeless dumplings.
Sometimes when running with closed eyes she imagined he was running from the opposite direction. They would meet in a middle yet to be. Sometimes foregoing sleep she would run after midnight. This was her dreaming, speeding through empty streets, moving closer to him. Sometimes she would run because she would come home and relive finding him dead on the floor, clutching his heart, pain forever on his blue lips. She found him, cried, couldn’t move. Now she could stand. Now she could run.