JANE’S POV (Point of view)
An hour ago. I think that was the last time I could feel my fingers and toes. I was trying to stay alive. Dear goddess, I was fighting to keep my promise.
It was the only thing I had left to live for anymore. There was nothing else, and that’s why I was huddled here alone in the cold.
I vaguely recall reading somewhere that freezing to death is only painful for a while. The sharp needling pains subside into numbness, and you begin to feel sleepy.
Falling asleep would be nice. If I let myself fall asleep, I would be warm and cozy again. Somewhere in the depths of my childhood memories, I could remember feeling that once when it was just Dad and me. It seems like another lifetime now.
I was seated on a pile of rotting black winter leaves. My torn shirt rustled stiffly with dried blood each time my lacerated back touched the trunk of the tree I sat beneath. Curled up with my arms around my legs, I rocked back and forth. But now, I needed to stop rocking. I was too tired to move. I closed my eyes and laid my head down on my knees. So tired.
One thought remained before I welcomed my oblivion, “I’m so sorry, Tristan.”
Something was touching me. Groaning in protest, I thought, “Leave me alone, I’m sleeping!”
I wanted to say it out loud, but I couldn’t speak. I was too exhausted to speak.
A masculine voice cursed in a language I didn’t understand, but its emphatic utterance left me no doubt as to its content.
Something wet was being rubbed on my lips now.
“Open your mouth!” the voice commanded in a sharp hiss.
I obeyed because I wanted to go back to sleep. When I did so, there was a rush of liquid across my tongue that tasted faintly like iron. I couldn’t taste it well because my tongue was frozen.
“Swallow!” The voice commanded again.
I focused on my throat muscles and clenched them, as much as I was able, in a reasonable approximation of a swallow. I felt warmth trickling down my throat, though most of the liquid spilled over my lips and down my chin. I couldn’t open my eyes. They felt frozen shut.
“It’s ok,” I thought to myself. “I won’t need them anymore; I’ll be dead soon.”
Suddenly, the world was spinning. No. Someone was carrying me.
The darkness overtook me, and everything faded to black.