Sometimes there is a small line between bone-chilling and heart-warming
|Bertie pulled her old Fiesta into her usual spot, the last space in the WalMart parking lot. It was the closest to the bus stop. Mark took the last bus from his job arriving at ten-thirty. If she got there early, she'd sit in the car and read. If he got there first, she would find him against the telephone pole. The bus stop was just a sign, no enclosure, no shelter.
Tonight she was worried. The Fiesta didn't want to start.The temperature had plummeted as blizzard-like snows and winds swept across the deserted town. Now the bright lot lights looked dim and distant as the storm howled.
She could see no one.
She opened the door and stepped out. She gasped as the knife-sharp chill was carried on the air down her throat into her lungs. She pushed forward. Then she saw him. Little more than a lump in fast falling snow His ears were blue, and ice clung to the back of his neck. She touched his skin and it was cold. She knew he was gone. She rolled him over to look at his face. Then, like a ghost, she saw the wisp of steam leave his lips and become instantly stolen by the wind. He was alive! She undid her overcoat belt, and lay across his body, willing him to absorb her body heat. She cursed that neither had a cell phone, because they had both agreed that they had no one else to talk to except each other.
With her face against his she heard the whisper: "Bertie, come with me ... the beach!" Then she felt the sun on her face, and the sea lapping her shins.
They found them the next day. Both were frozen solid but there were soft smiles gracing each face.