She can’t sleep for a variety of reasons, the least of which is the death of a close friend. The other issues that knock about in the night as she tosses and turns in her bed seem to be a toss up between what was, and what will be.
The past should be clearer than the future – and yet, it isn’t. What was – and what she was, or even WHO she was – should be knowable. There are ways we measure the past, and she struggles to do so using relational words.
He was my friend. We were friends.
He was my teacher. I was his student.
He is dead. I am dead.
It’s the middle of the night, and the past flows into the future.
He is dead. I may as well be dead.
She cannot pick up where she was before he came. The others could go back to their trades – for various reasons, she cannot. Because of the past, she is changed and her future is more than unknowable.
Without him, it is impossible.
It’s still dark. She stretches out one last time under the covers and decides she might as well start the day. The past and the future give way to the present. She will gather her supplies and go to where they put his body. She’ll figure out how to manage the grave-stone when she gets there.
One foot in front of the other. What else can she do?
The morning comes.