That night my mother had what she considered a wonderful dream. She dreamed of the country of India, where she had never been. There were orange traffic cones and beautiful lapis lazuli insects with mandibles of gold. A young girl was being led through the streets. She was taken to a pyre where she was wound in a sheet and placed up on a platform built from sticks. The bright fire that consumed her brought my mother into that deep, light, dreamlike bliss. The girl was being burned alive, but, first, there had been her body, clean and whole.
I watched the black ocean in his eyes and saw this flash behind them and understood what he had meant the night before, about the insanity that had gripped him. He was not so far gone as to be lost, but he was close, and I knew it had come from me turning my back on him as I had started to flee. Whether I wanted to or not, I anchored him to this world, and I was the only thing he'd known, maybe for his whole life. He had watched me, yes, he had stalked me, oh yes, but it had driven him to the edge. I inhaled sharply at the wildness I saw in him, the despair that was threatening to rise.