She sat at the edge of the lake, balancing stones on top of each other in a neat little pile. It helped quiet her mind, to see something in order, under her control. The sun glowed warmly above the forest, the last hint of the day. Her breath began to visibly swirl around her and she rubbed her hands together to warm her fingers. She reached for the gloves by her knee.
If she looked hard enough, she could see tiny little fish swimming just under the serene surface of the water. She watched them patiently, and tried to imagine their day to day lives. She wondered if they ever had trouble coping. She zeroed in her focus to balance her latest pebble, but her hand shook too badly and they spilled, every which way. She cursed and cried, clutching at her hair and howling like a madwoman. When the rocking had stopped, she pressed her hands together to ground herself.
She focused on the fish. They swam past each other mindlessly, passing each other by with such ease. Strangers in the night, she mused. It crossed her mind to dump a bunch of stones in, disturb their peace. Why should they have the gift of a simple life? It wasn’t fair. Her fist curled around, gathering three, four, five pebbles and she curled her arm back, ready to throw. She faltered. No, it wasn’t fair. It wasn’t fair that these simple creatures were going about their lives and something bigger and stronger came along to disrupt everything purely out of spite.
She stood, brushed the dirt from her clothes and wiped the tear tracks from her face. Her nose was freezing cold and probably running. She dropped the stones by her side and took one lasting look out at the lake, darkened by night. She was going to miss it.