The Girl with the Candle

(I am in medical school. Sure, there are so many things to learn, but what strikes me the most is the people I have come to associate with, the people I have tentatively grown to like, possibly even love. In this series I plan to do a story for every one of those 161 people, about a moment when they thought no one was looking at them, and I saw them.)

She is the girl with the candle in the room of the dead.

In that context, she is nothing special – in fact, we were all holding candles then, all 162 of us, standing around bodies half-covered in blue plastic sheets.

But then, as the candles burned down to half of what they were, she did not notice – her eyes were fixed on a point no one could follow. As hot wax spilled on her fingers, she did not make a sound, as others I have known are wont to do. And as the wick glowed hot near her skin, she waited until the service was over, and finally, with a look I cannot even begin to describe, she blew on the candle, and the light flickered and died in her hands.

She is the girl with the candle in the room of the dead.

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