To our left, there are fields of snow where animals shelter far below the visible horizon. The bus we’re on passes untouched lanes. It goes too fast, but the air of danger puts fire in our bellies and reminds us of what it was like to be reckless kids without fear or understanding of what happens next. Bracing ourselves for calamity, we gasp in unison, and then seconds later exhale with relief as the bus keeps its course. The mist from our mouths hangs before our eyes for a moment before evaporating, the same eyes we wipe sleepy from because we’d rather be in bed and in each other’s arms but stuff needs to be done so here we are. It could be worse, of course. We could be freezing like the animals paw deep in snow. Earlier on, while we waited at the bus stop, I spotted a rat hurrying through an icy gutter on its way to a strip of wasteland where it subsequently disappeared into some bushes. It had a plump bum, and as it wiggled just like its tail, I felt happy and sad all at once. It made me squeeze tight your hand, but because we were so cold, it made the skin between our fingers crack. And when they cracked, they bled, and there by the side of the road, we shared each other the same as we do when there’s only us. Us in a room. Us under the covers. Us as two souls trying hard to ignore this flesh that always seems to get in the way. No birds are in the sky as we twist and turn beneath the snow-covered trees. Wherever they are, they’re not singing, either. This alien landscape. This innocence. This sterile beauty. It makes me turn and look you in the eyes. Those half-awake and tired eyes that search mine for comfort and pity as a sign up ahead tells us just how much further we have to go. In the near silence that follows, there are words. My words to you and you alone. I don’t have to speak them out loud because you know them already. You’ve known them since the beginning. And so the road goes on. It twists and turns much the same as it always has and always will.