As dust particles dance around their jaded heads, Paul McCartney sings about something, and as his words float through the room, she holds onto him as if fearful he might float off too. To her relief, he remains grounded, but that doesn’t deter her from clinging on with all she has. Pulling her knees up under her chin, she wipes her nose on his shoulder. Under the circumstances, he forgives her. Under any other, he would shout something obscene. But on this morning with her on the verge of coming apart, he holds her in his arms and lets her dirty habits slide. Outside, the thinnest blanket of snow lies on the ground. It’s as if God shook his head and sprinkled the world with dandruff. Is that blasphemous? He doesn’t think so. He goes ahead and asks her, but he can’t decipher the contents of her mumbled reply. She’s too busy thinking of her father. There was once a time he had held her in his arms just like this. Many, many years ago now. When she’d been far smaller, and he’d been far more alive. The thought of it almost set her off again, and she had to bite her lower lip to stop it. She bit into it so hard that she drew blood, blood that dribbled down her chin onto his skin. Trembling again, she made herself as small as possible. As small as a tiny animal. Feeling her body shaking, he pulled the duvet up and covered them both. McCartney was still singing about something, but now his words were muffled and dreamlike. Away from the world, the two of them existed in their own place, and although she was fighting a losing battle to stop herself from caving in, in his arms, she felt as though even if she didn’t, she might just live to tell the tale.