When Daryl was younger, before everyone gave up on him, there was a word his teachers used to use when it came to him. Potential.
When he thinks about her now, he thinks about that word. Potential. What could have been. What might have been. What should have been.
He holds up a match, and thinks about how there is potential within a single little flame. The potential to grow, to consume, to devour. To warm, to fill, to rage. To make humans quiver and drop to their knees, or flee in fright. Fire destroys, sure, but it also provides warmth, life.
It’s such a little flame, lighting up the darkness with it’s flickering light. So tiny and yet so immense at the same time, capable of growing, spreading, consuming a home, a forest, a city.
Yet that tiny flame can also be extinguished in one puff of breath, one twist of a hand. One single second… gone.
He thinks they could have been a fire. He thinks they could have burned up everything that stood in their way. He thinks, if he’d had the chance, she would have kept his heart warm for the rest of his life. He knows he would have done the same for her.
He decides that what they had was like that little flame, and in that same moment, he wishes it wasn’t like that at all.
Maybe then, it wouldn’t have been so easy to extinguish.