Nancy tried to sit down, but fell. She was breathing shallowly now. She reached for the window, desperate for the fresh air, but she couldn't reach it. She closed her eyes and laid down. There was nothing left to do.
Dimly, Nancy heard a voice calling out. A man seemed to be approaching her. She tried to open her eyes fully, but couldn't make out anything through her tears. She felt strong hands underneath her, lifting her up. She tried to speak to him, but all that came out was a hacking cough.
She felt the man carry her outside, where the cool night air revived her a little. She could open her eyes now, and could see that the man was a firefighter. He carried her to a waiting ambulance, where the paramedics took over. She kept her eyes on the firefighter though. He removed his helmet and met her eyes, smiling at her. She smiled back weakly.
He walked over and said, “They're going to treat you for smoke inhalation, miss.”
She kept smiling at the man as the paramedics loaded her into the ambulance. They closed the doors and she shut her eyes as they drove her to the hospital. She thought of the handsome firefighter. I'll probably never see him again.
* * *
A week later, she was settling into her new apartment. Her job had come through for her, offering to pay for an apartment near the office until her situation was more stable. She was busy unpacking the few boxes of her belongings that had survived the fire when the doorbell rang. Surprised to have visitors, she went to the door.
A handsome man stood there. “Hello,” he said.