"Red sky in morning, sailors take warning", that was the saying wasn't it?
Michael had been watching the sunrise each day for exactly 366 days now. He looked down at the circular groove etched into his left palm in a hard callus. Today it was painful. It would take a few weeks until a new one formed. He massaged it with his right thumb, wincing a little.
Any amount of pain was preferable to surrender though. You own the pain. Once you surrender everyone else gets some. Sarah had gotten more than her fair share.
It used to be her that watched the sunrise in the mornings. She'd walk out to the porch in the pre-dawn mists dressed in her housecoat, coffee in hand, humming lightly.
A sob crawled unbidden through his throat, escaping to assault the formerly peaceful morning.
Restless in the encroaching dawn, he pawed for the card in his wallet, the warning phrase singing in his mind, "Red sky in morning..."
He gripped his one year chip even tighter. The metal edge cut into his hand, a couple of feeble drops of blood fell to the carpet as he reentered the cabin and dialed the phone.
"Dan, it's Mike. I need a drink. I don't know what to do."
"Today's no different Mike. You have to last through to another sunrise. Can you do that for me? For you... for her?"
"For her, yeah. I owe her that at least. Thanks Dan, I owe you too."