Once, the weary girl looked down the lane. She took just enough breath to hope, a hard thing because her heart was heavy and weighed down her lungs. But lane was empty. And it was growing dark.
Then she did it again. That was twice. And still nothing.
She tried to look again, thrice it would have been; but her heart was too heavy for breath and she fell instead.
It was the arms that went around her, that tilted her head, that raised her heart so she could breathe, it was those pieces of human that saved her. Even as her heart wanted to weigh down all the world so that there would never be another breath again. But she breathed. She looked. Thrice.
She saw the glow of the dancing lantern then. Lights in the darkness. It was the sign the girl needed to brave the night. She turned to look at the arms that held her, of the human that held her dear. But there was nothing to see. Only a sound. The breath of a ghost who had paid attention enough to remember how hard it was to live.