The pilgrim did so. Despite the choking heat, his feet and hands were cold. His heart was slowing down, but that was okay. He'd die here, sitting in the middle of a desert. That was okay too. Dark spots appeared in his vision, and he let his heavy eyelids fall shut. The darkness was nice. The only sound was that of his own shallow breathing. He felt himself drift into unconsciousness. It felt like falling backwards.
He thought of Mariah, all gentle curves and tired smiles. He thought of the way her blonde curls would constantly fall into her eyes. He thought of the way she tucked them behind her ear.