The dark is biting her. That’s what it feels like; invisible teeth that sink into her skin and freeze her from the outside in. Her hair barely brushes her earlobes, leaving the expanse of her slender neck open to the cold. Her hands shake as she lights the first candle.
The flame takes immediately, sending shadows dancing over the small space. No longer is it dark, but she is still afraid. She will always be afraid. The match extinguishes itself in her hands and falls to a burnt heap on the ground. The candle glows alone, reflected in her eyes.
It might be way too late to celebrate the holiday, but for Éponine, holidays mean home. It is her first day back here. And, as sad as it is, this closet was the only home she had before her world was ripped out from under her in the most devastating way. Her eyes close; amber no longer reflecting the gold.
For eight days the oil lasted.
For eight days she will wait for them.