In his sleep, the long fever broke. When he woke and went to the back door to let the dog out, he was startled by the change, by the cool air that greeted him. After so many weeks of bearing it, you expect the oppressive heat, the perspiration, the air laden with water, thick and hardly breathable. You begin to think that this is how things have always been and will always be. You adapt.
The sky was perfectly clear, the sun just rising. The dog held its nose high, sniffing, as if in an unfamiliar place. He breathed in deeply too, the new, crisp air; shivered. Through his veins it felt as though some warm and electric liquid pumped. His body sang with possibilities. Thank you, he said, as if he had carried the month-long heat in his own body, as if the morning was a gift, a second chance at life.