It's the little things about her he finds himself remembering, on the road with these people who remind him of who he used to be, who he could have been had he not come crashing into a trailer park after some deer a couple of months after the world had ended. He keeps the little bits and pieces of what he's left of her close, guards them with an almost vicious possessiveness, that he's actually surprised that Len, of all people, picked up on it - Len with his vulgar single-mindedness and annoying sense of superiority; Len who'd unwittingly called her a "bitch" and a "piece of tail" and was a split-second away from losing his head had Joe not interrupted; Len with the gaping hole in his skull and an arrow through his eye socket whom he almost thought to cover with a paint-stained piece of cloth just because he remembers her all too well, thinks of her every passing minute of every single day.
He remembers her songs – soft notes and unfamiliar words that lulled him to sleep as he watched her, captivated with an innocent sense of wonder and the realization that maybe it wouldn't be so bad if they just stopped for a while and tried to make a life together there.
He remembers her words – clings to them as a drowning man to an anchor lost at sea. "You've got to stay who you are, not who you were," she'd told him, half-drunk on moonshine and memories and not-quite confessions. And then, in the same breath, "You're gonna miss me so bad when I'm gone, Daryl Dixon," as though she'd known even then that this would have happened.
He remembers all her smiles – bright, when she'd suggested they burn the house down and leave everything of their past selves behind them; playful, when he'd suggested that they take only some of the food and leave the rest in the cupboard; teasing, when she'd asked him what changed his mind about there still being good people in the world.
He remembers her warmth – the feeling of her arms coming around him from behind as he allowed himself to fall apart; a steady weight on his back as he'd carried her through the tombs; her hand entwined in his as she leaned on him in their shared grief; the feeling of holding her in his arms as he carried her in the few remaining steps to the kitchen on the guise of impatience when all he really wanted then was an excuse to touch her, to reassure himself that she was real and alive and his.
But, most of all, he remembers her eyes – wide and clear and infinitely blue, like a cloudless sky in early summer. He remembers the way she looked at him with all the trust and hope and affection he never knew he needed, never knew he could want in his life. And on that fateful night, in the flickering candlelight, he remembers seeing himself reflected in her eyes as he looked back at her, trying to tell her words he couldn't say.
And as he makes himself comfortable on the cold, hard ground with a makeshift pillow of rabbit's feet and wild strawberries, he wishes he had more to go on than memories, a whisper of her name and a promise he'd rather die than break.