Chapter Two: The Whispers of Winter

As my senses came back to me I began to see the memories of Michael and I in slow motion through my mind's eye. My bed under me, felt hard and cold despite its recent change of covers. Alice stared at me with determined eyes and she shook her head.

"We need to get you out of that stupor." She had pulled her blue-black hair back into a tight ponytail and had shed her sweater to reveal a white undershirt. "Have you written at all?"

"No." I answered quietly. 

"Have you contacted your publisher to buy some time for your next manuscript?"

I looked down at my empty lap and dug my nails into my bed. "No."

"Mel, you can't put everything to the side while you get over this guy, you have to keep living your life." Alice moved closer to me and dropped onto her knees on the hardwood floor. "You need to let it all go Melanie, this can't be healthy."

I nodded, hoping that she would just leave me to my solemnity.

She sighed and kissed my forehead, I was sure it would have felt cold to her warm lips. "Okay, I'll call you tomorrow okay?"

I nodded again, and for the second time in the last week I heard the front door downstairs open and close. 

***

Snow was falling outside when I finally stood up from my bed. I could see it through the small openings between the ruby red curtains. They fell fat and fast, completely covering the outside world that I thought I had once known.

Michael had come over a year ago with a box wrapped in Christmas paper and a wide smile on his face. Curls of blond hair had escaped from his emerald green hat and his green gloved fingers had held the box tightly in front of him when I had opened the door. 

"What's that?" I had jokingly asked before taking his face in my hands. I had to stand on my tip-toes to kiss his slightly chapped lips, the taste of his peppermint lip-balm had warmed me on the spot. "Is that a present for me?"

"Maybe," he had laughed loudly and, after placing the box on my small porch, lifted me up in his long arms. He had kissed me with the want of an unattainable love and I had reciprocated, hoping that such a thing would become attainable one day. After putting me back down on the hard concrete, Michael had picked the box up and walked into my home with me following quickly behind. "Ta-da!"

I remember being amazed with the color and the feeling of the long, expensive curtains. "This is the color that I couldn't find anywhere!"

Michael had stared at me as I acted like a child having their first Christmas. There were two sets in all, enough for my bedroom windows--they were beautiful. 

"I love you." He had simply said while I smiled like a child. 

"Oh Michael, I love you too!" And we had kissed--kissed all night, while setting up the curtains and while spending another day that was not Christmas together.

Staring at the snow made me angry. It held so many memories that would forever add up to nothing and I needed to live my life, at least Alice had been correct in that sense. I suddenly walked backwards away from the window and stared up at the memory stained curtains. Their color was softly reflected in my room from the eerie glow of the winter night sky. 

As if I were having an out of body experience, my hands reached forward and held onto the first curtain. With all the power that my heart could afford me, I pulled down. The ripping of material assured me that my attempt was successful and I continued pulling, first on the first set of curtains then hurrying to my other window where the second set waited patiently. 

After several minutes my room was showered in the winter moon's glow. I was lying on my back on the cold hardwood floor with the ripped curtains around me. I could clearly see the rapidly falling snow that was surely covering the city of Toronto and I suddenly sat up. 

Minutes later, in my thin pajamas I found myself standing on my front lawn, the cold air seeping into my skin. The streets were empty and all of the other semi-detached houses around me were dark. I closed my eyes and let everything take my breath away--I needed something different to steal me from reality rather than the throbbing of my heart. Snow fell down cold on my skin and I tilted my head up, letting it cover my cheeks and eyes and sullied lips. I willed the snow to dissolve my memories and to cleanse me.

 

The End

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