Eighteen years of Life

A man that has lost everything that was valuable to him, has stopped believing in living life at fullest. When in old age, he realizes it is not too late to start living again.

The sun rays caress the green grassy land, laughter filled the air, and a light breeze carried the melodious giggles around the park.  Some meters away were a cliff, in which the shore of the beach bathes the land in ripples of blue and white.  This could be one of the warmest little towns in the world.  Little footsteps marked the light brown sand, larger footsteps beside it. 

            "Daddy, Mommy, look what I've found!" A little girl screamed, she had a pink bathing suit on, blond pigtails and an excitement-blushed face about her.  She was madly waving something over her head, jumping on the spot.

            "What is it, honey?" Her mother asked, she was in her mid-thirties and hand-in-hand with her husband, who was about the same age.  The father and husband was smiling, a radiant smile on him.  They approached their daughter; she was now desperate to show her parents what she had found.

            "Look," the girl practically shoved two objects into their faces.  She showed them two smooth rocks, black colored, laying in her little hands.  "When I get home I want to write my name and mommy's name on it, daddy's a boy, and boys think rocks are dumb, So no rock for you, dad."

            The father chuckled and lift his daughter placing her comfortably on his shoulder, the little girl took her mother's hand in her small hand.  It was the perfect family frame, especially when the sun was setting behind the horizon, letting the night to take over. 

            Two years later, the same family was arriving to their warm vacation spot, it was a hot summer.  The father was busy entertaining his daughter, while his wife was rubbing her tummy, waiting for her next baby.  In the middle of the road a car was stalled, it was too late to stopped, the father swerved rapidly to the right, where foliage of green was striving into existence.  He closed his eyes, and the last thing he heard was that of a painful scream searing through his soul, like a sharp dagger.

            The day of the funeral he was numb from the pain, watching the two coffins descend to the cold earth, the bodies they contained never will see the sunlight again.  Nor he will ever hear those melodious laughs.  His smile faded, and he wandered through life with a solemn look on him, he locked up in the attic everything that had to do with his wife and daughter, and work hard to busy his tormented mind.  He became a solitary wanderer, little or close to no joy entered his battered heart, he was mechanical and robotic in his articulation.  He expressed little or no emotions at all, he never remarried.  Middle age soon passes by and old age was at the doorstep.  At his retirement he moved to a cold snowy place, taking his family belongings with him and locking them on the attic, again.

He accommodated the boxes containing his daughter belongings, when two small and black objects fell off.  He bend down to pick them up, when he realize it was the two smooth, black rocks she had found the day they went for a stroll to the beach.  The pain came again, but now it was crowded with a warm feeling arousing from deep inside him, from a wound he had closed up long time ago.  But it was not pain only, it was memories, flowing in like waves and butterflies, he wanted to chase them.  He felt something burning in his eyes, finally rolling down his cheek.

            "What have I been doing?"  He articulated dumbly.  He pressed the two rocks to his heart, almost imprinting in his flesh those precious names contained in the rocks.  He watched outside his window, icicles on the awning, his window was crystallized with the cold ice; snow was falling constantly and the kids outside were in plain snowball fight.  He wiped his eyes, and went downstairs.  Once downstairs he wore the heaviest winter clothes he owned and went to his yard.  He rolled three snowballs, each of different sizes and fused them into one snowman.  He gently placed the two smooth rocks in the snowman's head, and added the rest of the details.

            What almost no one knows is that snowman's, as well as humans, have emotions and thoughts.  The snowmen communicated with each other frequently, and never revealing that ability to humans.  Snowmen could take over the Earth any day!  Years passed, the old man was very peculiar in a way, and he always dressed his snowman according to the year.  When the snowman was "1 Year" he had a bib tied on his neck, and a rattler in his branch-arm, by night his fellow snowmen would laughed at him, when the snowman was seventeen years old he had a mortarboard on his head and a rolled piece of paper stuck in between his branch arms.  Every year he had a something different on him; these peculiarities draw the kids living in the neighborhood to always wonder why the old solitary man did that.

They wouldn't stay with the doubt, they went to the old man's house and saw him placing his old driver's license on the snowman's chest, the two black rocks were there shining as always.

            "Excuse me, sir" the bravest of the children said.

            The old man turned a smile upon him.  "Yes, my boy?"

            "Why do you dress your snowman strangely every year?"

            "Ahh, its simple, he is dressed according to his age," his smile widened even more seeing confusion in the kids' faces.

            "So, how old is he now?"

            "He has a driving license, and an acceptance letter from a university, naturally he will be eighteen."

            "Will he have a car?" an innocent child asked, stepping forward.

            "He can have mine!" the old man chuckled, like he had never done in such long time.  The children grinned.

            "He can give us a ride then!" There was excitement in each and every face.

            Children innocence, he thought, priceless comfort in life.  How I would've like to have preserve it through all my life.

The snowman was slightly frowning at the laughing small faces, and the wrinkled smiley face.  He scowled under breathe.

            Okay! This had gone too far, I shall stop this humiliation right now! The snowman thought.

            On the Christmas Eve evening, the old man was sitting in the porch, watching how each child was shooed into the house and the Christmas lights being lighted, like candle flames during n electric shut down.  The snowman took advantage of the situation, and turned his head to face the old man.

            "Hey! Old man!" the snowman called.

            The old man turned to face his creation with a smile, "I knew someday you will have the courage to talk to me.  What is it you want, my young friend?"

            "What?! Pshhhh, It wasn't out of fear I didn't want to talk to you old man, our community is a close knit circle, not a single human being has known of us!  Be grateful I am speaking to you."

            The old man smiled a wise smile at the snowman, "so what is the reason behind this great honor of talking to an insignificant, old, human being like me?"

            "Yes, that's better.  Well, I will use you to answer all my questions."

            "I'm obliged to follow your orders, gentle snowman."

            The snowman bobbed his head.  "Okay, why have you dressed me ridiculously all these years?  Have you no idea of what have you made me suffer throughout all these years?"

            "I'm sorry if these have made you uncomfortable all these years among your fellow friends.  But you have been dressed according you age."  The old man said.

            "Arrghh, human stupidity again!" the snowman rolled his stone eyes.

            The old man laughed, "So freezing arrogance."

            The snowman growled, "So according to human calendar, how old am I?" he had a challenging look about him.

            "Eighteen, of course."

            "How do you know?!" The snowman further challenged.

            "Because," the old man was serious face now, "I am celebrating my eighteenth year of being reborn and living a happy life.  I was blessed that day, with the power of smiling again."

            "Explain, old guy!" his branch arm try to reach out for his rock eyes, "and this rocks are the most annoying I've ever had, why do you keep placing this on me?!"

            "Simple, inscribed in those rocks is the most important names for me." The man said, "I am not sure if you can read them."

            The snowman read the names, and under each one it said "mommy" and "me", in messy seven-year-old scribbles.  "Who are they?"

            "My wife and daughter, they have parted this world a long time ago.  Those rocks symbolizes my wife and little daughter eyes, they have never seen snow.  I always took them to our sunny summer vacation spot...every year was the same.  If only I had decided to change traditions."  A tear rolled down his cheek.

            The snowman didn't feel so superior now; he was subject to the curse of having feelings, like every human being.

            "I'm sorry for being rude to you, sad man."

            "I'm not sad, those are only memories.  Now I'm happy to have you here, I don't feel so lonely now, and in the long run (although not that long now) I will reunite with them."  The old man said.

            "Don't hang yourself!" the snowman warned, scared.  "Be happy, man! Smile!"

            The man laughed quite audibly now, "no, no, strength to do so will fail me.  And I can't feel sad, or else I will be further breaking that promise I did to my daughter."

"Well, I guess I can let you dress me again." The snowman said tactfully, "of course, be a little more considerate.  I have a reputation to look after!"

            "That I will," the old man smiled.

            "And I know they are happy you are happy."

            "Thank You, my dear and constant friend." The old man said, "Merry Christmas."


            "Daddy!" a little girl screams were heard through the house, the clock striking midnight.  Light flooded the dark room and her father came in.  He immediately dashed to his daughter bedside and swept her on his arms, holding her tightly against him.  Kissing her forehead and whispering comforting words on her little ears, repeating everything was a dream.

            "I had the most most most horrible dream ever..." she sobbed.

            "It's alright, now it's all over, you are in daddy's arms now.  Those bad dreams won't enter you precious head now."  He patted her little blonde hair.

            "Everybody was sad. And gray, nobody smiled," her tears freshly trickling down her plump cheek.  Her father wiped them away.

            "That will never happen; you will be always smiling, and your mom and me too."  Her father assured her.  "We will make everyone else smile with our smiles."

            The little girl sniffed, she seems more secure after she heard those kind words.  She held out her chubby pinky finger.  Her father looked at it, and held out his.

            "Promise me you will never stop smiling," she said seriously, "like, never ever ever." She looped her finger with her father's.

            Warmth filled him, he felt so proud of his child's actions, and he nodded fervently.  "Yes, I do."  He hugged his daughter, "same goes to you, princess."

Tomorrow he was taking his family to their usual warm, summer vacation spot.





The End

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