The First Snow

Cindi Chen is just a normal, pretty-faced, 17 year old girl living the life of a teenager. The high school drama, the stress, and the downfalls. She's familiar with it all. But Cindi is forced to change her ways when she and her parents have to move to a different country because of her father's business. South Korea; the land where idols roam. The idea of meeting all of her favorite ones blew her mind. Would her dreams come true the way she expected them to?

The snow fell slowly, delicately outside the window as a girl named Cindi Chen sat at the small desk in her new room, watching the frozen flakes flutter to the ground. She was already experiencing her first snow since she had arrived in Seoul two days ago. All the worries she had when she first arrived disappeared that morning when she woke up to a thin layer of white covering the ground outside. The fears of not being able to fit in at her new school, her language skills, how she would make new friends; they were all gone for the moment as she watched the cold white things fall from the sky.

A small smile danced on Cindi’s face without her even knowing it. It was like the snow was cooling her mind, even from the inside of the warm place she would now call “home”. Sadly, her peace of mind was broken when her mother called from downstairs.

“Cindi, sweetie, have you finished unpacking yet? Your father and I would like to get all of the boxes put away before tonight.”

Cindi bit the inside of her cheek, tearing her eyes from the window to look around her room. There were still a few boxes filled with her clothes and other objects. It wasn’t that she had no time to put them away, she was just simply too lazy to put all of her stuff away in one day. After debating for a moment of whether she should actually finish now or later, she figured she should give a response to her mother.

“Uhm… I’m almost done, mom. I just have a few more boxes to unpack. I’ll be down with them before dinner!” She replied trying to sound less tired than she actually was.

Truth be told, the jetlag from the plane hadn’t yet gone away. She knew that it would take a few days for her to get used to the time difference, but it was agonizing. She would go to sleep early in the morning then wake up in the afternoon. She knew she would get used to it eventually, but she felt exhausted.

With a quiet complaining sigh, she started for the boxes that hadn’t been emptied yet. She put away shirt after shirt, scarf after scarf, and every other material until there was one box left; the memorable items from her hometown. Cindi’s eyes began to water just slightly as she removed the pictures of her best friends and old friendship bracelets from the box, putting them in a place where she could see them every day.

After a good half hour, she had finally finished putting the rest of her belongings away. Cindi looked around her room with a satisfied smile before picking up the boxes and taking them downstairs. Halfway through the living room, she could smell the delicious aroma of her mother’s cooking.

After putting the boxes down by the front door, she walked into the kitchen. “What are we having for dinner? It smells yummy,” Cindi said with a smile.

Her mother turned briefly and smiled back at her daughter. “We’re having a Korean dish tonight, just to get into the feel of a traditional dinner. It’s called ‘Japchae’.”

“’Japchae’,” Cindi repeated slowly, trying to make sense of the foreign word she was supposed to have learned when she was studying the new language. She pursed her lips in thought as she sat at the table in the middle of the kitchen. “That supposed to be a side-dish for a special occasion, right?”

“So you have been studying!” Her father interrupted as he walked into the kitchen. “I was beginning to think that you were slacking off.”

Cindi rolled her eyes. “Now dad, you know it’s been my dream to be here. Why would I slack on learning the language I have always wanted to be able to speak?”

Her father laughed. “I guess you’re right. Anyway, let’s eat up quickly. You have a long day tomorrow since you’ll be starting school.”

“Yeah, I know,” she replied nonchalantly as her mother brought the food to the table. Of course she knew it would be a long day. It would be the beginning of her new life in Seoul. But being reminded of it only bothered her more than it already had. Having to make new friends, trying to fit in, attempting to understand the teachers that would be speaking the language fluently; it’s all she thought about.

Cindi sighed inwardly and began eating. Her father, noticing her stressed expression, put down his eating utensils and frowned. "Is something wrong?"

"Hm?" Cindi glanced up at her father while some noodles hung astray from her lips momentarily. Shaking her head, she quickly tried to dismiss the matter. "No, nothing's wrong, Dad."

Her father sighed this time as he crossed his arms over his chest, speaking in a slightly more demanding voice. "Cindi, I can tell when something's on your mind. Spill it."

Cindi, understanding her father's tone, put her utensils down as well. Resting her hands in her lap, she proceeded to tell her parents of the pressures she was feeling. When she finished telling them everything, she looked at her parents, surprised to see a warm smile on both of their faces.

"Goodness," her mother chuckled. "It's perfectly normal to be nervous, dear. Your father and I are just as nervous as you are about all of this. It's new to all of us, so of course it's going to take a while to get used to. We've only been here a few days. Give it some time, okay?"

She smiled while her father nodded. "Your mom is right. You're such a bright young girl... I'm sure you'll fit right in with everyone else at school."

Cindi nodded, appreciating her parents for the support they were giving her. "Thanks guys, really."

At that, she quickly finished her meal, kissed her parents’ cheeks, and headed back up to her room.

After changing into her pajamas, she stared out of the window one last time, watching the snow fall as it had been. A small smile danced on her lips as she turned off the light and slipped into her bed.

She stared up at the ceiling for a few seconds, wondering whether this was all just a big dream, or if it was actually reality. Cindi decided to pinch herself just to make sure, wincing in slight pain.

At that moment, she smiled the biggest smile of the day. It was reality. The house, the snow, the food, her bedroom, the place; it was all real. Nothing less, nothing more. And with that final thought, Cindi slipped off into dreamland with a peaceful smile on her face.

The End

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