Winter With Auntie This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   The day was like any other day, alive and singing its praises. My body shimmied into its cheerful clothes, ready to begin. I felt the outdoors calling my name and my senses awakened. I glanced outside at the silent snow and ice, thinking of my simple life. Free of all cares, I pleased others with my charm. I fastened my overweight jacket, though it fought the idea of going outside by itching me terribly. I didn't care, because my auntie would soon be here and we would scamper down the hardened old walkway to the car.

Meanwhile, I sat on the tired stiff steps and had a conversation with them. They seemed to find it progressively harder to wake up with each coming morning. Sometimes, they feared that once asleep they would never awaken again. I comforted them with my soothing green mittens, the ones with the Christmas tree design sewn on the palms. I was not impressed with their melancholy attitude on this newborn day. My heart danced a jig to my knocking knees! Excitement filled my whole soul with glee. How dare these ignorant steps try to ruin my disposition!

I hear a low rumble of a car's hungry belly in the distance. Cars are always hungry, no matter how much they are fed. Dust clouds tickle my nose as the car makes my acquaintance. The lump in my throat gives me leave as I greet my auntie. She embraces me with bony, down-covered arms. Her smile speaks for itself; we are ready for something big.

The sharp, glistening blades argue with each other in sparks of fury as I close them in the trunk. Their muffled cries can be heard from the front seat. Auntie takes her sweet old time chatting with Ma - how those women's mouths never tire out! Can't they see that I am tired of waiting? My body is like a volcano, ready to erupt at any second. After their jaws tire, as they always do, their arms wave hearty farewells. My ecstatic heart simmers to a low boil.

The road guides the cranky car along the path to our destination. My bones ache with anticipation. "Soon we will be there," the road whispers to me. A clearing ahead beckons us and we gladly follow it to the pond. A breathless sigh releases itself at the first sight.

The air is crisp, cool and inviting as we depart from the car's cozy interior. The ice shows off its splendor to my bewildered eyes. I hesitantly strap on my new skates. Nervous butterflies swoop and dive in my reluctant stomach. I can tell this is going to be a new challenge for me. Auntie grasps my shaking hand and pulls me toward the unknown surface. My body refuses to move, as if stuck in quick sand. Auntie doesn't give up; she tries once more to bring me to the slick arena. This time my joints waken under her pull and my legs are thrust onto the ice. I'm on the ice - I did it! Before I catch my breath, my legs deceive me and I plummet with a resounding thud!

Once I regain my whereabouts, I am terrified to try again. The ice is not my friend after all. Auntie helps me to my quivering feet and I find myself standing once more on the unstable ice.

"One foot in front of the other," Auntie tells me. Easy for her to say, she's a big girl! Oh well, here goes nothing. One, two, one, two, hey, I'm skating ... whee! I feel so light and free with the wind tugging at my long brown hair. Oh no, something's wrong. Where's Auntie's hand? I glance up and no one is there! Quickly, I turn my frightened head to find her - way behind me! I'm skating alone! I'd better slow down or I'll fall. The newness of this overwhelms me as I come to a jolt at Auntie's feet. She beams at me with reddened cheeks. I grin back and slowly skate off into the distance, going faster by the minute. 1


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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