It was never cold in California.
It never was. California was always sunny; a balmy 80 degrees. Everyone knew that the weather hardly changed. It was sun after sun after sun. Except for a few thunderstorms that swept through the state. Those were only a few times a year.
Everyone was used to it.
When the cold whooshed in, everyone froze. Actually froze. They were amazed by the numbing sensation that ran over their skin. It was something that they never felt before. It felt cool.
It felt refreshing.
Everyone loved the cold so much that they hoped that it would pass over them again in the future. And it did. During the first 3 months of every new year.
The cold was a gift, everyone says. A gift that gave them a new experience from what actually happens every day.
But to some people, the cold was seen as something different.
The cold was seen as a distraction.
Eve did not like the cold.
She was one of those people that hated cold in general. She never raised up the air conditioner when the heat reached record temperatures, she never took cold showers, and she never went to a pool after 3:00.
She did not like it at all.
So when that first blast of cold swept through California, Eve made sure to stay away from it. She took precautions to make sure that the cold never touched her skin.
Walking around her neighborhood to get to school, she thought about the day where her car would be out of the shop and she could raise the heater to its highest. Slowly, but surely, the day was coming.
She saw the high school in the distance. The state and national flag were flapping
in the breeze and clanking against the pole. Instead of walking to the front of the school, she walked around the side, going to the football field.
She saw that the gate was open slightly. She squeezed through the barely-open gates and walked down the side of the field, towards the bleachers.
She walked up the stairs of the bleachers. She turned her head to the right to see if a teacher noticed her, but she saw people walking into school. She pulled her backpack off her shoulders and sat down.
The cold seat seeped into her jeans. Eve rubbed her hands against her legs to heat them. Once she was done, she opened her backpack and grabbed her journal. The soft, velvet cover felt warm against her fingers as she placed the journal on her lap and opened it up.
Pages and pages were covered by stories or drawings. As Eve flipped through the pages, she noticed the newer drawings. The drawings that seemed to haunt her.
She found a nice, clean page and stared at the latest drawing. A drawing of a village. The village had about 7 huts surrounding a fire pit.
The village was something she dreamt about. She had no idea what it meant, so she picked up the pen that was stuck in between the middle of the pages and started to write.
The 10-minute warning bell struck her out of her thoughts. She placed the pen back in the journal and closed it. She placed the journal in the backpack and stood up, rubbing a hand over her jeans and walking down the bleachers.
As she got close to the school, she noticed everyone walking towards the school gates. The principal was outside greeting everyone, and people were gathered around friends.
She noticed a group of people wearing all black hanging out by a door. A guy with long hair waved at her.
She waved back and walked into the school building, zipping up her jacket. The school had the air conditioner blasting.
As she walked towards her class, she looked down at the floor and listened to people’s conversations. Everyone seemed to be talking about how the new album sounded from the what’s-his-face- rapper,or about how one girl saw her boyfriend hanging out with another girl at the mall.
These conversations seemed interesting, but she knew that nobody would ask her opinion about it. Nobody would even talk to her.
She walked into her history class and walked to the desk in the back of the class. Her seat, her solitude. She opened her backpack again and grabbed her journal. She also grabbed her earbuds that were buried deep in the pocket. She plugged them into her phone and pressed the play button on the earbuds. The song that she was listening to last night continued to play.
The five-minute warning bell rung and people started to walk into class. She would glance up at time to time to watch people sit down, walk over to friends and continue conversations.
Eve moved the journal so it was leaning against the top of the desk, hiding its contents from everyone. She continued to write about the huts when the bell rung, signaling school to begin.
She took out one earbud from her ear, and looked up at the teacher, pretending to be interested in whatever topic the teacher was rambling about. She tried to concentrate, but her mind would drift between two subjects.
The huts and the cold.