December 22, 2011
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Amedee sat down heavily in the plastic lawn chair. The sun was setting and the view wasn’t anything spectacular; it was the backyard and some shrubs and the sheds, the back of someone else’s house and the dying grass. Amedee’s coat was drawn up tight, and she had a plaid scarf covering her mouth so that she wouldn’t breathe in too much cold air. The girl sitting across from her did the same. The pair sat in silence and stared out over the neighborhood, as the sun sunk below the line of trees outlining the forest and hiding the highway. As it got darker, a few dogs barked. Amedee lifted her arm to tug the scarf down away from her mouth and spoke.

“Why do we do zis, even in winter?”

The girl sitting across from her in a buttoned-up pea coat and mittens said, “Do what?”

“Seet out ‘ere, in ze cold. Je n’aime pas cela.”

“I don’t know. I’ve never thought of a reason not to. Never thought about it.” The other girl, with straight blonde hair raked up on top of her head answered, and she didn’t even shiver as she peeled off her wool mittens. She stretched out her fingers. “Don’t you like sitting here? The sunset’s always pretty. Magnifique.” The blond said the foreign word with a matter-of-a-fact tone.

Amedee nodded. “Eet would be much prettier back home. Zere, father’s home in zee South. No other people for miles… Zee sky goes on forever.”

“You can see lots of stars?”

“Every single one of zem, it seems.”

“I’d like that. I’m an Aries. Do you see that constellation?” The blonde leans back into the cold plastic chair, crossing her legs and closing her eyes.

“I don’t pay much attention to zat.”

“Aries is the ram. You don’t see it?”

Amedee shook her head.

“The sign ruler of Aries is Mars.”

Amedee nodded this time.

The blond didn’t share another detail this time, instead quieting down.

Amedee questioned, “What sign am I?”

“When were you born?”

“June ze 27th.”

“Then you’re… a Cancer. The crab.”

“Oh. I have never heard of zat before.”

“It’s pretty interesting to read about. I think your personality should be timid or shy. You like the home.”

“Zee home?”

“Yeah, a husband. And 2.5 kids. And a picket fence. A family dog. Cooking. Being a slave. Dying surrounded by those who loved you most.”

“Those things are fine, yes… What zare Aries supposed to be like?”

“Aries are adventurous. Ambitious and impulsive.”

“You are very impulsive. Why do we sit out ‘ere?"

“You asked me that already. There isn’t a reason not to, right?”

“Eet is cold.”

“We have coats. Some people don’t even have coats.” The blonde took down her bun and shook her hair out. “Some people don’t have mittens, and most importantly, some people don’t have anybody to sit with.”

“We can enjoy each others’ company indoors.”

“But it’s not the same. Here we’re taking full advantage.”

The two sat in silence for a couple more minutes, Amedee shifting once or twice, tugging her gloves further onto her hands, and the other was able to see her breath.

“If you really want, we can sit inside.”

“Zis is fine.”

“Amedee, you don’t really want to get married, do you?”

“Not to him. I want to travel.”

“Then maybe you’re more of an Aries than a Cancer.” The blonde stood up and smiled a rueful smile, holding out her hand to help Amedee stand.

“Maybe.” Amedee said, and looked upward at the sky one last time. “You see Aries zis time of year, don’t you?”

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