Cold Winter

January 5, 2014
A season ago, I looked in the icy lake for my little diamond stud and instead saw my reflection glaring back at me, with distorted figuration and taut eyes. I still had the blue face. As I poked the reflection, the ripples of that once clear blue water amazed me at a time where I never saw drawings so graceful on the water before. I swam in that lake earlier that season, with chills in the air that my body couldn’t bear, but Jay begged to go. That’s when my hair got tangled with my earlobe when I was underwater; my lips carefully carved to meet Jay’s.

I went ice skating last week because the lake had become ice. I was sad. So many kids skated and the snow was melting. I saw my little brother hug the wall, afraid of letting go, afraid of independence, afraid of leaving skid marks across the ice and slicing pureness. The strong, sturdy red leaves were gone and there was a taste of loneliness in the sky. The frozen lake became bluer than the sky.

“Please, Sammy, can we leave? I’m scared I’ll fall,” whined my little brother. I sighed and got him out, but he fell once the skates on him left the slippery surface of the frozen lake.

As I was driving my little brother back home, I started thinking about what happened the day after Jay and I swam in the lake. There were no houses or stores where I was walking. There was a traffic light that was red. I just wanted to cross the road. How hard was that? The trees seemed browner and there was still light shining from the sun, despite it being past six o’clock. It was a white, beautiful day. A white day with daisies sprouting from the ground. An old white van was charging toward me, but I didn’t realize. Because I know that only Jay drives an old white van and he was a careful driver. The wheel swerved and knocked me into the auburn bark, and of all the things I could have been thinking, I thought of why I was wet when the car hit me.

The next day, it was raining. I got a phone call from Jay’s mother. She apologized and said that Jay hadn’t meant to hit me. That Jay was unconscious when he was on the wheel and he didn’t see me. My little brother didn’t believe the apology. Neither did my mother. But I wasn’t the one who died. I took the apology for granted knowing that Jay would have never have even tried. From his eyes, I imagined that the glass fogged up and he couldn’t tell ground from the heavens.

I returned to the frozen lake, sitting on the bench. The clouds grumbled and thunder roared so loud that I thought the sky would shatter. I was soaked now. Jay’s mother had also mentioned that Jay ran into the lake before he hit me.

Out of the corner of my eye, a gleam of sparkle shined on the frozen lake. I found it. Locked in ice, it will always be a token of my time with Jay, and a reminder of the emptiness that is now in the air. The trees smelled like fresh grass from the rain, and I wondered if the firmament had sent a sign now that it was nearing spring.

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