Snow Day Hat Struggle

January 13, 2009
By Austina Towle, Orange, MA

Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.
The vastly annoying alarm broke into my sleep, harshly calling me from my rather nice dream into reality. I smacked the clock once or twice in drowsy attempts to silence it and finally found the off switch to the alarm. No snooze button for me, I was not going to listen to that stupid alarm again today, I hated that sound but had no choice if I wanted to roll out of bed anywhere close to "on time." I lifted my head from the soft pillow to glance blearily out my window. Snow! They had to cancel school today; it was coming down fast.
"Reina!" my mother called up the stairs to me.
"What?!" I replied, waiting, in my warm, cozy bed for an answer.
"The school just called! You have a snow day today! I'm still going to work, they need me, behave yourself."
"Yessssss." I hissed triumphantly to myself, glad for the day to get some extra rest. I'd stayed up until about three in the morning trying to get that sketch I'd been working on just right. Then there was all of that math work I was trying to cram in before our big test. The words "Snow Day" were music to my tired ears.
"I'll be fine mom! Love you!" I yelled back down to her, not even waiting to hear her leave to let my head hit the pillow again. I was dead to the world once again before she was out of the driveway.
The next time I looked at my clock, it was one thirty seven in the afternoon. That figures I thought to myself. Reluctantly, I pulled back the warm blankets and let the chilly air of the room reach my skin. I pulled off the fuzzy pink blanket I had on my bed and wrapped it around my shoulders like a shawl to keep me warm as I trod downstairs to fix myself something warm to drink.
Hot cocoa in hand, I curl up in the armchair by the window to watch the snow fall while I try to wake myself up. It looks as though a month's worth of snow is pouring out from the grey clouds. We don't usually get this much snow so early in December. It was the first really big snowfall of the season and it was beautiful. We'd gotten snow by the time of my birthday of course, which had been the first of this month, but this was ten times the amount we'd gotten then.
I was stirred from my content daze by the ringing of the telephone.
"Oh Hey Reina! You're finally awake? I tried calling earlier but no one answered, I figured you hadn't heard the phone."
"Oh hey Tom, yeah I just got up."
It was Tom, my best friend, who lived just down the street, why he hadn't just come and jumped on my bed like he so often likes to do was beyond me. He was probably afraid I'd scream at him for waking me up like I had the last time. I'd chased him around the house, cornering him in the bathroom and shoving him into the shower, turned on the water. He'd had to borrow some of my older brother's clothes to wear that day, and his own clothes were still sitting, now dry, clean, and folded, on the laundry room table.
"Do you want to hang out today?" he asked "I need to get out of this house before I go stir crazy."
I laughed and said, "Sure! but let me get dressed first, I'm still in my pj's."
"Okay! Thanks, see you soon." and he hung up.
He hated being home alone, he got so bored too easily.
I dashed upstairs to put on some jeans and a black t-shirt, throwing on my favorite sweatshirt on over it and slid my feet into a pair of sneakers. I pulled my hair back, not caring how messy it was, and was back downstairs in time to hear a knock at the door.
I opened it to receive a snowball directly to my face.
"I'm so going to get you for that!" I yelled out into the cold air, looking all over for my friend. Upon spotting him I dashed out onto the porch, slamming the door behind me, and I pursued him with retaliation in mind as I slipped on the ice that had crusted over the snow during the night.
Laying on my back, I heard the laughter I knew all to well as Tom's and immediately scrambled off the frozen ground to continue the chase, only with much more caution.
Standing in the back yard, catching my breath I looked up at one of the leafless trees and saw that icicles were hanging from each branch and twig. It was beautiful, shining as though it had been dipped in crystal.
Another snowball flew past my ear and hit the tree I was facing, causing a few icicles to rain down on me.
"TOM!" I yelled, whirling around to find he wasn't there.
Sometimes I'd almost swear that boy is secretly a ninja or something.
A force suddenly knocked me to the ground, knocking the breath out of me completely and forced me back onto the ice cold ground.
Or maybe I'm just slow. I grumbled to myself internally.
We'd broken through the icy coating on the snow and were now lying in a freezing cold pile of it.
I looked up at him, scowling, "You are SO going to get it mister!" and without giving him a chance to react, grabbed his collar and shoved his face into the snow.
The cap he always wore came off in the struggle and was lost to the cold as he struggled against my hold. I wasn't quite as strong as he was though, and my grip began to slip. The moment he felt a little slack in the hold I had on him, he wrenched free, tackling me to the ground and returning the favor. We fought aggressively, each trying to top the other's torture, until our clothes were soaked through with the cold. We soon decided we were sufficiently frozen enough to go inside and try to thaw out.
We both ran for the heater the moment we burst through the door, trying to warm up before even attempting to change into dry clothes. I put the kettle on the stove and ran up stairs to hunt down something dry to put on.
"Oh hey Tom!" I yelled down the stairs. "If you check the laundry room I think you might find some dry clothes of yours."
"Gotcha!" he replied.
I decided upon putting on some fleece pajamas, to warm myself up, and ran back down the stairs when I heard the kettle whistle. I almost ran into Tom, who was exiting the laundry room, for some reason, shirtless.
The view isn't too bad, I thought to myself, upon seeing his abs, then immediately chastised myself for thinking of my best friend like that. I hadn't really thought of him in that way before and there was no reason why I should start now.
A distressed expression on his face, he asked, "Have you seen my hat?!"
That stupid hat, what was it with boys and things like that? I mean its a hat for crying out loud. He was however, attached to the thing and if that was what kept him in his usual good mood, I felt obligated to help him find it.
He bit his lip worriedly, waiting for my reply, He was so cute when he did- no don't even go there girl.
"I think it fell off when I was giving you that white wash...." I said, ignoring the thought I'd just had, what was wrong with me?
"Come on, lets go find it." I finished and he started to follow me out the door but I stopped him.
"Hang on bub, go get a shirt on, you'll freeze your arms off or something if you don't."
I waited for him to do so then dashed outside to find the damn hat as quickly as I could so I'd be able to get back inside where it was warm. We searched through the snow and I found it. His back was to me when he asked, "Did you find it yet?"
"Nope," I lied smugly, placing the cap on my head.
He turned around, knowing my tone of voice, and suspecting something was up, and I booked it for the house as he began to chase after me, and his precious hat.
I'd forgotten about the ice and slipped brilliantly, mere steps from the door. Tom tried to stop short but fell too, landing near me, on the ice.
"So much for my dry clothes." I muttered and we both laughed.
"Oy!" he said suddenly, "Gimme my hat back!"
"Nope!" I retorted, taking it swiftly off my head and shoving it under my body so he couldn't get to it.
"Hey!" He whined, jumping on top of me, tickling me to try and free his hat. I squirmed and screamed on the cold ground, refusing to relinquish and let him have the ridiculous hat. I hated being tickled and he knew it. He scowled at me fiercely but then his look softened as I stuck out my tongue. He smiled, making is beautiful eyes sparkle and he leaned in closer -catching me off guard -and kissed me.
After a moment we broke apart, both wearing stunned expressions on our faces.
I was still trying to figure out where that had come from and I guess he was as well; considering the silence that hung in the air between us. It was shattered when he smiled down at me and asked,
"Can I please have my hat back now?"

The author's comments:
This piece is just a short story from my Creative Writing class. We were given a list of words about snow and had to write about what they made us think of. we then had to take the parts and combine them with a partner's part. My partner was a Russian foreign exchange student and my friend. We brainstormed together and she then asked me to write the piece since English is not her native language. I happily obliged and the end result was this story. I hope you enjoy it.

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