What The Darkness Is

August 1, 2016

She woke with an overbearing chill that made parting from her blankets especially hard. She slowly peeled them back from her cold, pale skin, like a snake shedding a layer, letting the crisp air envelop her entirely. Crawling sleepily towards the window at the end of her bed, she reached out her arm in order to lift the shade, which had protected her from the winter morning light, but was now used to wake up her room. She immediately squinted as the window revealed that a fresh layer of snow had fallen, with more in the making. She sat right there at the end of her bed, bringing her knees to her chest, and her chin to her knees, appreciating this often overlooked phenomenon. The tall, intimidating trees carried the extra weight from the snow on their branches. Her childhood swing set was completely camouflaged, besides it's rough, wooden skeleton. Her mother's garden could have been a complete mystery, had she not spent hours in it, weeding, nearly every summer. Everything was clean and everything was pure. Even the subtle tracks from her Father's car, which had fled the shelter of their garage hours earlier, were almost hidden, like he had never even left. In that moment she wondered if those tires would ever roll back over her drive and come home.
She continued to sit there after turning off her 6:42 a.m. alarm. She continued to sit there when her mother called up to her room, saying goodbye without waiting for a response. She continued to sit there as the muffled voices of her brothers asked where their father had gone, and then fumbled down the stairs to catch their mother on her way out. She continued to sit there as they pushed their mother's miniature car through the unplowed driveway as she revved the engine. She continued to sit there when the snowfall became so heavy, she had difficulty seeing two inches outside the window.
She finally moved when her eyes had started to sting from the blinding whiteness, only to come back that night and watch out the same window until the world went black, and the darkness swallowed the honesty of the snow.

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