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A Winter Wonderland
Every day I would wake up and look outside to see if it had snowed. It never did. Where I lived, the temperature was always 65 degrees, but I would check outside, just in case. After looking outside, I would go to the family library and look at books with pictures of snow. It was through these books that I created the fantasy of a Wonderland. The city would be covered in untouched snow, my parents would be there, and the world would pause for a moment as the frozen crystals fell from the sky.
I used to dream of my wonderland all the time, when father would leave, when school got boring, when mom would cry, my imaginary world brought me happiness. My father was a traveling salesman and would always tell stories to me about the places he visited. He would describe giant urban cities with thousands of people packed into skyscrapers, and the snow-covered mountains that would surround those cities. I adored him, his stories seemed like grand adventures and I was convinced he was a superhero.
One day, when father was gone on another trip, I decided that I would find my own Wonderland. I packed a small backpack with some food and went to get my bike. I went to the garage, mounted my bike, and set off. I pedaled until I reached the next town, where I found no snow, so I took a right to avoid the highway and kept going. I then took a left at an old looking high school and continued riding through towns until night fell. Suddenly, I realized I had made one too many turns off the main road. I was hopelessly lost and did not know how to get home, it was too dark for me to see and there was no way I could continue without danger of being hit. I felt stupid. I had spent the whole day looking for something I wasn’t even sure I could find. I hadn’t planned out a route, I didn’t have any reflective gear, and I didn’t even have a helmet.
I began to turn around when a police officer stopped me and asked me why I was out so late all alone. I explained my situation to the officer and felt like I had made a huge mistake. It seemed like I had been chasing something I would never be able to find.
The police officer made me call my mom, and she came to pick me up. It turns out I had managed to go through multiple towns on my bike over the course of that day. My mom brought me home, told me not to leave the town again, and yelled at me for skipping school. As my mom yelled, I realized how stupid I was for thinking all my problems would be solved by finding snow. When we got home, I went to my room and Mom went to call Dad to inform him of my antics.
After that day, I stopped searching for snow and moved on. I gave up on the idea of a wonderland and got back to reality. Even if I had found snow, it wouldn’t have fixed anything. Dad would still be sick and Mom would still be sad. I was in high school now, it was time to let go of my imaginary world. There was no snow and there never would be. I had to accept that. It was just a stupid idea in the first place.
A few years passed and my father had fallen ill on a business trip. I had forgotten all about my dreams of snow and became interested in sports. I spent all my time working out and playing basketball, and I stopped spending as much time with my father as basketball took over my life. I dreamed of going to college. I knew that the only way I was going to be able to afford college was through basketball. Over the years my father’s medical expenses were racking up. If I wanted a scholarship, I had to devote all my energy to basketball.
My mom and I flew out to see my dad as he lay sick in the hospital. When I arrived, it was freezing. I had never experienced cold like this before and was immediately hit with a wave of discomfort as the cold stung on my skin. My mom rushed to speak with the doctor, they spoke in whispers, careful not to speak too loudly in fear that I might hear. As I held my father’s hand, I looked out the window to see snowflakes falling.
I looked at my father in amazement. I had dreamed of seeing the snow fall with my father, but that was a long time ago. I had never imagined it would happen.
“I guess you shouldn’t give up on something because it seems impossible.” My father whispered. He squeezed my hand as he closed his eyes. I stayed with my father, watching the crystals fall from the sky and blanket the world around me. My Wonderland had been created, right there in that hospital room.
A few minutes later my mother came in, her eyes red, as if she had just finished crying. The doctor came in after, with a painfully blank face. I had never felt so scared in my entire life, it was as if the doctor held my father’s fate in his hands. Whatever words would come next, would determine my father’s future.
The doctor gently shook my father awake. I looked at my mother and braced myself for what was to come. Once my father was fully awake, the doctor paused, checked his notes once more, and explained that the biopsy results had come back negative. My father was officially in remission. I smiled as my mother grabbed my father’s hand. Together, we all sat around the hospital room staring out at the Wonderland outside.