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Temperature Changes This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     The winters at my father’s house were always cold. I would shiver unless I wore layers of clothing and curled up to keep warm. My father was bent on saving money, and rarely turned on the heat. I would be filled with joy if I came home to find the posters on my wall billowing slightly because it meant the heat was on. Regardless of any previous plans, I would plant myself on the vent with a book in hand. My numb fingers and chilled bones would thaw out, almost painfully.

I became somewhat addicted to this all-consuming warmth, which always left me smiling. I always found warmth comforting. Whenever I was warm, I felt loved, yet lazy. Whenever I was cold, I felt aware of my surroundings, and alone. I knew, even then, that I was more alive in undesirable situations, more aware of who I was and what I wanted, but purely because I did not have it.

I found warmth in different places as I grew, anywhere I would see a small child smile, lying on the couch with a friend, or sitting by the fireplace at my mother’s. I still experienced the cold, taking out trash Wednesday nights at my mother’s house, making idle conversation with the moon. I remember the cold memories vividly, and can assure you no matter what I told the moon, she never replied. The warm memories are pleasant, but fuzzy. I do not recall every book I read on the vent in my room, but I remember drifting slowly, trying to stay awake.

The warmth I felt in my love’s arms is the one I cherish the most. Like sitting on the vent, I would drift off to sleep cuddled next to him, and feel love from the warmth I found in him. His warmth is the one I remember most vividly, slowly looking up at his smile.

But my love was lost along with my warmth, just like how my vent turned off after a certain amount of time. It was no one’s fault, but losing him was the beginning of another cold spell for me. Just like his warmth was the best, the coldness he left was the worst. But life without love is nothing and life without pain is not appreciated. Again, I understood more about who I was and what I wanted in the cold.

I still find warmth in odd places, and if I’m lonely, I sometimes talk to the moon. I have learned to enjoy sitting under the moon, lying in the grass, feeling the cold. I enjoy thinking about who I am and what matters. But only because I know when I go inside, I can sit on top of my vent ... if the heat’s on.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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