Dark Winter

Dark Winter

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks Mom

Dark Winter

Are we not like two volumes of one book?
~Marceline Desbordes-Valmore

I opened my eyes, only to see darkness. A cool whisper of wind drifted through my window. All was dark in my bedroom, except for my windowsill that was illuminated by a soft outdoor light. The black sky was decorated with snowflakes, each drifting toward the cold, waiting ground. Silence touched every corner of my room. Dawn was yet to come, so I decided to go and make myself a cup of hot chocolate. As the water boiled, I gazed out the kitchen window and quietly said, “Winter truly is my favorite season.” I pressed my hand up against the frosty window. I poured the steaming water into my mug, along with a teaspoon of cocoa powder. I caught a final glance of my handprint as I dragged my feet along the cold tile floor toward my front door. I turned the metal knob, and took a step onto the damp, wooden porch.

A brisk current of wind pushed against my cheek. I sat down on the shining black bench, curving my neck backwards to stare at the stars. Their silvery glow reflected off my driveway’s pavement. The bitter cold nipped at my ankles, but I didn’t mind. Here, in this moonlit moment, I had no one to impress. The echoing stress that once filled my mind had drifted away, into the depths of the sky. I finished my hot chocolate and tiptoed back inside so as not to wake anyone.

To my surprise, my mom walked out of the kitchen, passing me by as I headed for the dishwasher to put away my mug. As she passed me, she shot a fierce beam of happiness straight from her eyes to mine, with the corners of her mouth pulling upwards. It was a short stare of hope and love, the kind you can’t fake. I looked upwards to the kitchen window, and saw a second handprint, slightly larger than mine, placed beside the one I had made minutes earlier. Together, the two handprints started to fade into the dark night.

~Lucas Youmans, age 14

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