Frozen Fingertips

I stare down at my fingertips that ache from arthritis. They always get like this when it's bitter cold out. I glance at my fragile nails, long and thin and slightly broken. No nail polish, no French manicure. My hands are dry, even after all the moisturizers and sanitizers I'd used daily to try to improve their condition. I notice just how pale they are compared to everyone else's. They were no longer white or flesh colored, as they usually were, but a pale pink from the wind. There was a school ring on the left hand, on my ring finger, because the other was occupied by a ring I had gotten in the Bahamas. They were both very dear to me. But I wasn't much for jewelry. I trace the palm lines on my right hand with my left index finger, wondering if I had "long life lines." What would the palm reader say? I glare at the wrinkles and the imperfections as my hands shake from my hypoglycemia. I needed sugar; I hadn't eaten since that morning. It was already past lunch. I made a fist, look at the back of my worn hands, and stare at the veins of a purple color that curve in spider web-like strings, easy to see through my light skin. I look closer still, noticing the few freckles that dot my fingers and palm here and there. After all, my face was full of them. I put both of my hands together, feeling the chill from the cold air, and try to warm them. My linked fingers remind me of a boy. The only one who'd ever cared enough to hold my hand, to let me be myself. I relax the clenched fingers, for the nails had been pushing into the skin on the back of my hands without my noticing. I was just a bit frustrated was all. So instead, I look at my neighbor's hands, a young girl walking by. She kept hers delicate and smooth and had manicured tips from what I could tell. She obviously had that kind of money and that kind of time. I look back at my outstretched fingers, and think of all of the necklaces and bracelets I've made. The things I've written or drawn with these fingers. The people I've challenged in rock paper scissors. The cuts and bruises I'd gotten from scrap booking. I think of how someone's hands can tell you all you need to know about them. I smile easily, silently, without realizing. I appreciated these hands that God had given me. These hands, which, someday, would find another just as unique to hold.