There was a loud bang and a slight scream and I rolled over, my head pounding. I knew that opening my eyes would be a bad idea, but I wanted to see what was going on. I regretted it as soon as I did and shut my eyes again as fast as I could manage.
"Seriously?" I demanded, reaching around for something to throw over my head. It was then that I realized I was in a car. "Do you have to scream so loud?"
"Sorry," a smooth voice came from next to me, quieter but still too loud. "I just wasn't expecting to wake up in a car, stranded in the middle of nowhere.
I risked opening my eyes again and took a quick look out the window. It was blindingly bright. My eyes snapped shut and I groaned in annoyance. "What is wrong with this world?"
Yvonne giggled and I glared in her general direction. "Here, this will help."
She tossed something at me. It landed on my stomach with a loud slap and I sat up in pain. She giggled some more. I picked up the item she threw at me and realized it was a water bottle. I drank gratefully. My headache lessened only slightly, but my parched mouth was relieved significantly. By the time I was finished drinking, it was almost all the way gone. I tossed it back to Yvonne and then took a better look out the window.
It was still ridiculously bright, but I think that even if I weren't hung over, it would still hurt. There was a fresh blanket of snow covering the ground, sparkling and shining in the bright sun. By the position in the sky, I guessed the time to be about 9 in the morning. I wanted to go back to sleep, but I took a look at the girl sitting next to me and knew that she was going to want to get out and play.
Did that girl ever feel hungover? She was always the one waking me up after an insane night of partying, ready to take on the world. She amazed me.
"What?" she asked, realizing that I was staring at her.
I smiled and shook my head. "Nothing."
"It snowed last night," she said, looking back out the windshield. "Isn't it so beautiful?" She looked at me with a mischievous grin. "Let's go!"
My mouth dropped open, but I didn't have time to remind her that she was barely wearing anything when she threw open the passenger side door and hurled herself into the snow. I cringed for her, imagining the feel of the cold snow against her bare ankles. It was late November, I couldn't imagine what she was thinking when she put on short shorts and a tank. She looked good in the outfit, but she was also going to get sick.
"Yvonne!" I yelled, leaning over to try and grab her arm to pull her back in. I wasn't fast enough and she just laughed back at me. "You're going to get hypothermia and kill yourself."
"Oh, lighten up!" she said, dancing around in the snow. I couldn't believe she could be so happy right now. I, for one, was feeling quite miserable. "Look around! Isn't it beautiful?"
I sat up and got out through the driver's side door, fully intending to grab her, stuff her back in the car, and then leave, but as soon as I got out, I nearly forgot my plan. I didn't recognize where we were, but it was breathtaking. The trees were towering toward the sky, snow precariously dangling off of the limbs, threatening to fall onto my head. The white blanket of snow glistened in the sun, giving the whole place a surreal look. And I noticed for the first time a body of water sitting in front of the car, the edges iced over and the middle not quite there yet. It was amazing and I was stunned into silence. Until I saw Yvonne put her foot on the ice.
"Yvonne," I said, walking purposefully toward her. "You are going to get yourself killed if you go out onto that lake."
She scoffed and gave me a look. "Lake? This is a pond, dummy, and I'm not going to die. Even if I did fall in, which I won't, it can't be deep enough for me to drown.
"You are wearing practically nothing," I pointed out, waving my hand down her body and appreciating it with my eyes along the way. How was she not freezing? "And you could still die of hypothermia if you got wet."
She tested the strength of the ice and gave me a sly look. "I won't die of hypothermia because you're here to warm me up."
Shivers went up my spine and they had nothing to do with the cold seeping through my flimsy t-shirt. I pushed the feelings away, though, and walked to where she was standing. She now had two feet on the ice and it seemed to be holding her up pretty well, but I knew that if she went any further out, she would fall through. And I was heavier than her, so if she ended up getting stuck, I would fall through before getting close enough to help.
"Oh, calm down," she said, noticing the look on my face and getting off the ice. "I'm not stupid. I wasn't going to try and walk to the middle of the pond."
I watched her face and determined that she was telling the truth. Still, Yvonne was unpredictable and tended to do exactly the opposite of what I expected her to do. It was always safer for the both of us if I assumed she was going to do something stupid.
"Ok," I said, holding out my hand. "Can we go now?"
She looked away from me and into the sky, taking a deep breath and then closing her eyes. "Can't we just take a minute and enjoy this?" she asked quietly. "We're all alone in a beautiful wonderland. I want to just relax and not worry about home and all the crap things that come with it."
I sighed, trying to convey my heavy reluctance. "Fine. But only for a few minutes."
She smiled up at the sky, her eyes remaining closed. I watched her, noticing how smooth her skin looked beneath the sun. The freckles that dotted her rosy cheeks stuck out against her pale skin and I couldn't help but want to feel it beneath my fingers. Her eyes fluttered a little, bringing my attention to her eyelashes and the way they framed her eyes perfectly. She was a beautiful girl and I found myself wondering not for the first time why she was here with me.
She opened her eyes and looked at me. Normally I would have been embarrassed to be caught staring, but I didn't care at this point. She smiled at me and I took a few steps toward her, taking one of her cold hands into mine and pulling her toward me. I lightly held her cheek in my other hand and stared into her beautiful grey eyes.
"You're beautiful," I said, running my thumb across her cheek, which was growing warmer by the second. Her smile turned into a grin and my attention was brought to her lips. So, I kissed them.
We stood there for a couple of seconds, kissing next to a frozen pond, in snow that seemed to make an ugly world beautiful and I could help but think about how I was the ugly world and she was the beautiful, life giving snow. She made me better, and I loved her for it. And I made sure she knew it.
Yet another piece of writing from last year that I never got around to posting. As I read these things that have been hidden in last year's collection of ramblings on my 750words account, I wonder why I ever stopped writing. I mean, it's not perfect, but I thought I was worse than what I'm reading. It's kind of hard to believe this came from me.
And I'm starting to think that perhaps I write better in the male POV. I should experiment with it more.
Just in case you were interested, I listened to Chicago by Sufjan Stevens on repeat while editing this and I think it kind of fits well with the story. Thanks for reading.