A Writer's Journey

December 25, 2012

A Christmas Snow Fall

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 5:06 am
Tags: , , ,

Merry Christmas! Or whatever winter holiday you celebrate!

It was another late night. I knew this when I took the job, but it didn’t mean I wasn’t tired. All I wanted was a day where I left at a normal time. Returned home at a normal time. Ate dinner at a normal time. Watched my shows at their scheduled time. Not save them until a weekend marathon.

Stepping out onto the almost empty street, I looked up. The sky was dark and the lights from the city blocked out the stars. I wished I could see them; they might be comforting. A reminder of the home I missed so much. Stars filled the night sky like diamonds there.

It also would’ve been snowing by now back home. We always had white Christmases. Not here. It didn’t get cold enough for the rain to freeze. While I didn’t have to worry about ice, I still missed the snow.

Returning home, I glanced up at all the decorations. Lights twinkled in different colors—reds, greens, whites, blues, and others. Santas, snowmen, reindeer, elves all watched my journey home. It should’ve been creepy but it felt comforting. Christmas was coming.

And I was probably going to have to work on it. It was almost guaranteed with the way things were going. My family wasn’t going to like it. They thought work ate my life anyway. This was going to be another reason for them to try and get me to quit.

Maybe I should. The pay wasn’t worth all these late nights. And missed family outings. And the dark circles under my eyes.

I shook my head. These thoughts weren’t good. While the economy was starting to improve, the job market was still tough. I didn’t need to be jobless at this time. And not over my petty complaints. With a sigh, I entered my apartment.

Dinner was another microwavable meal. I had no energy to cook. All I could do was sit in front of my TV and eat. Some show was on but I didn’t care much. It was only background noise and the flickering lights allowed my brain to shut down.

My meal complete, I browsed through the mail. Bills, mostly. I threw them aside; I could deal with them tomorrow. Lying down on the couch, I watched the nightly news. Accidents, murders, robberies, and more bad news littered the broadcast. If I wasn’t too tired to care, I’d have been upset. All I cared about now was the weather report, jumping in the shower and going to bed.

At last, the weather came on. The weatherman must bleach his teeth for they were extremely white. “The weather is going to get colder as we experience some artic chills. As we approach Christmas, there is a storm moving in. We may see a few flurries.”

“So, we could have a white Christmas?” one anchor asked.

The weatherman shook his head. “The chance of the flurries sticking is slim. No white Christmas, I’m afraid.”

After this announcement, the anchors bantered a bit before launching in to the soft piece to conclude the newscast. I turned off the TV and continued to get ready for bed.

Work the next day was tedious, as usual. But as the afternoon dragged on, the place took on a buzz of excitement. I stuck my head out of my cubicle to talk to my neighbor, James. “What’s going on?”

He leaned out. “Weather reports think the storm around Christmas is going to be worse than expected. People think we’re in for a lot of snow!”

“Really? We’ll probably still be expected to work.”

“We do get Christmas off. Everyone’s now trying to get their work done sooner so they can get out of town before the snow.”

I raised an eyebrow. “Is that even possible?”

James smiled. “We’ll have to see.”

Getting out at a decent time, I was able to do some Christmas shopping in case I was able to see my family. It was still unlikely in my opinion. But it was better to be safe than sorry. Most likely, I was going to end up mailing it to them.

Rushing down a city street, bags clutched in my hands, I noticed it was colder than before. I regretted not having a scarf or hat. Or gloves. My fingers were starting to freeze in the curled position. And my toes were starting to go numb. Time to call it a night, I decided.

I was able to make myself dinner once I returned to my apartment. Some pasta and a chicken cutlet. Heat filled my kitchen, warming me. Perhaps I’d make some cookies afterwards. Christmas was still coming and the only way to celebrate was with some pastries.

As I frosted the cookies, the TV was tuned to some Christmas special I always watched as a child. Everything about this night reminded me of my childhood. The smell of baking cookies. The sound of Christmas carols. The sight of my Christmas tree, tiny as it was, light up in different colors. Joy filled me for the first time in months.

The cookies done and myself freshly showered, I settled in for the evening news. I had chosen my warmest pajamas, coincidently a seasonal red, to wear to bed that night. After the shower, I prepared a cup of hot chocolate complete with marshmallows and whipped cream. Two cookies sat on a plate on my coffee table. My hot chocolate cooled as I munched on a third cookie.

By the time the weather came on, my hot chocolate was half drunk and only half a cookie remained. The weatherman didn’t have his usual smile on. His suit jacket was abandoned and his shirt sleeves were rolled up.

“Well, folks,” he started, “things are looking worse than I thought. We’ve seen a dip in temperatures and the storm is growing stronger each day. All our models predict snow and lots of it.

“Now, folks, I’m not saying we’re going to have a blizzard. But we will see some snow and maybe lots of it. So you should stock up and prepare for a very white Christmas.”

Finishing my cookie and cocoa, I turned off the TV. Remembering the rushes on stores back home when snow was predicted, I knew tomorrow was going to be chaos.

I was right. As I walked to work the next morning, several stores held signs saying they were out of bread, milk and water. The essentials in an emergency. People hurried about, whispering about which stores still held their needed supplies. I shook my head as I entered my building.

The snow began to fall about noon.  One tiny white flake dancing about the wind. We all stopped to watch its descent. I was powering down my computer for the office holiday party. Hope and joy sprung up in me. It felt like Christmas at last.

As the party began to wind down, I was pleasantly buzzed. Enough to not mind the endless amount of pictures Margie in Accounting had of her children. I suspected people kept giving me alcohol in hopes I would keep Margie entertained all afternoon. Her latest story was interrupted when the boss stood up to address us.

“I want to thank everyone for a great year. We’ve had our ups and downs but we’ve pulled through. Now, I know you’ve been eyeing the snow falling outside. So I’m going to let everyone go. See you in the New Year!” He raised his glass and we toasted back.

I think I won the Great Race Out of the Building, James and Margie from Accounting on my heels. The snow was still only flurries, but I knew this was just the calm before the storm. My window to get out of the city was growing shorter.

Within an hour of leaving work, I was exiting a cab at the train station. Lugging my bags behind me, I hurried inside the building. The snow was starting to come down a bit heavier, though not enough for me to worry about delays. Flakes stuck to my eyelashes and I blinked them away, opening the door.

People milled about, bags cluttering the walkways. I weaved through the obstacles, determined to find my track. Stopping to check the schedule, I was happy to see my train was still set to depart on time. Lugging my bags behind me, I would not be happy until I was sitting on the train and it was moving. Then, perhaps, the butterflies would calm down.

As the train left the city boundaries, my nerves stayed behind. I felt free and light as a feather. Snow blew past my window, swirling in the breeze caused by the train. The heat was on full blast inside and I felt my eyelids slowly close.

When I next opened them, the sky outside was dark. It made the snow stand out more. Lifting up my head…There was someone sitting next to me. Someone whose shoulder I had been napping on.

“Sleeping Beauty awakes.” A male someone, even better.

I turned, grimacing. “So sorry,” I apologized.

He smiled, blue eyes lighting up. “No need to apologize. It’s not every day I have a beautiful woman sleeping on my shoulder.”

Heat spread through my face as I smiled. We struck up a conversation, realizing we had grown up in the same town—our final destination. Time flew and to my disappointed, we were soon at our station.

Disembarking, we exchanged numbers and promises to meet up while we were still in town. We separated to join up with our own families. As mine enveloped me in hugs, the snow continued to fall. How much can change with the weather!

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