Four days after a historic snow blizzard that shook the city, Melissa was certain it was only a matter of time before people began to tumble on the ice.
After multiple near-misses, she slid and fell too. Fortunately, she wasn’t hurt – accustomed to falling ever so randomly.
That’s when she felt a gentle squeeze on her arm. “Are you OK?” Tall, slender, with glistening emerald eyes, Nick – as she would soon learn – was genuinely concerned. “May I offer you a hot chocolate to toss off the cold?”
And somehow like that, each day becomes unique, fascinating, and seldom boring.
She woke up with the rejuvenating sensation that all is well in the world, simply because outside it was snowing since the previous night.
For some reason, snow always makes everything seem better.
She was genuinely happy after a long time.
He spooned her into a warm hug though which her optimism diffused into him. And that’s how great ideas – at the spark of a moment – are born; how adventures are concocted.
“Let’s go!” he called as he threw the blanket off them, forcing her to get up and get dressed.
“Promise it’s worth it!” he added.
She thought it was difficult – almost impossible – to find herself in a relationship where there was mutual understanding, shared craziness, and above all, truthfulness. But as they grew and evolved together, they both realised that a person who feels appreciated will always do more than is expected. And most importantly, they would actually act on the words they say. Perhaps that was the most difficult of all these days. Because it’s so easy to say a lot, and fill each other with expectation and dreams; but how often do we take the step to realise them all?
The drive to the wooden cabin up the mountain was majestic. The snowy white blanket acted as a tranquiliser, and they soon forgot about every trouble they had at that moment. For now, all that was important was to enjoy the very moment, away from everything and everyone. It was just them, there, happy. In snow.
They had headed up North for the elections. It was one of the craziest, most irrational, and insane months of the past decade, marred by conflicts, foul language, and political incorrectness at all levels.
But she enjoyed having returned home for the vote. It was a chance for a mini-holiday to a place she knew well. And with people she knew since forever.
All but him.
She bumped into him on a snowy slope, when they were huddling over the best view of the town. She slipped in the snow and fell straight onto him.
“The secret to more is less”. It was a motto written right across the stairs that led to the downstairs room. It was smartly organised as an autonomous studio flat. And for that reason it was very often used as a guestroom. But the best part of it all was that it was the room with the fireplace, and had the wooden logs aptly stored right out the window.
The first winter there was the one they reminded, because it was their first one together.
But it was right there where they realised they wanted to spend all winters together.
He was haunted by his dreams at night. Or anytime he fell asleep really. He couldn’t find comfort in allowing himself to drift off. It scared him. Because of the visions that would appear. They weren’t just disturbing nightmares like he thought at first. They were truths, prophecies waiting to be fulfilled. And he was often helpless at preventing them because they occurred somewhere he knew nothing of, to people he could not even recognise. But the news always proved his dreams were more than that. And he was powerless against them.
When he met her, he was terrified.
He fell in love with her from the minute she laid eyes on him, and she smiled so brightly, probably because she realised that.
He kept falling deeper in love with her in every passing day. He wanting to give her the world, simply because she never asked for it. She was there, like a silent support pillar, despite knowing nothing of his torment.
But somehow, in her arms he could fall asleep; drift into a dreamless REM, and wake up without anguish, fear, abhor at what may occur during the day. She was his remedy, without knowing it; she was essential to him.
The day she was departing for a trip, he knew something was wrong. He could feel it pulsing in every minute pore of his body. There was something not right. He didn’t want to let her go. But she hugged him tightly, kissed him gently, and reassured him that everything was going to be fine. She had that positive vibe constantly glowing in her aura, and it made her sweeter, even more charming, and so difficult to resist. He wanted to believe her, even though his instinct reacted otherwise.
When she closed the door to the cab at the airport, he could feel his entire world shatter to pieces.
There is a tingling sensation mixed with an adrenaline rush when you take a trip abroad with a partner. Particularly when the flirting is still young and everything is so sweet and fresh and delightful. There are so many things you want to do; so much you want to talk about; as if trying to make up for the time lost when you hadn’t yet met each other.
It was freezing cold at the square. You could feel it climbing inside and diffusing into every vein. But when he heard her laugh ripple, he needed nothing more to warm up.
A glass elevator first caught her attention and her awe when she was just a little girl and the mall was the new addition to the town. Everything seemed so bright and shiny and new then; so technologically advanced, it mesmerised her.
Years later, he caught her attention in a similar glass elevator in another shopping mall somewhere far away.
For weeks it would be their meeting place as both were too timid to actually say something. That’s how we waste time, though.
Long after, his official ‘forever’ proposal came in a much larger glass elevator overlooking the entire city.
He pondered for a while, his eyes gazing away and suddenly sparkling. A smile timidly spread across his face.
“The boat ride across the river”.
He paused, breathed in the emotion and continued: “I didn’t think it would be anything mind-blowing, but I decided to go along anyway, given it was a must-do sightseeing. The water was far from clean, so we were all extra careful about potentially falling in”. He laughed.
“We saw an alligator crawl in a few metres away. But that wasn’t what changed me. It was she…”