Suzie lives her life in the cold. But, it doesn’t matter, She’s used to it. Everything is fine, for her reason to live is her sister, Anne’s life. Everything is okay. Everything is just…
Beep! Beep! Beep!
I blink my eyes and look up at my night stand. My hand reaches for the buzzing phone and press “stop.”
I sit up and turn my body towards her side of the bed. “Good morning, mom.” She doesn’t stur. I get out of bed and walk over to the bathroom and look in the mirror. I forgot to remove my make up from last night. Well, my boss is gonna kill me for this; the customers won’t be pleased either. I pick up the my clothes and a towel from the dryer and hop in the shower.
I turn on the shower. The water is still freezing, but I don’t have time to wait for the water to heat up. I feel the water trickling down my bare skin. I have gotten used to the numbness of the cold. My ears draw in the pitter patter of the drops of water hitting the ceramic tub. It reminds me of that night; the night where my life changed.
☼ ☼ ☼
I was holding my little sister in my arms. Listening to her sobs and her accelerating heart beat. While in the background I heard the muffled yells of two people who go by the titles of mother and father; husband and wife. Or so we told ourselves. I continued to trap my baby sister in the only warmth she gets; you could almost just call her neglected by our parents. I heard the slam of the door followed by a curse that was not hidden at all. I looked out the window, listening to the pitter patter of the rain against the window. Sometimes if I concentrated hard enough on the constant rain here, I could get sucked in. I could leave my worries locked away for a short period of time. But then, I knew I’d have to come back. No matter how much I despised life, my sister needed me to be back.
The next day, our father and mother called us down to the table.
“We are getting divorced.”
This didn’t really come as a surprise to me. I knew it would have come eventually. I had already thought about all the factors.
“We want you two to choose who you want to stay with; your mother, or I.”
I would like it to be that I could stay with my sister, but that would leave one of the two lonely. My father makes a good amount of money at his job and can be kind at times. My mother, on the other hand, has trouble holding a job. She rarely talks too. So, there is an obvious solution.
“I will go with mother and Anne will go with father.”
“Very well, Suzie.” My father says. My father is obviously the better choice, which is why Anne will go with him. Her happiness is above all to me. It is above my own life.
☼ ☼ ☼
Walking through these halls can be nice at times. No one dares to talk to me directly, so it’s quiet. They are afraid of being “infected” by my indecency. I open up my locker and I see what is written in red marker on the wall.
I touch my fingertips on the word. I feel a jolt of cold rushing through my hand. Since I am accustomed to cold, this is nothing for me. I gather my books and close the locker. I continue walking to my class. I catch the eye of someone, though. Someone who is all too familiar. Anne. She’s 14 now; I’m 16. She quickly averts her eyes an quickens her pace in the other direction.
☼ ☼ ☼
After school I see Anne. She’s pretending she doesn’t see me. What happened? She only started ignoring me this year. I don’t know what is controlling me. I don’t know what is happening, but I’m walking towards her. The rest of the students have cleared out by now. She must be doing work as student council president. I grab her arm and pull her aside.
“Suz–.” She catches herself and looks away again. “Anne? Why are you avoiding me so suddenly?” I’m anxious. I’m not sure I want to know the answer, but it’s too late. It’s out there. All I can do is wait. I assume she’s not going to answer and am about to leave when she looks me in the eyes for the first time in a months. “I might get bullied if people find out I’m friends with you. Someone who holds the job that you do. I am the student council president; the role model for the school.”She seems very determined and confident about what she just said. “Oh, I see.” I let go of her arm. I should have known. “Please don’t come looking for me again.” I nod my head and she turns and walks away. I hear the tapping of her feet against the tiles and I think of that night again.
I walk out of the building. But, I’m not heading towards home. A gust of wind blows against my body. But, it’s okay. I am used to this cold. However, this cold feels different. It’s somewhere deep inside of me. I feel it throbbing; pulling; threatening to pull me apart. It feels like a heavy weight above my chest. It’s already gotten dark in these winter months. I’m still wandering when I stop at the top of a bridge.
I look down at the lapping waves. I wonder how deep it is down there.
Maybe I should jump in.
Perhaps it would be better that way. After all Anne did say she didn’t want to get involved with me. If this is what makes her happy, I should do it.
I turn around and see my mother. “What are you doing here?” She asked. She was holding her brief case. She probably got back from an interview. “Oh, I don’t know. I just found myself dazing off here.”
“Why? What happened?” Might as well tell her. She won’t care much anyway. “Oh! Well, Anne said she didn’t want to associate with me anymore! But it’s okay! I’m fine with it.” I smiled at her, but she didn’t smile back. “Suzie, you shouldn’t hold it back.” Huh? “You want to cry, don’t you?”
“Huh?” I feel something warm. It’s warming up the coldness. I touch my cheek and see that it was wet. I look at my mother who is smiling now. The warmth spreads over my face in streaks and streams. I start hiccuping and I cover my mouth. What’s happening? I suddenly feel more warmth. I open my eyes and see my mother embracing me. “You don’t need to be so strong all the time.” I sob into her shoulder. “It’s warm.” I say.
I look up and see white specks falling from the clouds above. She pulls away from. I see a snowflake fall onto my hand and watch it melt into water in my now warm hands. I grab her again and she staggers a little. I can’t help but think that I’m like a snowflake. All I need is warmth and I can melt into the life source of spring.