It was a cold winter’s day. Snow blanketed the driveway and turned our street into a winter fairytale wonderland. The air was frosty and unwelcoming – not the ideal weather for waiting for your fiancé to comeback from war. My eyes were looking through the window, plastered on looking at the driveway; my car was in park and he was going to be walking all the way from the bus stand. Riddled with worry, I was knitting a sweater, made of purple pashmina. Old vinyl records played in the background-Chestnuts roasting on an open fire… -steam circling throughout the house as a kettle for tea came to a slow boil. The house was homey, yet not a complete home. The teacup yorkie we adopted before he left for Africa strutted around the small living room, running circles around the chair beside the fireplace – his chair.
As mentioned before, the air so cold that it had an undertone that was unwelcoming. My worry hung in the air like a bomb about to drop. Having pin drop silence about his whereabouts for the past six months was no help. The silence that hung held my ultimatum question – “Was he dead?” and it sang a silent scream into the empty household. The yorkie chirped and barked cheerily, killing the silence yet not the tension. The record’s next song-Oh! Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! was like a lone soldier charging into a battle. My mind was a tempest – “Where is he?” Even with him not present, his ghost haunted those hallways. In the corner of my eyes, swear could see him humming, “Hey Jude” passing through the hallways, my ears rang with his wondrous laugh, and my radar nose picked up a whiff of his musky cologne, my arms’ longing to be embraced by his. As the moments passed, the clock slowly ticking by, wondered if was slowly going insane. Both of our parents were dead, their corpses slowly wasting away for years – it was always with him and me against the world and if anything ever happened to him fear I would not be able to bear the burdens of life.
My trance was broken by a loud piercing noise that shattered my train of thoughts. It was the sound of our neighbour’s pitbull barking. The yorkie simultaneously hid under his chair. I looked out the window and promptly heard shouting and mentally knew something was wrong. I saw the pitbull running across two to three front yards and into ours, hot on the trail of a young man running the marathon to save his life. His black hair was caked with snow and a giant duffle bag made it difficult to run from the pitbull’s anger. He decided it was too heavy and dropped it, the angry dog still hot on his trail. It barked and yelped and in terror the man hung onto a low branch of a nearby tree and began climbing upwards, burying the dog into a volcano of snow. Yet the dog still didn’t stop, it jumped and pranced and barked and howled and got angrier that its prey had partially escaped its wrath. Instead of screaming for help like a normal person would have, that idiot (and I say “idiot’ with love) looked straight across the yard, through the window and straight into my eyes. Even in that hellish snowstorm, I could read his big, dark chocolate brown eyes like a magazine. They screamed a silent plea for help. In an instant, found myself calling the neighbours to call their dog off. Iran outside the minute the coast was clear despite the fact that the weather pierced my skin like flaming needles.
The neighbors leashed their dog and took him away like the prisoner he was. I saw him standing there, and we just stood there a moment, standing in each other’s eyes, the cold winter air piercing our lungs. Then, suddenly without a word or warning we ran into each other, in the warmest of hugs which melted the icy winter around us. All was well.