Saturday, August 16, 2008

Chapter One

My father hadn’t called, and he was supposed to pick me up over two hours ago. I sat in the kitchen window seat pressed up against the cold glass, watching my breath fog the window each time I exhaled. My forehead pounded from the cold. Fixed in that spot for fear that I might miss him pulling in the driveway, I rehearsed over, and over exactly how the conversation would go once he arrived. Like I was the parent, and he the child, I was preparing to scold him for his poor, inexplicable behaviour. This wasn’t the first time, and not likely to be the last, but this time I wouldn’t cry - I was going to be mad.

I had been forgotten before, however it had been far worse. Only four years old, I got off the school bus on a blisteringly cold, snowy winter day; the kind where you’d rather be cuddled up by a warm fire. I walked down the long driveway, up the walkway, and up the snow covered steps. When I got to the front door, and turned the cold steal knob, it didn’t open. It was locked.

Surely Dad had just forgot to unlock it when he got home. I envisioned him resting on the couch after a long day, or just finishing up in the bathroom, the toilet flushing, and on his way over to open the door. Continuing to justify the situation, I thought about how the door was understandably locked, since he parked his car in the garage, and entered the house that way.

I knocked on the door. There was no answer. The wind blew the snow around with such force that even standing on the sheltered porch, I could feel the freezing air travel up the back of my coat. I rang the doorbell, no answer. The silence was clear, except for the cold harsh melody of the wind. It’s amazing how the sounds around your own home, where you normally feel so safe, can be so scary in the midst of a cold, and windy snow storm - especially when you‘re all alone. I knock again, and again. I rang again, and again. Still, there was no answer. The creaking, and howling have me shuddering, not alone from the cold, but out of fear as well. Finally, I realized that he forgot me. I was forgotten.

Panicked, I felt terribly alone, and cried until I hadn’t a single tear left to shed; either because I stood there crying for so long, or because it was so cold, perhaps both. Struggling to pull myself together, I could hear my mother’s voice reassuring me: “Crying isn’t going to make anything better. Just take a deep breathe.” As I drew in a few deep breathes, I remembered Mom had told me there was a spare key under the bush, beside the walkway.

I climbed down the steps, and waded through the snow. It was past my knees, and dropping into my boots. I began to dig with my bare hands where I thought the bush might be, but it was just a small bush, and was now covered up entirely with snow. Where were my mitts? Of all the days, I had forgotten my snow pants at school as well. My freezing cold, crisp jeans felt stiff against my bare legs. I continued to dig without success, not able to find the bush, let alone a key. Frantically, I choose another spot to dig, and then another. The snow was heavy, and packed down hard; especially here, as it was directly below where the snow came falling off the roof. The snow felt like it weighed a million pounds. I loosened clumps of it by kicking it with my boot, and scrapped at it with my fingernails. My hands were a reddish-purple, beginning to burn, and pulsate from the cold.

Exhausted, and nearly frozen, I decided that it was hopeless. I sat down on the top step, cushioned by the snow, shivering. My head hung between my knees to block the wind, as I waited for my mom to get home.

After I had gotten warmed up, and I was comforted by my mother, and her warming embrace, she and I picked a better spot to hide our spare key. A spot where no matter how much snow there was, I would be able to get to the key in the event that I was ever locked out again. I can still feel my mother’s hug - there was nothing else like it, and nothing at all better. Just one hug, and your heart would be warmed, and you’d feel better no matter how terrible you might have been feeling before - if a Mother’s hug could be bottled, it would be the world’s greatest medicine.


That was Chapter One, of the story. I will post the next Chapter in a day, or two. All the Chapters will be available along the sidebar as I post them.

I would love some feedback, good or bad.


Mama of Romance

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Melanie said...

Hope more chapters come quickly...Love romance novels

The Mom said...

I will try my best, thanks Melanie! :)