, , , , ,


Everything is covered in a thin layer of ice; the rolling hills of fields become something from a dream in the frigid weather, the icy tips of grass sparkling in the setting sun. It is beautiful outside today, unbearably cold, but beautiful. We are on our way to his grandparents house to have an early dinner. Sitting in the back seat is my container of nail polish which I have brought along to do his grandma’s nails–a favor she specifically asked for. With every turn, I look back– not an easy task since I am wearing a multitude of layers–to make sure the clunking box hasn’t slid onto the floor. He is holding my hand, playing with the tips of my fingers, sending chills up my spine. I smile to myself and sing along to the radio.

Nearing their house, he starts to point out the old farm houses to me (the ones he shows me every time we come here) and tells me which ones he thinks are beautiful. I find amusement in his love of the old homes. To me, they are all horrific in their own way, none of them looking like they could survive the next light rain. He wants to live in a house like that one day. I have bigger ambitions.

Her eyes fill with tears of joy as she looks back through her life and all those who she loves.

We reach the house and hurry our way inside where we are greeted with the mouth watering smells of his grandma’s cooking: home made biscuits, gravy, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and fudge pie. My stomach starts to announce it’s arrival and I lick my lips in anticipation. Thankfully, we didn’t have to wait for long and soon we were seated around the tiny wooden table shoveling the southern food goodness into our mouths.

After dinner, his granny and I make ourselves comfortable at the table, a sea of nail polish surrounding us as she tries to pick out what color she wants, a task she takes very seriously. We talk about things in life, both past and present, and she shares with me stories of his childhood. The men stayed in the living room watching hunting shows trying to ignore our loud chatter.

Once her nails dry, she escorts me through her quaint country home until she finds her most cherished possessions; her family pictures. We go through them all and she points out to me who was who and makes sure to show me his naked baby pictures. Her eyes fill with tears of joy as she looks back through her life and all those who she loves. Watching her, I pray to have a life full of love, like hers, and to have pride in sharing my past with others too.

It was time to go.

On our way home, we hold hands tightly not wanting to let the other go, even for a moment. He drives with the window down, his cigarette smoke leaving a trail behind us. My breath comes out in white puffs in front of me; the tip of my nose tingles from the caress of the night air. The rolling fields surrounding us were cloaked in darkness, the icy tips of grass no longer sparkling in the sun.

He drops me off at the door then pulls out of our gravel driveway to get another pack of cigarettes from the gas station. I watch him go then shoved my key into the lock in a hurry to get out of the nipping cold. In my rush, I drop my keys. Frustrated, I scramble off the concrete steps and spot my ‘Angel’ key-chain laying in a tuft of frozen grass. Bending down, I reach out to swoop them up and my bare palm skims the tips of the icy blades of grass; I jerk my hand back, surprised at the sharpness against my skin. I reach my hand in again, grab my keys, and bound into my home.

Safely wrapped in a blanket, I wait by the window for him to return. Everything is covered in a thin layer of ice; the neighborhood yards become something from a nightmare in the frigid weather, the icy tips of grass shining like daggers in the moonlight. It is unbearably cold.

Olivia Red