She put down her phone and looked over her shoulder at the flakes of snow falling outside her window. Slowly and lightly the snowflakes drifted, but they crashed down to earth with such frequency and relentlessness that they appeared to outweigh the cars they covered. They fell angrily, with a furiousness that reflected her frustration. As if every snowflake had all melted into a lake, where in the early morning stillness she stood staring down at her own quiet, quivering eyes. Silently they drifted, and silently she brooded over the disconnection from which she was trying to distract herself. Maybe the Internet had gone out, maybe the snow had gotten the better of these communicative pathways. The snow seemed to be telling her something. She turned back towards the room where everyone was seated. The buzz of the television reminded her that the relentless precipitation would not necessarily make the city admit defeat quite yet. News predicted the storm of the century, but it was all sensationalist bullshit. Another way to take up airspace. The world was going to shut down, but that was only frustrating because of the 40-minute line to stock up on booze. Nobody cared if the financial world stood still on the account of a white powder. Kind of like the antithesis of the 80’s really, she laughed to herself. Realistically the whole population would stay at home, perhaps smile at one another over a candlelight dinner, and fuck by that same candlelight knowing that in the morning a silent calm that only snow can bring would surround them. Why that was such a terrible fate for some people, she didn’t understand. The TV blazed and her friends laughed and smiled at one another, but she couldn’t stop thinking about something else. It consumed her mind every day even though it really mattered so little. Words, sentences, communication transmitted through digital waves that brought even the slightest flow of emotion. It wasn’t even important, it was nothing. It was a constant recitation of a forgotten happiness that nobody knew would ever be resuscitated.
But she felt it nonetheless, and it drove her crazy.
Slow frozen droplets fell harder now. The storm began to pick up its pace. Nothing was stopping its impending arrival. Her friends had begun to nod off. Sub-par standard cable programming had been replaced with sub-par late night programming, and the snow had an imposing, tiring vibe. One by one the lights turned off, and friends that could no longer return to their homes due to general impassibility of the roads were quite willingly relaxed on couches. She retired to her room, eyes drooping more with every falling snowflake. It was all there, the soft mattress and smooth sheets. A multitude of pillows that by morning would inevitably end up on the floor. A stuffed animal that probably no longer belonged in her bed but reluctantly remained. However, something was still lacking, and tonight, just like every night, she knew it. She was tired, and the silence of snow falling had already put an entire city to sleep. But still she lay awake, frustrated by the loneliness. Irritated by the confusion. Saddened by the reluctance to admit she was wrong.
She wasn’t in love. She was obsessed by an idea that hung in front of her eyes when they were closed and hovered translucently on the screen of her phone when they were open. There were lies that she told herself, truths that she felt. A disgusting mess of contrived bullshit that made her wonder why she wasn’t happy and why she couldn’t just go to sleep on a normal night after a successful day feeling content. There was something that simply didn’t exist.
It was there. She saw it. She rose out of bed suddenly, eyes darting around the room. It was there just a second ago, certainly. Not giving up, her legs seemed to motivate themselves out her door and past the sleeping girls splayed out across the living room. The flash seemed to dart beneath the door, and she followed. Feet slammed clumsily down the steps as she ran. Not knowing what she was chasing was liberating, a cathartic release. Who gave a fuck anymore, this is what the feelings that had driven her mad were all about. Noiseless footsteps pounded across the snow. She didn’t feel the cold, only her eyes focusing on the object in front of her. It refused to disappear. Naked, she pounded through the increasing blizzard, the whipping wind throwing tiny pieces of frozen water relentlessly into her eyes. There was no cold, there was not sensation at all really. Just the undying need to find what she was chasing. Spitting the melted water off her lips, she began to feel the numbness in her feet and the soreness in her thighs. She had been stumbling through snow for too long and had forgotten to even think about her body. Slowly her legs stopped churning, the chase was lost. A heaving chest and thick condensation of her breath were the only things she could think of. And it was good. It was relieving. Her mind was empty and safe amongst the warm droplets that hovered around her. She fell backward.
There it was again in front of her. She could see it through the increasing frost that covered her eyes. He stood solemnly, silent, drifting in and out of her vision. Her eyes saw but his did not. Then another appeared, bouncing cross her vision on light feet that did not mimic her own. This intruder embraced him and she saw eyes light up, arms wrap around. She was frozen, locked in the cool embrace of the deep snowfall. But he was not. He was free, unencumbered and recklessly bounding across her line of sight. He drifted in and out but remained fixed on the horizon. Why couldn’t she move? Why couldn’t she displace this stranger that made him smile and wink. She thrashed and twisted and flexed every muscle that for so long before had never betrayed her. Suddenly, he looked directly at her. Every muscle that had rejected her demands immediately gave way and she was running again. Faster. Approaching that flashing light that had shimmered underneath her doorway and led her into the pounding snow. Her arms opened and closed around nothingness. Again she was falling, but the snow in front of her open chest did not stop her descent. She continued to fall, twisting and spinning until white turned to darkness and reckless happiness turned to spite. Lips curled into a snarl of disgust and anger and she felt a burning sensation of rage wash over her. So quickly had the quiet white wonderland of snow turned to a lecherous, disgusting slime of reluctance. A sound erupted into the black. It was terrible, unforgiving and aching of release. It was laughter, her own twisted laughter that echoed deep and unforgiving and pounded against her ears with a wicked persistence.
She was awake. The world was white. There was no sound in the room. Her lips uncurled
There was no echoing sound. But she knew.