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Cold Loneliness

By @LadyofAthens

Snowflakes fell outside the window, as frost clung to the window pane. Below kids play in the new fallen snow. Giggling as they fall to the ground and make snow angels.

Echo pushed herself away from the window fighting tears. She could hear her neighbors fretting about family coming for the holidays and how their house was never going to be clean enough.

None of this was important anymore to Echo. Her normally well-groomed ginger hair was a messy unkempt mane, her bright green eyes were clouded over and bloodshot, and her pale skinned face was tear stained. Her slim frame racked with the silent sobs she was trying to fight.

This was the season of togetherness and Echo was totally alone. Her parents passed a year ago, she was an only child, and then the unspeakable happens.

Echo walked over and picked up a picture of a handsome man in a Marine Corps Uniform. He had no smile on his face but his eyes told the world differently. As she held the picture close to herself tears swell up in her eyes again.

“It’s the white Christmas you wanted Anthony. It finally came.” Echo muttered through her sobs. She clutched the picture closer to herself as she faded into a memory.

Echo is smiling and twirling around the living room decorating for Christmas, listening to Jingle Bell Rock when the phone rings.

She dances over to the phone with a box of ornaments in hand. She answers cheerfully, “This is Echo Wilder how can I help you?”

The man on the other side sounded unnervingly solemn for it being the Christmas season, “Yes Echo its Lt. Strange, your husband’s Commanding Officer.”

“Yes I remember you Harold. I met you at the wedding.” Echo’s voice shook.

“Yes that’s right, well Echo I don’t know how to say this, but Echo there was an accident and Anthony was…well hurt really bad trying to rescue some of his comrades. Echo…he’s gone, he died a hero.” Lt. Strange said trying to choke back tears.

At this news Echo dropped the box of ornaments and they shattered as they hit the floor. She let the phone fall from her hand and it swung back and forth from its cord. Suddenly Echo felt really cold and she clutched her arms, hugging herself as she leaned against the wall as she slid to the floor. Lt. Strange’s voice still could be heard over the phone.

Now Echo is still gripping the picture and staring at the Christmas decorations before her. Totally alone and she was told yesterday that she had to leave her home here on base. “Merry Christmas Echo.” She said to herself shakily. She sunk into the window seat, still clutching the picture of her husband Anthony, and just stared out at the snow falling again.

Then out of nowhere a kick, deep inside her she felt it again. A smile crept onto her face as she realized she wouldn’t be alone for long. Putting her hand over her stomach she cooed, “And Merry Christmas to you too, little one.”

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