love me so
Let it snow,
let it snow,
let it snow.
The wind whipped straight through her, sending chills up her spine. She pulled her white beanie farther down over her ears and hugged her arms to her chest. The wind sent the falling snow whirling around her lone figure as she trudged through the snow. She had a bulging backpack slung on her back, a thick winter coat wrapped about her, and tears frozen in her eyes.
It was Christmas Eve, and she had run away.
She walked along the back country road, not sure of where she was going other than away. That was all she wanted – to get away from where she had come from. She looked up at the grey sky and closed her eyes, letting the cold snowflakes settle on her face. She didn’t care about the chills that went through her. She didn’t care about the icy little tears that dripped off her cheeks. She didn’t care about the sobs that choked out every once in a while. She cared about the deep ache in her heart.
She sat down in the snow and buried her face in her hands, sobbing. Wasn’t it Christmas Eve? Shouldn’t she be at home, snuggled deep in a warm blanket, admiring the tree? No, not with all that was happening in what used to be her home. Yes, this was Christmas time – the season of love, joy, and family. I have none of those right now, she thought. I have nothing but heartache. But oh, she knew her mother loved her! Though there was little joy and much struggle at this point in their lives, there was love! She did have a family – she had her mother, and she knew it; but she didn’t want to admit it.
She rose and brushed the tears away, forcing herself to keep walking down the dirt road, now covered in a layer of snow. There is no love. There is no joy. I have no family. How she yearned for her mother’s hug, yet recoiled at the thought. How she yearned for her father’s hug, but he was no more. A sob choked out of her throat. Her father hadn’t hugged anyone for years – he was buried deep beneath the snow.
Her phone rang in her pocket for the sixth time in the last hour. She pulled it out. It was her mom. Slowly she looked up, holding it loosely in her hand. She let it ring, and ring, and ring. It stopped.
She stuffed her phone deep into her pocket and ripped off her gloves, exposing her skin to the fierce coldness. It bit her, but she walked on, ignoring the cold pain – on her skin and below it. Red hot tears streamed down her face, and she didn’t even bother to brush them away.
She loved her mother – or at least used to. She yearned for her mother – to feel that tender touch and those deep, warm hugs. She pursed her lips. I can’t go back now, she thought. I’ve come this far. I’ve left. I’m moving on – moving away. I can’t go back now – not after how she betrayed dad. She can’t just move on from him like this.
She yanked her beanie off of her head, gasping a little at the cold that now gnawed at her ears. It was cold, this Christmas – very cold – but she didn’t give a ****. She was irate now, steaming inwardly and freezing outwardly. How dare she move on from dad? How dare she! He died – DIED – and now she thinks another man can come into our lives. I will never have another father, never have another man in that position, and I’ll never go home ever again.
She broke into a run, ripping off everything that kept her warm as she went. Tears flowed off her face, the wind bit through her skin, and she ran. She uncoiled her scarf and gave it to the wind. She threw off her jacket, tossing it behind her. I have no home.
Suddenly she stopped. From behind her, she heard the sound of her phone ringing. Slowly she turned around, walking back to her coat, which lay on the frigid road. She pulled out the phone – her mother again. She bit her lip. I can’t go back now. I have no home. I have no family. She clenched her jaw, ignoring the cold that ceaselessly swirled around and through her. She was starting to get numb.
She let her phone ring, and ring, and ring.
And then stuffed it in her jeans.
She turned and looked up at the sky, nothing on but her jeans and a tee-shirt. She couldn’t feel anything anymore – the cold had numbed her completely. Her hands burned. She looked over to the side of the road, where a stream was frozen over. With resolution, she walked toward it. Her phone rang again. This time, without even looking at it she answered it and held it up to her ear.
“Holly? Holly is that you? Holly! Honey, please say something.”
She walked off the road.
“Holly, baby -” her mother was crying. “Holly, I love you so much. Please come home – we can work this out, I promise.”
She walked through the snow.
Her mother was sobbing. “Honey, I am so sorry. I’m sorry that dad died. I’m sorry that we’ve had so much hardship. I’m sorry that the choices I am making are so hard for you – but I love you dearly and I want us to be happy again.”
She stopped at the edge of the frozen stream.
Her mother breathed softly into the phone. “Holly, I know you’re listening, so listen carefully – I. LOVE. YOU. I love you dearly. I love you desperately. I love you more than anything else in this world. Do you understand me? More than anything else.”
She stared at the ice, the world slowing down. “Do you love me more than Jim?” she whispered.
Her mother breathed a sigh of relief, “Yes – yes I do, Holly! Honey, where are you? I’ll come get you, just tell me where you are. We will fix this, okay? I want nothing more than for us to be happy – you and me. Okay? Holly, baby, I love you.”
Tears streamed out of her eyes, pouring down her cheeks. I can’t go back now. “I’m on Miller’s Road.”
“I’m coming to get you – just me, alright? I love you, Holly.”
She took a step towards the ice. She closed her eyes and whispered,”I love you too, mom.”
“Holly, don’t do anything, okay? Stay on the phone – I’ll be there in a few minutes.”
“Mom – “
“Mom – mom, I’m going.”
“Honey, you stay there! I’ll be there in just a minute, okay? Stay there!”
“Mom, I have to go.”
“Holly, listen to me, I love you more than anything else. I am coming for you.”
She jumped, and landed in the middle of the stream. The ice held her for a moment, and then she fell into the frigid darkness.
Holly awoke in an ambulance.
Her head throbbed, and the warmth of the vehicle was thawing her frozen body. A nurse stood over her, hooking up cords and wires from her body to a machine. She closed her eyes. They burned.
“Mom?” she croaked.
“Holly!” In an instant her mother stood over her, pushing the nurse aside. “Honey, oh my girl!” Gently her mother stroked her head, tears spilling off of her face onto Holly’s. “Why? Why, honey?”
Holly choked back tears. “I couldn’t go back, mom.” She burst out sobbing. “Mom, why is it so hard? Why did he have to go? Why is this my life?”
Her sobbing, convulsing body burned and ached, inside and out. Her face was wet with tears. Her mother held her head in her arms, softly rocking Holly back and forth.
“Hush, baby, hush. It’s going to be okay now, alright? I’m here. Shh. I’m here.”
She swallowed. “I love you, mom.”
“I love you too, Holly.”
She leaned her head on her mother’s chest. The warmth of the embrace engulfed her. She closed her eyes. Her mother smelled like peppermint.
“Will we be home in time for Christmas?”