Locals begin to wear their big boots and leggings, giggling as the snow fell past their closed windows. The streets are filled, quite ostensibly, with fallen snow and tire marks surely made from cars with Taiwanese plastic( that is probably untrue, of course).
In the street, two or three youngsters were seemingly running, playing random games which, in the long run, made no sense. They were dressed for the weather, of course, three teenagers with their Bernie hats and thick woolen sweaters. That fair girl with the small dimple on her left cheeks could have been from West Africa- probably Nigeria or Ghana or the Gambia but honestly, one couldn't care.
The second was a white young teen who looked too handsome to be from around town. He was wearing something Aunt Mosi would have called, in her too-loud voice, the overall winter clothes: a beanie cap, blue gloves, peacoat jacket, snow pants, and uggs boot. He was much too handsome it almost impressed our first girl. It certainly impressed the third girl but she is one not worth mentioning.
This town is beautiful no doubt as aunt Mosi had told me as I stepped into her little home in Straftesbury, Dorset for my one month vacation. She was cooking something on the stove with her bulky frame against me and yet still managed to explain something I and hundreds of persons already know. She called it the History of Cobbled Hill. And maybe it was annoying the way she said it but it almost made sense the way she said it: In 1973, there was an advert for one bread- probably called Ha...no! Horis bread and one baker boy had pushed his bike all the way to the top of the hill. It was so beautiful, the advert I mean, and even today people still come to visit the famous hill.
And when she said that, I mentioned something that went around the line of, "I know that history so well it's probably the reason I came here."
Maybe she had laughed as I told her this but really I cannot remember.
I am seated presently in Aunts' favorite chair, reading her favorite magazine and watching those teenagers throw snow at themselves. This is terribly futile, I say to myself. And because I am ridiculously overdressed with the heater turned on, I might not have known how cold outside would be.
Aunt Mosi left the house an hour ago with her clothes all outrageously resembling that of the Nigerian or Ghanian girls' own. If she was a Nigerian she would have been from Enugu or Anambra. And I know this because I am from Nigeria too. Aunt had said she was going to a place called The Ugly Duckling Cafe where it gave an impressive breakfast or lunch for both locals and tourists.
"You could come along, Abigail. See the town and enjoy..." Aunt Mosi said five minutes before she stepped out of the house.
"Come on, haven't you seen the snow? I cannot go out there."
"Well you can't stay hurdled in here forever, now can you? Can't you see the others in the snow? It's beautiful."
"Ah right. Then, goodbye."
She stepped out of the house and didn't wave and somewhere around the corner a little girl was laughing. It seemed fun except fun wasn't always good.
I stayed indoors, yawning and stretching and watching my three silent friends play and redefine fun. And two hours later aunt Mosi was back.
"Don't tell me you've been by that window all this time!"
"Well, I went to the bathroom for a few minutes and then to the kitchen to..."
She interrupted me, " you do know that doesn't count right? Now get up we are going out and creating snowman or whatever comes to mind."
"No, I think I'll pass," I say to her. My friends are gone, replaced by unfamiliar faces. Beyond my old friends' former positions is a bench slowly filling up with snow. There is a man in full clothing standing by that snow bench. In his lips, as far as I can see, is an unlit cigarette and I can tell there is regret in his particular position. It is peculiar you see, with the way the man just stands by that bench with the unlit cigarette dangling from his lips. And I might have wondered about his sense of dressing and his country of origin if impatient aunt had not literally taken me by the collar and into the stinging cold.
I have never felt cold so like this one and at once I could think of nothing but the numbness in my face. I reach upwards with a palm covered in pink gloves and touch my face. I can hear my aunt laughing and as I close my eyes I can feel her piercing eyes stare back into mine.
"What's going on Abigail?" She asks.
She knows I'm lying but says nothing. This is me taking a one month trip to a part of England I will probably forget when my friends back in Nigeria ask me where I spent an entire month in after my failed marriage. The second actually.
Aunt Mosi picks up snow, rolls it into a small ball and throws at me. I find it irritatingly useless and I sneeze hard.
"Get a cold and that's a bit of good news."
"How?" I find her thoughts vague and it kept me wondering for a good while longer.
Aunt Mosi smiled uneasily and took another swing at me. It hit me on my shoulder and she smiled again. The weather is so cold I begin to think of the many stories my friends have told me about snowfalls and it doesn't really matter if I spent hours surfing the internet for an appropriate choice of clothing. I press my cap down on my head and sigh.
I need to go in, I think.
An old lady walk towards us and aunt Mosi leans in and says her name is Laurie and adds quite early how fine a woman she is. Laurie meets us with a smile on her face and it is her face I first notice in the cold January air with my boots in the snow. She has the most forgettable face and indescribable air that I step back and I think, "what an ugly little lady!" But I say, "You look lovely ma." It is perhaps the easiest lie I ever said and she smiled and pressed her small hands on her chest.
Aunt Mosi almost laughed. I give her a smile so sweet my eyes started to hurt. The man by the bench finally lit his cigarette and gave one good puff into the air as snowflakes fell past his uncovered hair.
Aunt said the town was lovely and as I sat back on her favorite chair again, I realize I was going to enjoy being here and laughing at stupid, childish jokes.