Friendship Inspirational Romance


Trigger Warning: implications of an eating disorder


It was cold.

Too early to be awake, too cold to be alive. I grumbled to myself and burrowed deeper under my sheets. 

I’d get up.


Probably not today, (maybe not even this week, come to think about it) but eventually.

I tentatively reached to the windowsill, hand searching for my phone, fingers cringing in protest when they brushed against the icy glass. My hand quickly retreated back under the blanket. 


Too cold, it wasn’t worth it, though a part of me knew I should probably text Gus to let him know I woke up if I didn’t want him to unexpectedly drop by to check in on me later. 

We both knew that I wasn’t “ok”, so he’d stopped asking that question a long time ago. 

He just checked in on me.

Made sure I was still eating.

Still waking up.

He was a good friend, better than I deserved, for dealing with my never ending cycle of downwards spirals. I knew he’d be worrying if I didn’t let him know I’d lived to see another day.

I sighed.

Cautiously I peeked my head out from the covers, scanning the windowsill for my phone. My eyes lingered on the glass, uncomprehending for a very long moment.


That’s what it was. 

Oh, but why was there so much?

I couldn’t remember if I liked the snow.

Should this be making me happy?

Because it wasn’t. It was making me cold.

Stupid snow. 

I gave the winter wonderland a final glare, grabbing my phone and retreating back into my blanket fort.

It was ridiculously unfair that humans couldn’t hibernate just like bears. Blissfully unconscious and unaware of anything and anyone, who wouldn’t want that? Besides it was really quite cozy in my blanket fort, certainly comfortable enough to hibernate in, with my 16 blankets, 4 pillows, and an assortment of stuffed animals that I’d stolen from Gus over the years.

And speaking of Gus…..

With a sigh I unlocked my phone. The psychopath had already texted me 23 times. I rolled my eyes affectionately. 







you better not be in the blanket fort still  










ok, you’re definitely still in the blanket fort  



That’s cancelled. 

Not today.

Ready or not I’m coming over after workkkkk


I groaned. I’d already spent all of the morning and most of the afternoon in my ‘depression coma’, which meant he would be getting off work in less than half an hour. I folded my arms stubbornly. 

If he wanted me to get out of the blanket fort so much he would just have to drag me. 

But then I reconsidered, realizing I couldn’t quite remember the last time I’d brushed my hair, let alone washed it, and if I was getting up anyway I might as well take a warm shower to make it worthwhile.

I blinked back tears of frustration. This was so stupid. I shouldn’t have to reverse psychology myself into taking a shower so I could have a guest over that I didn’t even want to be coming over. 

Stupid showers. 

Stupid personal hygeine. 

Stupid Gus, making me take care of myself.

I wrapped myself in almost all of my blankets before shuffling over to the closet, staring resentfully at the intermingling piles of “needed to be washed” and “needed to be hung up”.

Stupid clothes.

With a sigh I grabbed the nearest pair of yoga pants, the pale pink ones, and an oversized t-shirt. I knew I had winter clothes somewhere, I just hadn’t gotten around to unpacking them yet. I hadn’t gotten around to unpacking most things, I realized, as I tripped over a box on my way to the bathroom.

I let the blankets fall to the floor outside of the door, running in and turning the water on as hot as it could possibly go. I avoided looking at my reflection, stripping down quickly, stepping into the stream of steaming water.

All the tension left me as I let the water run over my body, burning away all of my secrets and sin and scars. That’s when I changed my mind. I didn’t want to hibernate, I wanted to live in the shower, letting the water caress me as I curled up into a safe little ball.

It certainly smelled better in here then it did in the blanket fort, and that alone might be reason enough. It smelled…. wet. And like what I assumed was Japanese Cherry Blossoms. At least that’s what the bottle claimed it to be. 

I took the advice to “rinse lather repeat” too far, washing my hair time and time again, making up for the weeks I went without. I liked the smell, and I liked the bubbles. I would’ve used up the whole bottle if the water temperature hadn’t dropped from “Satan’s Fury” down to “Instant Death by Lava”. Anything less than “Dragon’s Breath” was unacceptable, and we’d get down to that point in about 5 more minutes. 

A smile teased at my lips when I stepped out into the sauna I’d created and I traced a lopsided heart on the mirror before getting dressed. Brushing my hair, I hummed absently to myself, wondering if I had anything in my fridge that wasn’t expired or rotten that I could offer Gus when he got here. 

I seriously doubted it but, hey, we could always order pizza, right?

My stomach growled loudly. At this point it was hard to tell if it was protesting or begging. Probably a little bit of both.

Stupid stomach.

The minute I opened the bathroom door I realized I’d had no need to worry about food, I could hear Gus in the kitchen making who knows what, with who knows which things he’d managed to scrounge up in the kitchen. I bit back a smile, crossing my arms and trying to look stern as I walked into the kitchen.

“Stalker. How’d you get in my house?”

He stuck out his tongue. “You know I have a key. The real question here is how’d you get in my t-shirt?”

I glanced down, and upon closer inspection it was in fact his oversized t-shirt, not mine, probably from the time he stayed over when his apartment was getting the carpet redone. 

“Who’s the stalker now,” he murmured teasingly as he wrapped me in a hug, kissing my wet hair. 

“I don’t want your love and affection,” I murmured back, making no effort to remove myself from his arms. “It’s disgusting.”

“Unlike your hair,” he noted, taking an exaggerated whiff, inhaling the lingering smell of the shower.

“Weirdo,” I laughed, pulling away and peeking around him. “What are you making?”

“Apples with peanut butter, cheesy eggs, and a bowl of Froot Loops. Plus I brought pineapple sherbet and that watermelon cucumber water stuff you like. Oh, yeah, and pickles and grapes and goldfish.”

I pouted a little, blinking back tears and pulling him back towards me for another hug.

It was a strange assortment, to be sure, but it was a culmination of all the foods he knew I could eat without vomiting them back up again. I didn’t do well with certain smells and textures, and there were certain times of day I couldn’t even think about food without getting nauseous. 

Breakfast, for example. My curse was that I loved breakfast foods (besides the vile abomination that is bacon) but if I tried to eat anything before 11:30 my body quickly rejected the humble offering.

He held me for a long while before releasing me to go take the eggs off the stove.

“Eat,” he instructed, gesturing at the mini feast he’d laid out for me. “I’m going to go find the box with your coat.”

I nodded, slowly walking over and sitting down, warily glancing at the bowl of Froot Loops before popping one into my mouth. 

I grimaced. 

Too dry, too bland, I bit an apple to get the taste out of my mouth. 

I almost gagged that time. Too sweet. 

I dipped the next bite in peanut butter. 

There, that wasn’t too bad, was it? 

I slowly ate my apples as Gus poked around the other rooms. It sounded like he’d given up on the search for the coat and was starting a load of laundry. I shook my head. He babied me more than my own mother.

“AH HA!”

“Did you find it?”

“No, but I finally figured out where my missing beanie went. I thought you said you didn’t take it!”

“I didn’t take it, you gave it to me, remember?”

He grumbled something unintelligible and I smiled to myself. A moment later he was back in the kitchen, beanie on his head and my scarf around his neck.

“Well, I’m ungiving it to you.”

“That’s not very nice……” I reprimanded him, innocently licking some pineapple sherbet off of my spoon.

“Neither is this,” he admitted, reaching over and snagging a bite for himself. I rolled my eyes. 

“I can’t find your coat anywhere, you might just have to borrow mine.”

“Or…..” I suggested, hopefully. “We could stay inside where it’s warm.”

He shook his head. “Absolutely not. You need fresh air, besides I want to go ice skating. There’s no point in going ice skating if you aren’t there to laugh at me when I fall on my butt.”

I frowned. 

Leaving my blanket fort was one thing, leaving my apartment was another.

He could feel my skepticism. 


But I cut him off. “I know, I know, you’re right. I don’t like it but you’re right.”

“I’m always right,” he stated, acting offended.

“One hour,” I allowed. “And I’m not skating. I’ll just watch.”



As always he was right.

It was a beautiful day and getting out of the house was good for me, even if it was freezing.

I shivered, pushing my hands deeper into the borrowed coat’s pockets.

Oh, but what was that?

A napkin?

I pulled it out for closer inspection to find that it had been scribbled on.

It was crumpled up, the sort of thing that was never meant to be read by anybody which, if anything, only made me want to read it even more. 

Besides seeing as how technically he had traded me his coat for the beanie, this napkin now belonged to me. The justification was weak, and I knew it, I just didn’t care.

Just one little line of it and then I’d stop reading, I promised myself, like the liar I was, knowing full well I would do no such thing as I uncrumpled the napkin.


there was a king


i forget his name

but his love,


she missed the


so he dedicated his life

to her garden

to her happiness

to her


you kissed your garden goodbye

two months ago,

and a week

winter is here

the sun won’t shine

so the flowers

have all lost the will

to live


so have you

you are my will to live, my love

yes, you miss the flowers

but, oh!






if i could make them

bloom year round

for you;

i would


i offer you

all my love



that it’s 


spring will pull through

as it always does

so all i have left

to worry about

is if





As my eyes neared the end of the napkin I realized I’d lost the ability to read.

Stupid tears.

I glanced up over at the pond where Gus was skating. He waved, grinning goofily, and attempted an elaborate spin. True to his prediction, he fell and I laughed, wiping away the tears at my eyes. He shot me a concerned look but I shook my head.

I stood up, folding my arms for extra warmth as I walked over to the frozen edge of the water. He was still watching me, tilting his head in confusion. I smiled reassuringly, my eyes never leaving his, as I took a deep breath and stepped onto the ice.

He awkwardly and hurriedly picked himself up and skated over to where I was gingerly making my way towards him.

“Lydia, what are you…..”

Gus quickly realized it was very hard to speak while someone was kissing him.

I could tell it caught him off guard but he quickly caught up to speed, tangling his fingers in my hair, gently grabbing me by the waist. He broke away, giving me an adoring smile, shaking his head and biting his lip before he resumed writing his poetry on my lips.

Finally he pulled away for real, hugging me to him like he had a million times before, kissing the top of my head. 

Letting me know it was going to be ok. 

Letting me know I was loved. 

Letting me know that there were a million reasons to stay and wait for spring, no matter how cold the winter, or how far away it was.

“It’s enough.” I whispered. “It’s always been enough.”


I wish I could say I magically got better after that.

But I didn’t. 

That’s not really how it works.

At least not at first, and not all at once.

But I didn’t give up.

Gus wouldn’t let me give up.

And I won’t let you give up either.

Spring will pull through

As it always does

And so will you.

I promise.


March 19, 2021 16:18

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Moon 🌙
12:28 Mar 27, 2021

this is absolutely amazing! i love how you make the bear live almost like a human! i adore this, and good luck!


Moon 🌙
22:15 Mar 27, 2021

lol, but yay you got to submit it! also, i commented like 15 times on this because it would not load, lol x 2!


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Emma Rose
15:16 Mar 27, 2021

Thank you!! Funny story, that actually wasn't intentional, lol. 😅 I originally wrote this for contest #77 (Start your story with someone looking out at the snow, and end it with them stepping tentatively onto a frozen surface.) but I wasn't able to submit it in time. I was hoping I'd be able to use it for a different contest and I'm so so glad I could!!


Moon 🌙
22:14 Mar 27, 2021

lol! me too!


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Moon 🌙
22:14 Mar 27, 2021

lol! me too!


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Moon 🌙
22:14 Mar 27, 2021

lol! me too! love it so!


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Emma Rose
16:35 Mar 19, 2021

So..... this is my favorite thing I've written in a very very long time. It's definitely the most vulnerable thing I've ever shared, maybe that I've ever written. It was therapeutic for me to write this, in lots of different ways and for lots of different reasons, and in sharing I hope that it can bring someone else the hope that I needed not so long ago. 💛 Whoever you are; I love you so very very much. It really does get better. Your Spring will come. I promise. 💛


Moon 🌙
12:41 Mar 27, 2021

This is indeed your best story yet i think! i love it.


Emma Rose
15:17 Mar 27, 2021

Thank you so much!! 😊


Moon 🌙
22:16 Mar 27, 2021



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