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Friendship Sad

They called her Ice Queen. The nickname had to do with two key aspects, her personality and her skill as a hockey player. Her younger sister, Taylor, was the one who came up with her nickname.

She had called her that after Alex had rejected the guy who was attempting to ask her out.  

“W-will you go to the movies with me?”

She dabbed the sweat off her neck with her towel, “Do I know you?”

He looks familiar.

“I-I’m- no, I guess not. I’m in your class. Anatomy.”

Ah! Yes, she knew him. He just looked different without his dorky glasses and usual hair gel.

“Ah, Raymond, right?”

He nods, blushing. He was cute but not her type...plus, Taylor had a crush on him. He was two years Taylor’s senior. And one year Alex’s junior. 

“No,” said Alex.

“O-oh, alright.” He stares at her before blushing and hurrying away, but not before bumping into Taylor who turned beet red.

Alex watches, hiding a smirk behind a towel, as Taylor winks at him and says something. Raymond goes red but grins a bit, looking at ease. He says something, pointing to the exit, and Taylor nods, saluting him. 

Match made. They are sooo getting together.

Alex rushes towards her, looking half jealous (she always pouts and furrows her brow when she’s jealous) and half pleased “Why did you reject man meat like that?”

Sandra, a teammate, laughs “Yea Alex! He’s cute! And could’ve been your ticket to normalcy.”

“One,” Alex says, shooting her sister a look “he’s cute but he’s not ‘man meat’, he’s super skinny.” Her sister opens her mouth but Alex shushes her, “Two,” she quirks an eyebrow at Sandra “I should date because I like the guys not because I want the teenage experience.”

Both girls remained quiet.

“But could you not have been nicer?” Taylor blurted “You just said ‘no’! Couldn’t you be a bit nicer?”



Sandra gasped, “So cold, like Ice!”

“Besides,” Alex winks at her younger sister “I ship him with someone else.”

“You still shouldn't have rejected him like that,” said Taylor “You, Ice Queen!”

And it stuck. It stuck when she continued to thrive on the ice. It stuck when she was just as merciless on it and off it. 

Now Raymond and Taylor were dating and happily in love, just like she planned. 

She had someone picked out for Rebecca too…

Anyway… Raymond called. Begging practically, for her to go home for the holidays. It upset her to some degree that they doubted her even after she said she would. But logically she supposed they had a reason to doubt her appearance. After all, they were going to the mountains and she has never been there without Rebecca, not once. She wasn’t planning on it but… Rebecca would be annoyed if she kept avoiding everything. Taylor, the mountains, all these clashing feelings in her chest.


 Mom and Dad were laughing, fawning over Alex, crying even. And she laughed, called them ‘cry babies’ but she felt a part of her squeeze because they should never have to be crying about her showing up. They should be annoyed because she calls them every night and visits every break. They should be teasing her and telling her to take her shoes off.

Pride kept her from bursting into tears, but wetly she whispered to her parents, “I’ll come more often. I’m sorry.”

Then Taylor waddled in, she was wrapped and wearing thick clothes and jackets. Her cheeks were rosy from fighting off a cold. She looked ridiculous.

Then the feeling came. 

Anger, love, bitterness, disappointment, fondness, a deep urge to strangle her then hold her close. But above all, a complete longing but instead of acting like it she simply tilted her head and said “Hey, stranger.”

Taylor walked to her, Alex took a few steps forward (why wasn't she meeting her halfway?) and they clung to a hug. Just for a few seconds, everything was expressed.

Alex claimed jetlag and skipped dinner.


“It’s stupid.”

Alex felt stupid but saying it made her feel better. She should have known. Of course, they’d drive them to the mountains in the pretense of early morning grocery shopping. Of course, Alex and Taylor would fall asleep. Of course, they'd be dumped in their winter home. And of course, they’d be the only ones.

Here they were, dressed warmly and standing awkwardly, 5 feet apart. 

Taylor ducked her head, “Totally.”

“We should probably go sledding,” Alex finally speaks up, “and take pictures.”

“I’m out of practice,” said Taylor.

Same here.

Alex just turns around and walks to get the sled. Taylor didn’t follow.


It always annoyed her that her younger sister grew taller than her. That both of them grew. Taylor in height and Rebecca in curves. Alex just matured, the only thing growing was her anxiety. But she never felt more ridiculous when she was forced to sit in front of the sled because she was shorter.

If Rebecca were there they’d have trouble fitting into it. If Rebecca were there Alex would be in the middle. Shortie that she was.

And they did it. They sled. Screaming on the way down, Alex kept having to muffle her laughs. It felt wrong to laugh.

But eventually, on the 5th or maybe 6th trip down, she cracked.

Maybe it was the cold.

Or the adrenaline from the sledding.

Or all the feeling she’s put in the fridge and has left to fester but when she and Taylor fell off the sled and roll down the length of the hill...she laughs.

She laughs so hard tears fall down her face. But then with joy came other emotions, sadness, grief, anger...and she started sobbing.

Taylor who was also laughing freezes, staring at her with wide-eyes. Alex can’t remember the last time she cried. That makes her cry harder. Taylor stares.

She glares at her sister through tears, “YOU BIG DUMMY!”

Alex stands up, legs shaky, voice wobbling, vision blurring “Y-you dummy!”

Alex tackles her sister. Into a hug.

“I miss you.”

Something strangled, choked, comes out of Taylor, and soon both of them were sobbing. Holding each other in bruising grips, nails, blood, tears, and grief mingling into the snow around them. 

She was so angry when Rebecca was put into that coma. Angry at herself for not calling more. Angry at Rebecca for not calling her. Angry at herself for not being the type of person someone calls for comfort. Angry at Taylor for simply not knowing. Angry at the world. 

That anger and bitterness kept the grief at bay.

But if Taylor had reached out to her, she would have cracked sooner. She would have opened her arms. Instead, as her family mourned and grieved she had to be the practical hopeful one. She had to suck it in. 

No one thinks the Ice Queen can mourn. Or cry.

She can.

“I’m s-so-o s-sorry,” Taylor blubbered “I- I miss her so much.”

“Fuck" Alex sobs, "me too. S-so much. I-I hate it. Hate this blind hope.”

Taylor wailed, “Me too!”

Alex tightened her stranglehold grip on her little sister, “Why didn't you return my calls?”

Taylor looked up at her tearfully, big hazel eyes sad “We really need to catch up.”

“Yes,” Alex tilted her back, hoping the tears will dry in her eyes “let’s go.”


Hazel eyes fluttered open for a second. Hazel eyes in an underfed pale face. Hazel eyes identical to her sisters.

Before slipping back into its coma.

Time. In time.

January 21, 2021 22:22

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1 comment

Carole Cobos
22:37 Jan 21, 2021

part two of the trilogy- this story makes more sense if you read 'Set in Snow'.


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