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A Silent City of Sparkles


Meg

You would think that it would be the car engines or my alarm clock that woke me, the sound of an irritated New Yorker, or the neighbor next door’s alarm blaring five times each morning through the wall, but instead it was the silence that woke me. New York’s sounds had become a comforting white noise, but it was silent. I sat up slowly, unsure if I was still in New York. Maybe I was home on my family’s farm. That was the last time I had been able to simply hear myself breath, but there it was, my constant in-out breath came steadily. 

I slipped on my robe, its fluff wrapping me in a lovely hug, and strode toward the curtained window. To my pleasure, white sparkles drifted down from the heavens, but surely this wasn’t New York, for no masses roamed the streets, and the taxis didn’t swerve from lane to lane in a frenzied fashion. It was almost like I was alone in New York City, which, I can tell you, is a crazy feeling. 

And then I remembered, I actually had a job. I glanced at the clock. Yikes, I was going to be late. I grabbed at my phone, only to see a text from my boss saying that we were going to be closed for the day. I squealed and twirled in a circle. A snow day! 

I rummaged through my dresser and found a pair of wool socks, leggings which I put on under a pair of jeans, and a snug sweater. I grabbed my warmest coat, and suddenly felt like an Eskimo, bundled up against the cold. I simply beamed.

I rather waddled down my hallway, without seeing a soul and took the elevator down to the first floor. After I exited the building, I realized why everything was closed. The snow was deep and even the streets were inundated in the coat of winter.

I stood with my hands raised in the air and felt the white glories touch my bare palms, delighted to feel them slide and pool in my hands. I turned slowly and laughed. Nothing could compare. 

__________________________________________

Evan

I flipped on the TV, and my alarm blared. I saw the listings of closings flash across the screen, rolling on and on. I set my coffee pot to brew, and smelled the coffee aroma drift throughout the apartment. The TV anchors urged New Yorkers to stay put and not to venture outside their abodes. My own workplace had decided not to open with just about every other place in New York. Nevertheless, I pulled out my laptop to catch up on some work that I needed to finish. Just because it was snowing, didn’t mean my life stopped in its tracks. 

Unrest pulled at me though as I lifted to pull my flavorless coffee to my lips. My life had started to feel like a robotic, monotonous task that remained the same day after day. I flipped through my tabs with discontent and let out a sigh. Some snow day. 

I padded across the apartment, and pulled the heavy curtains aside to reveal the winter wonderland. It truly was gorgeous. Not a sound could be heard, but there was a lone figure standing in the middle of the street, arms outstretched, head tilted back toward the sky, snow drifting to land on her face. Bliss was the ultimate expression of this young woman. Intriguing. No one stopped in this tech driven world to simply be. To simply enjoy. I couldn’t stop. I didn’t know how. But somehow this New Yorker girl was doing it. Simply being. It was beautiful. She was beautiful. 

Forget work. I shrugged on my coat, and found the oldest shoes I could find, which was a feat since all I seemed to have was polished dress shoes. I grabbed a flimsy scarf from the corner, and set out to actually, for once, enjoy a snow day, to enjoy life. 

I made my way down to the entrance of my building, and sauntered out to the sidewalk. Her eyes flung open, and they sparkled, just like the sky. 

“ Isn’t it beautiful?” She gasped. 

I was freezing. Who knew winter could be so cold? I usually tried to hibernate during winter. 

“I was beginning to think that New York was evacuated, rather than just told to say inside.” She shouted to me. 

“ Just hiding I think. The cowards.” I laughingly smirked. 

“ Then we must be the mighty warriors. “ 

“Seems to be about right.” I stuffed my hands inside my coat pockets as deep as they could go. “What do you even do in a snow such as this?” 

__________________________________________

Meg

What? Were there rules on how to enjoy snow. I almost laughed at his comments, but he was apparently in earnest. Then suddenly I had an idea. “We ought to have a picnic!!” Was this crazy? For sure. Did it sound marvelous? Absolutely. Who said there were rules on how to enjoy snow?

“Isn’t that kind of a spring- summer sort of thing?” He sounded so unsure. 

“Isn’t that the point? We don’t have to do just one thing because of the snow. All of New York seems completely shut down because of the snow. But it doesn’t have to stop our fun. Let’s do it! Please?”

He simply shrugged. “ I suppose so. Why not? We might as well get to enjoy all the seasons at once.”

“Exactly. I’ll go get the supplies.” I said with determination. 

“I’ll see what I can muster out of my apartment.” 

I took the stairs of my apartment two at a time, causing quite the ruckus. I pulled out the strawberries, cheese, bread, and fruit roll ups, and made a mental note to go to the store. I also grabbed a checkered blanket from the back of the closet, and bolted down the stairs. 

When I reached the middle of the street, he had arrived with a laundry basket of stuff in his arms. 

“ I brought doritos, granola bars, and chicken parmesan.”

“Chicken parmesan?” Fancy. 

“I like to cook. I also brought this umbrella.” He said as he opened it, and stuck it deep in the snow. 

“What?”

“You know like a beach umbrella. To honor summer.” The umbrella promptly fell over, sitting pathetically in the snow. 

“Oh. We forgot to honor fall though.” 

“Now, that I can fix. “ He said as he stared hopelessly at the umbrella. I reached for the umbrella, as he pulled a thermos out of his laundry basket. “Apple cider, in honor of our friend fall.”

“Now you have thought of everything.” I spread the checkered red and white blanket over the immaculate pure snow in the middle of the street between our two buildings, and he peeled back the tin foil to reveal the chicken parmesan. I couldn’t stop smiling. This day was going down as one of the best I'd ever had. 

__________________________________________

Evan

This was crazy, but I couldn’t remember a more perfect moment. I uncapped the steaming apple cider and inhaled the glorious smell. Now this was way better than stale coffee and excel spreadsheets filled with numbers that were in probability all askew. 

I watched the pleasure fill her face as she tried my chicken parmesan. Maybe I had missed my true calling, I chuckled to myself. “ You like it?” 

“It’s fabulous. “ She closed her eyes to enjoy the flavors. 

The makeshift beach umbrella fell to the side again, and I merely smirked. Apparently, the winter weather didn’t appreciate my efforts to create a beach paradise. 

I grabbed a fruit rollup, remembering when I used to eat them as a kid. 

“How many times do you think New York will simply be silent as if sleeping?” She commented. 

“Unfortunately, I suspect it will just be this once.”

“Hmmmm ...That's what I thought. It’s been nice.”

Seemingly right on cue, I heard a rumble come from down the street. “And that would be the snow plows….”

We both sat silent for a moment, reluctant for our impromptu picnic to end. 

With her eyes still gazing at the food, she remarked. “You know we’re still sitting in the middle of the street.” 

I gave a sharp, boisterous laugh before we both bolted to our feet and snatched up the contents of our picnic. We had just made it to the sidewalk when we saw the snow plow crest the hill and do its best to shove away the snow. 

“ I never got your name.” I said as we stood in front of my building, trying to catch our breaths. 

“Meg Hudson. You?” She asked as her teeth began to chatter. 

“Evan Rogers.”

Meg gave a shiver. “Well, I should go, since I’m about to freeze to death.”

I nodded. “Thank you for the best day I can remember. We should do it again sometime.”

“I would like that. I’m not going to forget this day.”

“Neither will I.” 

We both slowly walked backwards toward our respective buildings, reluctant to end this great day. As soon as I saw her disappear, I strolled up the stairs, flopped down on my bed, and heard New York wake from their slumber and brave the winter. I pondered my silent New York morning and smiled. Today I had simply been.

And it had been amazing.



January 09, 2020 15:08

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4 comments

Brittany Gillen
00:08 Jan 16, 2020

I could totally relate to the feelings of both characters, and I loved the image of a picnic in the middle of the street. Excellent mini-moment that I agree with Klyn sounds like a great Rom-com meet-cute.

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Madison C.
00:35 Jan 16, 2020

Thank you!

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Klyn Akwarandu
22:29 Jan 15, 2020

You know, while reading, the images came alive. The snow and their respective buildings. You could shoot a short film from this and I'll surely love to watch a story about people who made heaven out of nothing. lovely piece

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Madison C.
23:08 Jan 15, 2020

Thank you so much. It means a lot.

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