Alone in winter

Cold nights were the worst. She would sit on the small bench by the window, curled up in a threadbare blanket and stare. Not that there was much to see. It was all cold and barren in the mountains. She was beginning to think her being there was making her cold and barren as well. People always wanted to do things here and she wondered why. “It all looks the damn same” she had muttered one day in the cafeteria. A girl next to her turned and with a pathetic smile said “you know, the counsellors are really great, do you want me to show you where their offices are you?” Awesome. Fantastic. Maybe a counsellor could explain to her why she had chosen this place. Why, why, why. Maybe he or she could explain why she had longed for independence, chosen someplace far away and instead of finding solace in being alone she had found a startling isolation.

Apparently this was the coldest it had ever been. It was ironic right, she was here and now it was this cold.

“Give yourself a task” her father had said this morning over the phone.

Fine, I will.

Pulling the loose piece of yarn from her blanket, she yanked it until there was nothing left and then she set off. She started at one corner of the room, nearest the door and put a book on top of the yarn so that it wouldn’t move. She traced the yarn across the room floor, setting markers along the way to keep it from moving. The yarn was the perfect size, almost. There was a palm sized space left that the yarn, from end to end, did not cover. She took off her sock and covered it. There, all done.

She looked at her handiwork. The room felt warmer somehow. As if the yarn had absorbed all of her body heat and was now keeping the whole room warm. Why hadn’t she ever decorated this place before? Why hadn’t she brought things to keep her warm?


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