I’m barefoot in the snow.
I’m running down the dark street, hand in hand with M.
It’s quiet and eerie, except for the lone barking of the neighbour’s dog yapping at us from behind the faerie lights.
Our footfalls are soft and muffled on the snow, and our laughter rings out into the night, light and easy and free.
Two young souls dizzy with laughter and happiness.
Then we turn the corner to the right and race down hard, foot stomping, dog barking.
“Back, back, again!”
We turn to the left and race down the snow-laden street
freshly fallen snow deliciously cold and mushy.
M grabs me waltzes and spins me round and round till I’m dizzy and clutching him and all I see is the whir of snow and the flash of his eyes, blue tonight.
Then a mad dash for the friendly light and warmth of the house.
It’s almost ten pm and I’m back in the snow.
It’s a challenge. How long can we last?
Twenty minutes in these conditions and the heart will stop beating.
I go as long as I can, barefoot on the snow. Wearing two sweaters from M’s mom and corduroy flares from my mom. I’m leaping and skipping and dancing with delight, warding away the cold. Then I’m running and running in the cold dark street; looking for me.
“Too long, Karolinka, let’s go in!”
And it’s true. I feel the cold snaking through me, heading towards my leaping skipping heart. My palms and feet are chilly and stiff with cold. But it’s alright, it’s okay.
I’ve found me.