Flash Fiction: “Winter”

This winter will be a cold one, she thinks.

She pulls the covers up to gather the thick layers of down beneath her chin. Once, she threw back these covers even on the coldest of nights, because she needed them aside to draw him into her arms. The two of them would curl up together so that the touch of their bodies could fight the chilly winter’s embrace, letting the heat between them grow forever hotter, and deeper.

frosted window image by Вадим Захарищев ©123RF.com

Вадим Захарищев ©123RF.com

Here though, now, the chill suffuses her lungs and heart. It drains out into her veins in sharp bursts of ice, consuming each organ, every cell. When she exhales, she swears she can see the puff of air against the stillness of her room. The blinds are open, the sun beyond her view, but the glimmer of its light reveals the frost covering the glass and the snow-tipped trees outside. The sight makes her shiver, the cold bone deep when she thinks of him.

It was so much warmer with him here.

She clenches her eyes shut and tucks her face under the blanket. It doesn’t feel as secure when she expels breath after breath to warm her naked flesh. Security was the trace of his fingertips over this skin to fill her body with fire, and her heart with love. When his arms held her tight in the cold of this room, she never felt a chill. The blackness behind her eyelids is fitting for winter and still, such a contrast to what she knew before, with him. She knew lightness. Pure lightness. Joy. She imagines his smile, hears his laugh. Feels the trace of his breath over her ear before he whispers into it.

I love you, he says.

The memories flow fast through her as she breathes, and breathes again. She tries to channel them into heat, replaying them like a dream she needs not to end. She recalls his kneel over the broken couch he fixed for her, and the grin he kept flashing her direction as he did. She holds her belly at the thought of the endless dinners he made for her, the easy scoop of her hand into his, or his gentle brush of her hair off her neck before he kissed her. She pictures the messages he’d send to cheer her on the worst of days, and his amusement when she stroked his thigh in her quiet listen to every little word he had to say. She remembers how hard they’d laughed midway through fucking on the kitchen table after a chair fell over to scrape her wall, a staggering interruption to one more blissful, earth shaking moment shared between them.

Since he’s left, she’s stared at that scrape one hundred times. Each time, she imagines his kisses. His thrusts. The laugh echoed throughout her kitchen like the cold does in her bedroom now. She craves the sound of his voice again. She aches for him, close, once more.

She knows that she needs him more than anything—the weight of him above her, the press of him inside. His arms, his heart, his love, and the fleeting memories that try to slip from her like the air coming from so deep within her chest. It’s cold and heavy to remind her this winter will be a long one, and this bed has never felt so alone.

When she tugs the blanket over her head, tears sting her cheeks like the ice freezing her heart. She pulls her knees into her arms, knowing, somewhere inside, that spring will come. She only hopes it will come faster to light her world in the blossom of their love.

But for now, she merely thinks it again.

Winter will be a cold one this year.

 

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