Winter’s Wisdom
Chilly Date
I woke up in the middle of the night shivering. I had only a 1 inch blanket over me. It had been only a little bit cold last night, but now it’s a freezing hell.
I stood up and put on my purple fluffy slippers and walked out of my room. I headed towards the basement to get some more blankets. It was much more colder downstairs and I thought of turning on the heater but I didn’t.
I was in a tight spot with money. I had to drop out of The University of Illinois because my debts were getting out of hand and I wasn’t about to let that continue. I’m doing free online college, but that only helped about 20%. I can’t afford to do anything to make my bills higher, so I would rather grab 10 blankets that turn on the heater.
I’m not poor though. I have a nice house. I just am having trouble, so I’m taking care of it.
I was walking in the darkness of the basement towards the light switch as if my body already knew were it was. I turned on the lights and I turned around. At the very far end of the basement, against the wall, was what seemed to be a picture. I walked towards it and I gasped. It was a picture of me with my ex, Jared.
Jared was a guy in my college. He was studying to be a business type of guy. He enchanted me with his sweetness, and compliments. I fell for him. We started dating and it was all okay. We loved each other, but then he cheated on me. It was weird because we didn’t have any problems with each other. When I found out I was angry and sad. I didn’t hesitate to break up with him. He gave me the expected, I didn’t do it speech. I ignored his words.
But I threw all the pictures, of us, away I thought. I made sure I shredded every single picture I had of us and threw them out. Somehow this picture managed to escape.
When I looked at the picture I instantly remembered this day. It was taken right after our first kiss. It was in front of the Navy Pier during the night on the first day of winter on December 21st.
I suddenly got a wave of emotions. I felt anger, sadness, happiness, love. Anger because of what he did to me. Sadness at how much I missed those moments with him. Happiness of remembering how happy I was. And somehow love. Love? Suddenly I realized something. There was still love for him inside of me. A love that my brain believed was dead.
I decided to just go to sleep to keep my mind calmed down. I grabbed the blankets and walked up the stairs to my room. I wrapped myself completely in the tower of blankets and went to sleep.
I woke up again 8 hours later to the sound of my alarm coming from my phone. I turned it off and sat up. I opened up my phone and my heart sank. It was the first day of winter, December 21st.
I was rushing to get ready. I was already late for work. I didn’t even do my make up or hair. I stayed sitting on my bed for about 2 hours just thinking about today, one year ago. About my first kiss with Jared. About that date.
I work at a boutique. I help out with anything I can, as well as receive customers and potential collection buyers. Right now I’m helping a store in downtown Chicago get ready to open, so I don’t really need to be presentable. But I could potentially loose my job because I kept thinking about the picture.
The thing is I believe that everything happens for a reason. I don’t believe in coincidences. And me finding the picture of our date in December 21st one year later is not a coincidence.
I rushed to my job. When I got there my boss glared at me. She doesn’t tolerate lateness. She wants you to be there on point.
“YOUR LATE, Amy!” She screamed at me with every muscle she had.
“Sorry, ma’am.” I said knowing sorry won’t work. “It won’t ever happen again.”
“You’re right, It won’t ever happen again. I want you from now on to arrive at 6:30 AM sharp, so you can learn to never be late again!”
“No but anythings. Okay?”
“Yes, ma’am.”
I blew it. Thanks a lot Jared. I began unpacking some prom dresses and hanging them on the racks. About half way into the day I got a text from Erik.
Erik is a friend I met at my old old college. Before The University of Illinois(at Chicago) I used to go to The Illinois State University(at Normal) for about one year. I met Erik there. He was studying to be a photographer like me. We became best friends and we still talk to each other.
Still on for the afternoon? Read his text.
I had totally forgotten about later today. Erik had asked me if I wanted to meet with him, like a Friend Date. I had agreed. We were supposed to meet up at this cafe near my house at about 5 PM.
You’re on. I texted back.
Now, I had to work twice as fast to leave work at about 3 to get ready.
It was 4:30 PM and I started walking towards the cafe.
I wasn’t wearing anything over the top. I was just wearing jeans with a white shirt on with a pink knitted sweater on top. For shoes I just wore some black ankle boots. I had my hair into a bun and very light makeup on.
When I got the cafe Erik was already there. He was sitting in a small squared table for two people. It was at the far right end of the cafe, near the back entrance.
“Hey.” I greeted Erik.
“Hey. I already ordered you a coffee. Is that okay?” he said.
“Only if it’s a cappuccino.” I said jokingly.
“Well then everything’s okay.” he said smiling.
I sat down across from him and we started talking about school. I know right, how boring, but at the end it ended up with drama.
“So, how’s your photography program holding up there?” I asked Erik.
“Not as fun without my best friend there.” He said with a wink.
“Haha. Can’t live without my jokes, can you?”
“As much as they annoy me, I’ll admit I can’t.”
“That’s the effect I have on people.” I said with a smile. “But really, how is it?”
“To be honest, it’s not the best. We got a new teacher, Mr. Beck. He’s literally the most boring teacher on Earth. So, naturally we’ve been lacking in good grades.”
“Oh, sorry. We’ll here it’s great! I mean some things are boring but we focus more on actually photography and less sitting.”
“Cool, wish I could be there.”
“I know. I wish you were there too.” I said with a hint of sadness.
“Hey, Amy, there’s this guy who’s been staring at you this whole time. He’s behind you.”
“Huh?” I said while turning around.
What I messed up my brain completely. Who apparently was staring at me was Jared. Then my brain went back to Mess Mode. It was December 21st, and here I was on a Chilly Date with my friend and Jared also happened to be here.
I turned around and I could tell I had a shocked expression on my face, because Erik asked:
“Do you know him?”
“I-I do.” I said stumbling over my words.
“Who is he?” asked Erik with a worried voice.
“He’s...Jared, my-um-ex.”
“Hmm. Care to get me on board?”
“He’s basically this jerk, who cheated on me that I fell madly in love with. He says he never did cheat on me, but it’s all true.” I said angrily.
“I swear I’ll go punch him in the face, if you ask m-“
“No. Knowing you you’ll break his face, and you’ll get in trouble.” I said cutting him off.
“You still love him don’t you?” asked Erik.
I stared at my cup of coffee for a long 2 minutes and then I answered. “I do.” I didn’t lift my head up.
“I’ll be right back. I’m going to the restroom.” he said. I knew Erik very well and he didn’t want to go the restroom he just wanted me to have some alone time. He stood up and left to the restroom.
After he was out of sight, Jared came up behind me and sat where Erik was sitting.
“What are-“I began to say, but he cut me off.
“We need to talk, Amy.” said Jared.
“Look, I don’t have nothing else to tell you and you don’t either, okay? Everything is clear to me and it’s in the past.”
“Is it because of your new boyfriend? Did you already forget me?” he said sadly.
“Who are you talk- Oh. You mean Erik? He’s just my best friend that would never hurt me like you did.”
“Where did you meet him?” he asked with jealousy.
“It’s none of your business, now please leave?”
“Just let me explain, Amy.”
He was begging me to let him explain, but I wasn’t in the mood.
“No. It’s just words. You have no proof that everything was a lie. That you never cheated on me.”
“Then I’ll find it. Just think of this for a moment, It’s December 21st. One year after our first kiss. And here we are again.” he said as if I hadn’t been thinking about that all this time.
He went back to his table and a few moments later Erik came back. He paid the check and we left. He went back to where he was staying at and I went walking back home.
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