Winter is my favourite season of the year. It’s not too hot and always cold but the best part about it is the snow. I have always loved the snow because it brings back the best memories: building a snowman with pebbles for eyes, a carrot nose and twig arms, and snowball fights with Mom and Dad and best of all, family time by the fire with hot cocoa. But that’s all they are now, memories and snow.
After my parents got divorced I spent a lot of time outside and when living in England, there is ALWAYS snow. The snow became my refuge from the world. I would make snow angels and ice skate, not wanting to go home until I realised there would be consequences. After Mom got remarried to Derek there was no more family time or snow ball fights actually, there was no more time for me at all. Mom works from 8 in the morning till 12 at night everyday while Derek sits on the couch drinking beer and watching sport until he feels like doing something productive, like picking on me. “Where have you been the whole day?” “Stuffing your face? No wonder you’re so fat.” *Poke* “Look at me when I’m talking to you!” *Shove*and all I do is take it because the best thing to do is put your head down and walk away. Most days are like this and there is always a bruise or a cut to tend to, but the snow helps. It makes everything numb, the best feeling.
On one particular day I came home after playing in the snow to find the house smelling strongly of alcohol. Derek immediately came up to me and started shouting. My mind switched off and focussed onto the chair in front of me. I felt my head reel to the side as the first punch landed on my cheek, then another in my gut and another on my side. And then I felt the snow. The coldness of it hugged my body in all the places that hurt, relieving the ache that was slowly growing and then I passed out.
I woke up to find myself in a warm bed that did not resemble my own. My head sent a sharp shooting pain down my spine as I tried to sit up. “There, there lass, take it easy” I heard a voice coming toward me and I started to panic. “I’m not going to hurt you.” An elderly man came into view and sat down by my side. “What happened to you?” he asked with a sorrowful expression on his face. All at once the memories come back: Derek, the chair and the snow. I started crying and the elderly man put his hand on my shoulder as if to comfort me somehow.
It has been four years since that fateful day and I have never felt happier than I am now. Tom (the elderly man) took care of me like a father and now as I look at the snow I think of all the memories (good and bad) and I cherish them all because in the end the snow was always there and it saved me.
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