Written by: Lena Rye

Opening the closet door, I pulled my thick jacket off its hanger. I zipped it up and grabbed my scarf and hat off the hooks and put them on. Pulling on my boots, I hurried outside, leaving my annoying parents behind. I slammed the door behind me.

It was only about six o’clock but the sky was already dark. The street lamps lit up my breath as I exhaled, fogging up my glasses. “Uhhh!” I groaned, wiping them dry. I then crossed the street where the colours of the traffic lights were reflected in the dark, wet asphalt.

A little girl, entirely enveloped in bulky winter clothes, bent down to scoop up a snowball. As I passed, she skipped after her family, calling “Daddy, Daddy, I’m gonna get you!” From behind me, I heard the snowball splatter, and her delighted giggles. “Why does she have to be so loud?”.  My face tingled from the cold so I pulled my scarf up so it covered my nose. A squirrel leaped from tree to tree above, making a dusting of snow gently fall around me. Disgustedly, I brushed the it off  me and kept walking. The snow crunched under my boots. I kicked a chunk of ice on the ground in frustration. It made a satisfying sound as it bounced off the bumper of a parked car. I took a deep breath and hastily turned left, walking down the block. There it was, at the end… the park.

I sat down on the bench at the corner. Closing my eyes and tilting my face up to the sky, I deeply breathed in the night air, embracing the cold. It smelled of cedar. All car noises were muffled.

I can’t remember how long I stayed like that, but when I opened my eyes, the first thing I saw was the CN Tower, which stood regally in the distance, lit with red and green. That finally made me grin. I felt warm inside even though it was below zero. An elderly couple walking their dog passed by. The dog, with a tennis ball in its mouth, pulled on the leash towards me. They smiled and kept walking. I smiled back. A plane flew overhead. I watched its tiny flashing lights as they passed across the sky. I imagined being in that plane and looking down at the miniature city below. A grey and white cat hopped up onto the bench and peered at me timidly. I gingerly reached my hand out and the cat let me stroke him. I could feel him purring softly.

After what might have been an hour, I got up and leisurely made my way home, in a sort of trance. I opened the front door and smiled, hearing the sounds of my family within.


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