Even the trees look blue this time of year, frost besetting them like some disease. If I swing from a branch, it will break. If i pick at the bark, it will shatter. My nose is frozen and I don't like it; I wish I had thought to bring my mittens.
There is a small pond frozen nearby, and in my mind I skate across it. Creeak, crack, goes the ice. Darn mittens.
Where is my brother, anyway? Hadn't he told me, stressed to me, not to be late. Hanold Park. Five o' clock. Empty.
Well, except for the birds. Small birds, the ones that usually hop across the ground now hopping across the surface of a lake. I remember my first time on an airplane, three summers ago. Only three? So much had changed. That was as close as I would ever come to flying. I was happy then. Were these little birds happy now, pretending to swim?
Somewhere behind me is a rustle. A plant, rustling around in the biting wind, so unnatural in this time of year, when even the hollys are frozen. I turn around. Some sort of pine. Ever green. I think on that. How it might feel to be constant, untouched by the seasons. I shake. It shakes.
Plunging my hands deeper into my jacket pockets, I look around again for Christopher. I call out to him, Brother! but there is no answer. Maybe he's late. Maybe I'm early. Extricating my arm from the folds of my coat I look at my watch. It's frozen too.
What am I doing out here, I wonder. Out in the snow. Out in the cold. Out in Hanold Park. It's time to go. My brother can just deal with it. It's not like he's really my brother anyway.