Part I: Winter Is For Lovers
I reached around Cindy’s back, struggling with the task of unsnapping her bra. “Having troubles?” she asked playfully. I looked up at her and our eyes met. “You could say that” I returned. “And I was under the impression you were somewhat a pro” she quipped. “Nope. If there was a ‘bra removal guidebook’ I’d be the first in line”. I moved back as she leaned forward, readjusting herself as she skillfully removed the bra in mere seconds. She let out a small giggle as she fell back into the couch, pulling me forward on top of her.
It was a few days before Christmas, Cindy and I were together in her family’s house in the deserted living room. Her parents and little brother were out at a relative’s for the night. The setting was perfect. In-between lapses of kisses I’d look around the room, taking in the awe of the holiday atmosphere. There was the fireplace, stockings hung, and of course, the Christmas tree. The thing that caught my attention the most was the blinking lights. In a myriad of colors, ranging from green, to blue, and red and so on, blinking on and off silently, reflecting on the window and in her eyes.
We were getting ready to have sex for the first time. As the snow fell softly outside I closed my eyes and was so thankful, now I’m not a religious person, but in that instant I said thank you to someone, or something, and bit my lip to stop from making my grin too noticeable. It was amazing. Our clothes and the blanket fell haphazardly to the floor. Even though it was a chilly Nebraska winter night, we were both warm as can be. Once we got past the issue with the bra things progressed naturally. We didn’t discuss it. We both sweat, our bodies rocking in harmony in the act of love, my head resting against hers, the scent of her hair against my nose as I buried my lips against her soft neck. I pressed in closer, the weight of her breasts firmly against my chest, her legs wrapped around me comfortingly.
The only minor scare was when I heard the floor creek in her kitchen it was her dog Max. He tilted his head and looked at me confusingly, then he went into the hallway and found himself a cozy spot to fall asleep in. I remember the last thing I saw that night. I started falling asleep, staring quietly at the blinking Christmas lights, inextricably amazed by them. I heard Cindy get up, and watched from the corner of my eye as she ran into the kitchen, wearing nothing but her socks and panties, and prepared a plate of cookies and a glass of milk for Santa.
Part II: Mon Coeur Est Cassé (My Heart Is Broken)
It was a really nice Saturday in spring. The weather was great and I was free, so after a small lunch I headed to the park with my sketchpad to do some drawing. I sat on a bench that provided a fantastic view. Then it struck me, how could I have forgotten, Cindy and I had sat at this very bench the past fall. She loved this park. That opened the floodgates, and a lot of memories started forming. I thought back to a party we were at together the year prior, and how we escaped the loud people and the louder music to the back porch to talk. I asked her what her favorite season was. “I choose winter” she said, “I remember when I was a kid, I used to love to feel the cold of winter running up the legs of my pants”. I thought she was brilliant.
I blocked out the memories and started focusing on a drawing. I had just begun the foundation of the piece when I heard her. Cindy. That laugh was unmistakable. She was with another guy. They were holding hands. Like a bolt of lightning it hit me, tears began to fill my eyes. She used to hold my hand just like that. I never once really looked at the guy. No, I couldn’t stop staring at her. She was so damn gorgeous. I thought back to the first time we made love. It was a beautiful winter night. How will I face Christmas this year without her? I got to the point where all I could taste was the salt from tears, my face wet and warm.
A few feet away from me a mother in her 30’s was walking with the cutest looking little boy. “Mommy” he started, “every day is so amazing!” She smiled warmly and petted his head. Without a fair warning he let go of his mother’s hand and walked over to me, surprising both her and I. “What’s wrong mister?” he asked. “Wrong? No, nothing. I uh… was just laughing. So, so hard… that my eyes started watering” was all I could get out. “It’s going to be okay,” he told me, so reassuringly. “What’s your name, little man?” I asked. “Brian” he replied. “I’m Paul. It’s nice to meet you,” I said, shaking his tiny little hand. “Bye Paul! Don’t let any trees fall on you!” he said enthusiastically, and then ran back to his mom.
I felt so much better. That little kid, so full of life, was truly inspiring and uplifting. The tears were gone; I could breathe naturally again, too. I stood up, prepared to take a walk and reflect, try in put things into perspective. “Hey!” I heard from a familiar voice coming towards me. It was Cindy, she had seen me from afar and must have asked her companion for a few minutes alone. “Hi” I said, looking into her eyes. “I’ve missed you,” she said, looking down at my feet and then back up at me. “It’s been tough,” I added. “My family keeps asking me questions about you. My grandma wants to know if you’ll be at Christmas dinner next year, my little brother wants to know if you’ll come over and play board games with him, and my mom wants to know how I could have let someone like you go” she said. I didn’t know what to say. “You’re the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen” was the first thing that came to surface. “Can we talk sometime?” she asked. “You’ve got my number” I replied. “Coffee on Sunday?” she asked. “I’d love to” I replied. We hugged in a passionate embrace; it felt like my knees were turning into liquid, it felt great. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the little boy Brian from afar, smiling at me.