The Story of Winter
"I have to give you something," he said lightly, looking up at the expanse of sky stretched as far as the eye could see. "That's the way these things go. A deal is a deal."
"Right," I replied distractedly, wondering what he was gazing at.
"How about winter? I'll give you winter."
The night was cloudless. Inviting. I think I would live in the stars, if I could.
I glanced at him, studying his profile. I wasn't sure if he was mocking me or if he actually meant anything he said. I would never find out. I would die not knowing.
"Winter?" I asked, hoping that for just a moment he would look at me. "You can't just...give me a season. That's not possible."
He laughed. I loved it when he laughed. His cheeks dimpled; it took away his intensity and for one joyous moment, he appeared less burdened. Then his smile faded and he said softly, "Sure I can. I can give you anything you desire. Any season you wish. But I think winter fits best."
"Because I'm a frigid bitch?" I was joking. I wanted to see him laugh one more time before everything ended.
Finally, he looked down at me. Bottomless, steel grey eyes met mine and I lost everything I was thinking. Jaded thoughts and doubts and worries fled. I felt weightless, liberated. When he touched my cheek, his hand was warm. When he kissed me, it was achingly soft. He whispered against my lips, "There's beauty in it. Crystalline snow, silver skies…despite it, everything seems more overwhelming. The cold, the death, the lack of light. But you know what?"
"What?" I breathed.
"They always appreciate you more when you're gone."
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