Silent Winter

Silent Winter

{Short Story Series}

Making friends was never hard for Ray. Even if someone didn’t know him, it was hard to resist his happy soul. He was just light. Everyone always wanted to be around him, and the minute he would leave, they would miss his presence. He never really hung around anyone in particular, just whoever was up for an adventure that day. For instance, one cold winter night, Ray was walking down the street back to his apartment, when he noticed some people sitting around a small fire celebrating. They invited him over, and he accepted. He had talked to them like he had known them forever as they laughed and shared stories late into the night.

It had happened suddenly. He couldn’t quite remember how he had noticed her, or when, but one minute he was standing around the small trash fire with his new friends, and  the next he was going up to the edge of the street to get a better look at the girl sitting across the way at the bus stop. With the street light illuminating her fairy-like features, she looked exotically beautiful, unlike anything he had ever seen before. She had a large suitcase sitting at her feet, and she was busy typing away on her phone.

Before he even realized what he was doing, he was making his way across the street. He kept thinking of ways to start a conversation. Maybe, “Hey what’s up?” No , that isn’t right. “Need some company?” No, that sounds way too creepy. He decided to wing it as he leaned on side of the bus stop, a thick, foggy glass wall separating the two. Ray tugged on the straps of his backpack before saying, “Hey.” No answer. Internally, he was screaming at himself. “Really? Out of all of the things that you could of said, the only thing you could think of was hey!” Then he thought to himself, ‘Maybe she has headphones in and just couldn’t hear me?’ He decided to try something different this time.  With the glass being as foggy as it was, he wrote ‘Hi’ with his finger, tiny beads of water attaching to his fingertip as he nervously traced out each letter.

This seemed to catch her attention, because when she read what he had written, she looked up at him and smiled before taking out her headphones. I knew it! thought Ray. Gathering up his courage, Ray smiled, and made his way into the seat next to her. “Hi, I wasn’t trying to seem like a creep or anything. My name is Ray, what’s yours? ” The girl just looked at him with a slightly sad/ concerned look on her face, before pointing at her mouth and shaking her head. At first he didn’t quite understand, until it finally registered to him. “Oh…you can’t speak can you?” This time, the girl smiled, and then shook her head again. “Right, hold on.” Ray’s phone had died while sitting around the fire so he rummaged through his backpack to fish out an old chemistry notebook and a pen. Turning to a blank page he wrote, ‘Hi, my name is Ray, what’s yours?’ The girl took the notebook, scribbled something down and then handed it back to Ray. He quickly grabbed the notebook out of her hands and glanced over the page until his eyes landed on what she had written.

“I’m Anisette. you don’t have to write I can hear you” Ray laughed. “Right, sorry about that. Where are you from Anisette? I haven’t seen you around here before.” ‘Philly’ “Wow you’re a long way from home. What are you doing way over here? And what’s with the suitcase?” ‘I was just in town for school. I’m going back home tonight.’

With many words, and written ones, exchanged between the two, they had talked for what seemed like hours to Ray. Even though it was mostly silent on her part, he felt like he could hear her. He had absorbed everything that she had told him. Even the tiniest of details. She was born in Texas, raised in Philly. She had two sisters. She wanted to write a book about what it was like to be mute. Everything.  Checking his watch, he noticed that it was nearing 10:00.  “Will I be seeing you around here again?” asked Ray hoping that she would say yes.

Before she could answer, the bus pulled up to the station. Anisette picked up her bag and her suitcase, smiled at Ray and then motioned for him to give her the notebook. Inside she quickly jotted something down, handed the notebook back to Ray, and then waved goodbye to him before boarding the bus. Ray watched as the bus rolled down the street  before turning his attention back to the notebook. He frantically flipped through the pages to find what she had written, and just as he had gotten to the page that contained the mystery note, a car came out of nowhere speeding down the street, and splashed a puddle of water all over Ray. In the process the notebook had fallen out of Ray’s lap, and lay face down on the street. Ray quickly picked it up and tried to flip back to the page only to have it rip as he did so. The notebook was a complete and soggy mess in his hands, preventing him from making out what she had written.

Ray sighed before tossing the notebook in the dumpster behind the bus station, and then made his way back across the street. His new friends had decided to leave early, so it was just him and the fire, still crackling and glowing  from hours before. Ray watched as the tiny ruby embers rose up and then disappeared into the cold night and  wondered; What had she written on the paper? Maybe  he was never meant to cross paths with Anisette; maybe it was one of those things that fate wouldn’t allow. One thing’s for sure is that Ray knew he would never forget her, and he wondered if they would ever meet in this lifetime again.

Sorry if this was starting to get a little lengthy. This is one of my favorite older short stories that I have written and I thought that I would share it again. Also as a little side note, this story means the world to me, and I have fallen so in love with the characters that I do not feel like their story should end here. I have an idea on the direction that I want this story to go, but I will be adding things here and there that I hope to share soon.  Thank you so much to whoever reads this, I hope you enjoyed, and please look forward to my next post.

-J’Anne Alexandra

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