Never are voices so beautiful as on a winter’s evening—Virginia Woolf

A Friend of Dorothy

The young boy silently shut the front door as he made his way into the house. He shook the snow from his hair and threw his satchel onto the grey linen sofa. He then walked into the kitchen and poured himself a cup of tea from the pot. After a few minutes, he made his way to the front door, planning to go outside and enjoy the freshly fallen snow. As he began to tightly wrap the scarf around his neck, his father was coming down the stairs.

“Hold on for a moment, son.”

The young boy stopped and returned the greeting with a slight nod. “Hey, dad.”

“I just want to talk to you for a minute,” the father said. “Just a little father-and-son time.”

The boy appeared hesitant but relented and sat down on the sofa. His father sat down on the opposite end, a few feet apart.

“So what do you want to talk about?” asked the boy.

“Well, I’ve just been wondering how you’ve been feeling lately,” the father replied. “Everything’s fine at school?”

“Not bad,” the boy paused and took a sip from his glass cup. “I guess how any average kid would feel.”

The father paused for a moment and then asked, “Want to watch some TV?”

“Sure, why not,” said the boy.

The father stood up from the sofa and walked over to the television set. He turned the knob, knocked his fist against the screen and returned to his spot on the opposite end. After a while, the father asked, “Has anyone said anything yet?”

“No, not really, I haven’t told anyone else yet except Wally,” replied the boy.

“What did he say when you told him?” asked the father.

“Well, not much,” said the boy. “I guess me and him aren’t such good friends no more.”

The boy’s father shook his head and then asked, “What about Wally’s parents? Did he tell them?”

“They told me they don’t want me messin’ around with him.”

The two sat in silence while the sounds from the television continued to fill the olive-drab room. The father lit a cigarette and stared thoughtfully at his son. He then sat up from the sofa and went into the kitchen. Several moments later, he walked back into the living room with a sandwich.

“You want anything to eat?” asked the father. “I can whip up something for you if you’re hungry.”

“Maybe later,” the boy replied.

“You want to know what I think?” asked the father.

Without waiting for his son to reply, he said, “Well, I can’t say that I mind it too much. In fact, I think it’s more of your own personal choice. What do you think?”

The boy merely shrugged and returned his attention toward the television set. After a few minutes, he finally replied, “I’m not really sure what to think right now.”

“All right, son. What I’m trying to say is that it’s not something that’s bad. There’s still time, you know,” the father smiled.

“Sure, dad,” the boy replied.

“Your mom and I are right here if you need anything, okay?” asked the father. “We’re still here for you now. You know that.”

Making no effort to show that he had understood, the boy continued to watch the television program. Unsure of what to say, the father leaned back in the sofa, spread out his arms and watched the program with his son. He glanced out the window and saw that the snow outside had been dirtied by passing cars. After a while, the father stood up from the sofa, extinguished his cigarette and walked over to his son. Patting him on the head, he finally said, “I’m glad we had this talk. You feeling all right?”

“I feel fine,” the boy smiled after a few seconds. “Nothing’s wrong with me.”

Aaron Chan

Christmas Eve

Approaching midnight

lonely streets,

defeated by snow.

Still I stand.

Time slowly leaning forward,

My fingers forgetting

how to feel.

Lips crack

in the biting wind.

It’s too dark to see

if anyone’s coming.

But there are no

muted footsteps approaching,

no glint of eager eyes.

Still I stand, I wait.

My breath escapes me

In tiny clouds that quickly fade.

And when I hear you

Say my name

And your arms around my waist

I know it’s finally

Christmas.

Elexa Rose

 A Season’s greeting

It started after the leaves began to fall:

As she trudged her feet among the mass of brown, gold and withered green that littered the streets the bleakness of the coming weeks filled her heart.

The heat of the summer months had made way for winter’s icy glare.

Blue sadness came and settled, heavy, on her mind.

And so, like the morning dew that feels the cold’s embrace; she froze up.
The naked trees stood despondent and frosty wind made moan.

They said the season did not agree with her.

It left her feeling under the weather;

“Yes her mind was out of sync, but nothing that couldn’t be fixed;

It was really quite common with these winter blues”.

Why didn’t she indulge in some Christmassy things? You know:

Mistletoe (but not wine),

Sleigh bell ringing or carol singing.

But all the while the sadness grew.

The wind refused to whistle and began to howl.

When at night the casements shook, she’d share their cries and

Look back to when she had once found the season so appealing.

She thought of:

Landscapes covered in endless white,

Frosted fir trees-

Or even a lonely pond in a frozen wasteland

If she could lie down, there, she’d happily stay

For all she wanted was some Rest; In Peace.

They recommended a change of scene.

Just for a while…

Somewhere safe

Until it all passed.

So she went, for a short stay.

Somewhere safe,

Where this season’s greetings could be warmly declined.

Scholastica Akech

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