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A Very Short Love Story

A black hole, looking like an endless glacier crevice, swallowed both of us

 “I don’t feel your arm anymore,” my coworker shouted. “Please! Don’t move. You’re killing me.”

It was so cold that every one of his breaths made a frozen cloud in the air, but still his forehead looked so damp, and his eyes, so big. What if he really was tired? What if he could no longer hold on to me? Something moist dropped on my hair but it wasn’t a snowflake.

I hate men who sweat, I thought. “Don’t scream,” I whispered back. Didn’t he know that his loud voice could’ve caused an avalanche? But, people don’t have any control over the way they panic; the same way they can’t stop their sweats.

I couldn’t remember whose idea it was to hike in this remote place, in March. Walking with a man I didn’t really know. Didn’t Dad always tell me to give people a chance? Any stranger could be the man of your life, he always said.

I hate you Dad, I thought, and hated my whole life, solely depending on this particular stranger.

Just a few hours ago, we were talking so calmly about the African rituals of death and my only worry was about his bizarre accent, until the ground under our feet opened up and a black hole, looking like an endless glacier crevice, swallowed both of us. Then, I couldn’t think about anything other than that void, while I was rolling and turning, trying to grab to anything I could find. Thank God, at least I found his fingers, right before he got stuck, and me too.

Was I bleeding? I didn’t care. Tucked in ice and fresh slushy snow, my lone thought was about dying without ever knowing true love.

“Don’t move,” he shouted again. “It hurts my arm.”

“If I don’t move, I will freeze,” I answered with agony. But, the heat of my body was melting the ice around me. It was my heartbeats, my warm skin, my last signs of life that was going to kill me.

I was disconcerted; even worse, I didn’t have anyone else to blame. It wasn’t really my father’s fault. I had left his house a long time ago. I couldn’t even blame this poor guy, whose name I had forgotten. I’ve never been good with names, not even good with faces. I used to forget everyone, and everyone used to forget me.

The man was sobbing like a widow, but crying like a boy. “It’s falling,” he said.

Was he talking about his shoes or maybe his mobile? Whatever it was, it was too rigid. It hit my nose and tongue and chin and disappeared somewhere beyond my reach.

“No,” he screamed with despair. Then, his pants were falling down.

His skin was too white, and his belly, too plump, but it didn’t matter anymore. I could feel the ice under my feet thawing. I could hear the cracks. The cold hint of a fall brushed my boots like a gentle breeze.

I haven’t been very lucky in life, I thought. But my coworker’s fate was even worse than mine. His arm was stuck between two rocks and my weight was pulling him down. His shoulder was going to be torn from its socket. His legs hanging in the air, like a man condemned to death. And his best part, the other arm, his only free arm, was entangled in mine. I was only stuck in the melting ice, and the nature – wide and grandiose like the mouth of God – beneath me.

The view, impeccable.

“You need to focus miss,” he said.

Did he call me miss?

He was blushing. Rambling. His face, all red. “Sorry miss, but when I’m nervous I forget people’s names,” he said embarrassingly.

I looked at him, and stopped pretending to be offended by his forgetfulness. “Don’t worry. I’ve forgotten yours too also.”

Something trembled around my waist. The ice shivered and I slipped deeper. The snow moved up to my chest. My still arm looked like a dead tree, freezing, and my coworker’s fingers were stuck to my last living ends. I didn’t know who was holding who. I didn’t know how this position would even exist.

Not even if I were a painter, I could have drawn such a precarious predicament.

“My name is Alfred,” he whispered. “Alfred McGregore, the Third.”

A good day for humanity. There wouldn’t be a fourth idiot like you, I thought. “I am Allison Lucky, the First,” I said and smiled. My lips, frozen.

“I don’t feel my arm,” he said with much anxiety.

I dangled my legs like being in a dance. Imitating him. He pressed my hand like caressing it. “It’s OK if you want to move. I don’t want you to freeze,” he said, and smiled at me, before murmuring words. It sounded like a melody, from my childhood, that my Dad and Mom used to dance to it.

“It’s my favorite song,” he said with a soft voice to comfort me.

I was speechless.

He stared at me and I stared back at him, singing.

The hell with avalanches. “It’s my Winter song, my all time favorite,” I screamed with joy, while he panted with regret, or maybe just pain.

Before my efforts could close my lips, the thunder broke and the earth swung. The sun sat under my feet and the moon shone over my head. My mouth was still wide open, while the rushing snow flew inside, and the breeze shook my voice.

It was winter, going down my throat like a little love song.

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