Days of Snow
On the first day of snow, I wore your favorite top hat and stood proudly at the top of the hill. You had not yet dressed my face with eyes or a smile, so I sat, unseeing and unsmiling. Back then, I was just three spheres of fresh snow stacked carefully atop another, blindly enjoying the new world I was brought into.
On the second day of snow, you gifted me a pair of obsidian eyes that you found lying on the sidewalk. They were dirty and unpolished, but they were eyes nonetheless, and I loved them all the same. You were the first thing I saw when I opened my eyes. You had smiled at me then, and my heart ached for a face that could express my joys.
On the third day of snow, your little sister came by with a string of black beads that she stole from your mother. You had scolded her for theft and considered returning the beads, but my smile was all too charming for you to take it away.
“Pinky promise you won’t tell!” your sister had pleaded. You rolled your eyes but took up the offer anyway.
It seemed that after those few days of snow, you were happy with your creation and left me to live on my own. At that time, your sister came to have tea more often than you did. She would sit beside me, chattering away about the business of her life and occasionally pausing to listen. Though I willed myself to speak, my mouth would remain a happy little smile. She didn’t seem to care; she’d simply nod her head to the silence and say, “You bring up a great point there, Mx. Snowman. I’ll think about it.”
Halfway through the days of snow, I thought that I had been completely erased from your memory. Your sister had also gotten tired of talking to herself all the time and decided to have her tea inside. Sometimes, you would stop by the window and stare at me, admiring the work of art you had made, and I would smile back. The days were quiet and comfortable, but they were getting too lonely for me to bear.
Five days to the end of snow, you blessed me with a visit in the middle of the night. I had hoped it would be a joyous one, but instead, you greeted me with tears. I wish you had given me something better than those useless twig arms that could not hold you while you sobbed. I wish I was not a useless pile of snow that could not give you warmth while you screamed. I wish I could have done something other than sitting there with a mocking smile, silently waiting as you poured your heart out to me. When you had had enough of crying, you wiped your eyes, leaned against my abdomen, and gently touched the brim of my top hat.
“At least we have each other, right?” you said. You were smiling then, too, a weak sort of smile that trembled every second.
We did have each other. You had brought me to life and blessed me with more than anything I could imagine, and I had watched over you every day and listened to you as you cried. But, had I truly been there for you all that time? Though you seemed to forgive my lack of consolation, how could I possibly forgive myself? What was the purpose of my existence, if not to protect that smile I saw when I first opened my eyes? I could only stare and smile at you, wishing that I could rip that stupid string of beads from my face and throw it far far away, and maybe trade it for something truly comforting.
You fell asleep after a while, and your sister found you in the morning, screaming at you to wake up. Your smile had long been wiped from your face, and your lips had turned a deadly shade of blue. After failing to wake you up, she pulled you up by the arms and dragged you across the snow. Before she brought you back inside, she turned to thank me. I smiled back, just like I always did.
The days of snow are ending, and I will soon become a useless puddle of rainwater, waiting to be stepped on by those who pass by. Next year, perhaps you will build another being of snow back up from the ground and admire his obsidian eyes and smile of beads, and your sister will drink tea with him and share with him the wonders of the world. Next year, perhaps he will hug you when you are cold and wipe your tears when you cry, and do the things I could not in these precious days of snow.