Alice had just gotten off the late shift at her part-time job at the local super market and was walking the mile back to her college dorm, as a junior she was allowed to register for a parking pass and she did; too late however. And now until the Spring semester begins she is going to have to walk everywhere if she cannot get a ride with one of her friends. This wasn’t a problem in September and October but as the month of November is beginning to come to a close, the air takes on the kind of chill that seeps into your bones and stays there for hours. Tonight it seemed was going to be especially cold, with each exhale her breath exploded out in a cloud of mist and her fingertips were going numb even as she hugged her arms close to try and conserve heat.
As for her toes, they lost feeling about five minutes ago.
Each step she took sent a twinge of pain shooting up her heels and only added to the anger simmering beneath her slowly freezing skin. Having been on her feet for the past 7 hours, dealing with rude customers and the store being particularly busy this night, was not helping her temper any. Alice had been in a foul mood for over three hours and for want of keeping her job hasn’t been able to vent any of her built up anger.
Now on her late walk back to the dorms the young woman found it soothing to rant to herself about how terrible her day has been, steam pouring from her lips with every word. Blowing into her hands in a vain attempt to bring back feeling to her fingers and nose Alice noticed she was only just passing the library which marked the half-way point to her destination. Hot anger flared at how long it was taking to walk a mile nearly making Alice forget the cold turning her bones to ice.
“And of course I would also be dumb enough to forget to wear my coat on one of the coldest nights so far.” Knowing full well it was only going to get colder from here on out, having grown up in the Berkshires and knowing just how cold winters in Massachusetts can get. “Should never have agreed to taking the midnight shift I hate walking at night and I should have known it was going to get this cold!”
Just when she thought her day couldn’t get any worse white and silver flakes began drifting down from the pit black sky, it had begun to snow. Looking up at the first snow of the season something shifted in Alice’s chest, she was probably one of the first people to see the silently falling powder and the tension that had been building in her chest loosened as her anger slipped away with each flake that passed her vision.
Having noticed that her steps slowed to a stop Alice started walking again but at a faster pace no longer feeling the need to hunch her shoulders against the building anger she was previously feeling. It couldn’t have been two minutes and she finally reached her dorm building. Turning once more to look at the falling snow a smile tugged at the corner of her blue tinged lips, Alice swiped her student ID and walked through the glass doors into the dimly lit lobby. Smiling at the night desk manager, a student in her Art History class, Alice shivered as a wave of air from the heating washed over her bringing a tingling to her skin at the difference in temperature from outside.
“How was your night?” Seven minutes ago if he had asked Alice this question she may have snapped at him before she continued to the elevator and went to bed still in a foul mood. But now Alice felt herself giving a genuine smile before walking toward the elevator doors.
“Not too bad, it started snowing out did you notice?”
The desk clerk put down his book and cursed as he looked out the window. “Oh come on! I have to drive in this tomorrow?”
Barely managing to keep the laughter out of her tone Alice pressed the button for her floor. “Have a good night.” Looking back her sudden change of mood was a bit odd to her but then again Alice always did love the snow, despite how cold it has to be when it does.