She turned the pages of the old photo album. Moments captured in time. Perfect little snippets of life preserved between the faux leather pages. Happy smiling faces, page after page after page, until the middle. She paused at the last happy memory.
She could remember the snow, the way if fell, soft and wet on her face only to drip down your skin like melted tears. Had they known, she wondered?
It had been freezing cold for days, everyone holding their breath. Waiting expectantly for the first flakes to trickle down from the sky like cherry blossoms on the wind. She’d woken up that morning and everything felt different, still, quiet. She had slipped from the coziness of a bed of blankets and crept to the window, ignoring the pins and needles in her legs and the wooziness you get from jumping up suddenly. There, on the window sill, and just starting to cover the branches of the trees, the bushes, the grass, the roads; snow.
She hadn’t bothered to get dressed, throwing a hat and warm coat over her pyjamas, she remembered running outside in her slippers and dancing under the white shower.
Within minutes her neighbours, bossy David who thought he was too good to be anyones friend and his sweet, shy little sister Katie who would peak out at you from behind David’s legs, eyes huge and lips pressed together like she was holding back laughter at all times.
The Becket’s came next, all six of them. Poppy, the eldest at fifteen held Lily, all of eighteen-months, and spun her around dizzily as they laughed. Jason ran up to her, his face flushed with excitement before turning suddenly embarrassed as he remembered their stolen kisses the day before, their old easy camaraderie now altered to something more, something different.
Even now, over a year later, she remembered those kisses so clearly. The way they had pressed their pursed lips together and made mewing sounds for a second at first. Then the warmth of his lips had sent tingles down her spin, and she’d pressed herself just a little closer. The way Jas had relaxed against her, his lips softening, opening a little.
Like catching snow. All of those moments were just like catching snow. Perfect and whole for a second before they melted away in the heat of pain and hospitals and drugs.