Literary Yard

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It’s Never Too Late for a First Snow

By: Charis Negley

“Kit, come here, quick! Look!”

            Kit rushed to the window to find his girlfriend with her hands plastered to the glass like a little child.

            He removed her hands from the window, holding them in his. “Stop that, Bee. You’ll leave prints.”

            “No, no!” she yelped, her eyes still glued to whatever she was seeing outside. “You’ll miss it!”

            “Miss what?” He turned his attention to the window. Fat flakes of snow were falling, beginning to litter the driveway in specks of white. “Oh, it’s snowing.”

            “It’s snowing!” Bee repeated in awe. Her eyes were wide with gleaming wonder, and she squeezed Kit’s hands. He watched her eyes flit from flake to flake. She was trembling, and she bounced on the tips of her toes.

            “You’ve… never seen any before?”

            She couldn’t even make out the word, but her lips formed no. 

            “Would you like to go outside?”

            For the first time since Kit came in, Bee looked over at him, her eyes agleam. “Can we?”

            “Sure! Go and grab your coat.”

            Bee beamed and ran for the closet. Kit followed, grabbing his own. 

            Bee piled on much more than he did, donning an extra sweater, mittens, a large scarf, and fluffy earmuffs. He had gifted her all that for Christmas, because she had brought very little warm clothing with her to stay with Kit and his family through the month of December. She hadn’t had any, living in southern Florida her whole life.

            He laughed at the sight, kissing Bee’s forehead once she was fully dressed for the outing. “You look like a marshmallow.”

            She looked back at him, almost concerned. “You look like you’re gonna be cold in just that.”

            He shrugged. “I don’t think so. I’m used to it.”

            He took her mittened hand and led her outside, shutting the door behind them.

            Bee’s breath caught at the turning-white world around her. She let go of Kit’s hand, stepping out into the open air, snowflakes falling into her blonde hair. She tilted her head to the sky, letting her mouth hang open, trying to catch one on her tongue. She shivered and shrieked with delight when she got one, turning back to Kit with wide eyes and rosy cheeks. “Kit! Did you see?”

            “I saw,” he said through a laugh.

            “I’ve always wanted to do that.” She pumped her fist in the air, shaking with excitement. “Just like on TV.” Bee sat right down, falling onto her back, looking up into the sky.

            Kit watched with love and amusement as she gaped at the snowy expanse above her. He had never seen her so enthralled by anything. “Do you like it?”

            She didn’t answer at first. She just gazed at the sky, completely enraptured. Finally, her voice came in hardly more than a whisper. “I love it.”

            Kit crossed his arms and waited as Bee enjoyed the snow day. She let out a puff of air, captured by the sight of her breath in the air.

            “Just like a dragon!” She blew again, then motioned for Kit to try.

            Kit laughed, pleased to humor her. “I’ll breathe my fire on you!” He fell to the ground beside Bee, flopping over her and turning his face toward hers to blow on her cheek.

            She shrieked and giggled, trying to push him off. “Hey! You’re heavy!”

            He beamed, not moving, reaching to cup her face in his hand. “Your cheeks are so pink! So cute!”

            “Argh, get off!”

            He gave in, rolling off. “Fine, fine. So, do you wanna go back inside? Once more snow falls, we can eat some, if you want.”

            Bee’s expression lit with shock and excitement. “We can?”

            “Well, sure. It tastes great with strawberry or chocolate sauce. My mom used to do it for me when I was little.”

            Bee nodded, heaving herself up and offering Kit her hand. “Yes! And I’m getting cold, anyway.”

            Kit laughed, taking her hand to stand then hugging her close to his side. “You’re always cold.”

            “Can we have hot chocolate?”

            “But of course, milady!” he said with a mock bow. “Marshmallows?”

            “Enough to cover the top.”

            They retreated into the warm inside of the house, and the snow resting in Bee’s hair immediately began to melt. 

            “Leave your stuff in the mud room,” Kit instructed, helping her unravel from her tightly wound scarf. “I’ll start the stove.” He pecked her on the nose, then left for the kitchen to begin the chocolate.

            Once the milk began to bubble in the saucepan, Bee walked in, cheeks still pink from the escapade. Kit melted like the snow. “You look very pretty, bumblebee.”

            She shook her head and smiled, coming up behind him to wrap her arms around his waist. Kit hummed and spooned the cocoa powder into the milk, taking the pan off the heat and whisking the contents together.

            “It smells so good,” Bee said, her voice aloft with a dreamlike tone.

            “Yes, it does.” He dipped a spoon into the hot cocoa, brought it to his lips, and blew off the steam. He took a taste. “Okay, I think it’s ready.”

            Bee took a seat at the table as Kit filled their mugs, topping their treats with marshmallows. He slid Bee’s mug over to her, taking a seat across from his girlfriend. “Go on, try some,” he said eagerly, hoping her hot chocolate wishes would be satisfied with his work. “Just be careful not to burn your tongue.”

            Bee cupped the mug in both hands, brought it to her mouth, blew gently, then sipped. She pondered, her eyes darting as she considered the taste. “The perfect amount of hot and chocolate. Delectable amounts of the store bought milk mix with the slightly powdery taste of the cocoa exceptionally. However,” she tapped the plain white mug, “your presentation is lacking. I’m sorry, Kit Jensen, but you’ve been chopped.”

            He laughed, taking another sip of his own. “Okay, culinary expert Edward Allen. You’ll have to show me the real deal next time.”

            “Panda mug.”

            “Ah, nothing less than perfection for my girl, I see.” They both burst into giggles.

            Bee turned toward the window, her posture straightening. “Wow. It’s really coming down now.”

            “Sure is. Shall we scoop some snow to pair with our lacking presentation of hot chocolate?”

            “Yeah!” Bee jumped up from the table, grabbing bowls and spoons for them. Going back to the front door, she only pulled on her boots and hat. “We’ll only be out for a second,” she explained to Kit, who looked at his usually ever so cold girlfriend in shock.

            He opened the door for her, a flurry of snow gusting inside. She shook with a chill. “Brr.” She took a few steps out to the lawn, scooping out the top layer of snow into each of their bowls, then ran back inside on her tiptoes, being careful not to slip.

            She trembled when Kit shut the door behind her. “Maybe I should’ve worn the coat.”

            Kit laughed. “You were great.” He took the bowls from her, giving her the chance to pull off her wet boots. “Let’s go drench these in sugar.” 

Returning to the kitchen, Kit and Bee pulled the chocolate and strawberry sauces out of the fridge, usually reserved for ice cream. Kit drizzled both the flavors onto his, while Bee only wanted strawberry. They set their prepared bowls next to their cooling mugs of cocoa.

“Dig in!” Kit said with a beam.

Bee tried hers first. Her brows drew together as she shivered under a brain freeze. “Ow. That’s cold.”

“Yeah, it is,” Kit agreed, laughing. “And how does it taste?”

“Like… cold, hyped-up water trying to be made tolerable with strawberry sauce.”

Kit tasted his. “Huh. Well, it certainly tastes nostalgic, but certainly not as fantastic as I remembered.”

“I think I like it best outside instead of eating it in here.”

“Yeah, me too.”

Fishing their mugs, the two sat on the couch, cuddled up to each other as they watched the snow fall.

“Think they’ll cancel your shift tomorrow?” Bee asked.

“Nah.” Kit shook his head. “It snows like this every winter. Unless we have a total white-out, this is nothing new.” He kissed the top of her head. “But I’ll be going in late enough that I can take you sledding in the morning, if you want.”

Bee grabbed his hand. “Really? You have sleds?”

“Yeah! And I know some pretty great hills. You’ll love it.”

“Will I fall?”

“Most definitely, but that’s half the thrill of it.”

Bee laughed, snuggling into Kit’s side. “Love you.”

“Love you, too.”

They sat together in warm silence, heads bent together, hearts full as the snowflakes tumbled outside.

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