I've always been one to choose sun over snow. My ideal temperature is somewhere between 65 and 75 degrees - that's Fahrenheit people, I'm from the U.S. However, even I know it's not Christmas without a blanket of the stuff covering the ground. That's why the blinding reflection I get when I glance outside makes me smile on December 23rd. Last year we had a carpet of grass on Christmas, it didn't even snow. It feels like Mother Nature decided to dump her PMS where I live. Michiana, southern Michigan/Northern Indiana to those of you who don't live here, is infamous for our fickle weather patterns. Right at the end and edge of Tornado Alley we get the occasional twister, but more often than not it's just sirens and false alarms. We've also been known to have 60 degree weather and snow all in one week. Heck, last year I remember a day where within a few hours I saw sun, rain, snow, wind, and sun again... all out one window. I stopped playing in the snow daily years ago, but it still brings a smile to my face when I see the stuff falling near Christmas.
My little brother was playing outside in our front yard. I was inside on my computer - big shocker - and keeping an eye on him through the windows. He was attempting to make a snowman - and failing. All the snowmen we've ever crafted were basically piles of snow with a scarf around them and a wooden nose painted to look like a carrot, so far, this one was no different. All of a sudden he came racing in through the front door and up to me, not even bothering to take off his boots or anything - meaning there was now clumps of slush pooling on the hardwood. But the way he's acting makes me ignore it for a moment.
Bouncing up and down with excitement, he looked like he might actually explode. I'm used to this excitement when he has something to tell me. Usually I don't find the same excitement - unless it's news of when one of our shows are gonna come back for the next season, then I get even more excited than him. In any case, he'll never tell me what has gotten him excited until I actually ask.
"Tori, guess what!" Eyes nearly bulging out of his head with how wide they are, I figured that he's seen a rabbit - some live in our yard - or he finished the snow-lump and want's me to come see.
"You'll never guess who's in our yard!"
"Oh, I'm sorry, I should have said North."
He looked at me with an expression that said I'm not stupid and said, "That's the same person, Tori."
"I know, bud, I was making a reference. Ok, who's in our yard?"
I froze. Caeden doesn't play jokes on me, at least not of this caliber. He loves me too much, me being his favorite after all. We saw Rise of the Guardians last year like most of the worlds population, and we both loved it as much as all the other movies we've seen together, Wreck-it-Ralph and Hotel Transylvania among them. I fell in love with it more than him though. Jack was, mutually, our favorite character in the film. For Caeden it was because he was the Guardian of Fun. For me it was - to quote How to Train Your Dragon - that I looked at him and I saw myself. I see many similarities between Jack and myself, as I do with the majority of my favorites, for that very reason. Caeden knows that I like Jack far more than he does. Jack's mortal death, demeanor, personality and mannerisms called to me like a bug zapper to flies. I became an almost instant fan-girl, faving scores of fanarts of him specifically on deviantArt and even reading a fanfiction voluntarily... I don't ever do that.
I can tell that I actually respect Jack for the fact that, every time I'd imagined talking to him - which I do with every favorite or original eventually - I don't imagine myself as the Storymaker. The Storymaker is my all-powerful self persona, where I can go into worlds and speak to any character I want, either within the story or in a pocket dimension, sometimes in my own. I will, often snap my fingers and alter said world and... yeah, all-powerful. I've never done that with Jack. With Jack I've always been me, only me. Not the Storymaker, not a possible character in his story... just me. That shows I respect him that I am simply being myself when speaking to him. Which only makes me like him more.
Caeden knows this. That's why I know that he wouldn't try to prank my like this. He'd only tell me if Jack were really there, in our yard. It didn't cross my mind that it might not actually be Jack Frost, but somebody pretending, Caeden's smart enough to realize if it wasn't. I know that Jack was really outside. That's why I froze. "Go back outside - keep him there - don't let him leave." I said, almost throwing my laptop in my haste to get up to my room. "And don't tell him I told you to." I rushed past him and up the stairs to my room. Yanking on a pair of sweatpants over top of my pajama bottoms, Jack Frost is outside, tugging on an extra pair of socks, Jack Frost is outside, smashing my feet into my boots - only zipping them up halfway in my haste - Jack frost is outside, and grabbing my coat, thrusting my arms through the sleeves as I nearly fly downstairs. I dared to hope - to believe. Jack is there, I know he is. Only after I am outside and can hear Caeden talking to someone - Jack - did I hesitate.
I didn't hear anyone else talking. The only voice was my brother's. No... I refused to let my mind wander down that possibility. Jack frost is outside. I walked around the side of the house and I saw my brother. He was wearing his snow-suit, his boots, his gloves, his hat. His cheeks were red from being almost face first in the snow for the past hour. But I saw no teenage immortal. No blue hoodie, no bare feet, no old-world leggings, no white hair, no staff, no mischievous grin... No Jack.
Caeden was smiling and laughing at something Jack said. He noticed me coming towards them and said, "Jack's gonna help me build a snowman - a real one! One with a belly and a butt!" He laughed at his own use of the word butt. "I told you Jack was here!" Turning to the air to his right he said, "Jack, this is my sister, Tori. See, I told you she'd want to meet you. You didn't believe me." He didn't notice my expression. He laughed again - probably from Jack's special snow. I forced a smile upon my face... my eyes held their own expression though. He didn't notice. I was struggling not to cry. What he did notice is that I didn't look at Jack, only at him. "Why are you looking at me?"
Before I could answer he looked to his right again, and I knew Jack was speaking, so I didn't. Caeden frowned. "What do you mean?" he said to the air. "Of course she can see you! Tori believes in everything! She saw fairies when she was little, she's seen Santa - well North - she believes in you more than I do!" It was even harder now to hold my tears in. "You see him, don't you?"
I swallowed around the lump in my throat and gently shook my head. "No... I don't. I'm too old."
"You're nineteen, you're not old. You're a kid still." Caeden is only nine - ten - I keep forgetting that his birthday was ten days ago, he doesn't realize yet that, when you reach a certain age, it doesn't matter how much, how hard you believe... you just don't get to see.
I barely heard his protests and I trudged inside. I barely made it to the couch, absently kicking off my boots on the way. I collapsed into the cushions and began to cry harder than I care to remember. What he said was right - I do believe more than him. I do believe in everything. When I was little I did see Santa, when I got older I found out it was a family friend. I still believe that there is a Santa though, or at least there was once. I did see fairies, at least that's what I thought they were. When we lived at our old house, almost every night since before I can remember, as I was falling asleep, I saw these lights drifting down from my ceiling. They were like fiber-optic dust-motes that seemed to evaporate about a foot and a half above my head, they were all the colors I've ever seen, and they shifted from color to color. I always felt safe when they showed up and I can never remember having a nightmare when they were there. One night I told my mom about them and asked if she could see them. She said yes, but when I ask her now she doesn't remember. The moment I asked her every single one became red. I only ever saw them once after that... years later in our current house, the number greatly diminished and very faint... it felt like good-bye.
And I do believe in Jack more than Caeden does. And it broke my heart to not be able to see him. It breaks my heart every time I see the hope of real magic, in any form, only to have it swept out of my reach. I had really thought that this time would be different. Had really thought I'd be able to see Jack. And it breaks my heart that I was wrong. Eventually I feel a cool breeze and I look up. On the window, written in frost were the words "Are you ok?". I sniffed and wiped the undersides of my eyes free of tears. My cheeks were soaked.
Out loud I said, "Honestly no." My voice was hoarse and squeaky from crying, but I didn't care.
The words seemed to melt away as they were replaced with ones that read "Why are you crying so much?"
My smile was as weak as my laugh. "Because I don't see you, don't hear you. He wasn't lying when he said I believe in everything. To be perfectly honest, I believe in you more than I believe in God." I shook my head, feeling hopeless. "I really thought that'd I get it this time."
"Get what?" the frost words replaced the previous ones.
"Magic. I've been waiting to really experience magic my whole life. I've been waiting for it to come back for 12 years." I let out a breath, weaker than a sigh as more tears crept into the corners of my eyes. "I thought this time wouldn't end in my heart breaking." My friends only ever see strong emotions from me, either happiness or anger, never any emotions hinting at weakness. This was why. My heart has broken so many times in my life that my every day self is stronger, emotionally, than most people I know. It is only when I throw strengths to the winds that I descend to those weaker emotions. I always hope that it wont, but it always ends the same way. A broken heart. Yet my belief has never wavered. My hope has never been dashed. I've never stopped wishing for magic. I've never lost my faith that magic will come back to me. Despite my many heart breaks.
"You still believe in me, even though you don't see me?" Though the words were merely written, I could almost hear the disbelief in their tone.
"Of course I do. Just because I can't see you, just because I can't hear you, doesn't mean you're not there, not real. Air exists, but I can't see or hear that - unless it's moving or dirty. Why wouldn't you?" I'd initially sounded surprised as I began my reply, the surprise turned into slight outrage and then to adamant belief.
The glass stayed clear as the minutes trickled by and I started to think that he'd either left or was called away. Then words crept across the panes. "I came here because I felt belief in me stronger than even my family. I thought it was your brother." the words sat there for a moment, then they were joined by one more sentence. "Now I think it's you."
I laughed mirthlessly. "Makes sense. That's what happens when you devour books. When you stubbornly hold on to your childhood magic long after those around you... That's what happens when you keep believing heart break, after heart break, after heart break... What doesn't kill you makes you stronger right?"
"I can help you see me. It'll take a snowball though."
"No! I don't want any special snow..."
"Why? I can tell you want to see me more than anything. Why not?"
"Because it feels like cheating. I want to see you. I want to see your hoodie, our staff, your hair, your smile, you... But I can't... Getting one of your snowballs feels like getting a gift I don't deserve, and that I know I don't." I shook my head again. "I may have grown up enough to know that, but the part of my childhood I treasure more than anything is my ability to believe in everything, and to appreciate everything separately. I've sewn that scrap of the blanket into my business suit. And it's never going away. I just, can't get help, because I feel that, if I do, I'll be cheating because I had my chance. I'm not a kid. I'm nineteen years old... older than you..." My shaking head now hinted at despair. "The closest I deserve is this, talking through glass. Unless I do it on my own, I don't deserve it."
"Fair enough... feel better now?"
I smiled genuinely now. "Yeah."
"Good, because fun and sadness don't mix."
"I thought that was fun and fear." I said, jokingly.
"Ha, ha, very funny. You wanna come out and have a snowball fight?"
"I thought you were helping Caeden build a better snowman?"
"That works too, you coming?"
I was already pulling my boots back on - zipped up completely this time - as I said, "Duh!" I run out the door as fast as my feet could carry me. Around the corner, right where I left him is my brother. Poor Caeden, he looked confused, and I don't blame him. His sister, who is the most creative person he knows, who believes in everything, didn't see the Guardian of Fun. And then I cried. I never do that. "Hey, are we making a snowman or what?" I said excitedly. A smile instantly lit his face.
"YES!" His reply was like a triumphant one. Like he won a prize or something. As I saw the snow in our yard magically roll itself into three large balls, I realize that he did. I mean, how many kids have you met that can say they built a snowman with Jack Frost? I thought so. The snow was swept up by an isolated wind that spun it into a tightly packed ball. The biggest was right near the huge evergreen in our yard. Yes, we have our very own, permanent, Christmas tree. Anyway, we rolled the middle ball over, heaving it up on top of the butt ball. Then Caeden went over and picked up the head and I helped him center it on the belly ball. I wrapped the scarf around the neck as he put on the eyes and nose. I saw two sticks floating towards us and realized Jack had found the arms. He stuck them into our snowman's sides. I put his buttons on as Jack added his hat. Caeden and I stepped back to look at our creation.
"I have to say, Jack. You make one good snowman." The main reason all of ours had been lumps is because neither of us had ever mastered the art of butt and belly ball making... the best we could make was a lump with the head ball. "Then again, you are one, but..." I said jokingly and with a smile. I heard a faint laugh aside from Caeden's and my own, and my smile grew a bit wider. I'm getting there.
It snowed all through Christmas. It started Christmas eve at about 8:00pm and kept snowing until about 10:00pm on Christmas day. The snow was perfect. Just enough to keep it looking fresh, sparkling in the sunlight, but not so much as to block the roads or for it to start melting into slush, or freezing into ice. That snow was always my favorite part of winter. Yes, I did say I prefer sun, but I never said I hate winter. I actually do like it. Just not when the snow melts, then winter is ugly. When it is pristine and calm and ethereal... it's like a completely different world. That's when I like it.
Two days after Christmas our parents were back to work and I was watching Caeden again. Nick, our other brother, was spending some time with his mom. I'd visited my dad on Christmas day, having spent the Eve with my mom. If you haven't guessed yet, my parents split a while back. But it's all good. I have such a huge family now, I don't feel like I'm lacking at all. Caeden's only my half brother, Nick's my step. That doesn't mean we aren't close. Caeden and I that is. I love my brother, I really do. He's a mini me, and a total boy all rolled into one. We watch cartoons together, play games together, go out and do fun stuff together. We also fight, we are siblings after all. But we make up really soon after.
For the past four days, Caeden had been relentlessly asking if - and when - Jack would come back. Not around anyone else of course. He'd only asked when it was just the two of us in the room. Every time he'd asked I'd simply said, "I don't know." I knew Jack would come back, eventually. I had no idea when though. I sort of figured that he'd wait until Christmas was over, but I wasn't sure if he'd wait 'til the new year had rolled in. Turns out, we didn't have to wait long, because right about noon there was a faint knocking sound on the window and the words "What are you doing inside?" wrote themselves in frost on the living room window. Caeden and I ware bundled up and out the door in two minutes flat.
Caeden launched himself at the air where I assumed Jack was. The air seemed to catch him for a moment before he stood back on his feet. I meandered over to the two of them, having to follow Caeden's eyes to figure out where Jack was. Caeden spoke up, "Jack want's to know if you still can't see him." I'd very faintly heard Jack's words as he said them, as if from a great distance, and the only reason I'd heard was because I was downwind.
I shook my head as I said, "Nope, but I can kind of hear you now. But probably only because it's quiet now. If we get loud I probably won't be able to." I could feel him smile at the news I could hear him, albeit faintly.
"What are we gonna do today, Jack?" Caeden knew, while the Spirit of Fun was here, we wouldn't get anything less.
"...I was thinking a snowball fight..."
"Sounds good to me!" I said as I ducked underneath the evergreen and began to pile snow for a semblance of defense. As I built more and more magically added itself, and perfectly round snowballs were piling themselves next to me. The same was happening to Caeden. "Jack, stop helping me, help Caeden, he needs it more." I said quietly, so only Jack would hear. Caeden had bad depth perception, which, in turn gives him horrible aim. He really does need it more. Plus, my brother, sadly, is often hopeless when having to construct things without help. Unless hid building tools are Legos, then it's a different story. Our blockades finally done and our ammo stocked we stared each other down, waiting for the first move.
Suddenly, two snowballs came flying out of nowhere, one at each of us. Of course, Jack would throw the first shot. Caeden and I opened fire on each other and Jack. Again, I had to follow Caeden's eyes to find Jack, I also payed attention to where the snowballs neither of us had thrown ere coming from. Laughter filled the air, and I was sure Caeden got hit with a few special snowballs because he was laughing harder than ever. All too soon it was getting late. "Alright guys, time! Mom's gonna be home soon and she's gonna be suspicious if she sees a few dozen extra snowballs flying around. Plus, mister," I said, directing my next comment at Caeden specifically, "I can see the cold on your face. You are redder than you are in summer. Time to warm up. Sorry, Jack." I said as Caeden half dejectedly trudged towards me. "We gotta call it a night. See you later!" Hopefully, I actually will see you.
That night, I felt a cold breeze from over by the window as I was playing on my computer. I got up and went over to my window, only to see some of the most beautiful frost patterns on it, surrounding the word "Tomorrow?" Being careful to not disturb the frost patterns, I wrote, underneath it, "Yep." For added effect, I also put this face ^^. I walked back over to my bed and put my night-time playlist on as I pulled up the covers and fell asleep. As I drifted off I thought I heard, "See you tomorrow..."
I woke up, glad that it was a Wednesday because I didn't have to work. I went downstairs to my brother's room and shook him awake. It was about 10:00am so everyone else was already gone for the day, I was surprised he'd slept in so late, he's usually up before I am.
Blinking he sat up and said, "What..."
"Jack said he's coming today." In an instant, Caeden was up off his bed and throwing on warm clothes. I chuckled as I walked back up the stairs to my room to do the same. I noticed a new set of words -well, numbers - on my window as I walked past "10:30". Smiling, I pulled on about five pairs of pants, increasing in thickness as I went, two pairs of socks, three shirts, plus a hoodie. I went and sat in the living room as Caeden came out looking like the Stay-Puft guy in his snowsuit. We had our gloves and hats in our hands as we waited for jack to make his appearance.
At 10:25, I said, "Let's go out and wait for him outside." We put on our hats, pulled up our hoods, put on our gloves and our boots. Jackets were the last things to go on as we walked out into the snow covered ground. In the other yard today, we were playing underneath the big tree when Jack swooped in out of nowhere, shaking snow from the branches and nearly burying us. A laugh followed the raining clumps of snow and I knew: It. Was. On.
We immediately launched into a snowball fight that lasts for hours. And we didn't run out of snow either, Jack took care of that. After a while I noticed that my car was crusted in Ice-Melt from slush getting sprayed up on it, and I started hurling snowballs at my car. Caeden joined in and, eventually, so did Jack. By the time my mom got home at 6:00 that night, my car practically sparkled. That night went the same as the previous, with jack leaving a note and me replying. However, this time I told him to meet us over at the school down the block from my house.
The next morning, Jack was already there when Caeden and I pulled up toting sleds. The school had a huge hill behind it that was perfect for sledding. We always came here when we felt like busting out the sleds, it's free and, frankly, better than the official sledding hill at the park. Caeden decided to go first, flying down on our two-person sled. I chose the round sled and took off after him. I saw Jack's staff skimming over the ground near me and realized he was boarding. After going down the hill a few dozen times, I sat up at the top as Caeden repeatedly wore ruts in the snow, I needed a break. I started secretly making a stash of snowballs while I sat. Once Caeden came back up the hill I started pelting him until I ran out of ammo. He tried to fight back but I grabbed one of the sleds and flew down the hill, way out of range. My escape ended with me landing in some bushes and laughs tearing out of me. I'd landed with one leg tucked up under me and one arm over my face, which was the main cause of my laughter. I unfolded myself, still laughing, and flipped over to see Caeden flying towards me. I saw that he'd miss me so I didn't move, I did, however, make a snowball to hit him with when he landed. And hit him I did, right in the middle of his back. "Hey!" I was too busy laughing to comment.
Another snowball fight broke out between the three of us, with Jack creating more ammo for us as we exhausted the snow around us. I threw at Caeden and at the air, thinking I might, at some point, hit Jack. And hit him I did. I threw a snowball and it seamed to splatter mid air... and then hang there. Caeden gasped. I had a hand over my mouth to try and keep from giggling. All of a sudden, a blue snowball flew at me and hit me smack dab in the middle of my face. I wiped away the snow, blinking, a smile still on my face and laughter ringing in my ears.
I froze with my eyes still closed. It was Jack laugh alright... but it wasn't faint anymore. It was loud and it was close. Carefully, so that they wouldn't notice, I reached for the nearest snowball. I began to smile more as I opened my eyes. My hand closed on the snowball and I zeroed in on Jack. I launched the snowball, yelling, "Screw cheating!" The snowball hit dead-center on his face. He sputtered as he wiped the snow from his face. His expression was caught between confusion and wanting to laugh. I jumped up from the ground. "You used one of your special snowballs!" I wasn't angry, getting hit with one of Jack special snowballs made sure of that... but I wouldn't have been anyway. I meant it when I'd said screw cheating. I could see Jack now.
The hair, the hoodie, the staff, the leggings, the bare feet, the eyes, the smile. Everything. I could see Jack! My smile almost didn't fit on my face. "Jack, I can see you!" I was laughing harder than I could remember... and I was crying. They were happy tears. I'd always thought, that, if I ever got wings, or a way to fly, that's when I'd be crying happy tears... but, magic came back to me. Jack and I sat - hovered in Jack's case - there with huge, goofy grins on our faces. Poor Caeden didn't know what was going on, so he stood there with a confused look on his face.
Before I could explain to Caeden what was going on, Jack cocked his head to the side and frowned a little. "I gotta go guys, sorry. There's an avalanche that I need to take care of." He waved good-bye as he flew off.
There was a message waiting for me that night on my window. "Tomorrow?" There wasn't enough room on my window to explain, so I spoke instead, hoping he was close enough to hear, as I didn't see him around. "I have to work tomorrow, I won't be home 'til late and my next day off is Tuesday... see you then?" My response was met with silence and I figured that Jack was out of range, so I wrote down my message and taped it to the window, facing outwards. I went over to my bed and went to sleep. I was not looking forward to work.
Two hours in and six to go. Back drive-thru really got tedious sometimes. No one bothers to tell you when the line's moving, so you can't leave the window or people pull past and then we have to run the money back and fourth... why are people so stupid, I mean, honestly. When I say "Your total is whatever, pull around to the first window." What makes them think that the window with the giant number two on it is the first one... seriously. Plus we've been down twenty people since before I started almost a year ago, so that means, when you're in back drive, you take the orders, take the money and wash the dishes... that's supposed to be three different people's jobs...
However, today was fairly slow, so I actually had time to get the dishes done... Is it sad when you get excited to do dishes? Anywho, that's what I was doing, the dishes, when it got way colder all of a sudden, and the breeze wasn't coming from the freezer which was next to me. I shook the water off my hands and moved so I could look at the window, thinking it had slid open or something. What I saw was Jack waving at me from the other side of the glass. My jaw dropped. I grabbed an armload of trays and brought them over to the window. I started lining them as I spoke to Jack, window still closed.
"What are you doing here?" I didn't open the window because, if one of the managers were in the office, then it would look weird for me to randomly open the window when there were no cars.
"Can you open the window?"
"Sorry, when the next car comes I'll open it, otherwise I'll get in trouble."
"Where's the fun in playing it safe?"
I chuckled and kept on lining the trays. Soon I heard the tell-tale beep that told me a car was at the menu waiting to order. I went through the nearly mindless steps of taking their order. As they began to pull around I opened the window and bent down to turn up the space heater. I felt Jack fly over me into the store. I straightened and finished off the order, taking the money and closing the window. After the drawer clanged shut I went back to the dishes. "Jack, what are you doing here... at my work?"
"I decided that I wanted to see you at work... How do you keep from going crazy back here?"
"Usually? By singing whatever pops into my head, or working on my stories. Oh, and by angrily talking to the air." At his confused look I elaborated more. "Half the people who come through the drive thru are unbelievably stupid, and, I can't tell them that to their faces, so I say it back here where no one can hear me." I placed a huge smile on my face.
He walked around the room at the back, then tapped the big door at the back with his staff. "What's in here?"
"Freezer. This little door next to it leads in too, like a little window. I have no idea what that's for though."
He grinned wickedly as he opened the smaller door and flew in, shutting it behind him. Inwardly, I sighed. Outwardly, I smiled. I couldn't wait to see the prank he was sure to pull. In any case I went back to work on the dishes. Just because Jack was here didn't mean I was about to get fired, I hate having a job, but I do need money, so, what're you gonna do. Right as I was getting into the dishes, my headset beeped again. I swear it's the most annoying sound in the world. I took another order, and right as I was about to go back to the dishes, another car came... then another... and another... and another. Next thing I knew we were wrapped around the building. I, of course, couldn't leave the window. A car could pull up and not see me, then they'd pull forward because they didn't know they were supposed to wait, and didn't know that we have other work to do than standing in a little, itty-bitty room just waiting to make their day better... Can you hear the sarcasm in my tone? Eventually, since no one had opened the freezer, Jack came out, probably out of boredom, and saw me about ready to bang my head against the wall.
I used to draw on receipt paper when we got like this and I didn't have trays to line, but I didn't have a pen back there today, and I'd gotten in trouble for it a few times, so I didn't do it often. I was, to put it simply, bored. I turned so that neither the customer nor the camera would see me talking and said, "I won't blame you if you leave out of boredom. I would but I'm getting payed, so I guess that's some consolation."
We walked into the window and looked out at the car next to it. "How often do you get kids coming through?"
"Considering we sell kid's meals? A lot."
He hmm-ed and stayed there as the line finally moved. I took the money for the next car and, miraculously, the line kept moving. The next car pulled up and I took the money. I could see a kid in the backseat playing with some toy. The kid looked up and I waved at them. They waved back, and then there eyes got huge. Jack pushed his face in between me and the window and grinned back at the kid. He frosted the window of their car and drew a bird that hopped into the kids lap. I found it the most hilarious that the mom was oblivious to the whole ordeal.
He did that for the next few hours whenever there was a kid in the car, Jack made a frost picture to give them a little fun while they had to wait in line. I ended up smiling almost all day. I love it when little kids are happy - unless they're snots, then I hate it when they're happy, because they need to learn to be nice. Jack had to leave about two hours before my shift ended, which was, coincidentally, right about the same time I got my break. Yay.
For the next months Jack came to see Caeden and I at least once a week, even if only for a few hours. To be honest, I enjoyed it more than Caeden. I knew that eventually he'd grow up and Jack would be nothing but a story from his childhood... just like everyone else. I think that's one of the reasons Jack and I became such good friends. We'd met when I was an adult, so there was no chance I'd chalk him up to childhood imagination. I'd never do that anyway, I hold too strongly to my stories for that to happen. Jack and I were more alike than I'd originally thought. Aside from the fact that we'd clung to our childishness long past the norm, we both liked seeing kids happy, with smiles on their faces. We both loved playing pranks and, well, what some would consider being mean, occasionally. We also both hid our negative emotions behind smiles. Not that they occurred often.
Most nights I went to bed with a frost note from Jack telling when he'd most likely show. I didn't mind in the slightest.
School had started up for me again, a full week after Caeden. I was about nine weeks into school and March was half over. Which meant winter was almost over. I was worried about how Jack and I would keep in touch through the summer. He'd fast become one of my best friends. It was like, if one of my ocs had come to life. I knew if any of them ever did I'd be friends with them almost instantly... it was the same with Jack. I didn't want to spend a whole year waiting for a friend to come back... after all, long distance relationships, whatever the type, rarely last... I didn't want to loose Jack.
I told him this, one Friday night after I'd got home from work. He laughed it off, as he always did with more serious subjects. He told me he'd be my friend no matter what and to calm down. I took his word for it, I knew he'd keep it, and pushed the trepidation aside.
Jack told me that it was going to be an early spring this year, which just meant more rain than snow in the next month or so. Precipitation likes to do whatever it wants here, regardless of the temperatures. I'd actually miss the snow this year, in part because, with spring coming early, the snow wouldn't be slush for as long, and partly because snow meant Jack. No. Frost meant Jack, there didn't have to be snow for there to be Jack. I could accept that.