I glance back at my clock. Eleven fifty-three.
“Almost there,” I whisper to myself. Almost there.
I look around my room, seeing all the tasks that await me in the morning. On the opposite wall, a torture device commonly known as homework sits on my desk. Littered on the floor are dirty clothes that need collecting and washing while my clean clothes are still waiting to be put into drawers in front of my bureau. The room is painted dark grey (obviously not my first choice) adding to the dreary darkness. I moved from the second floor to this room just last year, and we haven’t got a chance to repaint it yet. My first choice would be yellow, like the sun, but I doubt it’s ever going to happen.
Out of the corner of my eye, I see light. My head whips to the window. A glint of silver sneaks through the clouds. My heart leaps as hope shoots through me, but it hits my chest and shatters as the wind shifts and the star disappears.
The winter is too long for me. Every day, I trudge to school with my flashlight. When the snow is soft, I sink in above my waist. The snow soaks through my boots, leaking into my socks, chilling me to the bone. When it’s hard, I slip on ice; bruising myself all over, then looking like a fool trying to stand, slipping a flailing.
In the beginning, the winter isn’t too bad. I hold onto any hope, any light that still stays inside me. The skies are a bit pink then, as if in an eternal sunset.
Then the darkness comes.
It seeps into me slowly, surrounding me on all sides, suffocating me. Dangers lurk around every corner. Once again I’m five years old in the dark: fearing the monsters in the closet, the evils hiding under my bed.
I glance at the clock once more, still alone in my bedroom.
I pull myself from the window, praying the clouds will move away in time. The floor chills my feet as I pad down the hall to Thea’s room. Creaking the door open, I step into the room. It’s much like mine, only neater.
I see the one light that keeps me going aloft in her dreams: Thea, my sister.
During the cold winter days, she comes to me as I sit in the dark. Wrapping her arms around me, warmth spreads through me. We watch the stars twinkle and dazzle, trying to recall the constellations and find them in the sky. Once and a while, the sky is lit by dancing lights. Greens, blues, and purples move like the ocean waves through the sky, weaving through the stars.
“Magic,” Thea whispers in my ear.
“Thea,” I now murmur, shaking her awake. One look at the twinkle in her eyes tells me she knows what time it is.
Holding hands, we hurry back to my room, making sure not to wake our parents.
We sit on my bed, our eyes flitting between the horizon and the clock. Eleven fifty-nine. Clouds churn above us. They could be splitting apart, but maybe joining together.
Our eyes are locked to the horizon, our hands locked together. A single light gleams through the clouds as they split, farther and farther apart. The skies clear, making way for the sunrise. Pinks and blues flourish across the sky, lighting up our world. The snow twinkles and the mountains glow.
“Magic.” The word echoes over the land, lighting everything in its path.