We walked away together, away from the bickering boys and there, as we walked through that dark snowy night, I felt the presence of comfort. It was with you and it was always within you that I found that sense of comfort. I had strayed behind you at a point, afraid that maybe that wasn’t what you wanted and maybe you were hoping to walk our separate paths up to the cabin, ending our night there. Instead, you surprised me when you suggested we find a place alone, away from all snowball fights and the roars of laughter, not because we didn’t enjoy the happiness in the air, but because we had to get away to think for ourselves. Just to think for the two of us. That night, we did just think for the two of us and the lives of each other. We talked about absolutely everything and we changed the way of everything that night. We understood families, mental health, the wants and needs of one another, and most importantly, we understood the similarity between each other. Life had greeted both of us with similar traumas, then greeting us, like the last two pieces of the puzzle, so that we could connect which is something we had not accustomed to, yet.
That night, we ran away from the chaotic snowball fights and blistering weather and found that night to be placed within ourselves. It was within the space between us that resonated so deeply inside me. I crossed my legs in front of me in the empty space between us, like a child. I remembered feeling small on that night, and it wasn’t the kind of small that you did to keep others from seeing you, it was more like a “I don’t need to make myself big.” small; one where you felt safe enough to be small.
When the night got silent and our voices fell, I could hear our breaths as I stared blankly ahead of me. The lights were turned on in the building before me and if I had trained my focus on the sounds in the distance, I could hear laughter. Instead, I focused on how your eyes were enticed by the words on my phone screen. They were my words and the look on your face as you looked up at me, breathless and eyes wide, with a hint of an eyebrow arch. I remember so perfectly how you tripped over your words in the process of explaining to me how you felt about mine. After you mumbled about the significance of my language, I looked at the snow covering the pathway and offered to lead the way back, but you insisted we sat down once more and talk about the pain that you had discovered within my words. I didn’t want to talk about the pain, it was no longer there that night and all I wanted to do was focus on how real this connection was. I wanted to feel connected to you a couple seconds later before we parted our ways back home.
Soon, as all things do, that night ended and we scurried back trying to make it on time. We reached the stairs and you hesitated, and with it, so did I. Unsure of what you were thinking, I stepped in and a minute later, you did too. That was the end. We were around others and room for connection was nowhere to be seen. I smiled at you as I left the kitchen, on my way to bed. It was, after all, very late. And that was it. It was never to be spoken about until our moment came once again. Of course, it was much more than just an encounter, but only we would know the depth of that night. I leave it to everyone’s imagination what we discussed or what our laughs sounded like as they clashed together among the snowy night, or what a real human connection felt like and how weeks after, I feel more grounded to the Earth than ever.