The winter snow was melting, when Zoya traced the freshly marked steps in the slush towards the house. She was afraid to go in. Afraid of the words that she would not able to speak. Afraid of the suppression of those words that would clench her heart in an icy grip. Afraid of the results of her inability to express what would be expected from her.
She paused at the doorstep. Stared at the door. Almost willing for the entire bricks-and-mortar entity in front of her to melt and for its existence to vanish, so that she wouldn’t need to utter those words. Her shaking hands paused at the bell. It was covered with a thick layer of dust, which if she had not been lost in her thoughts, would have surprised her.
She heard shifting sounds from within the house and immediately withdrew her hand from the bell. She looked towards the adjoining terrace. The melting white of the snow gave it a lonely and bleak character, almost urging her to reach out and embrace it. She thought of the moments shared standing on that terrace. Teas sipped, cookies munched, arguments thrown, laughter bouncing, rains observed, plants bought, twinkle lights draped, the present basked in. Only the future had never been spoken about. It had tenaciously and subtly been avoided. The fear of the beauty of the present being marred by uncertainty had made them weave a soft yet impenetrable cocoon around themselves. But when that soft cocoon became ugly and disfigured with a million holes punctured into it…the sound of retreating steps had been deafening. Abandonment. The cocoon had been abandoned. Unsustainable abandonment.
She closed her eyes and tried to force the thoughts out of her mind, but they wouldn’t go away. She gave a last look towards the door and bell, and quietly went down the steps, and disappeared into the whites gulfs of snow.