She sat on the curb of the lopsided planter facing her home, dressed in a coat to ward off the end-of-winter chill. Normally, she would be looking around or even speaking to herself if the day was more typical, but it was a weekend evening.
She was an adult by age, but her undersized frame and small face gave her the look of a much younger child. Her hair was so short she could be mistaken for a man instead, were it not for her favorite headband adorining it. The decoration was like a reminder of the days back then, of school and visiting the library and long walksalone. Those days were so much simpler than now, she supposed, almost like the years of living in Richmond again. Fewer things to worry about and be grateful for.
A breeze blew and she shivered, lightly at first before zipping up her coat properly. The wind blew harder. She stood up, clenching her hands to stop them going numb, and contemplated going back inside. What would await her? It would still be hours before she would have to sleep, hours to spend doing whatever meaningless things she had always done. Tonight would be the same as the last, so there was no hurry.
The snowfall was over, so the sky was clear and black except for a half-moon that shone like a small sun. A few stars shone dimly, and the thickest snowfall on the mountains was visible. Aside from the noise of a few cars and the icy wind, it was silence. The woman was glad; she didn’t like noise. Silence let her mind fill in the empty space.
Doubtful, she gazed at the moon after checking for anyone nearby. Talking to herself, as quirky a habit as it was, seemed effective when she needed to be calmed or have worries assuaged.
“He’ll never be here.” she said, feeling her half-smile fade. “What am I even waiting for?”
Nothing answered. A car rolled away on the gritty ice at the opposite end of the lot. Sighing, the woman knew it was time to retreat now. Her hands were getting numb and she was never allowed beyond the house when the sky was this dark.
Maybe he's looking at the moon right now.
"Are you?" she said to the night, her voice hushed. There was no voice to answer, but the cold around her was forgotten once she realized it. They both could look at the same moon. As bizarre as it was to anyone else, it made her lips curl a little at the corners.
Continuing to stand alone in the cold spot of black and streetlight orange, she looked at the moon and silently recited a rhyme she had remembered from months ago, from that perfect day where everything seemed to have changed. For a few precious moments the sadness in her faded away, like snowflakes melting in sunlight when the winter was over.