I remember breathing out wind. I remember breathing in wind. Now, I breathe out nothing. Now, I breathe in nothing.

I used to see cold wind in my breath. I used to breathe clouds, of dragons, of mermaids, of imagination. But now, I don’t breathe out cold wind. I don’t breathe.

I used to hear laughter. I used to make laughter. I used to laugh. But now, all I hear are sobs. Now, I cannot hear laughter. Now, I cannot laugh.

I used to see her make snowballs in the winter. I used to help her make a snowman. I used to guide her, I used to hold her hand. I used to laugh along with her. I used to hold her small hand in my small hand. But now, all I see her do is hold a picture of me. Now, I cannot hold her hand. Now, she does not laugh. Now, she cries. Now, I want to take her with me and play again.

I used to be the pillar of hope for my parents. Look, they say, she’s growing up so well. She’s going to be a doctor. She’s going to be a millionaire. She’s going to help all those people freezing to death. Now, all I remember is that the doctor is looking over me. Now, all I remember is that the doctor covered me up. All I remember is trying to scream out that I’m still here. To the doctor. Now I hate doctors. Now, I don’t want to be them anymore. I can’t be a doctor anymore.

I used to have a dog. Buster, he’s called. Good dog, very obedient, I had him since I was seven years old. I used to play with him in the morning, with her, and we would play together while he dug holes in the white lands. People say that a dog’s years is seven times that of a human’s. They say that they would probably die before we did. But that’s wrong, I know it’s wrong. Now, I see Buster howling to the dark depths of the cold night. Now, I see him curl up from the frost that lingers over his bones. Now, I see him wait for me to come back, or is it the other way around?

I used to go to that playground, as a kid. Play with the swings and the slides from the day to night, endlessly, even if my mother were to tell me to go home because it was so cold. But I never listened, and I still went to the playground even as I grew older. I used to go to the playground religiously, like a sanctuary. I used to just sit in the swings while I wait the hours go by, covered in garments to keep myself from getting too cold. But now, I don’t sit on the swings anymore. Now, there’s red snow on the swings.

I used to go to the graveyards, to visit the bodies of my grandparents. I used to detest going there, it felt too eerie and too cold near the slabs of stone. I used to calm her down whenever she cried. Now, I can’t. Now, I’m forced to watch, but I can’t feel. Now, I see my parents give blessings. Now, I hear my mother say that she would want me back. But I don’t want that. I don’t want to go back, I hate going back. They don’t understand how cold it felt. I like it here. Now, I want them to see how warm it is here. Maybe then, they’ll come here too.


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