When It Snows

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So, what do you do when it snows? You kiss someone, of course.

It helps if you know the person, and it smooths the process if they like the idea of being kissed, but either way, it is an opportunity that must not be missed.

I grew up in a part of the world where it snows every forty years or so.

My mum told me about the imperative as mothers do and I’m sure she was smiling as she noticed the look of wonder in my young eyes.

“But what if it’s a boy?” I said.

“He won’t mind,” was my mother’s reply.

“But I might,” I said.

“You’ll just have to summon up the courage,” was my mother’s insistent reply.

Of course, as I grew older I realised that this urban imperative was grouped in with ‘If the knife hits the bottom of the birthday cake you have to kiss the nearest person’, and ‘if you make that face, and the wind changes you will stay like that forever’, but the story about the snow had not come to the front of my conscious mind until I was walking to the train station with William. We didn’t have to walk together, it was just that we were leaving at the same time — an unusual occurrence.

I liked him, he was funny and shy and respectful, which set him apart from most of the testosterone males in our office, but I’d never thought of him in that way — the way of pressing lips together with the possibility of the warm sensation of a gentle tongue.

The street was empty as people sought shelter in cafes and doorways.

“It’s snowing,” I said a little too loudly as I threw back my head and let some of the frozen wonderfulness collect on my eyelashes.

“It’s been doing that since lunchtime,” said William. He seemed bemused by my declaration.

“I suddenly remembered, I have to kiss you. I may have left it a bit late, but it’s snowing, and I have little choice in the matter,” I said.

He looked at me and scrunched up his eyebrows the way he does when someone says something outlandish. I ignored the judgement of his eyebrows and pushed him up against the stone wall. He weighed a lot more than I thought he would so I had to use all my strength to propel him, and at the last moment he stopped his instinctive resistance and bumped, rather heavily into the wall. He let out a tiny sound, and I covered his mouth with mine.

We held our lips together for what seemed like a long time, and I could feel the warmth of his body which contrasted with the coolness of the snow that continued to fall on our united bodies.

Eventually, I pulled away as I realized he couldn’t because of his position against the wall. Part of me wanted to see who ended the kiss first.

I looked up into his eyes, and they were smiling at me. I smiled back.

He took my hand, and we walked to the station where his train arrived before mine did.

“Brief Encounter,” I said, and he smiled as he got into the carriage.

He watched me standing on the platform, snow gathering in my hair, as his train pulled away.

My mum had a point, ‘when it snows, you kiss someone, of course.’

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