They had been arguing all week. The season was stressful enough but the mood wasn’t helped by the fact that they hadn’t been talking properly for weeks. They had been living together for a year and the cracks had started to show. They had very little money, both newly graduated students, so had to work all the time which menat not getting to spend much time with one another. The time that they did have, they hadn’t wanted to use to start a fight so they’d each kept quiet. But then they started keeping quiet about other things, then most things. Finally, they were celebrating Christmas and they weren’t much more than acquaintances. They were just waiting for the strike in the right spot to finally shatter their relationship.
That came in the form of very heavy snow fall while they were staying in the cabin on his parent’s land. A snow so heavy that they were trapped inside, unable to dig themselves out because they did not have the tool inside; that was his fault.
Thus it began. A screaming match, the first of its kind for months. They started on the topic of their imminent dilemma but quickly moved on. His mother’s interfering, her friendship with her male work partner, his way of washing the dishes, her pickiness, her moods, his pettiness, his perpetual lateness, her pathological need to be early…
They yelled at one another for hours. To the point at which he went to storm out, in such a rage that he forgot that they were completely barricaded in and as he opened the patio doors, he was drenched in snow. She cried from laughing, as the unexpected ice shower had simultaneously increased his frustration and cooled him off. She was still struggling to breath when she passed him a towel to help dry off somewhat. By that point, he had started giggling too.
She put the kettle on while he got changed. She made hot chocolate with all the toppings, the exact way that he liked it. It made him smile to see it there and reminisce on the first time that they had had hot chocolate together. From there, they spoke about other memories, safe stuff to start with about friends and group mischief to the private stories, the things they would never share with anyone else. Somewhere between the drink ending and the mince pies being put out they had moved onto the present day, catching up with what had been going on at work. And they were laughing. He was so funny, she made the best observations. He was a great listener, she gave the best advice.
Somewhere between the first bowl of custard and bananas and the second bowl, they had started remembering why they had moved in with one another in the first place, why they had started dating one another even. He had amazing eyes. The way her silky hair shone in the light. How rare and special it was for her to laugh properly. His lopsided grin when she was saying something too geeky. His habit of running his hands through his hair.
Before they knew it, there was a knock at the door and his parents had managed to dig their way in to the cabin. The spell was broken, their real lives had intruded – the ones where they still had bills to pay, long hours to work and difficult families to navigate. If they were honest, both of them was sorry that their igloo had been breached, but now that it had been, they had no idea of how to return to it. No way of getting back to the sincerity or the openness of it.
But then his mother said something and he replied in a cavalier manner, making her laugh. She caught his eye above his mother’s head, there was a sparkle in it that hadn’t been there yesterday. She smiled. Somehow, even though she knew it wouldn’t be easy, they would find their way back to one another. They weren’t done yet.