Valentine's Day 2011 Entry. Please enjoy Reading, Voting, and Commenting. I hope it leaves you satisfied! ;) Thank you!!!
Each year around February 14th either found me feeling giddy with romantic notions or bitter with disillusionment. This year was a mixture of the two. A long, drawn out divorce had finally come to an end. I was free woman again! Gone was the negativity, gone the chaos, gone the lies, the manipulations, the thefts, the stories and childish fibs, gone the need to mother a grown man-child. I was also a lonely woman. This Valentine's Day was all about me, regaining my independence and celebrating my liberation! Only, well there was no one to celebrate with other than the cat. There was no way the bastard was going to get the cat out of the deal. I scooped up my gorgeous snow-shoe cat; with her white mitten paws, snowy fur, snowflake nose, chocolate-point features: raccoon mask, tipped ears and tail and breathed into her fur.
"Ah Callieach, my little wintry goddess, how I love you." The affectionate cat bumped my nose with hers and meowed at me plaintively, displaying some of her Siamese genes. Obviously, someone was hungry. Taking her cue, I headed for the kitchen where I opened a can of wet cat food for her and poured it into her bowl on top of the dry kibble. She wound herself around my ankles rubbing against me, her motor emitting a loud, rumbling purr.
"Do you want to be Mommy's Valentine this year? We'll get drunk on ice cream and watch sappy movies together." I snorted in laughter, startling the cat. "Yeah right! I'm no sap." I asserted to myself, glancing at the window over the sink seeing my reflection. Who was I kidding? I looked like hell! There were dark smudges under my eyes. My chestnut brown hair lay in a lackluster tangle on my shoulders, and I was paler than usual. No more crying: I had promised myself. I slid to the kitchen floor, hitched my knees up to my chest, wrapped my arms around them, and gave in to the cleansing power of tears. Calliea padded over on silent mittens and put her front paws on my knees.
"Meowma?" Her voice asked.
"Momma's OK, sweetie." I assured her. Once she was satisfied, she hunched her lean frame and leaped onto the counter, putting her front paws in the sink. I watched her, getting quick glimpses of her pink tongue as it flicked in and out so fast as she drank the incessant drip from the faucet. It put me in mind of the study I had read online about the scientific research being done on how cats actually drink. Fascinating stuff. I had a feeling the cat wouldn't be too happy with me once I got a plumber over to fix the dripping. Aside from the annoyance of the noise, I hated wasting the water. I held onto the knob of the cabinet and pulled myself up. A glimmer out the window caught my eye. Snow!
Snow had begun falling, just a light dusting of large flakes: the kind you can actually see the crystalline formation. The cat daintily removed her paws from the sink and started batting at the window trying to desperately catch the white flakes with her paws. I laughed at her and shook my head reaching past her and up into the cabinet for a mug. I plucked the tea kettle off the stove and poured myself a mug of hot water, adding a few scoop-fulls of cocoa to it, as I snatched the bag of marshmallows off the counter and dumped a few minis into the steaming cup. I set it on the edge and walked over to where my coat was hanging. I donned my coat, scarf, gloves, and hat and slipped my boots on, grabbed my mug of cocoa and sojourned out into the wind. As I slammed the door shut, I heard Calliea hiss at the indignation of her fur being ruffled by the wind.
I ducked my head down and walked into the wind. It whipped against me and I had to brace myself as I walked the curve of my walkway to the back yard. The snow was beginning to pick up and I could see a coating of white shrouding the world. I shrugged and shivered, no plan in mind, only knowing that staying home cooped up on such a day as this was going to drive me crazy. I skirted around my snow covered fire pit and headed for the back woods. It was where I felt most at home. My multi-colored pavers were nearly invisible now. I was surprised with the speed at which the snow was falling. It was dusk and part of me thought maybe I should wait until morning for my little trek, but then I could already see the moon, wide and full and brilliant in the sky. The clouds were kissed a dusky pink and lavender blue, with peachy streaks running through it. It was just a short walk, after all. I should have brought my cell phone, come to think of it. But, I was already on my way, and the trees were calling to me. I took a sip of the hot cocoa, warmed. But, I was already on my way, and the trees were calling to me. I took a sip of the hot cocoa, warmed. I hadn't planned on the force of the driving wind and ice. My cheeks felt like they were being slashed by my cat's claws. Ow! I knew of a place I could escape, at least until the wind died down and I could safely make my way back home. This was not the most brilliant idea. Just a short time ago, the snow was gentle and inviting. Now it was harsh and Mama Nature seemed to be unleashing her temptuous fury.
The oaks, maples, and pines were bare; stark against the white world. But the blue spruces towering above me, comforted me with their clothed presence. I plodded through the thickening snow up to my favorite tree and stood beneath it, staring up in reverence. I set the mug in the snow, hunched down and knelt, carefully crawling under and into the tiny space that the needles created. My silvery blue winter haven. I settled my self, tucking my one knee under my thigh and the other one beside it, reaching my gloved hands to the red-brown bark (a sign of its age), touching the tree, feeling the living pulse. Spruce protected me from the wind and the bitter cold. I resolved to myself that I would only linger for a short time. I picked up a large brown cone that tumbled near my foot and tucked it into my pocket for safe-keeping, thanking the tree for the gift.
The cone brought back bittersweet memories of a happier time, when I was blissfully unaware of the true nature of my ex-husband. He had been tender and attentive to me. His words caressed my ears with poetry and thoughtfulness appealed to my romantic heart. Our first Valentine's Day together, he had gifted me with a gold leaf pendant, as he knew how much I loved trees. It was sweet. He did and said all the right things. I was such a fool: a fool in love. I never saw the care for what it truly was: manipulation. Too bad he didn't know how to navigate or manipulate his way around the bedroom. If he had been more commanding, more take charge, I might have had a bit of a clue to his true nature. But he always kept it rather boring. I was always the one leading. He had no idea what he was doing. Or maybe he did. What did it matter now, anyway? I just thought it might be nice to let someone else lead for awhile. If I could ever trust enough or give up that bit of control, it would be a miracle.
After awhile, I crawled back out and was surprised that I had to push the snow out of my way. I let my daydreaming mind have its way with me again. Not good! Wow, it was really accumulating! My mug of cocoa had disappeared. I shivered, really glad I had remembered to put my silky warm long underwear on under my jeans. They always felt so nice against my skin, I sometimes wore them to bed. I loved that the moisture wicking material never made me sweat in my layers. Had anyone else been out and about they probably would have mistaken me for an eskimo; layer upon layer, bundled up to the nose, thick scarf hugging my neck, a few pairs of gloves failing at their purpose.
I took a deep breath and turned my head to look at the distance to my house. I couldn't see my house. Not good at all! Fear started creeping in upon realizing this was no ordinary snow storm. A white-out meant one thing -- blizzard. Shit! I swung my head back around to look at the path ahead of me. I could see a bit more this way than I could in the direction of home, which was where the wind was blowing from. The snow was deepening. I knew there was a church just on the other side of the woods, somewhere. The distance to the church was less than the distance to my warm house. At least, going through the woods, the snow might not have accumulated so much. It might minimize the wind's bite too. The church doors were always unlocked. I could go in, warm myself up, and make a call to a friend to possibly pick me up.
Settled on this plan, although I admitted to myself again this was not the most brilliant one; I set off. I wished for sunlight or even moonlight. I knew by now the sun was probably on its downward path sinking below the horizon, even if I couldn't see it. The thought of the moon's light beaming down on me somehow comforted me more than the sun. I shuffled forward, feeling snow slip into my boot. That's all I needed was cold, wet feet. The prospect of frost bite causing me to quicken my pace, as best I could. I made it to the woods and breathed a sigh of relief, seeing that I was right, the snow was much shallower and protected by the wind. A golden glow in the far distance urged me onward. I imagined the warmth of that cozy little church; maybe a cup of tea and something to nibble on.
The world was silent, except for the wind, which was beginning to weaken. Such a dumb idea, I scolded myself. Whatever were you thinking? I felt a tear gather at the edge of my eye and reached up with my insulated glove and dashed it away. I would not cry. Besides, it would only leave an icicle on my cheek. What a lonely world. What a lonely girl. I reached into my pocket and pulled out a few tissues, pushing them against my nose which was twitching with cold. I sniffled loudly into the tissue, crumbling it up and stuffing it back into my pocket.
"Almost there." I told myself. The light growing ever closer and I thought I could hear music. I reached the end of the woods and emerged; the sight of that quaint little church quite veritably the most welcome sight I'd seen in a long time. I struggled through the snow up to the door. The door was blocked by a huge drift. I climbed the drift, groaning in frustration. "Just my luck!" I climbed another drift to peer in one of the stained glass windows. The lights were dim and the church was empty. The parking lot was also empty. My heart dropped and panic began to set in. "What now?" I asked the vast sky. Maybe the back of the chapel was open. I tramped through the snow to the back of the chapel, of which the door was also blocked by snow, not to mention dark within.
"Where on earth was that light coming from?" The light was a beacon and led me to the church. But now, being here, I realized there was no light on in the church. I turned away from the door, downtrodden and looked around. I saw a rod-iron fence extending up a hill and decided to follow it. I used the fence to pull myself along, stumbling as I went. The fence led to a gate of the same material and I blinked up at it, the snow making it hard to see. I felt chilled to the bone when I realized I had come upon a cemetery. The snow seemed less deep and I told myself to be brave; (they were just dead people after all) as I slipped in between the bars of the locked gate. I leaned up against the gate trying to catch my breath and rubbed my cheeks vigorously. They were numb. I glanced back at my soft footprints left in the snow, a sigh escaping my frost covered lips as my eyes were drawn to a flickering light; the very same light that had led me here. I pushed off the gate and walked over to the steady candle flame, wondering how I was able to see such a tiny glimmer from so far away. I sat beside the candle and leaned my face over it, trying to absorb what little heat I could.
A new glimmer caught my eye and my gaze traveled from the candle upwards, settling on a stone statue. Ivory colored wings arched out of its back. This angel had blue eyes. They looked to be some type of semi-precious stone, and I wondered who would be crazy enough to leave something so valuable in a cemetery. The statue captivated me, its eyes seeming to penetrate my soul. I wondered what person the statue represented when he or she were alive: someone romantic, I imagine. Someone strong, well-known and well-loved. Someone youthful. I searched the surrounding area for a plaque or headstone and found nothing other than the perpetual candle and the stone statue. No epitaph, no dates, no names; nothing to identify the angel.
Having no clue what possessed me to, on a child-like, nostalgic whim, I dropped to the snow blanketed earth, scooped up the softness and placed it on my tongue. I eased my tired body to the ground before the angel statue and spread my arms and legs out in a spread eagle position, scissoring my limbs in unison to form a snow angel - the most perfect I've ever made - almost too perfect. I pulled myself into a sitting position and prepared to stand up when a hand reached out to mine. I froze, as did my heart; frozen like the world around me. Hesitant, I turned my head, my gaze alighting on the arm attached to the hand and moving up to the face. My jaw dropped in wonderment and amazement mixed with fear.
My gaze returned to the ground, the snow angel had disappeared and was standing before me. With grand wings, he sparkled like icicles. Those were wings, right? Yet, his touch was surprisingly warm and comforting. His ice-blue eyes stared into mine, telling me not to fear him. Trust, whispered in my ear. His wing touched my cheek, hands stroking snow-fallen hair from my face. I was under whatever magic he was weaving. He wrapped me in his embrace, holding me close. I lost myself in the sensations and we began to dance. I felt myself growing lighter, the ice and coldness melting; my walls falling away. I realized I could have stopped him, but he was in my heart and for once it didn't hurt.
My gaze traveled up his length and settled on his sparkling eyes, snow flakes kissing his eyelashes. I too, yearned to kiss them. "Are you real?" I whispered, desperately.
"Does it matter?" He answered me by tipping my face up to his and sliding his lips against mine. I closed my eyes, warmth filling me and all my dreams, desires, and fantasies fulfilled with just one kiss from his angelic lips. I pulled away from the kiss.
"It does matter to me." My heart was at war with my mind. His heavy sigh nearly broke my heart.
"You ask the wrong question." He captured a snowflake from my cheek and raised his finger to his lips, touching it with the tip of his tongue.
"What question should I be asking?" I asked, mesmerized by his pink tongue.
"It it not a matter of if I am real or not, but if I am living." My heart thudded in my ribcage, and I shook my head in denial, my gaze shooting over to the stone angel poised as if in flight.
"Am I dead?" I asked weakly not wanting to really know the answer. He didn't give me an answer but dipped his head to mine, capturing my lips in another kiss. My mouth moved under his, lips parting, breath panting. Although cold breath puffed out of my mouth, nothing but sweetness came from his. My tongue tentatively touched the crease of his lips, slipping in for a taste. "I'm so cold." I shivered. His arms came around me, skimming against my bottom, hitching me up against him. I clung to him.
"I will keep you warm." He whispered. "Come, with me." He released me from his embrace and held his hand out to me. His wings were so massive that I could not tell, as they were draped about him, if he wore any clothes. I didn't particularly care. The moment my fingers touched his hand a wave of dizziness hit me, and I staggered forward. He continued to support me, drawing me along.
"Close your eyes." He bid me, and I obeyed.
"Where are we going?" My voice chattering with cold. I felt heat suffuse my body and light warm the backs of my eyelids. I tried to open my eyes, but the light hurt and I closed them. I felt a whisper of something soft against my eyes and the light dimmed behind my lids. I opened them again, as I was greeted by a most welcome sight; the interior of a building. A roaring fire blazed in a hearth and there were blankets placed upon pieces of worn furniture. I felt the absence of my angel when he left my side to walk over to the hearth. A cauldron sat atop the flames and he was scooping a brown liquid into a clay mug. Gone were the wings, but before me stood a beautiful man. The beautiful man flowed over and placed the steamy cup in my hand and tipped it to my lips. I gulped grateful, my body aquiver with cold. The world looked as though I were viewing it through the steam of the hot cocoa.
"We must get you warm." So saying, he unzipped my coat, tugged my gloves off my frozen hands, and untied my boots. I fumbled with the zipper to my jeans, unable to feel the piece of metal with my frozen fingers. He took over the task as I peeled the coat off, unwound the scarf from my neck, and removed the hat. My chestnut brown hair was a tangled mess, sticking to my face with sweat. He pushed the wet hair out of my face and gathered the length in his hands to lay behind my neck.
"What are you?" I asked again, needing an answer. "Are you an angel?"
He grinned for the first time. He had a lovely smile, straight white teeth and a small indent on his strong chin. "I can be your angel." His auburn hair hung in curls to his shoulder giving him a warrior's appearance.
I reached my hand up to touch a curl; soft and silky, it slipped through my fingers. "Are you alive?"
"Back to this are we?" A deep chuckle rumbled in his chest. He caught my hand and held it up to his lips, placing a kiss against the knuckles. My questions and concerns slipping from my mind, as he flipped my hand over and touched the palm with his tongue. He dropped my hand and stared at my body, outlined by the clinging silky material of the long underwear. A hungry look came into his eyes and I swallow hard.
"My Valentine Angel." I murmured softly, as his hands lifted the shirt. He blinked at me.
"That explains it." He mumbled and then shrugged, his hands pushing the shirt up to expose my breasts. He smiled, "Valentine's Day." He grumbled and then dropped his head, sighing. I sensed the shift in his mood and tugged my shirt back down, placing my hands on the sides of his face, lifting it to my eyes. His eyes shifting away from mine
"Is something wrong?" I asked him. "What about Valentine's Day?" I pulled him down to sit beside me on the worn couch. His presence seemed to fill the room, and I felt small beside him. "Is Valentine's Day the day that you." I gulped hard. "D-died?" Was I seriously having this conversation with him? Was he truly dead? Because from where I was sitting; he looked like a living, breathing, healthy, hot-blooded, sexy man to me. "Did you die? Or were you never born to begin with? I'm so confused." I huffed feeling dizzy and confused. He turned to face me, his leg moving against mine. He brushed his hand through his hair, in what I took to be a moment of irritation.
"Did anyone ever tell you that you talk too much?" His mouth on my lips succinctly stilled my words. I closed my eyes and sighed as his tongue whispered across the outline of my lips, and he dropped a kiss against the side of my mouth, moving over to kiss the other side, and settling fully centered on my lips, drawing my lower one into his mouth, to nibble upon. He pulled away reluctantly.
"Sometimes." I whispered, breathless. "If you keep doing that, I'm not sure I'll even remember how to form words." I encouraged him, impishly.
"Oh? Is that so?" He queried, sinking his fingers into my hair and tugging me closer. I batted my eyelashes prettily at him. I leaned my head closer to his to kiss him back, but he held me away. It seemed he was playing hard to get. I frowned at him and stroked my hand down his chest.