Thank god for days like these, when you look like this,
your eye make-up seeming darker, heavier than usual
because it is so cold. You are tired, we all are, and the
sky is pressing down on us, grey and heavy with snow.
Your cheeks are pale and puffy, your hair is dry from
the frosty air. You frown as we walk, eyes unfocused.
You would surely have walked into a post by now if I
wasn’t here. Oxford Road is no more or less pretty in
winter than in spring. In March purple crocuses grow
and there are golden daffodils galore. Now it is empty,
echoey. People seem surprised at just how cold it is; at
how much the world has changed. You hold on to my
hand. You are shivering, like tiny rivulets of water are
darting down your neck and back. You turn, catch me;
I look away, trying not to smile. You smile, I can feel
it. Somewhere on Earth purple crocuses are blooming.
Elizabeth Gibson is a Masters student at the University of Manchester whose work has appeared in Far Off Places, London Journal of Fiction, The Cadaverine, Severine, Gigantic Sequins and Ink, Sweat & Tears. She edits Foxglove Journal and the Word Life section of Now Then Manchester. She tweets @Grizonne and blogs at http://elizabethgibsonwriter.blogspot.co.uk.