The Walk

1st Place Winner-Short Story Literary Contest-San Mateo County Fair-2018

(Scroll down for an Excerpt of The Walk)

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My original plan for that January morning was to do what I’d been doing every weekend since winter officially began: take my coffee mug up into my room, shimmy back under the covers and hibernate, which to me is sleep, eat, pee, and repeat until daylight warmed the air. If it isn’t clear yet, I don’t do cold.

I have always been impressed by those who somehow find the motivation and energy to accomplish tasks during the winter. I contemplated this while standing barefoot on my cold kitchen tiles waiting for my coffee to brew. Usually, it took a personal pep talk for me to even stretch a toe out from underneath my blankets. Sometimes it took a growling stomach or in the worst case scenario an urgent call from “nature.”

The aroma of brewing coffee filled the air. I hugged my thick terrycloth robe close around my body and retrieved a mug from the cupboard. Then for some reason, I turned towards my kitchen window, pulled up the blinds, and stood holding my still-empty mug.

To the west, the quiet sky was a lovely shade of indigo blue. It was clear, still, and lightly dusted with bright twinkling stars. My eyes wandered to the east, where the stars had begun to retreat as the glow of the rising sun slowly stole the night. I looked across the sky, from left to right, east to west, indigo to orange and caught sight of a lone seagull gliding through the air, warming its wings in the earliest morning light.

I sat down at the kitchen table with my coffee. With every sip, the scene beyond the sliding glass door changed a little. The sun rose a bit higher, pushed away more stars, and brought the dark silhouetted trees closer to their natural shade of green. More birds joined the seagull to dance in the sunlight. Unlike me, the birds had not stayed in their warm nests. Instead, they were like those people I admired who greeted each day with boldness, no matter the weather.  I felt as though I was missing out on something beyond the comfort of my cozy bed. I worked out every day in the warmer months, and while my friends and co-workers continued their routines year-round, like the birds. I reduced my work hours and hibernated like a bear. Apart from doing only the very necessary, the cold, for me was until this morning uninspiring.