Todd didn’t think he had seen winter weather so bad before. He stood by the window and watched the stormy winds whipping the snowflakes into a frenzy amongst the pine trees. The sound of this and the movement of the tree branches were both scary and interesting to him. On one hand he could imagine some massive, perhaps prehistoric monster, howling and shaking the trees as it threw the snow around. On the other, he knew the sound was just the gale force winds battering through the trees and causing all the frozen snow, which had fallen in the last few days, to disperse.
He glanced over his shoulder, though his vision was filled with the winter snow, he saw the humped shape of his wife in bed. He half wanted to wake her up and invite her to watch the snow storm with him, but he decided that was a bad move. She was all ready mad with him over the fact he had convinced her to come away for a Christmas holiday and they were now snowed in the fake log cabin, holiday home. Todd scratched at his growing beard and reflected on the conversation they had before he had booked the holiday and it had just been an idea brought on by his insomnia.
‘How do you fell about going away in December?’
‘For a weekend? It’ll have to be in the first week. I’ll be too busy after that. Where did you have in mind? London to see Jennie? I don’t really want to be traveling far.’
‘No, I was thinking more of a week holiday. Maybe at the county club? Or at that nice hotel we went to last spring in the Lake District?’
‘Are you serious?’
‘Yes and actually I was thinking of going Christmas week. Wouldn’t it be nice if it was just the two of us?’
‘But what about my family? Christmas dinner, the presents?’
‘Well, we can give the presents before we leave, or afterwards. However you want, but I really think this will be a good idea. We can have a quiet time whilst everyone else gets stressed. Plus, we’ve not had a holiday alone this year.’
‘I don’t know Todd, I get what you are saying, but I’m always with my family for Christmas. It’s just the way things are. I don’t think I’ll ever understand why you don’t feel the same.’
‘Let me at least look into it, please? It won’t be that much trouble and it will help us decided. Please, Maggie?’
Reluctantly, she had agreed and from that moment on he had pressured her and twisted her arm about going. She had given in at the last minute and even though her displeasure had spoiled the preparation, the travel and the first two days, he had ignored her attitude and believed she would see things his way soon enough.
The wind drew his attention once more with a loud moan like sound. He opened the window letting it in. A handful of snow came into and the room felt a touch colder. Smiling, he embraced the cold wind and wet flakes on his face. He felt almost childlike and marvelled in that.
His wife moved in the bed, detangling herself from the sheets and duvet. She looked round and spotting him next to the open window, frowned and got out of the bed.
‘What are you doing?’
‘Experiencing winter sounds.’
‘Are you mad? It’s freezing. Go outside if you want to do that!’
Shrugging, Todd shut the window and went to put on his things. He heard his wife in the bathroom, then in the kitchen. She called his name just as his hand was reaching for the door handle.
‘Do you want a drink?’
‘No. I’m going out.’
Whatever her next words were got lost in the blizzard he let in as he opened the door. Stepping out quickly, he closed it again, but he already knew snow had gotten into the hallway and that icy wind would been rushing around his wife’s legs. Pulling up his hood, he turned away all the same and walked into the snow.
Around him, the wind howled like a wolf pack at his heels. Snow blew about, getting under his hood and into his boots. He forced his way against the wind and went to stand in between the nearby pine trees. There he watched how the wind shook the tree tops with such force as almost snapping the trunks. Oddly, though the wind hadn’t seemed to be able to clear the trees of snow has he had wondered about. It must have been frozen on there, but he couldn’t really inspect that because snowflakes were getting into his eyes.
Dropping his head, he felt the first tingles of chill in his legs and fingers, even though he was completely covered and he’d only been outside a few minutes. He listened, but heard nothing other than the wind with the snow and branches. He wished Maggie could experience this, even if she didn’t like the cold nor the fact they were now stuck here for New Year’s. At least he had tried, but he couldn’t be blamed for the weather.