“I can’t sleep”, she writes. “There’s all these people in my bed and I lost my voice.” She looks at the present she intended to give him for Christmas but wasn’t ready in time. She decides that what she had is good enough. She smokes a yellow American Spirit cigarette and pontificates lemon drop metaphors. She reaches for imagery a little too hard as she pours in retrospect over the holidays in blue ink into an intricately embossed notebook from India. A present. A small dog barks. She gives them off-handed names like Tycho, Tiersen, Verona, Moira, Michael and Stephanie. Stephanie is her name.
She’s allergic to the cold. What a stupid thing to be allergic to. She shakes. She walks back inside after her cigarette and takes a bite of cold, leftover pizza and chugs milk from the gallon. She looks in the mirror and wraps her hair in a short pony tail. She’s trying to grow it out before she gets married but it takes time like everything else. This is where she is now. She climbs into bed trying to get warm and tucks her feet under the sleeping things that live there. This is home.
A train sounds in the distance; echoing memories from her past. Remnants. She misses her person, Michael, and her heart breaks ever so slightly. He gave her his word once and said he didn’t care if she made twelve dollars for the rest of her life as long as she kept writing. She tries to sleep with cold hands pressed together in prayer. It doesn’t work. She’s allergic to the damn cold.