She sends a silent thank you to the midnight moon as it lights her path. Snow crunches under her boots and falls gently from the sky, as she enjoys the moment, this sliver of solitude amongst the tinsel, gifts, and holiday cheer.

It’s impossible not to argue with Alecia. That girl crawls under my skin like fire ants. She smiles are as cold as February’s snow, but her words are hot, sharp and biting as those insects now under my skin.

Tell me again, whisper it in my ear. The plan of our escape. The one in which we fly away together. To a tropical island, where winter’s cruel winds can’t reach me, and your strong, hot touch makes me even warmer.

Old man winter is back.

My most unwelcome guest.

His icy fingers scrap along my once warm flesh,

Opening wounds and making me bleed despair.

His cold breath reeks, heavy and ugly, chilling me to the bone.

If this uninvited guest is staying, I’m leaving!

As I step outside the snow starts to fall. It covers the frozen ground and dead leaves, making everything appear fresh and innocent. I look up and snowflakes fall on my cheeks and lips as soft as a baby’s kiss, encouraging me to embrace this winter wonderland.

I’m not a trophy you set aside and take down to show off to your friends. I’m more like your all seasons Elf on the Shelf. Restlessly moving around, sometimes being a pain-in-the-ass, causing havoc. Other times laughter and joy. But never forgotten.