On a cold December morning an ordinary young woman walked down the sidewalk. In was a normal day in this mid-century town. Her navy coat was buttoned up tight and she tucked her snow white mittens into her pockets. The snow had been falling for days; the wind sent the cold biting through her coat.
He approached her from behind. His cold hand grasped her right shoulder. She turned and looked straight into his bloodshot eyes. His words were mumbled. He became frustrated and yanked off her white stocking cap.
“What do you want?” she asked.
She did not respond. He circled around her. She observed his neatly pressed, fancy clothes. Yet he had dark circles under his eyes, a sign of no sleep and stress. His lips were so chapped there was dried blood in the cracks. He continued circling her. He gently began to pet her soft brown hair.
“Are you afraid?” he asked.
He seemed taken back by her response. She didn’t want him to think too hard.
“You don’t want to hurt me. You are looking for someone. I am not her. Your lack of sleep has led you astray. I can’t help you. I don’t know that person. I know you won’t harm me. You care about the person you seek. It distresses you she is lost.”
“You aren’t her.”
“No, I am not.”
He stopped circling her. His face showed anguish and then anger. He was about to explode when Santa staggered up. He mumbled something about angels. Then fell down into the snow and began to make snow angels.
“Won’t you join me?”
He looked straight into her hazel eyes, “I am not her,” she said.
“You are not her,” looking baffled, he walked away.
She glanced down at Santa making snow angels, “Sorry Santa, not today.”
She turned back and the man was gone. She reached down and picked her stocking cap off the frosty ground. She exhaled slowly. She saved herself today. She felt shaky as she pondered what to do. Should she call someone or should she continue of her way to work? She wanted to cry, but held back. He might still be watching from somewhere in the distance. She felt a cold sting on her wrist. Her watch had been exposed to the elements and now had frost stuck to the metal edges. She could feel the cold again, yet she was still numb inside.