This story is based off of the Story Prompt Challenge #14.
Betty ran her knobby fingers over the pictures in her new photo album. Her smiling grandchildren gathered around cakes, with signs of birthday wishes. At the beginning of the year, the plans for her birthday was a big get-together. A few of her grandkids had grown so much Betty hardly recognized them in the recent pictures.
Birthday cards and letters were tucked behind the next page. For a few of the letters, Betty could imagine the voices to match the authors. But for others, she was afraid that voices had changed more than her grandkids’ appearances. Perhaps it didn’t help that some of the photos had their faces covered.
Setting the photo album aside, Betty looked around at the items she had gathered around her easy chair. A beautiful quilt sat on a stool next to her, a wedding present for her eldest granddaughter. While it had been finished months ago, Betty wasn’t allowed to go to the post office anymore, and hadn’t had a visitor that could take it for her.
Betty stood and paused, waiting for her stiff body to readjust to her new position. She used to be active enough that she didn’t notice the stiffness as much. Making her way to the window, Betty wished it was summer again so that she could at least go outside to plant or weed flowers in the raised flowerbeds her sons had built for her.
Just standing at the window chilled her bones. The sky was bleak with thick grey clouds blocking all but a small amount of sunlight. What used to be pretty snow was now old, dirty, and pocked with tracks across the yard. The street only offered a gray, slushy mess.
A little boy, bundled in his warmest clothes was making his way up the road. He tromped through the slush piles, splashing wet slush on his coat and snow pants. Betty could only imagine how much snow and slush was slipping down into his boots, making him cold and miserable.
The boy looked up from his feet and looked at Betty’s yard full of old snow. Without a second thought, the boy took off as fast as his padded limbs could take him. He took a good ten or fifteen steps into Betty’s yard. His feet sitting on top of the snow for half a second before breaking through the crystalized layer and sinking into the depth of frozen drift.
Betty realized that the boy was enjoying his walk, despite the inevitable cold and wet clothes. The boy looked around and spotted Betty standing at the window. He pulled down his scarf and mask to reveal a pink nose and cold, rosy cheeks. The boy gave Betty the biggest grin she’d ever seen and an energetic wave. Betty’s heart melted at the joy and energy she saw at that moment. The boy put his mask and scarf back in place over his nose and mouth, and went along his merry way. Crunching snow and ice and splashing in slush as he went.
Betty watched the boy till he disappeared beyond her view. Then, she slowly turned back to her cozy little home. Though the house was as silent as ever, Betty didn’t feel so lonely.