As the end of January neared and a work routine had settled back into their lives, snow decided that it didn’t much care for routine, it had fallen heavily over the last few days, creating dunes of snow in the backyard. For a child, this was most likely paradise, for the twins who had grown up out on the street, so long as they were inside, this was perfect but Cyrille, with quite the playful spirit had decided that he was going exploring, on that particular day, right after work.
The dark had already settled but Eoghan had several lights installed along the upper edge of the building, all pointing into the backyard. Cyrille had compared them to floodlights before though they weren’t anywhere near as bright as the ones he’d seen before, of course. He was rather certain that these lights would keep him on a safe path. After all, the whole yard was mostly flat ground, there was nothing out there for him to end up in a dangerous situation.
As he put on his boots, the twins looked at him, Agni eyeing him as if he’d gone crazy and Mira looking uncertain as could be. He played fish, his mouth opening and closing, trying to find words, anything to keep the other from going outside in all that snow but there was nothing he could find in his mind that didn’t sound like a desperate request tinged with fear.
“I swear, you two should dress up and step out with me. I know you two have had it rough before, especially in the winter but you’ve got your coats, you have boots and gloves and scarves. It will be fun and that’s whether I’m alone or with you guys.” He’d wanted to go wandering through the snow for a while but just hadn’t managed that much yet, not with the weather as it had been. Today had been the day. The air had been warm, not a cloud in the sky and the moon was bright, up there, just looking down into that yard.
Agni shook his head one last time, soft mutter of ‘you’re crazy, I swear’ escaping him as he turned and walked back towards his room. He’d lessened the number of hours he played on his computer but it didn’t mean he would just sit back and twiddle his thumbs while his friend went out there in the snow, he’d keep himself occupied.
“Come on, Mira. I promise you’ll enjoy it. All we’re going to do is walk through the snow, I won’t even throw a single snowball at you.”
Mira’s eyes grew wide at the mention of snowballs, uncertainty flashing in his eyes as he shifted his weight from one foot to the other. “I don’t know, Cyrille. I wish you wouldn’t go out there. I’m afraid.”
“Mira, I swear. This is the safest thing ever. We’re just walking out along the yard, we both know that the yard is flat through and through and at most we’ll have snow up to the middle of our calves, to our knees and probably the middle of our thighs if we cross through the dunes but that shouldn’t be necessary. I just really want you to understand that snow isn’t out to kill you. Please?”
In the end, it was Cyrille’s puppy eyes that had Mira wandering back towards his room to put on one of his heavier sweaters and his thicker pants.
“You’re crazy!” Agni called out from his room as Mira stepped back into the entryway and sat down on the bench to put his high boots on. He had short, to the ankle walking boots and he had these higher boots, Eoghan had gotten them for him and his brother, saying that they would be good for trekking through the snow, they laced up all the way up under his knees.
Once his boots were on, he wrapped his scarf about his throat, shrugged on his coat and his gloves. “You promise, right?”
“I promise, Mira. Snow is harmless. It’s cold but we’re wearing the clothes we should when we’re out there and we’ll be fine. It was comfortable, that ten minutes break we took at work, in the middle of the afternoon, right?”
Mira tilted his head as Cyrille opened the door for him, thinking back on that break. He nodded. They had put on their coats and stepped outside to simply appreciate the crisp freshness of the day, it had been pretty nice.
“It’ll be like that, maybe a little cooler since the sun is out but we’re both wearing warmer stuff now than we were earlier.”
They walked down to the bottom floor, stepping to the back of the building and then outside into the slightly chilly but not bitterly cold evening air. Above their heads, the moon’s shine was bright, illuminating the grounds without even the need for any extra light. There was not a single cloud in the sky and for that simple reason, for the time being, Cyrille left the not-quite-floodlights off.
He walked a few paces away and found himself on his own. He turned back around, offering Mira his hand. The teen looked around, his eyes wide, uncertain before he looked down to that hand and curled his fingers to it. It was the only thing keeping him safe, he was certain of it.
Cyrille squeezed his fingers gently and tugged him along as they walked into the pure, untouched snow. As promised, it barely came up to the middle of his calves and his boots were keeping his feet and toes warm. He didn’t feel the cold. It had nipped at him slightly when he’d first stepped out but now he found himself almost comfortable outside.
“It’s beautiful up here. I bet the view is even better from up on the roof.” He looked up to the sky, to the brightness of a moon he could almost imagine as full. Cyrille tugged on his hand again and Mira moved on forward again. They moved around the dunes, stepping this way and that until they were at a slight distance from the building itself, almost at the wood’s edge.
“I’m not going to go any further than this, if we step into the woods, we might very well lose sight of the moon and we could honestly get lost, that’s the last thing I want. It’s nice outside, isn’t it?”
Mira nodded, taking in their surrounding again. “It’s not as bad as I thought, maybe we could sit down somewhere?”
“We could, we can wipe the snow off from around and on the swing and settle there for a bit though we probably shouldn’t stay sitting outside for too long, don’t want to catch a cold though I don’t imagine that honestly happening. Unless you want to go up to the roof?”
Mira’s eyes grew wide at the mention of going up on the roof and he grinned. He was sure the sight would be something to behold. He loved being up on the roof. At least during the other seasons, he’d yet to be up on the roof in winter, at least not out of the solarium, it was bound to be quite an experience.
“You want to lead us back to the building? Just follow our tracks, I trust you.”
Mira frowned softly, looking up to his friend for a moment before he looked down to their tracks and then back up to the building. He nodded, mostly to himself and started making his way back home, not quite following their tracks but managing to not head too deeply into the snow itself. He was avoiding the dunes just fine and that was what felt important.
Once back at the door, he tugged it open and slipped inside, Cyrille following him. Mira was smiling, looking pleased with himself. It was little steps like these that seemed to make the twins go one step further into the world, that seemed to let them know that they could manage most anything they set their mind to. It was Cyrille’s only goal, to make sure they discovered everything good the world had to offer.