The boy looked out the window, his blue eyes spying the day out there, just a little bit. It was snowing, kids playing and running, trowing snow balls at each other or building snowmen, all reunited at the Central Park, right before his apartment. He smiled, wanting so much to go out there, walk through the streets, to trow snow in the park and to build a snowman. It looked so good.
“Born of cold and winter air and mountain rain combining...”, he louly sang. The music was his eldest memory, sang by the voice of the mother he had never seen. “This icy force both foul and fair has frozen heart worth mining. So cut through the heart, cold and clear, strike for love and strike for fear, see the beauty, sharp and sheer, split the ice apart...”, he kelt singing until, unconsciously, he touched the base of the window.
The boy pulled his hands back and looked horrified as the ice spread for the window, the wood freezing and the glass blurring. He looked at his own hands. Why coulnd't he contain himself?
He heard the creak of the room's door, and looked behind. His Dad looked at him with kind eyes, holding something in his hands. He kneeled in front of his son.
“Here”, he extended what he held, reveling itself to be a pair of black leather gloves. “The gloves will help.”
The boy took the gloves warily, quietely dressing them.
“See?”, the father smiled, covering his child's hand with his own. “Conceal it...”
“Don't feel it”, continued the boy.
“Don't let it show”, they completed together, smiling at each other.
A moment of silence passed, and the father asked:
“Do you wanna build a snowman?”
The boy's smile disappeared, and he looked at the window one last time. At the age of six, he carried too much on his shouders. Would he be able to control himself? Could he go and have fun, just play in the snow with his Dad? No. He would froze everybody and the fun would be gone. It would be the best for him to stay alone.
He shook his head to his Dad that, sighing, stood up and walked away. At the doorway, he looked to the boy one last time before going away.
The boy looked out the window again, watching the snowflakes falling as he sang the last part of his music:
“And break the frozen heart...”
Paul warily knocked at the door. He could feel the cold thruough the crack under it. The knob was so cold, with little wires of ice envolving it.
“Percy”, he called. “It's knowing out there. Do you wanna build a snowman?”
There was no answer from inside the room. Paul looked at his wife, who shrugged, putting her hand over his on the door handle, twisting it and quietly pushing the door.
The boy was at the bottom of the window again, looking at the cars passing on the streets and at the Central Park right after. His blue eyes had that depressed shade while he watched the snow slowly fall at the other side of the glass, covered by his messy white hair. Feeling observed, he looked behind to the door, and smiled to his Dad and Stepmom.
He lifted his hand in greeting, but, in a white flash, a thorn of ice appeared between his family and himself. He pulled his hand back, shutting his mouth with the other, his horrified expression mirroring his parents'.
“Percy-”, Stepmom Sally started, contorning the ice thorn in front of her.
“I'm scared!”, the boy exclamed, panting and wide eyed, pressing his hands against his own chest. “It's getting stronger!”
“Getting upset only makes it worse”, Paul said, trying to get closer. “Calm down.” He reached with his hand.
“No!”, Percy squeezed himself even more against the window. “Don't touch me, please! Please. I don't want to hurt you.”
Paul's eyes had gotten sad, his strength seemed to have gone away. Sally put her hand on his shoulder, trying to offer him comfort as Percy curled up in a ball, wanting to disappear.
“Do you have to go?”, Percy asked, looking fearfully up to his Dad, who said:
“Yes. I'm thinking about using the money I'll gain in moving us to Quebec. What ya think?”, his smiled down to his son, who smiled back, and put his hand over his shoulder. Percy repressed the urge to pull away. “You'll be fine, Percy.”
Sally hugged her husband before he left to the airport. He promised he would come back soon, to celebrate Percy's eight years old birthday.
That night, there was a storm, one that should never have happened, so sudden that the weatherman couldn't even think about predicting it. The airplane which Paul was on was already flying when it started, and fell. There was no survivers.
Family and friends went to Paul's funeral. Percy didn't go. He refused to get out of his room, refused to accept the only person who supported him his entire life was gone forever. In the worst possible way, he gotten what he wanted.
He was alone.
Still in her grieving clothes, Sally slowly walked to her Stepson's room, her heels clicking on the floor. Paul had died in the Winter; Percy's favorite season. His birthday would be in the next day, three days after Paul's death. Sally stopped at cold door of the room, and took off her black beanie, clutching and twisting it in her hands, trying to find the right words. Finally, she took a deep breath and knocked three times.
“Percy”, she called. “Please, I know you're in there. People are asking where you've been... They say “have courage” and I'm trying to. I... I'm right here for you. Just let me in.” Silence from the room. Sally leaned her shoulder against the door, her face contorted in sadness. “We only have each other, Percy. It's just you and me... What are we gonna do?”. No answer. Leaning back against the door and sliding down until she sat on the floor, Sally let her head fall against the door, as a tear rolled down her face. “Do you wanna build a snowman?”
On the other side of the door, Percy was in the same position as his Stepmom, hugging his knees while he watched the snow fall from the room's ceiling and the furniture as it froze. His tears turned into ice and broke as they fell to the floor. He recoiled even more.
He was alone.