The sunrise yawned across the horizon, great bloody red streaks mingling with the blue veins of night that stretched eagerly away from the light. I watched silently as your eyes fluttered, sitting in the cold front yard, winter just north of us, spreading his wings and flying in with his giant icy spear scratching at the mountain tops.
You coughed, the cold scraping the inside of your lungs. “Jesus, it shouldn’t be this cold this early in the year.” I smirked.
“That’s what you always say. It’s December, James.”
You scowled. “Still, I’m not used to this.”
“You’ve been in the northeast for 25 years, you should be used to it by now.”
“I was raised in North Carolina, Bridget. There’s fire in my blood and this cold weather tames it down to coals. My heart doesn’t like it.” His voice was drawn out across the grass, which had just the faintest trace of the light snow from the evening before.
“Drink your coffee,” I said laughing, my words clipping. Two separate accents, worlds, colliding over the freezing earth. I tapped his arm with the back of my hand and nodded to the cup which let its hot breath up and out into the open air.
He rolled his eyes. “Yes dear.”
“Cum spui tu draga,” I said lightly, remembering my father’s rough voice. He had fled Romania during the fall of Soviet rule in ‘89, and his English was always chipped and staccato. This was his favorite phrase, the one he refused to translate into English. Whatever you say dear.
James looked at me and raised his eyebrows. “No more chit-chat,” he said idly. He started to get up and I tapped the wood of his chair.
“No, no. Sit down. Enjoy the silence.”
He looked at my hand. His were red with cold, mine were pale and warm. He sat himself back down slowly.
“How is it that you don’t freeze to death without gloves out here?”
I laughed. “Darling, I was born in the middle of a blizzard.”
He shook his head and rolled his eyes. “Like that’s an explanation.”
“Cum spui tu draga,” I said again, laughter rumbling at the back of my throat.
It forced a smile to his face, stretching out against the cold.
“Okay, okay.” He moved his coffee to the other hand and grabbed mine.
We sat in the early morning silence for a while before he started sing-whispering under his breath, “She’s as coooooold as ice!”
“Now you’re getting it.”