In the cold snowy evening the streets remained empty as the snow piled up over the roads and sidewalks, making it completely impossible for anyone to withstand the cold or walk. Everything was white, the small shops, stores, and few lofts, everything was coated down with layers of snow.
Anyone who stepped foot outside was insane....yet one young man stood in the center of the small blizzard with a patient determination. Standing by a small hot cocoa stand he was wrapped in layers of coats and sweaters and scarves, every inch of his body was covered but the red glow of his nose and the sky blue of his eyes.
The young fellow took on the responsibility of the family business after the passing of his father. The family secret recipe for a hot cocoa that was well known in town for years, a small little stand never growing to more but still so sturdy. He couldn’t possibly let it end with his father, so for five years he continued to walk far miles to this exact area every late fall through the winter and early spring when the weather still had a chill.
It was all well at the beginning, but as the months went by to years, the town began to change. No longer needing or craving the sweet taste of something warm to comfort their souls people walked past the rolling stand as if it were another stand of an eager salesmen. But this young man was not eager or desperate, simply patient and hopeful.
Or so he liked to believe.
With business so low and the streets so empty he couldn’t help but get slowly chilled down to the core with doubt as he stood out here in the snow. Only six at night and there wasn’t but a noise in the air. He lifted his arm to check his watch and again time seemed everlasting. Stuffing his hand back into the warmth of the coat he turned on his heal to sit behind the warm radiating stand where a small wooden chair was placed.
As he squat down and the chair squeaked he looked up at the sky and sighed. The fog of his breath gave such little entertainment but he knew he couldn’t leave just yet. Just an hour more, he thought desperately in need of a warm bed and layers of blankets by an open fire. Leaning against the stand with its heated metal exterior he was amazed how the hot cocoa managed to stay so hot and delectable with such weather around it. An hour left of hope for today. He knew no matter how long he stayed out here not a single soul would show, but he still waited and hoped.
A huge gust of wind wrapped around him and he shivered violently.
“No, I can’t.” He quivered as he suddenly stood and closed up the chair to leave. Swearing under his breath and damning the cold weather he gathered all the cups and spoons and extra necessities before shoving them under the small storage. Once everything was away and hot cocoa sealed tight he grabbed the handles to push the stand forward, but a loud crash stopped his movements. A small yelp made him run, but again he stopped and turned to give a questioningly glance back at his stand.
Who the hell is gonna steal that, not like anyone is willing to with this cold, he was bitter but honest and began to turn the corner. Not far he saw a girl surrounded by groceries on the floor. She had fallen like the clumsy girl she is and hadn’t notice the step going up onto the sidewalk: half her groceries soiling and the others spilling. She barely even noticed as arms wrapped around her and voice broke her dazed trance.
“Miss, are you alright?” The smooth deep concerned voice of the young man made her blink in realization and quickly look up. Swirls of caramel met his sky blue eyes and suddenly the cold around him didn’t matter.
“Oh my god you’re real!” She exclaimed with a squeaky laugh that made her all the more adorable.
“Why wouldn’t I be?” He asked as he stood her up and let her go to pick up her groceries. She was watching him for a moment, his tall figure hidden beneath so many coats and his head covered by a knitted hat. She wondered what he was doing out here in the freezing snow.
He had no groceries, no bags, was he out here for fun? Meeting his sky blue gaze she realized he was waiting for her to answer.
“It’s rather cold out here, didn’t expect to see anyone. I thought it might have been a hallucination.” She blushed with a small laugh of nervousness.
“Hallucination?” He cracked a smile at her excuse, the thinning of his lips as the sideways smile grew the slightest. But it slowly fell as he caught sight of her leg. “You’re hurt.”
She frowned, “what?” She tilted her head in the cutest way but he couldn’t pay it attention when blood was staining her jeans and eventually the white snow. Handing what survived of her groceries he then bent down to examine her wound, her eyes following his every movement.
“It isn’t big, but it’s deep...” He checked their surroundings and pointed to the broken corner of the pavement where the concrete pointed out dangerously. She must have fallen on it and hadn’t noticed. Her heart was racing and adrenaline was coursing through her, how could she possibility have felt that thing jab her?
“Do I need a bandaid?” She asked so innocently it made him chuckle.
“Afraid not, more like stitches.” He got up to find himself towering over her. He caught the unease that crept into her caramel eyes and the way she grabbed hold of the ends of her chestnut hair gave him the clue she did that when she got nervous.
“Will it hurt?” She stole a glance up at him. Smiling he took the bag from her tight grasp and replaced it with his hand.
“I promise to make it easy.”
She lifted her head in surprise, “you’re a doctor?!” She exclaimed and making him chuckle as he led her on to where he hoped his stand still remained.
“Not even close, a salesman.” The disappointment on her face struck more than he had expected but he continued on and ignored the hallow sensation. Limping along beside him and a firm grip on his arm she felt the pain kick in on her left calf she bit back the whimpers.
“I’m so clumsy.” She chuckled lowly, “at least it isn’t a broken leg.” She looked up at him and saw the far off look in his eyes and the firm sculpture of his jaw, she hasn’t really seen how handsome he was till now. She wondered if he had a girlfriend, or maybe he was married. Sneaking a peak of his hands she was disappointed at the sight of gloves, damn.
“At least.” He hummed distractedly as he turned the corner with a sigh of relief when he saw the old stand.
“Oh! It’s so cute, what do you sell?” She asked curiously while he let her go momentarily to take the wooden seat back out–and of course, a first aid kit.
“Please sit.” He said distractedly as he gathered a needle and string. He heard the squeak of the chair and continued to disinfect the needle.
“Have you done this before?” She asked him as the butterflies in her stomach fluttered with unease about letting this handsome stranger stitch her up when she should clearly go to a doctor.
“Plenty.” He looked back at her for a second and smiled with reassurance.
“Why do I feel like you’re lying just to save me the startle?” She pouted. He turned and bent down to level with her leg and looked up at her once more.
“I’m going to have to cut your jeans if that’s alright?” The sky of his eyes left her suddenly numb to everything and she nodded gently. He looked back down and snipped at the back of her jeans, careful not to touch her wound he only cut the area of the cut. He then retrieved the needle and thread and looked over on where to begin.
“You never answered my question.” She huffed annoyed. He dropped his hand to his knee and sighed.
“Lyla.” She interrupted.
“Lyla, I highly doubt you can make it to the hospital in this weather and if you do by the time you’ll get there you’d have lost too much blood and freeze to death. I have done this plenty of times on myself and my father.”
She fell silent and bit her lip, “sorry.” She mumbled nervously. He lifted her leg and rested it on his knee, being sure to have enough room to stitch the cut.
“Don’t be, you’re scared it’s your right to be. All I ask is that you trust me, alright?” He looked back into her caramel pools and she nodded. He then went on and lowered the needle to the cut. It was about half the size of his pinky and blood was slowly oozing out, he was amazed she hadn’t passed out. Lifting the skin of both severed areas he carefully pinched them together after spraying disinfectant spray.
“Ow.” She hissed and soon felt the prick of the needles as if it were knives. She bit her tongue and refused to cry, bit of whimpers here and there escaped her lips. Though the sound was heartbreaking he had to continue no matter how much he wanted to stop to spare her the pain.
“You’re almost done, you’re doing great.” He went on to compliment.
“Don’t say that as if I were giving birth!” She snapped
His means of distracting her were sweet but he needed to do better.
“You know you never told me your name” she recalled while he finished up her stitches.
“Eddie.” He said as he’s finished and cut the excess string. He grabbed a warm soaked rag and gently ran it over the stitches to clean off all the blood. Once he was satisfied he gently placed her leg back down. He stood and put the things away once more as she sat and examined his work
“Short for Edward I’m guessing?”
“No actually, Edwin.” He chuckled as he poured a small cup of cocoa and handed it to her.
“What is it?” She asked curiously but still accepting when she caught scent of something sweet. Once the cup was in hand she was grateful for the warmth that went through her, imagining the taste made her mouth water.
“Homemade hot cocoa, been in the family for generations.” He grinned proudly she noticed and couldn’t help but admire how stunning he looked despite the eskimo clothing he wore.
“This does look familiar....” She drifted off as she looked back at the stand slowly meeting the sky blue again. She couldn’t put her finger on it but she felt some familiarity when she looked at Edwin. He coughed to rid of the awkward silence and offered her a hand.
“Anyways, it’s time we head our separate ways and you watch out for that leg and make sure you clean around the wound for any puss or whatever.” He instructed her as she stood and watched him put the chair away.
Then suddenly realizing what was going on she spoke, “can I see you again?” Her voice was curious though silently pleading. He looked at her for a moment and wondered why such a beautiful girl with such brightness to her would possibly want to acquaint herself with him. She who was wrapped up in a pink coat and pink scarf with pink ear muffs and pink boots, the only black was her now ruined jeans. She stared back at him with glistening caramel eyes and he couldn’t help but smile.
“Sure, tomorrow at eight?” He suggested. Grinning like a maniac she nodded her head.
“The café?” She bobbed her head across the street to a small coffee shop that was currently closed. He nodded his head and smiled.
“You haven’t drank the cocoa.” He commented. She blinked and blushed before blowing gently into the cup and taking a careful sip. The sweet flavorful taste of chocolate went smoothly down her throat. Instantly she felt warmer than before and she couldn’t contain the smile.
“It’s delicious.” She hummed in content. He chuckled with a shake of his head and began to push his stand away down the snow covered road, but he stopped to turn around.
“Have a nice night, Lyla.” And she felt her heart flutter.
“You too, Eddie.”