When The Snow Falls
By Thao Dinh
There they went again. When the moon was up, Snow’s parents would curse and yell. The neighbors were asleep. Snow’s older brother snuck off to the bar. The married couple had all the freedom to abuse one another and no one would know. No one but Snow.
Snow loved her name. It reminded her of the old winter days before her family moved, and she and her friends would throw snowballs, build snow castles, and draw snow angels. Those were her most favorite memories, ones which would make her smile subconsciously whenever they came to mind.
Snow’s father read the newspaper every morning before going to work while her mother prepared meals. Snow’s brother was socially active; no one could resist his charming voice. Snow herself was a cute, well-mannered girl but also a keen observer. Every rhythm of their family life added up to a perfect symphony, and if there was a standard family, then it was Snow’s family.. It had to be true because everyone who knew Snow’s family always gave the same compliment.
Once, on a Sunday, a curious neighbor came across Snow on her front porch and asked how she had been doing. She paused for a minute—she started to say something, but she did not know how to express it.
“Snow is as happy as ever!” said her mother as she approached from outside the house. “Come on, dear, it is your favorite time of the day. Play your mother your latest piano lesson,” she requested. Her mother clasped her hands around Snow’s shoulders and pushed her towards the house. The tender force dislodged her wedding ring. She quickly pushed the ring firmly back on her thin finger and followed her daughter inside. The neighbor waved goodbye and excused himself.
As usual, as Snow came inside to play for her mother, her father was passionately talking about engineering with her brother, whom she knew did not really care.
“Mother, I like engineering. I really do,” Snow spoke quietly after her hesitant hands laid heavily on the black and white keys.
“Engineering is no good for pretty girls like you, darling. You should keep on practicing piano,” her mother replied calmly. Snow turned to the piano, pouring her emotions into it.
Soon, the moon was up. When the father was pleased with his lecture, he walked right past his wife’s back. Her brother disappeared again.
“Darling, can I speak with you for a bit? Outside?” Snow’s mother said to her husband, maintaining the same composed look. He nodded, and they went outside. Snow came by the window. She had not seen snow since she moved. Enthusiastically, Snow ran to the back door where she froze. Her father’s body lay on the ground, slowly dying the fragile white snow crimson. Her mother collapsed to the ground, heaving, her face in her hands. She sobbed, “I loved you. I loved only you…” Snow was unable to move, her eyes fixed on the red mixed with white.
She had believed, when the snow fell, she could live with her most beautiful memories.