That is all that can be said to describe this moment as you lay sprawled on your bed staring at the wooden ceiling. Your arms, legs, feet- heck everything hurts from the labor intensive chores your mother just made you do. It has been a few weeks sense you have done such hard work.
But there is a reason behind the hours of cow-milking and house cleaning; a storm (rumored to be the worst the village of Burgess has seen in decades) was fast approaching. No one doubted the possibility of this storm, in fact, all the villagers were preparing for it (including you and your family) just to be safe.
You lay quietly on your bed, calming your breaths and wiping the sweat from your forehead. Tired, exhausted, and hungry, those are the three adjectives that best describe you right now. Your eyes slowly begin to shut, letting sleep creep in to take over ...
"(name), (name)! Wake up! (name) there's something I want to show you!"
A soft, but excited, whisper awakes you from your moment of slumber. Instantly, you recognize that voice, your eyes do not have to open to see who it is. A part of you wants to pretend to be asleep while the other half yearns to open your eyes and see the person's face, which probably has a huge, heartwarming smile across it. The second half of you wins and you open your eyes. A familiar amber-eyed face with chocolate brown hair greets you through the window with that excepted warm smile. It is contagious. You cannot stop your lips from curling into a smile that returns the greeting.
"Come on Jack I am tired! Been working on chores all day for my mom," you complain, the smile has yet to disappear. A tiny chuckle leaves Jack's lips. If only he would laugh, you enjoy hearing it.
"I know, but this ... (name) this is incredible! You have to see it! It only happens so rarely and ... you just got to see!" Excitement and joy were fully visible on his face and with that smile of his you really have no choice but to comply.
The two of you walk along the small dirt trail of the village which is covered with patches of snow. The trail continues up a reasonably steep hill and it is at the top of this hill that Jack directs you off the dirt and into the snow covered forest. You wonder to yourself if it is safe or even smart to wander off into the wilderness but do not bother to ask Jack.
Neither of you have talked the entire walk so far but this does not bother you. You're a reasonably quiet person that does not mind silence (or at least can deal with it). Instead you marvel at the beauty that surrounds you, sunlight peeks in through the trees causing the thick blanket of snow covering the ground to shimmer and sparkle. You are so enveloped in the beautiful scenery that you trip on an unseen branch, practically falling face first into the snow. Jack turns back to you and bursts out laughing, offering a hand to help you up. Embarrassed (but also happy that you were able to make Jack laugh) you take his hand and he lifts you up. He might have commented on how clumsy you are but you aren't listening, the marvelous spectacle that lay in front of you both has captured your attention. Jack follows your glaze and grins.
"Isn't this great? I told you it was something you had to see," he comments enthusiastically.
You nod in agreement and let your month open in awe at the scene that lies before you. It is a huge pond (completely frozen over and covered with frost) that looks as though it came from a fairy tail of some kind. As simple as it seems you have never witnessed anything like this before, sure it got cold in Burgess but hardly enough to freeze a large pond such as this one. Plus you never left the village and traveled aimlessly into the woods unless you where accompanied by Jack.
"Come on let's go!" Jack says impatiently. As he says this he grabs your hand and guides you over to the edge where the ice and ground meet. He begins to lift one leg onto the frozen surface when you stop him.
"Jack! Don't be stupid! We don't know if it's safe!" He looks at you with a playful smirk on his face.
"I've already done this before (name). It's perfectly safe. See?" He practically jumps onto the ice (almost loosing his balance as he does) then steadying himself he offers you his hand. You stare at him, fear and uncertainty override you. He must have noticed this because when he speaks there is gentleness in his tone.
"Do you believe me (name)?"
Yes, of course you did, he has never lied nor done anything to cause you harm, even when he plays his tricks on you. Calmly you inhale deeply, grab Jack's hand, and leap onto the frozen surface. You are not used to walking on ice so as you land your body wills forward, instinctively you try to regain balance but slip beneath your own feet and begin falling. Jack catches you in his arms and prevents the nasty fall. You cling to him for a moment so you can steady your feet and he continues to hold onto your waist. Within the next second you both look at each other. Jack is starting at you with a sort of worried expression but is he also ... blushing? You feel your cheeks grow warm and lightly pull away from Jack's hold so you can stand.
"Thanks," you say almost too quiet to hear.
A devilish grin spreads across his face and then he is moving ... no skating ... along the icy surface of the pond. It looks like fun so you try to mimic his movements and attempt skating using your thin leather boots but fail. You fall on your butt and watch Jack skate with ease, a hint of jealously grows within you. He comes over and lifts you up with a one fluid motion then grabs your hand and starts skating with you. It is nice, just the two of you spending time in such a wonderful place.
Eventually your clumsiness catches up with you and you fall bringing Jack along with you. You both laugh at each other for a moment then admire the surroundings around you.
"I can't wait to show my sister this place; I bet she'll love it as much as you do," he says happily, that warm smile present on his face again.
You cannot help but admire Jack. He loves his sister so much; he is such a great guardian to her and always cares for her well-being. You wish you could have a sibling like him, but you are an only child so there is no opportunity for that. At times you felt envious toward Jack, almost jealous, he is such an amazing person. Kind, brave, helpful, handsome, and a great sibling, you feel as though you dull in comparison to him. What did he see in you anyway that continued this friendship? You are just this shy, poor, and uninteresting person that can hardly do anything. Heck you cannot even walk right without tripping over something!
"(name)? You okay?" Jack's voice startles you from your criticizing thoughts.
"Yah, I'm fine. This place is incredible Jack I'm glad you brought me here," you reply.
He continues to smile and admire the scenery around you both. You watch him with interest and cannot help but to think how cute he is. If only this moment could last a little longer ...
"We should head back to the village; I don't want your parents to think I kidnapped you or something," Jack quietly points out. And like that the moment is over.
Your stomach grumbles unsatisfied as you lay on your bed. Dinner was hardly a meal; a few onions, corn bread, and a small cup of goat milk kept your stomach satisfied for about five minutes before it started to complain again. But the meals had been like this lately and you were growing used to being hungry going to bed. Times were rough right now, especially for your family.
You try to take your mind off your complaining stomach and recall the amazing afternoon you had had today with Jack. That pond was a wonderful sight to behold, it really was. When Jack walked you back to your home he went strait to his house so he could go show his sister the place. They were probably already back now.
Your thoughts wander on the subject of that teenager Jack. He is older than you by a couple months and has been your best friend sense you moved to Burgess several years ago. You did not have a real friend at the time (probably because you had just moved) and Jack was the first person that actually said hello to you. Even though his specialty was (and still is) to play tricks on you and goof off, your friendship was instant.
But despite this close relationship you could not help but notice lately that whenever you saw Jack smile or heard him laugh this warm burning ball would form in the pit of your stomach and radiate throughout the rest of your body, especially in your cheeks. This got extremely bad when he would hug you (which he did not do often but when he did) your face was practically on fire. But then again ... his hugs were always warm so that could have been the reason for such a reaction. This weird sensation had not happened until recently, maybe a year or so ... As you continue to ponder on this issue your mind slowly begins to slip into a sea of unconsciousness and before you realize it you are fast asleep.
"(name)! Honey you must wake up! (name)!"
An urgent whisper awakes you from your slumber followed by a hand on your shoulder that lightly shakes you. You are a little dazed and hardly register what your mother just said.
"What? What is it mom?" you yawn rubbing your eyes. As you focus on your mother's face you see a mixture of emotions in it: concern, sadness, and worry. This cannot be good news.
"Oh (name) I just got word! I was going to wait until morning to tell you but that would be ridiculous I couldn't tell you in the morning after all-"
"Mom! What is going on? Please tell me," you quickly interrupt, still slightly dazed.
"It's your friend Jackson Overland ... he went on a trip with his sister to some frozen lake or something this afternoon and-"
"-he ... (name) he fell threw the ice trying to save his sister and-"
"-he ... did not ... make it. (name) I am so sorry dear I know he was a close to you and that is ... just tragic."
You do not respond. You cannot respond. Your whole world is moving painful slow (practically swirling around you) and you cannot feel or hear anything. Who knew how long your mother was with you but after a few minutes she said something you did not hear and walked out.
You sit on you bed stunned by the information that was just told to you. There is nothing to think or feel at the moment. You are utterly shocked. Then slowly your mind begins to flow with a flood of thoughts and reality sinks in, deep.
Jack is dead.
Nothing can stop the tears that begin to roll out of your eyes when this thought occurs. Jack is dead. Suddenly you lose yourself to the thought. Your breathing starts to race ten fold and tears blur your vision. Jack is dead; you have just lost the best friend that you have ever had and there is nothing you can do ... the pain that you are feeling ... there is no way to describe it ... your mind is quickly overcome with a feeling of utter hopelessness and you feel as though nothing can stop this great pain that envelopes you ... nothing but cry until the tears stop flowing.
But as far as you can tell that is never going to happen ...