It was cold on the city streets. Meredith hugged her coat tenderly, shivering as she did so; her coat was nothing but mere rags at this point. She might have to get a new one soon if she didn’t die tonight; the cold winds were threatening to blow her skinny frame away.
Of course, she had climbed out of bed even though the nurse told her not to. After all, it was nearing Christmas, and one could not expect a child to lay in bed all day, even if that child was terminally ill. Adults and their fancy words; what did they mean by terminally, probably just one of the make believe words they used to scare children. Meredith knew she was sick but she also knew she would get better. After all she was the toughest kid she knew.
Her dad had told her that one day she would sleep and not wake up for a long time, just like Aunt Rosie. Meredith didn’t know Aunt Rosie very well, but from what she has been told, it seemed like Aunt Rosie was having a very long nap. She must have stayed up too late watching tv. Meredith knew better; she only stayed up late enough to catch the first episodes of the night and not later. Otherwise, she would miss the morning cartoons.
Meredith took a right at York’s Lane, they bustling road led her straight to the centre of the city. There she played under the Christmas lights until her legs hurt. A kind stranger gave her some roasted chestnuts and offered to take her home, but she politely declined.
Tired she sat down next to the clock tower and watched the snowflakes fall; dancing as they did so. They seemed like real people; descending gracefully down the winter air.
Meredith wanted to play some more, but she was too tired. She checked the clock; the big hand was on 6; it was way past her bedtime. She decided to take a quick nap before going home, unafraid of getting lost. After all, her parents always found her, and they always made a big fuss about it.
She closed her eyes and felt the snowflakes melt on her rosy cheeks. She dreamed of Santa and his reindeer; her favourite was dasher. She dreamed of a Christmas tree and presents. But most of all she dreamed of getting better and being able to play with her friends again. And she kept on dreaming of her games, her friends, her folly. A dream she would never wake up from.