Harvey practically leapt down the front porch steps when he saw it. His landing sent soft white flakes in every direction around him. The indent in the pristine blanket looked like the impact crater of a strangely shaped meteor. “Oh I love snow so much.”
Bill followed shortly behind. He didn’t share Harvey’s enthusiasm over the still falling snow, but he smiled nonetheless. He enjoyed watching Harvey lift his feet high with each step as he frolicked about.
“It’s so magical,” Harvey thought. “So beautiful.” In pure, spontaneous excitement, he dove headfirst into a large drift along the side of a neighbor’s walk, rolled onto his back and popped to his feet rather spryly for his age.
Suddenly thinking that might have been a bit much, he turned to look at Bill and was relieved to see him still smiling silently. “That’s why I love you, Bill. You’re not embarrassed by me. You accept me for who I am and let me have these little pleasures.” Harvey emerged from the drift and jumped to shake the snow from his coat then the two friends continued on with their walk.
“Snow has a sort of power over me. It reminds me of when we first met. The kindness and support you showed me from the very beginning. I remember we would walk together for what seemed like hours on end in the snow.”
Harvey stopped in his tracks for a second.
“It seemed so much deeper then, even though I’m sure it’s just the way I remember it. God, in my memories the snow was five feet high that winter.”
Once Harvey’s previous train of thought had resumed, so did the pair’s footsteps.
“I knew even then that we would be friends.”
Harvey turned a circle around Bill and walked close next to him for a few steps.
“The best of friends. Friends until the end, we two. Harvey and Bill.”
A small drift had used the wind to build itself like a miniature wall right across the sidewalk before them. He rushed forward ahead of Bill again, bounding partly over and partly through it with great joy.
Bill laughed out loud this time, then half turned away from Harvey and looked back toward their home. They had gone only a few blocks, but even the last corner could not be seen through the white haze of the heavy snowfall. Bill breathed heartily into his hands and rubbed them together. His coat was not as thick and warm as Harvey’s. “C’mon, Harvey,” he called to him. “Let’s head back home.”
Relishing the excuse to jump over the drift again, Harvey rushed back to Bill’s side and the two friends began their return trip.
“You knew I would love this snow, didn’t you, Bill? I hadn’t even seen out the window before you opened the door. I thought it an odd time to take a walk and then it all made sense. It reminds you of when we first met too, doesn’t it? You crafty devil you.”
Bill continued to smile, hands deep in his coat pockets as he watched Harvey bound, leap, practically dance and sometimes tumble through the snow.
Harvey would lift his mouth and nose into the air to try and catch the occasional flake. At one point, he swore he saw Bill doing the same out of the corner of his eye. He froze and turned to look at Bill curiously, but he was met only with a subdued smile and the urging of, “C’mon, let’s get inside. It’s cold out here.”
Before they knew it, too soon in Harvey’s opinion, they were ascending the front porch steps. Bill unlocked the door and opened it for Harvey. Then Bill helped him remove some of the snow still on his coat and even a bit from his feet.
Once sufficiently snow free, Harvey walked straight to the couch.
“Coming in from the cold winter air makes the perfect time for a nap.”
Almost before Bill had finished removing his boots, Harvey was curled up on the couch, snoring, which caused Bill to chuckle out loud to himself again.
“How was your walk?” Bill’s wife asked as she came down the stairs.