Another Year

Hot cocoa sloshed. A small spot appeared on her jeans, just above her knee. She laughed at her own clumsiness before she finished off the last few swallows of the soothing liquid. It had cooled quickly. She stood, setting the mug back in its place, shivering. Pulling the sleeves of her sweater over her cold fingers, she took the four steps to the fireplace.

It was late. Two minutes until midnight. It was time.

She knelt on the rug in front of the fireplace and reached for the small stack of paper on the floor nearby. One by one, she almost lovingly set the sheets in the fire, watching as each burned. When she came to the last sheet, she paused. A regretful smile tugged one corner of her mouth as she stared at the carefully penned words, blurred in a few spots.

Returning to her place on the couch, she wrapped a blanket around herself and tucked the paper in the front of a book. She fanned through the blank pages and then flipped to the first one. Smiling, she began to write.

Happy new year.

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