She watched enthralled as they fell. The first few wisps of winter air nipped at her exposed ankles as she scrunched her scarf tighter around her neck. She was in her favorite place.
The lights, the sounds, the smells — even the freezing weather. They all brought back so many, many memories.
She let a flake float onto her palm, staring intently as it expanded to meet her gaze. That perfect crystalline pattern, infinitesimally small, yet repeated infinitely within. A beautiful, undulating, utterly mesmerizing creation. Shining bright, then melting away. Leaving but a trace.
As it melted, she thought about how all good things end — someday. And all good people must leave, eventually. Just like her father.
But there was no time for that now — not here, not this moment. This moment was for celebration.
As a child, she loved this part of town. Her favorite place, the one right ahead, was the old city castle. Towering high, higher than the nearby office buildings and cathedrals, it stood out in all the right ways.
Framed by hanging street lights and brick roads, silhouetted by the sunset sky and shimmering in the golden holiday lights, it was as if someone had plucked the scene right out of a cinema screen.
“It’s going to be a happy ending honey, just you watch — a happy ending. And if it ain’t, then just keep watching!”
Those had been his last words to her, an almost prophetic statement that still rang in her head. She forgot the context now, or what they were watching together, but there it was. Just keep watching.
“I’m watching now, dad. I really am. I hope you are too.”
She walked up closer, climbing the twisted staircase to the castle doors. And for the first time in a long time — she smiled.