A Moving Winter – a Thanksgiving Short Story


Winter Lowe slammed the door to her small rented room. Without bothering to take off her coat she threw herself on her bed. She sobbed into her pillow not feeling this bad in a long time. The night was cold and windy but she loved walking in such weather not that it made much different tonight. She hardly noticed the cold and barely felt the wind as she had walked with a stone in her chest.

She sobbed on unable to believe what was happening and how sudden it just came. Finally, she sat up and wiped her tears. Slowly she took off her coat then tossed it in the nearby chair by the window. Totally sad now she shed more tears but the sobbing calmed down. What would she do now? she wondered. How would she survive? Would she be able too? Or was she overreacting like some of her friends and family would likely tell her? She sighed and suddenly turned her TV on. She hated the silence in that room. She hated the silence and loneliness that always greeted her the moment she walked in.

Winter worked at McDonald’s. She worked different shifts often volunteering to fill in for anyone who didn’t come in so she could avoid staying in that room. She rented this room because it was all she could afford from the pittance she earned at McDonald’s. However she was always alone in that room. She never had visitors including her own parents though they often visited her brother Isaac who lived only a few blocks away from her room; like five blocks to be exact. Isaac was her only visitor on occasion.

Winter sighed and started to cry again. Isaac Lowe. Her brother who was about four years her senior. The brother she’d fought with all through her childhood, but then became very close too. He wasn’t just her brother; he was best friend. They always confided in each other and he always listened to her woes of loneliness without judging her like most people did. She could confide anything to him. Even when he married his long time sweetheart Martha Reeves they stayed close. It wasn’t like she and Martha didn’t get along. Winter liked her actually. She wasn’t always sure Martha liked her however. Most times she seemed too while other times she’d stay distant and just seemed to tolerate her and no more.

Winter understood why. There were times Martha wanted her husband to herself. Winter understood and tried to stay away so she could give Martha the privacy she sometimes craved, but Winter couldn’t stay away completely. Isaac’s home and family life was the only one she really had. He often told her his door was always open to her and she knew he meant that. On top of that he and Martha had three daughters, and Winter loved them as they loved her. Isaac and Martha allowed her to spend some weekends here and there with them and Winter always appreciated it. She was grateful to have them. She was grateful to have her brother nearby and was more grateful that he shared his family with her. Tonight she came to learn that all of it was coming to an end at least from the way she saw it.


Winter had been at Isaac’s apartment and they had a long crushing conversation that floored her. He and Martha both purchased their first home in New Jersey and only tonight Winter learned it was official. She knew they were searching. Isaac had told her. He always downplayed it making it sound as if it would take a long time even as he explained that he just couldn’t afford the high rents his landlord kept imposing on him every time the lease was up for renewal. She knew and understood all that. She knew Isaac was unhappy in the noisy building he lived in, but that didn’t make it any easier. Loneliness washed over her and that was all she could feel right then. But she was happy he found the house he’d been looking for.

But what really hurt Winter was seeing boxes packed already! She’d learned this by paying her brother a surprise visit tonight. She called before coming and he welcomed her like he always did, but he failed to tell her about the official move. Had they planned to run out on her? That was how she saw it even though Isaac had spent the past two hours assuring her that he’d never do that to her and lord knows she should know that by now.

“I was going to tell you,” Isaac said as Winter sat quietly as her heart hurt. Just seeing those boxes intensified her loneliness. They were leaving her! She was going to lose not only her brother, but her three darling nieces who she’d taken to the movies, and baseball games the past few summers not to mention the Christmas shows at Radio City Music Hall. This couldn’t be happening.

“How could you keep this from me?” Winter wailed. Martha had already gone to sleep as had the girls. It was just her and her brother then and she demanded answers. Maybe she had no right to demand anything from him but she needed to anyway. After all who else could explain it to her? And why had he kept her in the dark even if she already suspected the answer? Many times she envisioned him going but it wasn’t supposed to happen yet. Not yet.

Tears filled Isaac’s eyes as he took her hand in his. “I wasn’t keeping it from you Winter,” he said gently. “I didn’t want to hurt you, and make you think about our leaving. It was dumb of me I know. I wasn’t trying to shut you out.I should have told you, but believe me; I intended to tell you before we left. Please believe that. I would never just up and leave you without letting you know. You know that.”

Winter did know better. However, she was still hurt and angry. None of what he said did anything to take those feelings away. Isaac then repeated the same promises he had made before when they spoke of his moving. He wouldn’t be that far away and on Fridays she could meet him and spend some weekends at his house. They could meet in the city often and have lunch and maybe breakfast too. They had email and cell phones so they could keep in constant touch through emails and text messages. They could IM each other. And of course the old fashioned choices of mail and phone calls were still there. Isaac held her and fighting his own tears he promised and promised. Winter shuddered at the pain in his voice. That was when she got up feeling it was time to go. She couldn’t handle breaking down in front of him and it’d be worse if he broke down with her. She couldn’t handle either yet.

Winter gripped her sheets and couldn’t stop crying. She and Isaac didn’t visit each other as much now, but knowing he was only blocks away always comforted her. Sure she could spend weekends with him. He could visit her though how often would that be? He could barely visit her now because of his busy life as a husband and father not to mention provider. How would he be able to visit her from New Jersey? Then again what difference did it make? She was willing to visit him, but the point was he’d still be gone. No longer would he be close by where she could just walk to his apartment if she needed too. No longer will she have easy access to him nor him to her. It just wouldn’t be the same now. The girls would keep going to school, make new friends, so she wouldn’t be as important to them anymore. Isaac could make all the promises he wanted, but he couldn’t stop reality any more than she could. Sure they’d be in touch but it just wouldn’t be the same.


Weeks passed. Winter avoided her brother. She couldn’t take his calls, but she listened to his messages. Some of his emails made her cry, but she couldn’t answer them. She increased her work hours at McDonald’s and took all the over time she could manage and she managed quite a lot. It was the only way she had of dealing with the impending move, the only way she could put it out of her mind. Not only did the move make her feel more alone; it also filled her with more self pity about her own life. Here she was at forty and still single with no husband or children of her own. It hadn’t been for lack of trying. But Winter made some poor decisions that led to some disastrous relationships, and she was scared to try again.

She wanted a family though. More than anything she longed for a husband who’d love her unconditionally. She longed for her own daughter and even a son. She wanted so much to have her own family and her own house one day. She just gave up on it happening as much as she’d given up on trying to get her parents to visit her small room like they visited Isaac and Martha’s large apartment. Winter always believed it was because she didn’t have her own family. She didn’t give them any grandchildren as of yet, so why should they visit her? And naturally they didn’t want to be cramped up in some small room listening to her woes. Could she blame them even if she resented them for it? Isaac denied many times this was true as did their parents. Maybe Winter would be willing to believe them if they visited her at least once but they had yet to do it. They had yet to pay her even one single visit and this hurt her as much as anything.

Another late night and Winter came home from work. Depressed she checked her email and broke down again. Isaac had emailed her again with a simple but heartbreaking line. “I am probably going to pull out of the whole thing,” he wrote simply. Winter held her face in her hands feeling so darn miserable. She couldn’t let her brother pull out of anything like this. She couldn’t hold him back. She didn’t want him to go, but she was happy he’d found the house he’d been searching for years. In fact he probably would have found it sooner if she wasn’t always in the way. She emailed him quickly and insisted for him to do what he had to do for himself and his family. She was alone because of her choices. She had to accept the consequences of her choices even as her misery grew day by day. There was no way she could ask him to give up his dreams just because she ruined hers.

On top of everything the holidays were coming and Isaac was scheduled to move by the beginning of November. This thought was unbearable for Winter so one evening she walked for hours. She walked near her brother’s block and felt that lonely ache again. At work some of her coworkers assured her that Isaac wasn’t moving as far as it felt. He would only be a train and bus ride away maybe. He wasn’t going to a further state or as one of her closer coworkers pointed out “he wasn’t leaving the country.” New Jersey was not far from New York. It was far enough for Winter. With the lonely life she lived it may as well be oceans away. She knew her coworkers meant well but they didn’t understand. They couldn’t understand. They all had their husbands, wives, and children. What did she have? Oh she was so tired of all this self pity but she didn’t know what to do about it. She tried working late, taking walks, going to museums like some people suggested, but in the end she still had to return to that room alone. And her brother was still moving by the beginning of November which was a date that was fast approaching.

She tried doing more things even bowling. But there was a harsh drawback to all of it. She had to do all these things alone. It was no fun doing any of these things alone. No one had time to do any of these things with her and that hurt even if she knew how it was. But she was tired of having to go to places alone and having to do everything alone. Even with parents and a brother and a few friends it always had to be this way. And now with her brother moving it would only get worse. She was sure of that. On another evening she walked and passed department stores with Christmas decorations already being displayed. The lovely festive decorations and the gaily lit up people around her only intensified her loneliness. She put her head down then rushed home to be alone in her tiny room if she could truly consider that room home.


Thanksgiving would be here soon, but for Winter it hardly mattered. What did she have to be thankful for? She was losing her brother and the family he’d shared with her. Despite all his emails and promises not to leave her alone, Winter knew it was true. She’d be more alone than ever now and already felt that way. The impending day tore at her heart and nothing she did was able to distract her from it.

The TV, the radio, the internet, none of it did any good. These things used to offer some sort of comfort to her, but that changed a long time ago. Now they were nothing but just things. More than ever her room felt like just that a room. Nothing else. Meanwhile her brother was getting a house, already had a good paying job, a college degree, and a family and was the pride of their parents. This is why they didn’t visit her even though she continued to visit them. She loved them and she knew they loved her, but she was a failure in their eyes even if they wouldn’t admit it.

Suddenly a knock on her door jolted her out of her misery. Tears she had become accustomed too drenched her face so she quickly wiped them away. Who could be at her door? No one ever came but her brother occasionally and the landlord once a month to collect his rent and he did that already. Other than that no one ever showed up not even her coworkers from work. She didn’t expect it to be Isaac so she was completely startled to see him on her doorstep. It was the first time she’d seen him since leaving his apartment after seeing those packed boxes weeks and weeks ago. She had yet to even speak to him since that night.

She was even more startled to find him drenched with tears as well. Quickly she led him inside her room. In no time he had her in his arms and they both were sobbing. This lasted for a few minutes until they released each other and Winter turned away somewhat embarrassed and still a bit angry from weeks ago. She didn’t know what to say to him now. He however knew what to say.

“Winter, I’m not sure I want to move,” he said his voice broken and hoarse. “I’m gong to miss you so much. I didn’t want to admit it though I’m sure you knew. I don’t want to make you sadder than you already are, but I’m going to be lonely out there too.” Winter turned to look at him. He looked somewhat disheveled and his dark brown hair was more unruly than usual. His eyes were red rimmed from crying a lot of crying it seemed.

“You won’t be lonely,” Winter pointed out trying not to sound bitter. “You have your wife and daughters. You’ll even have more pets and more visitors than I’ll ever have here. Mom and Dad will visit you over there before they ever visit me here. You won’t be lonely. You have no reason to be.” It came out bitter despite her best efforts. Tears kept coursing down her face. Would they ever stop?

Isaac placed his hand on her shoulder. “You’re wrong Winter. I’m worried about leaving you alone out here that’s true enough. However I’m going to miss you every bit as you miss me. You think I have it made don’t you? I have my wife, my daughters, and now a house. What else do I need right? Oh I don’t intend on leaving you out here for I will make every effort to visit you. I will bring you out as much as I can, but believe me the fact that we won’t be just blocks from each other tears at me as well…”

He couldn’t finish. He was crying again and only then did Winter realize that he’d probably been crying on and off as much as she had been. Oh wow. It broke her heart to see it, and yet…it suddenly gave her some comfort. Comfort in the knowledge that her brother did treasure their relationship as much as she did. He too was hurting. He too would feel lonely despite his wife and daughters. He was hurting every bit as much as she was. This much was true. Isaac wiped his tears and held Winter to him.

“Even with my wife and girls, I still need you Winter. I too need a break from my own family if you know what I mean. I don’t think I can explain it but…well I love you girl. I wish we could have hung out these past weeks but I understand. I too had a hard time facing you every bit as you did me. i should have told you about the move. But really Winter would it have mattered? Would me telling you sooner had spared you any pain? Would it? That’s all I was trying to do spare you some pain. But you know what? I was trying to spare myself some pain too. I just hope you don’t hate me.”

“I don’t hate you,” Winter replied quickly. “I just didn’t like you hiding it from me. That’s all. And well it doesn’t matter. You have to do what you have to do for your family. I know how much this house means to you Isaac. I won’t stand in your way. I’m just sorry if I did all these years. But you don’t owe me anything. It’s not your fault I made the choices I’ve made. It’s not your fault I’m a loser who lives in a room with nothing but a dumb job at McDonald’s. You shouldn’t chain yourself to a dreadful life because of me.”

“That’s enough!” Isaac boomed sounding very angry. “You’re not a loser Winter Lowe. And your job at McDonald’s is still a job. Now you listen to me. Having children and a spouse does not make you better than anyone else. You’re still a woman, a person with feelings. You’re still one of god’s children spouse or not. You were put here for a reason Winter, and just because you don’t have your own family doesn’t mean you wont one day. I believe you will. But even if you don’t you are still special. You are worthy of love from me, and from our parents and from your nieces my daughters. They love you like crazy and they won’t forget you Winter. I won’t allow it and I know you won’t either. Besides look at what’s happened to some of the most loving of families. Having children made no difference for many of them. Look at some of these mothers who don’t even deserve to have children.”

Winter heard all this from him before. She always summed it up to him not understanding how it felt to live as she did; alone and in a furnished room with nothing more. But she didn’t say it this time. If anything she tried to believe him for a change. She didn’t yet at least not fully. But she wanted too. Isaac wiped her tears, then held her against him again.

“Please come back to the apartment Winter,” he pleaded. “You can help us pack for I want you to be a part of this too. I’m not leaving you behind. You know I want you there for Thanksgiving of course. And I want you to come with us on the day we go not only to see the house; I just want you to be there. Will you come? Will you be a part of it too? It’d mean so much to me.”

Winter didn’t know what to say. She did want to go of course and yet… Suddenly there was another knock on her door. She threw Isaac a puzzled look, but he only smiled looking somewhat pleased. Winter answered the door and nearly fell over. There stood their mother and father. Shocked she could only stare at them in awe. They had never come to her small room before. They both were beaming and each of them looked at Isaac, and this made Winter think that he probably had to convince them to come. She didn’t know whether to be angry at this or not. She invited them in feeling somewhat uncomfortable, but she was so thankful that Isaac was there.

“Hello darling,” crooned their mother walking in carrying a few bowls of food. She quickly put them down on Winter’s small card table then turned to hug her daughter. Their father followed them in and waited to do the same. After a few words they wasted no time eating Mom’s delicious food. It was a bit crowded for all of them but no one uttered a word of complaint. Winter decided it didn’t matter if they only came because of Isaac. At least they were finally here, and her brother loved her enough to make it happen even if was because he was leaving. It didn’t matter Winter kept telling herself. She only hoped they’d come again on their own once Isaac was gone. A vain hope perhaps, but she hoped anyway.


Winter made only one more visit to her brother’s apartment. Moving day finally came, but though Winter intended to be there so she could be a part of it like Isaac had pleaded for her to do, in the end she couldn’t do it. Helping them pack was just too painful and though her tears were lessening day by day they kept coming. She couldn’t watch them move away even with her going with them that first day. She’d go visit them on Thanksgiving, the first Thanksgiving they’d have in their new home. She arranged to be at work when their moving van pulled out. This way she didn’t have to see it, or even think about it.They moved on a Saturday too which was even better, for Saturdays were fully busy at McDonald’s.

She still sent Isaac a good luck text and a quick email to assure him that she’d be okay. He’d knew she’d be at work, and Isaac assured her it was okay. And Winter realized it was better for him this way too. It would be just as painful for him to see her as he left, and would be just as painful if she went too. Winter knew all this without anyone having to tell her for she knew her brother well enough. New Jersey wasn’t that far away. Winter kept telling herself this wanting to convince herself of it. But when she finally got off work and she walked by her brother’s now empty apartment she broke down by their front steps. Memories flooded her, and she relived everything good and bad feeling so terribly wounded. She didn’t care who saw her. She looked at the dark empty apartment, and she was sure she heard all the laughter, the TV, the yelling, and the girls running around. She wiped her tears and stared on at that dark lonely window. They wont be far she thought to herself again. They wont’ be that far away.

But as the days passed Winter felt lonelier than ever. Isaac kept his promise. He emailed her every day, texted her as much as possible, but he had yet to visit. He called her often enough, and made sure the girls did too. Winter cried every day especially when she walked those familiar five blocks from her home. But she accepted what had to be. What else could she do? She moped in her small room, even witih her favorite TV shows on. She avoided music for any type of sad music made her break down again. On the plus side her parents did come to visit her one Saturday, and this comforted Winter. Maybe she won’t be so alone after all. Maybe it was okay to hope.

Thanksgiving found Winter lonely and very depressed. However, she promised her brother and the girls that she would be at their Thanksgiving table and she knew she had to keep that promise. Though her parents offered to meet up with her so they could go together, Winter decided that she needed to go alone. She couldn’t explain why. She just felt that she had to make this first trip to her brother’s home alone.

The day was freezing cold so Winter made sure to bundle up. The train ride to Port Authority took no time at all just like Isaac assured her it wouldn’t. The bus ride then took even less time so before she knew it, she found her brother’s house. Isaac, Martha and the girls all waved at her, and Winter looked around at the very quiet and lovely neighborhood. That made her heart pierce as she felt so left out. However, when the girls came running she took them in her arms like she always did. She looked in her brother’s eyes and they were mirrors of her own feelings. He missed her. Winter guessed that and she knew he’d probably kept moping too though probably not as long as she had. After all he had his new big house to explore. Isaac nodded at her and they ushered her in like they always did and that sense of familiarity warmed Winter’s heart.

It was a lovely house. Beautiful in fact. There was a living room, a dining room, and a nice fireplace. There were stairs to go upstairs but she only went up there very briefly. There were bedrooms and a guest room which was a good thing since she was spending the night. Mom and Dad were sleeping in the basement. Wow. How could her brother even offer to pull out of owning something like this? He couldn’t have meant it. But if he did Winter was glad she didn’t let him.

She absolutely loved the house even if she couldn’t help feel more loneliness and even some envy. Thankfully she still felt some happiness for her brother too. Mom and Dad finally arrived and Thanksgiving was on. Winter loved the large dining room, along with it’s lovely long table. What a huge difference this house and that apartment they left behind in New York. And what a great selection of food. Everything was so delicious. She was really thrilled that their father had again cooked the famous Turkey he was known for. Mashed potatoes, and yellow rice were added to the courses as well and Winter loved it for it was like all those past Thanksgiving dinners she and Isaac grew up with. The more familiar things were the better she felt.

When Mom recited the Thanksgiving prayers Winter realized that she did have reason to be thankful despite her loneliness. She had two nieces who loved her; in fact they made sure to sit next to her at the table. She had her life, and though she didn’t like her room much it beat the streets. One of her coworkers had also given her information on going back to school and Winter was seriously considering it. She realized that if she truly wanted to change her life and situation then she had to do it even if she wasn’t sure how. No one else could do it for her. She wasn’t sure she could do it but she had to at least try even if her parents didn’t visit her again. Even if she winded up with no husband or children of her own. She dreaded that thought so she tried not to dwell on it.

As Martha sliced the pumpkin pie, Winter felt a little more hopeful. A few times she felt close to tears, but she held them. Suddenly Isaac leaned forward after excusing the girls to the back yard where they wanted to rush too despite the cold day. These were the kind of distractions the girls now had that would make them forget their Aunt. Winter shook the negative thoughts away as Isaac informed the girls that only for Thanksgiving could they eat their pies out in the yard.

Once the girls were running and laughing Isaac then leaned forward as Martha looked down at her hands not showing much reaction. “Winter how would you like to move in here?” Isaac asked slowly as if savoring the moment and his eyes shone with expectation. “Martha and I talked it over and we agreed to rent you a part of the basement at least until you could save enough to get a place of your own. You can still work at McDonald’s or maybe you can get a job out here. This way you’ll have more than just a room and you’ll never be alone again.”

Winter’s brown eyes widened. Many a night she secretly hoped that her brother would make the offer he just made. She even secretly resented him for not making it. Now here on Thanksgiving he made it and Winter was so happy she could have jumped for joy. She smiled too overwhelmed to say yes or no.

“Consider it a Thanksgiving present,” Isaac said very pleased. “Consider it a early Christmas present too,” he added winking at her. Winter was ecstatic. Oh she was so thrilled. She looked at her parents and they too were beaming. “What do you say huh?” Isaac asked again. He sounded sure she’d say yes and why wouldn’t he be sure? It was something he wanted as much as she did. He squeezed Martha’s hand and smiled at her looking just as ecstatic as Winter felt.

But then the bubble burst. Winter looked at Martha. Martha did not share her husband’s joy. She wasn’t even trying to pretend. She managed a weak smile at Winter, but Winter wasn’t fooled. She knew Martha did not agree to this and if she did it was only to please her husband. Her hazel eyes showed all the resentment Winter suddenly noticed. Isaac knew it too but he was willing to pretend for his sister. He was willing to make the same sacrifice he always made to make his sister happy.

Winter sat back completely floored and not because of her sister in law’s reaction. She put herself in Martha’s shoes and realized that she’d probably would feel the same way. Would she want her husband’s sister ever staying in their home even if she lived alone? Winter wanted to believe she’d be understanding and allow it but she couldn’t be sure. She’d probably have Martha’s reaction too because sure Isaac could say it was temporary but how could any of them be sure? What if she never found that elusive husband? What if having her own family wasn’t in the cards for her? Oh she hoped that wasn’t the case despite her reluctance to ever try again. But even if that was her fate she had to deal with it. She had no right to expect her brother or his wife to take care of her loneliness. It wasn’t fair to them. Isaac’s role was to take care of his family now, not her. Oh he’d be there for her if she ever needed him; Winter knew that. But she had to make her own way now no matter how hard it would be. No matter how lonely it would be and it would be lonely. Winter continued to feel that.

She excused herself and walked inside the living room where she stood in front of the fireplace. The fire was orange and so warm. So cozy. Winter could get used to this every night. But it didn’t belong to her even if her brother was willing to share it. Even if she paid her share of rent it wouldn’t change anything. This house belonged to her brother. He owned it and he brought it for him and his family.

“Winter?” asked Isaac suddenly appearing next to her.

Winter had her answer ready. “No Isaac,” she said trying to sound strong though she was hurting so badly she could cry. But she was determined to be strong. “I can’t stay here but thanks for asking. Don’t worry about me. I’ll survive. You take care of your family.” Tears filled her eyes. Relief lit up Isaac’s eyes for an instant. A single instant. Then she saw the guilt and the way he was torn. He wanted to take care of his sister and have his wife approve it at the same time. But Winter knew he couldn’t have both. Maybe there wouldn’t be any problems with Martha right now, but Winter didn’t doubt that eventually there would be. If she winded up staying too long in their home Martha would come to resent her and maybe even hate her. Maybe Isaac would even risk his marriage just to keep helping her and in no way or circumstances would Winter risk that.

“You’re my family too Winter and why can’t you stay? We have the space now,” he insisted. “Martha and I talked it over and mom and dad agree. Come on like I said it would only be temporary. I don’t want you alone out there in New York. As long as you pay your share of the rent and-“

“Isaac it’s okay,” Winter gently interrupted him. “Would you let Martha’s relatives stay here?” she suddenly asked curious of his answer. She drilled her eyes unto him.

Isaac looked down somewhat ashamed. “I would prefer they didn’t but I guess in an emergency…”

“I’d stay too in an emergency Isaac really,” Winter assured him. She turned to face him and already she noticed his tears.

“Martha’s family is not alone like you are…” he choked. Winter took hold of his arm.

“I’ll be okay Isaac,” she assured him sounding firm making herself sound firm. “I will be. I’ll survive. No matter what I’ll be fine. Just make sure you visit me when you can okay?” Winter’s heart hurt with every word. She so wanted to live in his home, with him with the girls. To not be alone would be so wonderful and yet…she couldn’t burden a family with her loneliness. She couldn’t do that. She would not burden her sister in law most of all. Besides she didn’t want to be a third wheel. She would probably feel that way after a long time too. Maybe even sooner.

“I’ve been making plans Isaac,” Winter said taking a deep breath. “Maybe I’ll go back to school as I keep working. I’ll be busy believe me. Like I said again and for the last time. I’ll survive.”

Isaac’s eyes filled with tears too, and he hugged his sister close. “I’ll visit,” he promised. “And remember my home is yours too. I am more than willing to share it with you anytime,” he added. “Please spend weekends with me…Maybe you can stay twice a week or something…” His voice became thick again. “I’ll be so worried about you girl…”

Winter hugged him back. “I’ll be fine Isaac. And I will spend nights here. I am tonight right?” He nodded and tried to smile even as she did.

No things would not be the same. Winter knew that. But she didn’t lose her brother. That was the best thought of all that Thanksgiving. She took Isaac’s arm again and led them back to the dining room.

“Come on,” she said as they slowly began to walk again. “I want more of that Pumpkin Pie.”

Isaac laughed. “Of course. Have all the slices you want.”

They laughed sad as they both felt. But they walked in together ready to face the decisions they both felt they had to make.

This short story is dedicated to my brother Javier.

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