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Christmas week came.

It was December 21st and we were all on our way to big bear in the van that we had arranged.

It was big enough to fit about half of our group, so we had to get two just so everyone could be able to go.

In the van that I was in, I was with Chase, Charli, Avani, Anthony, Mila, Ryland, and Vinnie. It was weird for the simple fact that we were in a van with nothing but couples and then there's me and my ex boyfriend sitting all the way in the back right next to each other.

I knew this was done on purpose, they wanted us to speak and learn to be cordial, which we've been trying to be but every time I see him he has those two bracelets on with my nickname that I just can't stop staring at and it makes me think of simpler and happy times.

But no matter what I was feeling, I knew I needed to protect my heart.

Everyone in the van was asleep except for me and Vinnie who were up on our phones distracting ourselves from each other.

The ride to big bear from where we were was around 3 and a half hours, and I was growing tired. But as we neared the snowy mountain area I grew nervous because all I could think about was the night my father passed away.

He was coming home from work and it was snowing that night. We told him he shouldn't drive home and that it'd be best to just take public transportation because at least we know he'd get home safe but he didn't listen.

And somewhere in between the last time we spoke to him, he was hit by a drunk driver who lost control of their car because of the snow.

That night, for years, seemed to replay in my head.

After that I was so sure that I hated the mere thought of snow because all I could associate it with was the night my father died. But I couldn't. I couldn't hate the thing that also reminded me of my father.

New York was infamous for their blizzards. One year, I want to say in 2010, we were home and it snowed pretty bad. The whole day I sat by the window with my dad, begging him to take me outside in the snow. His only argument was that the snow was too harsh and that it would blow my little body away and I'd never see him again.

When I look back on it, it makes me laugh because I knew he didn't want to go outside.

The whole day passed and he still was adamant on not letting me go out but then, what I call a miracle happened. At around 7pm, my dad finally took me outside. The storm wasn't letting up, but the fun that I was having was all that mattered to him.

After 2 hours of just playing in the snow, we walked to the nearest store and got us some hot chocolate before making our way back to that same little apartment that my mom lives in today...

It's the sweetest memory I have with my dad before he passed and it sucks that one of the most fondest memories I have with him is also associated with one of the most saddest days of my entire life.

"Cleo? Why're you crying? What's going on?" I hear Vinnie whisper, snapping me from my thoughts.

I'm quick to wipe my tears, facing the opposite way from him.

"Huh? I-I'm fine, it's nothing..."I say dismissively.

"Don't be like that. You're upset right now, and I know we aren't together but that doesn't mean I don't care about you. I don't wanna see you cry, so please, what's wrong."

"I... I'm just thinking about my dad. It's snowing out, and we're driving late at night. The same weather condition my dad was driving through when he died... I just hate thinking about it because everything about that night was fucking horrible for me yet I'm constantly triggered by it... just sucks." I say, my voice breaking.

𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐰𝐞 𝐦𝐞𝐭 || 𝐯𝐢𝐧𝐧𝐢𝐞 𝐡𝐚𝐜𝐤𝐞𝐫Where stories live. Discover now