The wind whipped and whistled, swirling about violently through the curves of his ears, biting them until his brown flesh was a bright shade of red. Todd tightened his jaw and pulled the collar of his tweed coat up against his face. The flaps did little against the onslaught of winter.
Winter, it was January, the first of the new year. It was 2015 according to the Gregorian calender. Todd liked this time. The thought of it put a smile on his face. It was far less complicated here, unlike the world in his timeline. So at least he thought, or rather hoped that it was. As far as he could tell, the worst of the people of 2015’s worries was making sure they had on thick enough layers to fight against Old Man Winter. Other than that, life was a cake walk.
Lucky for them, none of them would live long enough to see what things would become. They truly had no idea, but that didn’t stop them from hoping, wishing, planning.
New year’s resolutions. They were little more than a juvenile child’s game to Todd. ‘Here’s to losing 15 pounds and no longer being a slob!’ Or ‘Here is to spending more time with the kids, loving my wife more.’
All of it was rubbish in his estimation; the idle plannings of the naive. No, he wasn’t a pessimist. He was more of a realist. No one really cared about the new year, not enough to change. Instead they were all more concerned with what they could get out of it, get a good do-over from past mistakes, rather than figuring out what they could do to actually give back to the world and others in the new year.
Todd and others like him had scrapped the whole idea of a new year’s resolution in exchange for those personal new years that came around on the day of your birth. People dropped like flies in his timeline, senseless violence and the near animalistic struggle for survival beat against the survivors with as much force as the icy wind that was making his eyes water.
Tucking one more year beneath your belt after grappling for the chance to do so made a person plan for changes and really strive to do them.
“Your late.” Her voice was familiar, even though he was certain he had never heard it before; smooth, but heavy, like a stone dropping done slowly in a tub of water. It drew Todd out of his winding rambles.
He looked down at his watch. He was late, but only by three minutes. Time was sensitive but three minutes wouldn’t hurt things. He knew what he was doing, and from what he heard, so did his new companion.
She handed him a tissue and smiled, her full matte brown mocha lips spreading across her equally mocha face in one of the most insincere smiles Todd had ever seen. “Your eyes are running and I need your vision clear. No room for mistakes, but you know that. I will also be deducting credit time from your pay when this is all over. Its business, nothing personal.” She turned away from him and faced the cross walk sign. The orange hand for ‘stop’ was still blinking.
Audrey Vennet-Lemon. Her personality seemed as sour as her name, but who was Todd to judge? He didn’t know anything about her life, and the rumors that he had sampled seemed to far fetched to be true. If they were true, Todd was not going to make it through this partnership. He didn’t care much for cold-hearted women.
He narrowed his eyes at her, masking his gesture but blowing into his hands. It was best to make due with his situation, and if that meant working with Mrs. Lemon then so be it. He would do it with a smile, a real one.
There, he had done it, made a new year’s resolution. “Happy New Year.” He whispered in her ear. The strands of her black hair reminded him of cotton candy as they moved under his breath. Her perfume, one so subtle that he couldn’t tell if it was from a bottle or her own chemistry, tugged at his senses. It, too was familiar.
She cocked a brow. “For some, I suppose it is.” The light of the cross walk switched to ‘Go’. Audrey stepped into the street. “For others not so much. I see our target, there in the window of the coffee shop. What do you say we have a cup before getting down to business?”
“Only if there is time.” He answered back, taking the man in the window in full view, his mind switching to full on business mode even though something about Audrey was nagging at him.
“Its the new year. I have decided to make time. Here’s to resolutions.”
Happy 2015! This is my first post for the year, a 15 minute or so Free write. This, surprisingly (although I reckon I should not have been surprised) is the rough workings of a series that I have been meditating on for a little while. The reason there is more meditation instead of actually writing at this point is because the series is a spinoff of another 3 book series that I am still writing. Anyhow I hope this is a preview to good, creative adventures, and that we will meet again soon!