Matty woke with a start. He ran to the window and stared out. Not a flake of snow in sight. Sighing, he walked back towards his bed and began to get dressed. He was nearly dressed when his mother called him down for breakfast. Hopping on one foot whilst he put on his last sock, he made his way into the bathroom to wash his face and clean his teeth.
Once done, he took the stairs one step at a time. Walking into the kitchen, he sat down at the table and didn't utter a word as his mother set out his breakfast in front of him. Slowly he picked at his cornflakes and moved on to his toast, smothering it with a generous topping of blackberry jam. Munching on his toast, he noticed him mum was limping. He thought about this for some time before coming to the conclusion that his mum had obviously twisted her ankle. Why else would she limp?
There was something wrong with this day, but he couldn't work it out. He stared at his last piece of toast thinking and thinking and thinking. His face contorted whilst he thought. He just couldn't figure it out. Finally, he finished breakfast, excused himself and went back upstairs to his bedroom. His room was a mess so he kicked his toys into a heap in order to make some floor space. He'd decided he was going to make a card for his mum so her ankle would get better.
Finding some paper and a few coloured pencils, he sat down on the floor. He sat for a while. That feeling was back again. Something was wrong and he couldn't figure out what. He stood up off the floor and went back to the window. The leaves were on the trees still. That was strange. Today was Christmas Eve and it should be snowing in time for Father Christmas to arrive. He should be outside throwing snowballs with his friends. There shouldn't be any leaves on the trees, so why where there leaves on the trees?
Matty sat down on his bed, determined to figure out this strange day. Idly he followed the pattern on his candlewick bedspread with his finger, just thinking.
Matty woke with a start. He'd fallen asleep. Strange. He was in bed, undressed and it was dark outside. He ran to the window and opened the curtains. Snow!!! Snow like he had never seen before! Thick and white and soft snow beckoning him to go and play with it.
Realisation suddenly dawned. His mum wouldn't call him down to breakfast that Christmas morning. He wouldn't have his breakfast laid out for him when he went downstairs. His mum wouldn't be there.
A lonely tear fell down his cheek.
His mum had died in early autumn of that year. Something to do with her leg. He didn't understand how a limp could send his mother to heaven, but it had.
Slowly Matty went downstairs and into the living room. Only the lights from the Christmas tree were illuminating the room. He saw his father sat in his chair, asleep. Slowly he walked towards the chair and looked at his father. Upon his father's knee was a box. Gingerly, he picked up the box and sat on the floor. He opened it and looked inside.
A pair of gloves, so small, was on the top. He lifted them out and looked at them. Then he saw a lock of hair inside a small see-through bag. Curiosity had got to him now. Slowly he made his way through the box of small objects. A pair of boots. A little bib. A tooth. A bracelet. He picked up the bracelet and looked at it. Inside it was inscribed 'Matty'. This was his christening bracelet, although he was obviously too young to remember it.
He looked up at his father who was now awake and looking down at him from his chair. He father smiled and opened his arms. Matty climbed up and cuddled in.
Matty woke with a start. He ran to the window and stared out. The sun shone down brightly. He turned towards his bed. There lay the most beautiful woman he had ever known. Next to the bed was a crib. Inside a tiny baby slept fitfully. Matty lent forward and kissed his wife on the forehead. Slowly she opened her eyes and smiled.
'Have you thought of her name yet Matty?' Asked his wife.
'Yes.' Replied Matty
'And?' Matty's wife cocked her head with interest.
'Elizabeth. After my mother.' Matty replied. He smiled to himself as he picked up a box and placed inside that box their first memory of their new baby.