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est. 10/15/20

"take me with you, finished thing"
"too dizzying to love anywhere
but from a distance"

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Message to Readers

I wrote this for English and wanted to share this to get some more feedback. What do you guys think?

Where Time Stands Still

October 20, 2020


When summer melts into fall, and you have to bundle up into a cozy sweater, and the chilly, harsh wind bites your cheeks, that’s when my family turns on the heat. At first it comes slowly, with one click of the thermostat, and then, suddenly, the warm air comes rushing through the heater vents.

I hop out of my warm bed, pulling on slippers, and trudge, wavering into my brother’s room. There’s his bed, in the far corner against the wall. I stare at him for a while. He looks big in the bed, his feet almost reaching the end. How long have we been doing this? The same routine over and over, year after year. And now… Well, he’s almost ten. It feels like just yesterday when I-- an exuberant, six-year-old-- ushered his little three-year-old self into my parents’ room, the first of many journeys together. I sigh and shake myself out of the haze of remembrance.

“Come on,” I gently whisper, my voice husky like it always is in the early light of dawn. “The heat’ll come on soon.” My brother shifts in his bed, throwing his comforter cover off. He sits on the edge of his bed, rubbing his eyes.

“Coming. Where’re my slippers?” He whisper-yells back, looking around the room for his blue shark slippers. And that’s another thing. Our slippers, matching. Mine are red with a brown moose spread across the two slippers, split in the middle. The head of the moose on one foot and the behind on the other. And his are blue with a gray shark. The head on one foot and the tail on the other. It’s been like that for as long as I can remember. 

“Oh, here.” He says, snapping me out of my slipper fansites. He’s pointing at the slippers, right near the bookshelf on the other side of the room. I walk over and pick them up, handing them to him one at a time as he slides them on. “Thanks!” He grins at me, still speaking softly. I grin back, my smile stretching past my eyes.

“Ok, let’s go.” And we do, me in front and him behind. Past the painting of our old house, past the photo-collages of us throughout the years. First me as a newborn, then my toddler years, and pictures of him as a newborn, too. And then we’re growing so fast. I catch snippets of us smiling at each other, forehead to forehead. I must have been seven or so, and he was three or four. And me with my friends and him with his. Growing apart, but still together. There’s us, holding hands on a walk. And another snapshot, grinning at one another. With our parents, our friends, our family. Together, apart. Now we’re together again.  

I trace my hands on the walls, slowly tip-toeing down the hallway with my brother right behind me. We travel just a few feet, but we’re traversing the years. My fingertips on the wall, leaving a trail behind me. A trail of memories and places and people. All the stories within me. Within us.

And finally, we’re here. The door is cracked open, and I peek inside. There are our parents, under the thick blankets that drape over their bed. I turn back to my brother and press a finger to my lips. “Shhh, they’re sleeping,” I whisper. He nods, and we creep forward.

Just behind the door is the heater vent, about a foot off the ground. We walk forward, softly. Our old friend is slowly shifting and waking up, too, below our feet in the basement. I know it won’t be long before the heat will turn on, welcoming us into the delicious embrace of warm air on a desolate, chilly November morning. 

We crouch down behind the door. I’m in front, near the closet that runs the rest of the length of this wall and he’s behind, in the crook of the door. We sit there. Not talking. Not thinking. Just being. We listen and rise and fall. 

The birds are outside, crooning to each other in the early morning. Our parents are asleep in bed. The cat is downstairs. We’re right here.

And then the heat clicks on, and the air is rushing through. First it’s cold, but then you start to feel the warm air creep in and take over. 

I close my eyes and breathe. 

What an amazing way to spend the morning. I smile. He does too. And the world melts away and now it’s just us and the heater vent. 

This is where it hits me. I’m almost fourteen and he’s almost ten. And the photo-collages of us throughout the years. And the path we travel. We’re growing up. Soon, maybe even next month, we’ll be too old to do this. This is my last year with him, padding softly down the hallway and waiting for the heat to come rushing in. And I know it’s okay. We made it last. But now . . . it’s time to end.

I exhale and open my eyes. 

I glance over at him, and he looks at me. “What?” He mouths. I shake my head. Nothing. Nothing at all.

For as long as I can remember, my brother and I would gather around the heating vent in my parents’ room sitting in the quiet and silence and the warm air that wraps around us like a blanket. 

And now it’s time. Time to remember and time to let go. Because when fall turns into winter and winter slides into spring, the comforting sound of the heat clicking on will fade to a distant memory. 
NEED SOME NEW TITLE SUGGESTIONS! The title right now is fine, but I'm not really feeling it. Any suggestions for a title? Thanks!


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  • October 20, 2020 - 1:36pm (Now Viewing)

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  • Jj101

    This was amazing!! It gave me a warm feeling and the ending was so sad. I read your comment about this piece and had to come read it!! Great work!!!

    7 months ago
  • Stone of Jade

    oh wow this is so gorgeous!!

    7 months ago
  • Cosmogyral

    Re: thank you, it was meant to be a controversy in itself, but i guess i still need to work on the transition. i appreciate your comment!

    7 months ago
  • almost flora kane

    This is so fun to read. I love the way you've written it. Unfortunately, I am also blanking on title ideas, but if I think of anything I'll come back!
    Re: I'm so glad you like the piece:)

    7 months ago