Posted in Natalie

Natalie: Part 2- Marshmallow World Installment Twelve

**

When I awoke fresh snow was on the ground and snow was falling from the sky. The thunderstorm must have turned into snow in the middle of the night.

“It looks like today is going to be a good snow day,” Mr. Steve said at breakfast.

“Will you take us to The Hill?” Darcy asked putting Mr. Steve’s breakfast in front of him.

“I don’t know, Darcy. Do you think you’re knee will be all right?” Mr. Steve asked. “And what about Natalie’s broken foot?”

Darcy looked at me. His glance was a little hurtful but I kept eating my eggs.

“We’ll be fine,” Darcy said.

“But The Hill is rather steep,” Mr. Steve said.

“Me want to go in the snow! Me want to go in the snow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

I turned to see Megan running into the restaurant with Momma not far behind.

“Not until you have eaten your breakfast,” Momma said sliding into the booth and holding her hand out for Megan.

“Ok, Mommy,” Megan said crawling into her lap.

“What can I get for you?” Darcy asked.

“Two orders of toast, bacon, and eggs,” Momma said. “Make on kids.” Darcy nodded and walked towards the kitchen.

“I want to go to The Hill,” I said.

“What’s The Hill?” Momma asked.

“It’s this steep hill that all the kids go to when it snows. Darcy wants me to take him and the rest,” Mr. Steve said.

“Me want to play in the snow!” Megan shouted.

“Look at me, honey,” Momma said. “I want to play in the snow.”

“Yes! Me too want to play in the snow,” Megan said. Momma shook her head and laughed.

“Are you sure you’ll be ok?” Mr. Steve asked me.

“How steep can it be?” I shrugged.

**

“Whoa.”

“I told you it was steep,” Mr. Steve said handing me a sled.

I stood for a minute looking down the hill but that was a mistake.

GET OUT OF THE WAY!

I turned around the find Darcy and his sled racing towards me. And for some reason I froze. The sled, Darcy, and I collided. Darcy pulled me up into the sled.

“I got you,” He said as we went down the hill but he was so focused on making sure I didn’t fall off that we ended up crashing. The sled went on as we flew through the air.

Darcy landed on top of me and I started laughing.

“You know I’ve never been sledding before,” I laughed. Darcy started to laugh too.

I stopped laughing because I was looking into his eyes. Then for a moment I forgot that I didn’t really like Darcy. He seemed to forget too.

Then (maybe I imagined it) Darcy started to lean towards me. The memories of being tripped (purposely or accidently) and how Emily Stewart stuck to him like glue flooded into my mind. I felt fear and coldness going through my body. His cold nose touched my cold nose.

“You call that sledding?”

Darcy got off of me and helped me up. Timmy had Darcy’s sled in his hand.

“I told her to get out of the way,” Darcy huffed.

“I’m sorry,” I snapped. “I froze!”

“No need to get defensive about it,” Darcy mumbled. I huffed.

“Timmy,” Darcy snarled.

“What!” Timmy snapped.

“Thanks for getting the sled,” Darcy said taking the sled and walking up The Hill. Emily ran past us running towads ugh whatever Darcy was to her.

“Hi, Natalie!” Megan screamed. She was coming down the hill in a sled with Mr. Steve and Jaci. Jaci was screaming and had her eyes closed. Mr. Steve was laughing.

“How do I stop this thing?!” Momma screamed as the sled holding her and Abby flew by the sled with Mr. Steve, Jaci, and Megan.

“Come on,” Timmy said taking my hand. “Grandpa has an extra sled in the back of the truck. I didn’t want to sled with Emily anyway.”

“Um um,” I said as Timmy pulled me up the hill.

“Where’s Emily?” Mrs. Stewart snapped.

“Sledding with Darcy,” Timmy said opening the truck of their car.

“Natalie, is your mother here?” Mrs. Stewart asked me.

“Yeah, she’s here. I believe she’s sledding with Abby. She may be at the bottom of The Hill by now,” I said.

“Thank you my dear. I have to find out if we’re still on for Sunday dinner tomorrow,” Mrs. Stewart said starting to walk down The Hill.

“You ready?” Timmy asked dropping the sled on the ground.

I didn’t know if I’d ever be ready to go down The Hill with Timmy Stewart.

“I um,” I started.

“Natalie, I’m harmless,” Timmy said. He held out his hand. I didn’t take it but I sat in the sled.

My heart pounded as the sled started to move. Why was I so scared to go down The Hill with Timmy Stewart?

“NATALIE BALDWIN!” Abby screamed as we past her. She dropped the sled in her hand and started sledding.

Her sled bumped our sled hard and all three of us crashed.

“What is this? Extreme Sledding?” Timmy cried outraged.

“Natalie, what are you doing sledding with Timmy Stewart?! I thought you were sledding with Darcy!” Abby shouted.

“I’m not sledding with anyone,” I mumbled.

“Natalie!” Megan shouted running to me.

“OW!” Timmy shouted as Megan ran over him. He was still sitting in the snow. Abby laughed. I snickered.

“You sledding with me!” Megan shouted grabbing my arm. I hobbled up The Hill with a two year old pulling me.

“There you are,” Jaci said. She gave Megan a hug.

“Natalie sledding with me,” Megan said.

“You, Natalie, and Daddy go ahead,” Jaci said. “I don’t think I’m sledding material.”

“Then we’ll just have to make you sledding material,” Abby said. Mr. Steve gave a little chuckle thinking it was a joke but I didn’t find it very funny.

“Ready girls?” Mr. Steve asked sitting in the sled. I got in and Megan followed.

“Faster! Faster!” Megan shouted as we went down The Hill really really fast.

“I’m going as fast as I can go, sweetie pie!” Mr. Steve shouted.

“Boo!” Megan screamed. “Me want to go faster! Faster!”

She didn’t stop screaming faster until we stopped.

“Again! Again!” Megan shouted. Mr. Steve laughed.

“Ok, again,” He said getting out of the sled.

As we walked up The Hill a sled with Jaci and Timmy came down.

“Hold me tighter! Tighter!” Jaci screamed.

“I’m not holding you tight enough?! I don’t even know how can breathe! Yes, I’m holding you that tight!” Timmy shouted.

“Tighter! Tighter!” Jaci screamed.

Mr. Steve laughed but something in his face told me that he was disturbed that Jaci was on a sled with Timmy and that Timmy was holding on to her tight.

“I want to go home!” Emily screamed.

“Emily Stewart! Get down on your knees and apologize for speaking to me that way!” Mrs. Stewart shouted.

Everyone at the top of The Hill stopped what they were doing. Emily dropped to her knees.

“I’m sorry, Grandma. Its rude to be disrespectful and I’m sorry if I embarrassed you,” Emily apologized.

“You may get up now,” Mrs. Stewart said. Emily got up and ran into their car.

“You coming this time, Natalie?” Mr. Steve asked sitting in the sled.

“I think I’ll wait for the one with Mom and Abby,” I said. Mr. Steve nodded and looked at Megan.

“Do you think it will go faster with only two persons?” Megan asked. Mr. Steve laughed.

“Let’s see,” Mr. Steve said as she got in the sled.

“Faster! Faster!” Megan screamed as the sled went down.

“Hey.”

“Timmy,” I started as I turned around. But it wasn’t Timmy. It was Darcy.

“What do you want?” I asked.

“Sorry for being a little rude after we crashed. I just can’t stand Timmy Stewart,” Darcy said.

“Well you seem to stomach his sister pretty well,” I said. Darcy rolled his eyes.

“She has her moments,” Darcy sighed. “Emily doesn’t want to sled with me and Regina is sledding with her brothers so do you want to sled with me?”

I saw my mother walking up The Hill with Abby. Momma looked worn out. She probably wouldn’t sled for a little while but Abby probably would.

“If you rather sled with your mom,” Darcy said catching my gaze. “I understand.”

“She looks tired,” I said. “I’ll sled with her later.”

I let Darcy take my hand and hold onto me as we sled down The Hill.

“You know that Christmas song Marshmallow World?” Darcy asked as we walked up The Hill after our fourth time going down it.

I wanted to say “Duh.” or “Of course.” But instead I said, “Yeah.”

“It’s days like this where I truly believe I’m trapped in a Marshmallow World. So what if spring is late? I can’t think of anything better than sledding on a cold winter day and having a snowball fight with my friends,” Darcy said.

“Darcy, are we friends?” I blurted.

“I’m walking with you aren’t I?” Darcy asked. When he said this his cheeks got pink.

You see in the song Marshmallow World there’s a part about taking a walk with your favorite girl.

“Race you to the top!” I screamed running up The Hill. Darcy quickly followed.

**

My whole body ached but I didn’t care. Today was one of the best days of my life. I actually had fun with Darcy. Nelson, Regina, Megan, Abby, Jaci, and I had a massive snowball fight when we got back from sledding.

“I hate sledding but I had so much fun,” Jaci said as she sipped on hot chocolate.

“I know,” I sighed. “I wish my life could be as sweet as this day was even thou I got knocked down.”

Jaci laughed. Megan ran into the room with a sippy cup full of hot chocolate and snuggled in her lap.

I sighed and barely uttered this short prayer, “God, all I want is for my life to go back to being sweet.”