General

The ice melts just a little under my hand, enough for my fingers and palm to be wet. It's deep though, there's no way I can get through it that way. Already the skin feels as chilled as it does when I rearrange the freezer at home. I open and close it to get the blood flowing again and stick it back in my pocket to warm up. I stare at the little catch, such a small piece of metal, but it's enough to keep the gate firmly shut. Climbing over isn't much of an option either, the stairs on the other side are more treacherous than I've seen this winter. I take a step back. It's a longer way around the roads to get there, but arriving in one piece is more important. I give the ice one final stare as if my anger can melt it before stalking off in a pointless huff.

General

As long as I follow Amy's conversational leads we are friends. She chats in her animated way about her life and petty grievances while I show concern, empathy and drop in helpful suggestions. But no sooner have I changed track she's fidgeting and her eyes keep flicking to her phone. Already her attention span has gone and I might as well be talking to the wall. My flow dies in my throat as I watch her face sag into boredom, then in the second that air is empty she starts talking about her life again. By the end of her visit my thoughts and feelings are so compacted I feel like my chest will go super nova...