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The Scarf

The poets were right; winter truly was a cruel season.

No, it wasn’t the harsh wind, whipping through my hair, slashing at my face, making me turn up the collars of my coat and partially hide it behind my scarf. I’d been thinking about that scarf a lot lately; a gift from a friend who was no longer in the world with me. I still didn’t know the motivation behind her gifting me the scarf. She’d said it was something she saw and thought would look good on me. The reason didn’t sit well with me, because Alma never did anything without a reason. There was always some odd little justification in her head for her actions.

Don’t get me wrong, she isn’t the villain of this story, always with ulterior motives. She was just too self-aware. Which brings me back; winter is the cruelest season because there’s too much time to think, and it forces you to think. Perhaps, it has something to do with the end of another year; fast approaching, the days swiftly passing by. In contrast, staying awake most nights, watching the lights fade into nothing, time ticking away on that dusty brick red clock which I impulsively bought as a souvenir from some trip I can’t recall.

Funny, how these days I can’t recall a lot, yet here I am thinking about winter invoking memories that had better remain untouched, with a subtle layer of dust covering them, undisturbed. There was far too much I didn’t want to reminisce, yet I kept remembering these odd little things that I had never really paid mind to.

One of those things was the blue scarf. I didn’t even know it existed until the October chill turned into an early winter, and I found it with the tag still on whilst cleaning the closet.

Wearing it on every occasion that I possibly could, it had quickly become a signature look, according to the people I hung out with.

They didn’t really know why I would sometimes go quiet as I numbly caressed it.

I assume too much about people, maybe Alma never did anything for a reason and that was just how I perceived it. What can I say? I think too much, and maybe what goes on in my head is different from what goes on in everyone else’s but I’ve known the inside of somebody else’s head, so who am I to talk?

When asked to identify the body of the student, it was I who felt the earth slip from beneath my feet. She was swinging from the balcony. Tied a noose around her neck, with the other end looped and knotted firmly to the railing, and then jumped, I now knew why I couldn’t stop wearing the scarf.

It was identical to the one she killed herself with.

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