The snow crunched under his boot as he made his way across the parking lot. Above him, the sun peaked through a gap in the grey clouds. It was another morning, just like any other.
His car was coated with flaky white snow. The brush in his hand seemed to weigh a hundred pounds as he lifted it for the hundredth time that winter. He was growing tired of the constant snow covering the ground. His small budget kept him sheltered away in the old apartment, though.
As he cleared snow off of the car’s hood, the apartment building’s door opened. The granddaughter of one of his neighbors appeared, garbage in hand. It was overflowing with cheap wrapping paper and tissue paper. He grimaced. He had forgotten that it was Christmas morning, never having bothered with the holiday for over ten years.
The girl struggled down the icy steps with the bag and carved a path through the few inches of snow. Though she had never spoken to him in the past, she looked up and smiled at him.
“Merry Christmas,” she said.
He said nothing. The brush slowed to a stop in his hand while he watched the girl cross to the dumpster and throw the bag in. As she turned around, he resumed the arduous task of clearing off his car.
She didn’t say anything when she passed him for the second time. She disappeared inside the building without a backwards glance. He finished clearing off his car and got inside. The chill had seeped through the windows, making him shiver as he cranked the heat up to full blast.
As he drove away from the building, he had a smile on his face.