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Rated: 13+ · Fiction · Romance/Love · #1809358
When a girl from Iqaluit enters the city of Toronto?
I was on the plane to Toronto, the capital of Ontario! It was mid spring and everything was blooming and rain was spattering down gently. I thought that the sound of them was great. I fell asleep to the sound of them.
I woke up when the plane landed and got my luggage and suitcase out of a little compartment. Or tried to. I couldn’t grasp how to open it...I lived very traditionally so I was new to all this technological appliances. I sighed and tugged on the handle again. It didn't budge.
"May I help with that?" Said a voice.
I turned around in surprise and saw a young man around my age looking at me. He had dark brown hair, one green eye, one blue eye and a fair face. "Oh...yes please. Thank you." I said as politely as possible.
The young man did something with the handle and then the compartment popped open. He heaved down my stuff and gave them to me with a smile. "New here?" He said as he walked me out of the plane and into the plane building.
"Yes I am! I come from Iqaluit and I got a job that required me to come here so I'm kind of new to all this." I explained. "Thank you for helping though. You are a kind person."
The young man blushed. He blushed? I thought. Why would he...maybe he doesn't get compliments often.
"Well, I'd better be off then," He said. "I have some things to attend to."
"Oh. Well, alright, goodbye!" I said. "And thanks again!"
A teenager barged right past me and bumped into my side hard, making me drop my passport and papers. I gasped and bent to pick them up. I stood outside and watched people calling a taxi. I followed their example and gave him the hotel address. I sighed happily and fell asleep.
I woke up to the sound of the engine of the taxi turning off. Then I saw his face looking at me in the dark. It was full of evil intentions. I started to scream, but he put his hand over my mouth and grinned. He leaned in closer and shoved me down onto the back seats so that I was lying down. He came towards me, grinning. I kicked him, but all he did was grab my legs and arms tightly. I wriggled like a worm and finally screamed. The door banged open and a shadow of someone grabbed the guy on top of me and threw him off. There was a lot of grunting and shuffling sounds before all was silent. I cautiously peeked out to see what had happened.
"Hey, you alright? That was-" He started, then he stared at me. "Is that you?"
"Who are you-" I started then stared too. It was the guy from the plane. "I think so..."
We stood in shocked silence for a while. "Thanks." I said embarrassed.
"You’re welcome..." He said while gawking at me. "Uh...so...want a ride to your hotel?"
"Sure..." I said awkwardly and we walked to where his car was parked. It was a blue Yaris Toyota. "Well, here's my hotel, Lord Elgin."
He stopped in his tracks, I barreled straight into him and we both fell. We lay there for a moment in shock. We got up and walked to his car and got in.
On the road, he said, "Sorry about that, I was just surprised. Because I also live in that hotel."
I was looking closely out the window at that time. "Oh, hmm that's nic-WHAT?!" I yelled and bumped my forehead against the window.
"Hey, hey are you alright?" He asked concerned, glancing at me periodically.
"Ouch...yea." I said, rubbing my head. "That's such a coincidence though, living in the same hotel after meeting on a plane and saving me from a-a do you call them?”
“Pedophilia?” He said with a little laugh.
“Yea, that.” I said innocently. I had no idea what these people were called. We didn’t have them in Iqaluit.
“Um…I was joking, that was a pedophile. Pedophilia is for girls.” He said.
“Oh…” We arrived at the hotel and I got my keys and signed in, while he waited for me. He pressed a button and we went up.
“Oh, yea I didn’t catch your name at the airport.” I said.
“Oh right, it’s Joseph. Joseph Jumba Nigahiga.” Joseph said with a smile.
“My name’s Snow.” I replied cheerfully.
When we reached the floor, we got out and I looked at the room numbers. I stopped at a door that had my number on it and looked towards Joseph.
“Thanks for escorting me home but I think you should go now.” He said. He was standing by a door with key in hand. I stared at him. His door was right beside mine…
“Uh…look at my suite number for me and tell me where to go.” I said.
“Ok, sure. Lemme see, that would be…” He stopped and his mouth opened in shock.
Then, I was pretty sure…we were suite neighbors. I couldn’t help but wonder what in the world was happening here…How had it gone from a nice little meeting at an airport to being neighbors? It was all beyond me, but I prefer to call it Fate.

"Good morning all you sleepy heads!" The boss announced at 8am at the agency office. "Good to see that all of you are here! We have a new employee here who's staying for a few months! Oh, here she is, say hello to Snow, and make her feel at home here."
I had just come in through the doorway and was greeted warmly. Then I looked around, smiling and saw...Joseph. He was staring and gawking at me awkwardly, I guess I did too because everyone looked at Joseph, then back at me. There was a really long silence.
"So I see you two know each other." The boss said cautiously.
"Well, we met at the airport and then he saved me from getting raped and we're also room-" I started.
Joseph put his hand HARD on my head and smiled at everyone. "She's a bit nervous about working in this new environment."
"Yes, you see I come from Iqaluit..." I said, a bit confused at everyone's reactions. When I started talking all the girls had a weird look on their faces and the guys looked a bit shocked and some raised their eyebrows. Everyone got back into their cubicles and tapped away at their computers. Joseph sighed and said, "Your cubicle is next to mine, follow me." I followed him silently to my cubicle where I set up everything and looked at my assignment. There were plans I had to put together and ideas I had to think up of. I also had to call a few clients. I started hesitantly, and wasn't sure how to do everything. I was desperately in need of help, but I didn't want to ask Joseph. He had already done too much for me. So, I continued to struggle with my work.
"Heeey! You're the newbie right?" Said a girl's voice.
I turned around surprised. I saw a woman around my age smiling at me "Oh, yes I am."
"I thought so. I'm Claudine, nice to meet you. I'll help you with this stuff since you seem to be struggling with it all." She laughed. "You look very beautiful, anyone ever tell you that?"
I blushed. "Uh-uh-... Well n-no. Th-thank you."
"No problem Honey." She winked. "Now, this is how you create a banner..."
That was my first friend at that travel agency office.

A few days passed by and it was Saturday. I had nothing to do and was going to go over to Joseph's to ask about any tourist attractions when I got a phone call. I hesitated before picking up. "Hello?"
"Hey Snow White! What’s up? Doing anything tonight?" Claudine's voice blasted through the phone.
"No, I'm actually kind of bored right now." I explained.
"Oh hey that's great! Wanna come to the party tonight? I'll shop with you for the party!" She exploded.
"Oh, thank you! That sounds great! What's this party for?" I asked excitedly. My first party in Toronto! This sounded fun.
"You'll see." She giggled. "Meet me at the office door in...15 minutes. Seeya!" The dial tone beeped.
I quickly put down the phone and got dressed. I was bouncing up and down and started squealing happily with excitement. Shopping in Toronto! And partying at night! I was ecstatic and laughed out loud, and then ran out the door, slamming the door shut by accident and then locked the door hastily. I pressed the button for the lift. At that moment, Joseph came out.
"Hey, where are you going? You were making a lot of noise in there." He said, grumbling.
"Oh sorry, I got invited to shop and go to a party tonight!" I exclaimed.
He raised his eyebrows. "By?"
"Claudine! From work! She's really nice." I said. I glanced at my watch. "Oh, no I have to go now. Have a nice Saturday!"
"Wait! Snow! About Claudine! She's-" But I couldn't hear anymore because the elevator door closed.
The afternoon was wonderful! We went shopping and bought stuff. Claudine helped me pick out clothes for the party and I was kind of nervous about wearing them.
"Are you sure I should wear only a tank top? And these shorts are really short." I commented when I tried them on.
"Oh, you look magnificent! Plus, it's so hot outside, it wouldn't matter." Claudine drawled. "Come on, I'll show you this other store! It has great stuff!"
Then night fell and we got into a TTC. It was a very bumpy ride and I kept getting tossed around in every direction. We finally got to the place! It was a silent place with a few beggars and broken down apartments that people still lived in. The whole place smelled like cigars and people who hadn't washed for days. I scrunched up my nose in disgust. Claudine led me to a dark alleyway and knocked on a door. A cool looking guy opened it cautiously and looked at us.
"What are you two doing here?"
"Aw, come on Mike. You know I'm Claudine. I came here and brought a friend of mine." She winked.
"Hmph. Alright, come in and join the club!" He smirked and allowed us to go in.
"Thanks." I smiled happily.
We entered the room where the "party" was going on. There was really loud disco music and it was crowded. There were bodies moving everywhere, people kissing, people laughing at jokes and pouring drinks, people moving away from the crowd into a bathroom... It wasn't what I had expected. I looked over at Claudine for reassurance. She smiled. "Follow me!" She yelled.
We weaved through the dense crowd. We finally reached a table where two pairs of guys and girls were sitting, legs entangled, kissing passionately. I stared at this with confusion. Were we supposed to have brought a guy with us? Maybe I should have invited Joseph, I thought. Then my cheeks started burning as I thought of us doing what they were doing. I shook my head to clear the thoughts away. I would not think about that! The four of them looked at me curiously.
"Want a drink dear?" One of the girls asked, and shoved a bottle into my hand. I looked at the name. "Contains Alcohol". I quickly gave it to Claudine. I didn't want to drink anything with alcohol in it. That was disgusting. It was like drinking hand sanitizer. I shivered at the thought of gulping down hand sanitizer.
"Don't get TOO drunk Claudine." Smiled one of the boys. "Remember what happened last time?"
"Oh guys," Claudine laughed. "I always make mistakes."
"And always redo them." The other boy sighed. "Of course you could always leave her to me..."
"Hey, but what about me?" Complained the girl sitting on his lap.
"Hey, who said we can't have a threesome?" He replied.
"Hur hur, now now guys, we must *hiccup* act nicely to huur *hiccup*." Claudine slurred.
"Oooooh, Claudine you are drunk!" The four of them chorused.
"Come on Shnow, let's get away *hiccup* fromsh this crowd. Sho loud." She said, and led me into an empty room away from the loud music and groping hands.
"This wasn't the kind of party I imagined." I stated. I don't like this place one bit! It's evil!
Suddenly, Claudine's face leaned in very close to mine. "It's okay Shnow." She slurred. "Just enjoy." She suddenly pushed me onto the ground and pinned me there, looking at me. I was confused.
"Hey, Claudine, what are you doing?" I asked with alarm.
"Oh, Snow. Did I ever tell you that *hiccup* I'm a leshbian?" She whined. "Oh Shnow you are shooo pretty."
"Hey Claudine, I'm not interested in girls, I'm not a lesbian!" I said quickly and struggled to get out of her grip.
"Shnow..." Claudine whispered and leaned in closer and closer. I screamed. The door banged open and Claudine's body was suddenly off of mine. I rolled away and stood up shakily. Someone stood in front of me, confronting the drunken Claudine. He turned around to look at me.
"Joseph..." I whispered.
"Are you okay????" He screamed. "What were you thinking coming to a club like this???"
I opened my mouth to reply, but then Claudine pounced on Joseph and snarled, scratching him viciously. "She's mine! Mine!" She snarled and bit him. He yelled out and swung her off. As Claudine launched herself forward again I ran to her and elbowed her hard in the stomach. She grabbed hold of my tank top as she fell in pain. I cried out as the thin strap broke. I kicked her in the head so that she slumped onto the floor, unconscious. I turned to Joseph. He was looking away from me. I looked down and saw that my tank top was showing half of my thing. I screeched and covered it with my arms. He turned around cautiously and grimaced. Then he took off his shirt and approached me. I stared at him. What's he doing? I thought. He wouldn't...
"Here, take my shirt." He said and tossed it to me. I caught it and put it on quickly. "Now, let's get the hell out of here." he yelled.

We were inside his suite. He got a shirt for himself and came back with two glasses of cola. "Here." he said and gave one to me. I took it silently and sipped it. It was a weird drink. I looked over at him; we were sitting down facing each other and a table between us. He was drinking with moderate gulps and had his eyes closed. His eyes opened and he saw me looking at him. "What?" He asked. He looked a bit irritated.
"Wait. I'll be back." I said. I got up and went to my suite, got my Iqaluit medicine out and went back. "Where are you hurt?" I asked.
"Whoa. Wait. I can take care of myself." He said, flushing a bit.
"No. You saved me twice. Let me do something for you." I insisted.
"No...It’s ok, I can..." He started. I moved towards him and struggled with his shirt. "Hey! No! Agh!"
We fell off the couch and I landed on top of him. "Take...off...your...shirt..." I growled.
"Whoa what the-no-why?" He said. Then said "Alright..." when I glared at him.
"Turn around." I ordered. He lay on his front, showing his bare back. There was a long and deep scratch there. I sucked in a breath and got out a paste, applying it over the wound. I did it gently and caringly, not wanting to hurt him. Then I took out a liquid and brush, dipped the brush into the liquid and brushed his wound once.
"OW! WHAT THE HELL IS THAT THING?" He yelled. Then he relaxed. "Wow, I-I don't feel anything now."
I smiled. "You can get up now, but don't put on your shirt yet, it needs to sink in." I then took out two leaves. "Here."
He stared at it. "Uh...what's that for?"
"You eat it." I stated.
"What??? I'm supposed to eat a leaf?" He asked in disbelief.
"It will help you sleep and forget the pain." I laughed.
"Oh, well...alright." He put them into his mouth and chewed a bit, then made a face and just swallowed them whole. Then he looked over at me. He shuffled his feet a bit then opened his mouth, and closed it. Then opened it again. "Well, since you're here, why don't we have a little party ourselves?" He asked nervously.
"Did you just ask me to date you at your suite?" I asked surprised.
"NO! I-It's not like that ha-ha..." He said not meeting my gaze.
I laughed. "Of course I would though!" I exclaimed.
"Seriously?" He asked. "Wow, I thought you'd reject me and then like go running away thinking I was a perv."
All I did was laugh. That night, we sat down and watched a movie with popcorn to eat. It was a nice Disney movie and we laughed at the funny parts together. At the ending, he fell silent. He was fast asleep. I started to get up, but then his head fell onto my shoulder. I froze, and then sighed. I relaxed and let myself drift away and fell asleep like that, with his head on my shoulder and my head on his head, facing the TV on a couch in the living room.

I went into the kitchen and started making an omelet. Joseph came into the kitchen, sniffing curiously. When he saw the omelet, he looked very hungry. I got out two plates and gave him one, and gave me one.
We sat down and started to eat. Joseph finished his really quickly and licked his lips, then stared at mine. I smiled and offered it to him. He took it guiltily and engulfed it. I sipped my juice with raised eyebrows.
"I was just thinking," He said cautiously. "It's just a thought, but it's almost like we're newlyweds and we're living together and stuff. The next thing you know, we'll be going on our honeymoon." He laughed nervously.
"Oh! That's a wonderful idea! Let's go to the CN Tower!" I exclaimed.
"Hm...He said. "Alright let's go. Got 46 bucks on you?"
I faltered. "I have...$44."
"What the heck did you do with the rest of it????" He asked incredulously.
"The shopping..." I said unhappily.
He sighed, "It's okay, I'll pay. BUT you're paying for lunch and dinner."
With that settled I went to my suite to change and then met him at his door. I was wearing a nice t-shirt with a skirt that went down to the top of my knee. He stared at me when I came out, then quickly looked away and pressed the button. We got into a taxi and got to the CN Tower. It was HUGE and so tall! My neck hurt from looking up.
"Alright, let's go to the top!" He said.
After we bought our tickets, we went up an elevator that showed you the view outside. We were going higher and higher and I looked down and gulped. I backed away from the glass into Joseph. He smiled at me reassuringly. At the top, I was having the time of my life. I was looking around in awe at the short building around me and then I looked down. Since it was glass, I thought I was falling and started to scream.
"Snow!" Joseph said. "Snow! It's glass!" When I didn't stop screaming, he hugged me and I immediately calmed down. The moment he put his arms around me, I knew he was protecting me and cared about me enough to do that in public and not leave me like that. I calmed down a bit.
"Thanks." I said, looking at the floor in embarrassment. Then saw the glass again and covered my mouth with my hand to stop from screaming. Joseph laughed and put his right arm around my shoulder a bit nervously and gave me a little pat on the head. I smiled at him and realized how close our faces were to each other. A little farther and we could be kissing. We seemed to feel something between us, attracting us to each other. Our heads moved forward slowly and hesitantly. Our lips were so close, I closed my eyes and...
"WATCH OUT!" A little kid cried out.
A paper airplane whizzed right between our lips and we broke apart in surprise. We glared at the kid. He looked up at us in terror and timidness.
"I'm s-sorry." he stuttered. We glared at him for a few more seconds, then looked at each other and laughed.
"It's okay little kid, just don't do that again." I smiled and ruffled up his hair.
He looked up at me as if I was an angel. Joseph cleared his throat and guided me by the shoulder to the elevator.
"Hey, what's the matter?" I asked. "Are you jealous that a little kid will take my heart?"
"Well, kind of." He mumbled. "Wait, no, not, take your heart, I meant that as in, uh..." He looked away, embarrassed.
The elevator stopped and everyone poured out. We walked to a little green area and stood under a tree for shade against the incredibly scorching sun. I timidly kissed him on the cheek. He looked dazed for about a minute and I laughed at him for 2 minutes straight.
"So, what do you want for lunch?" He asked.
"Something simple will do." I said.
He guided me to a shop called Pizza Pizza. We went inside and ordered food.
"What type of pizza?" the guy asked.
"She'll get a pepperoni pizza, and me too, but I'd like coke please." Joseph came to the rescue.
We started talking about random things like our fears and weirdest moments. Then the pizza came and I was engrossed in the delicious and juicy tastiness of it. I didn't talk until I finished it. Then, I blasted into a long description of how it had tasted (the texture and everything) We laughed and joked along the way. I thanked the guy who gave me pizza and he seemed to smile for the first time that day.
"Let's go to Harbourfront." Joseph suggested.
He led me by the hand to a beautiful place. I gasped at the sight. The water was sparkling as a million gems as sunlight careened across the surface. I was fascinated by the bobbing of the boats and the creaks. Then he showed me the way into a building called Queen's Quay. When I was in and looked around, I was amazed.
"This place is used as a restaurant, an office and a condominium." He told me.
"It's...so big and sparkly and glassy and clear and clean and...” I gabbled.
"Come this way, there're some stores." He laughed.
I followed him and for the entire afternoon, we were window shopping with me being delighted with everything I saw. We ate some Asian food and then went outside. The sun was setting and a red and pink hue was at the horizon of the sky. As the sky darkened, the city lightened up with their artificial lights of many colors, shapes and sizes.
"Oh my gosh!!!" Joseph exclaimed.
"What?" I asked.
"Snow," He said. "Would you like to go to Niagra Falls with me?"
"YES!" I screamed. "YES YES YES YES YES LET'S GO!" I started running in a random direction.
"SNOW! You're going to wrong way!!" Joseph yelled after me.
We arrived at Niagra Falls and I was amazed. The falls were so big and sprayed water around and made a miniature rainbow! I leaned over the rail to get a better look.
"WHOA! SNOW!" Joseph pulled me back. "You could have fallen in!"
"But it's so beautiful! The water droplets hanging in the air before dropping, the rainbow, the lights, the atmosphere, the air, the water, everything is so beautiful." I said.
"How can you see the beauty in a city like this?" He asked. "In here you get raped, there are rude people, there's pollution..."
"But you aren't seeing the rest of it." I replied. "You don't see the beauty in the nice people here, like you. And you don't see how much happiness and love is in this big city." looked out towards the falls and propped my chin on my hands.
"Snow...I-I want to tell you something." He said. I looked at him. "I-I-I...I think I'm in l-" BRIIING BRRIIIINNGGG!
"Is that your cell phone?" I asked. He took it out with such a guilty expression that I laughed out loud. "It's okay." He smiled in gratitude and picked it up. "Hello?...what?....Oh yes...that's too bad....no, it's fine....no no it's okay...right now??...I see...okay I'll take care of her." He pressed a button to end the call and looked at me. He was frowning. "I'm sorry Snow, but this is urgent."
"It's okay, but what's happening?" I asked.
"I don't have time right now; you have enough money for a taxi right? I gotta go to the airport, I'm sorry." He said and ran off to find his car.
I stared after him. That was weird, I thought. I stopped a taxi and gave the address to my hotel, whereupon the driver drove me there with no trouble. I went to my door and unlocked it slowly. I went in, locking the door behind me. Since I had nothing to do, I changed and went under the blanket. I looked up at the ceiling as I kept replaying what Joseph had said before his cell phone had rung. "...I think I'm in l-" I wanted to hear him to complete that sentence. If only he'd come back soon...
There was a sound of footsteps and I jumped up and looked out the peephole in excitement. I saw him with his right arm around a girl a bit younger than me. He kissed her head as she leaned into his body. Joseph said something and the girl laughed slightly, and then hugged Joseph. He smiled and patted her shoulder. I reeled away from the door in shock. I jumped onto my bed and looked out my window. The stars weren't there to comfort me like so many other times in my home city. I was suddenly very homesick and sad.
At work, I couldn’t concentrate and whenever Joseph got close to me, I pretended to be absorbed in my work and had no time to talk. Joseph left me alone, not wanting to disturb me. I didn’t feel like speaking to Joseph at all and so I made myself work to block out any thoughts of him. I worked hard and finished everything, then double checked my work. I found more than a few mistakes and corrected them. I wondered what Joseph had been doing with a girl…leading her into his room.
In misery, I put my head down on my desk. I looked at my work with so many tourist attractions and seas and trees and beaches in the pictures that looked so peaceful and beautiful…but I knew the world wasn’t beautiful at all. Nature was…but humans ruined nature. We cut down trees, invite people to visit these special places so that they can litter on the grounds and pollute the waters. We humans have done nothing but harm this planet. I checked over my work once more and then I left.
On my way home (I decided to walk) I was still thinking about that girl. What were they doing? Was the phone call from her? Had she been the one who he was “meeting at the airport”? In a few months I’d be going back home and do my work there. I looked up and saw…I was lost. Suddenly I felt like a little girl again. I thought, oh, what have I gotten myself into? I looked around and found a map and examined it. I seemed to be on Queen’s Street, so I should go ahead and then turn right…and then…I looked at the map in confusion. I sighed in frustration.
“Do you need assistance?” Someone asked behind me.
I turned around. “Joseph?” I asked, but it wasn’t. It was another boy. “Yes, I’m trying to find my hotel, Lord Elgin.”
“Oh that hotel.” He said with a French accent. “Ah, oui, follow me, it will be hard to memorize all the turns.”
“Thank you.” I said, relieved.
“Pas de problème Madame.” He said, smiling. “No problem Ma’am.”
I had just met a French guy! He led me straight to my hotel without any deceiving and didn’t ask for anything in return.
“I feel as if I should thank you in some way.” I said honestly.
‘No, it was my greatest pleasure to help you.” He kissed my hand. I blushed.
“No, I insist.” I said.
“Okay, one thing. Go out with me please?” he said.
I stared at him. “Um…Let me think about that…”
“I am so very sorry madame. I was too abrupt. Maybe we can get to know each other before the dating yes?” He asked.
“That’s alright then.” I laughed. “Here’s my hotel number.” I wrote it down on a piece of paper and gave it to him. He accepted it with a smile and wrote his on a handkerchief of fine silk and gave it to me. I felt cheap giving him a piece of paper in return for a silk handkerchief. He kissed my hand again and left, waving at me every 5 steps or so until he disappeared. Little did I know that Joseph’s girl had been watching me the whole time from his window.

That evening, I was preparing for bed when there was a knock on the door. I went to see who it was, then saw that it was a girl. Confused, I opened the door and recognized her as the girl Joseph had been with before. I gritted my teeth, took a deep breath and forgave her mentally. She cleared her throat.
“Why would you be with a French guy, letting him kiss your hand and exchange things between you guys when there’s Joseph to think of?” She asked. “That’s why I was looking out the window; to see if you are loyal to him.”
I felt angry and hurt at the same time. So she had come to claim that she would be a better friend to Joseph than to me. She was coming here to claim Joseph and tell me to stop being near him in case I steal him away. I turned away, tears forming. I didn’t want to lose Joseph as a friend to this girl. I would be happy to share his friendship with her, but it seemed like she wasn’t going to allow it.
“I’m not cheating on him. He is a great friend to me but...I guess I’ll just have to give him up now.” I said and closed the door. I sat on my bed and wept bitterly. My life was so miserable and unkind. I had just lost a valuable friendship. What would I do now? I looked towards the stars but they were gone. There was another knock on the door, this one lighter and friendlier sounding than the last one. Sniffing, I went to the peephole to see who it was. It was French guy. I opened the door cautiously and looked down, not wanting him to see me in tears.
“Why, what is wrong?” He asked. He saw right through me.
“Nothing.” I sniffed.
“That is not very convincing. Come, come, you can tell me.” He came in and closed the door. We both didn’t see Joseph standing down the corridor, watching us with a weird expression. I cried and sobbed into his shirt and he put his arms around me like he was my father. “I have seen this before you know. I know what this is. Your heart is broken and sad. Now, why would hat be?”
I told him everything and he clicked his teeth and tongue. He just held me like that until I calmed down. I wiped away my tears and looked down. He lifted my head so that he saw my eyes.
“Do not hide your tears. They are natural.” He said. He found the handkerchief he had given me on a table and wiped away my tears gently. “You are so beautiful madame. Your hair is like long waving, silky blanket of calm blackness. Your eyes, oh, your eyes are the colour of chocolate and glitter like the stars that are hidden by the city lights. Your face is so smooth and your skin is like coconut cream with a light tan.” He whispered.
I was charmed. This guy was so good with words and his tongue just rolled all over them like sweet honey. I smiled at him timidly. “What’s your name?” I asked.
“Eric. It is not a French name because I was born in Canada.” He replied.
“Hello Eric, I’m Snow.” I smiled.
“Just like Snow White?” He asked, smiling.
“Who’s Snow White?” I asked bewildered.
“Never mind.” He seemed disappointed that I didn’t get it. “Come, I have a restaurant we should go to tonight. It is pure French.”
And so that night, Eric brought me out to dinner at the Jacques Cartière Restaurant. He introduced me to all kinds of food like escargot, poutine, and all sorts! After that, there was a great surprise! As we started to get up and leave, a band started playing a French folk song. The melody just flowed through me wonderfully and then...
"Come on, let us dance to the musique." Eric said, offering me his hand. I took it and he led me to a cleared space for occasions like this.
"I don't know how to dance..." I started, but then I was pulled into a circle of French people who started dancing to the folk song. I found myself learning the repetitive steps and being fluent with their twists and turns and twirling around in circles. I was having so much fun that I totally forgot about Joseph. I laughed as a whole group of French people twirled around and locked elbows, turned, walked with bounces and overall. At the end, everyone either threw their hats in the air or just raised one hand in the air and said "Hey!" Everyone laughed and slowly dispersed, going back to their seats. Eric led me outside where it was nearly midnight.
"You were fabulous." He commented. "You learn so fast and you were beautiful as the lights shone upon you and sparkled as you twirled.” He led me back to my hotel and kissed my cheeks. "Goodnight Snow."
"Goodnight Eric," I said, not knowing what to do. He merely smiled, waved and left.
I thought to myself, he is a pretty decent, charming and nice guy. I sighed, and then I quickly got upstairs and into bed to catch up on some sleep. I fell asleep almost immediately...but somehow, the last thing I thought of before surrendering to calm silence was "I wonder what Joseph's doing right now..."

In the morning, it was the daily routine. Sort the papers, organize the binders, get to work. But this morning felt different somehow. I looked around and didn’t see anything different…but something just felt wrong. I sighed and thought of the night before with all that food and dancing. I smiled, it had been very entertaining and fun that night, but it missed something too. That time passed by in a blur of work and papers and computers and words and images. When at last it was time to go home, I sighed in relief. I then picked up my bag and folder and left my cubicle. I bumped into someone.
“Ow.” Someone said.
I looked up. My eyes widened. “Joseph…” I started.
And then he did something that I never thought he could’ve done to me. He walked away without saying anything.

I felt broken as I exited the building. What was happening to Joseph? Was he ignoring me? But why would he ignore me? He was the one with that girl. I growled in frustration. I didn’t understand all this, even though I was 21 years old. As I crossed the parking lot, I saw a jet black Cadillac moving towards me. My survival instincts kicked in. I started sprinting towards the trees with the car following me at around the same speed. I heard someone shouting something, but I didn’t hear who it was or what they were saying. I was almost to the heavy forested area and…
“Snow! C’est moi! Eric!”
I stopped and looked around at the guy inside the car. Sure enough it was Eric. I laughed at my mistake and walked to his car.
“I’m sorry Eric; I thought you were a pedophilia.” I laughed. “But what are you doing here? Do you work here too?”
“Non, I am here to pick you up.” He smiled. “And ask you something.”
“Oh, thank you. What do you need me to answer?” I asked.
“Come in first.” He said and opened shotgun door for me. I climbed in. “Have you ever gone to Niagra Falls?” He asked.
“Yes, I have actually.” I said.
“A nuit?” He asked. “At night?”
“Avec qui?”
“Then have you gone to the Ontario Science Centre?”
“Good, we will go there today then.”
“What? Is this a date?”
“Should I go change first?”
“Non, you are beautiful as you are.”
And so we went off to the Ontario Science Centre on a very short notice!

“This place is so cool!” I exclaimed. I was almost jumping with excitement. “Look over there! Is that a tornado maker? It actually works! And what’s this? A machine that tells you what you’ll look like when you’re older? Wow! And there’re even human structures here too!”
1 I couldn’t see Eric’s expression since I was looking around, but he had an annoyed look on his face when he said that. I didn’t see it though.

“You are easy to excite.” Eric said.
“Well, I’ve never been to a science cen…tre…” I trailed off. No…I thought. It can’t be… I was staring at Joseph and that girl from before. They hadn’t seen us (or so I thought) but I didn’t like what I saw. I saw the girl pulling on Joseph’s arm and looking intently and happily at a dark cave-like structure, which people could go into and hide in places to scare others. Joseph followed the girl obediently and had a huge smile on his face. I clutched my fists.
”Let’s go in that cave!” Eric suddenly said with enthusiasm.
“Alright.” I said, even though I was itching to say no.
2 I also did not catch his expression this time because I was busy eating, but he had a gloomy look on his face
We entered the structure and a boy suddenly jumped out at us. To my surprise, Eric shrieked and backed up a few paces. I stared at him, then laughed. He cleared his throat and walked beside me once more. Every time someone jumped out to scare us, Eric would either shriek, jump back or suddenly grab my arm. It was kind of fun watching his reaction, thought it got too repetitive during the end. I didn’t see Joseph and that girl again. For the rest of the evening, we had fun with a lot of things and at dinnertime; we ate McDonalds in the car.
“Today was a lot of fun!” I said after consuming half a hamburger.
“Yes, it was very fun!” Eric said. 2
“I loved the cave too! It was such fun watching your expression when those kids popped out and said boo!” I laughed. “Thank you for bringing me here.”
“Pas de problème! I look forward to our next date.” He replied and smiled.
“Our next…” I started.
“Tomorrow I’ll be picking you up again! Au revoir madame!” Eric said and he drove away, leaving behind a cloud of smoke that billowed up and entered my airway for a second. I coughed. Well, better get to bed before tomorrow, I thought. I went upstairs and was about to unlock my door when I heard something from Joseph’s room. I went over cautiously and pressed my ear to the doorway gently, as not to make a sound.
“Oh, Joseph!”
I backed up and went straight into my room this time. My mind was imagining all sorts of activities involving the sounds of a gasp and a girl saying “Oh Joseph!” I gulped and shook away the thoughts as I went under my soft blankets. Be safe Joseph, I thought, right before I fell into a deep slumber.

It almost became a routine with Eric picking me up everyday after work. It was very awkward and weird whenever Joseph and I saw each other at work or in the hallways of the hotel. Finally, after a weekend of heavy working, Eric and I went out to the Toronto Zoo. It was great! Except I started being sad every time I thought of how poor those animals were, trapped in those cages and enclosures. So then another week passed by and another weekend came up. Eric and I went out more and more as the days passed by, and we grew to know each other more and more. I found out that he was a really charming, passionate and self-conscious person.
After another month, it was autumn. Eric and I had known each other for 3 months now. However, as much as I had fun with Eric, I couldn’t stop thinking of Joseph every night I went to sleep. However, I was sad that I couldn’t make up with Joseph.
After a fun day at Wonderland, Eric and I were sitting on a bench near my hotel in a park, watching the leaves falling and just sitting in calm and peaceful silence. Suddenly, Eric stood up and faced me.
“You are leaving soon?” He asked.
“Yes. I’m leaving in 2 days.” I said. “I’ll sure miss you Eric, but we’ll keep in contact.”
“Oh, but I am so sad. I do not want you to go.” Eric said passionately.
“I don’t really want to go either, but at the same time I also want to go back. I’ve been pretty homesick these days and I miss the snow.” I explained.
“Then you can stay a few more months until the snow falls!” He cried. “In Toronto, snow is just like in your homeland. It can be so harsh and yet so beautiful…just like you.”
I blushed. “Well, I guess, but I really have to…”
Suddenly, he knelt down in front of me and out of his pocket he took out a small case. I looked at it in surprise and confusion. What was that case for? He opened it and I saw a ring. I gasped, what was happening…
“Snow, will you marry me?” Eric asked. “You are the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life. Your eyes are like crystals, but they sparkle a thousand times more. Your hair is so fair and your voice is like the tinkling bells at Christmas. Your lips are lush and soft-looking and your skin is so beautiful and smooth. You are the most beautiful person in my life and I love you so much. In these months, I have learned so much from you and you are just so gorgeous, all the men in the world would be happy just to look at you smile. So please Snow, marry me?”
I stared at the ring, then at him, then back. I was in shock and I was also confused. At a time like this, I should be happy right? I was kind of happy, but I more charmed than happy. I opened my mouth reply when…
“Snow! Don’t!”
I looked towards the voice and saw…Joseph. “Joseph,” I whispered.
He was huffing and the cold air showed his breaths. It looked as if he had run here.
“Snow, I didn’t tell you this before and I couldn’t bring up the courage to tell you all this time because I was mad at you, but now I see.” He said. “Snow, don’t marry him.”
“What is this? Who is he? Why are you telling her what to do?” Eric replied angrily.
“I’m Joseph.” He said. “And I’m here to tell you and her that her beauty isn’t what I love about her so much.”
I stood up and took a step towards him. “J-Joseph, did you just say that’s not what you love about me?”
“Yes Snow.” He said. “Your looks are part of what I love about you, but the real things are that…well, you’re so innocent and kind and funny and irresponsible. You always like making people laugh and always love talking about things that are beautiful. You’re always thinking of other people and you always think things the wrong but cute way. And most of all, you always look on the bright side. And you always see the good side in everything, even if it seems like it only looks bad. You always see the beauty in everything and everyone. That’s why I…that’s why I love you Snow. So I will only say this, I’m not going to ask you to marry me yet, and I’m not going to ask you to stay in Toronto with me. Instead, I will be happy as long as you are happy.”
The three of us stood in a triangle. I was looking at Joseph and he was looking at me intently. Eric was looking back and forth at Joseph and I. In that instant, that void in my heart was suddenly filled and I was brimmed to the point with happiness. In that one second it took for me to understand what he was saying, I knew something right away. I loved Joseph as well. I always had, ever since that day at his home.
“Joseph, I…” I started crying. “I…” I ran up to him and threw my arms around him and cried into his shirt. “I love you too Joseph! I was so lonely without you!”
“Snow…” He said in surprise. “I…”
“I was just so mad and jealous at you because you had that girl with you.” I cried.
“That was my cousin Snow. And I was angry that you went off with that French guy. But after following you and him around, I found out that you had no feelings for him. I’m sorry.” He said and laughed shakily.
“I’m sorry Joseph! I’m so sorry!” I cried into his shirt and we held each other in that moment as autumn’s leaves dropped down millions of leaves around us. I could feel it then, the happiness that the future promised to bring us. And while we embraced after 3 months, Eric walked away, feeling sad. He sighed and turned away. He said goodbye silently to himself and walked away, never to be seen by me again.

In the end, we cleared every misunderstanding up. The girl had been his cousin who had to stay at his place for a while because her mother had cancer and her dad was too busy to take care of her. The days when I saw him and her at the cave at the Ontario Science Centre was to provoke me into being jealous about them. Tat day when I heard the “Oh, Joseph!” at his door was just the result of him giving her a gift for her mom. After all that, we planned out what would happen in the future. We both knew that we loved each other; that much was obvious, but we decided not to do anything until we got to know each other more. Also, we decided that I WOULD go back to Iqaluit, but on one condition, which Joseph said he’d tell me the day I went back.
On the last day of my stay in Toronto, we climbed up the stairs of the CN Tower to support cancer. As we watched the sun set form the highest point of the tower, we locked our hands together. Then, we turned to each other.
“You told me you’d tell me the one condition before I go back.” I reminded him in anticipation. I was itching to know what it was.
He laughed. “You’re always so curious Snow.” He looked at me and smiled. “First condition, you will come back.”
“Of course!” I started, but then he put his index finger on my lips. “Second thing, you will kiss me goodbye.”
“J-Joseph.” I blushed.
“And the last condition is…” He paused for dramatic affects. “I will come with you back to Iqaluit.” He laughed as he watched my expression changing.
“Hey, but that’s suicide for a city person like you!” I complained.
“You’re always thinking of other people.” Joseph teased. “It’s okay, because it would be suicide not to be with you at all times.”
“But, your job!” I said.
“You are more important to me Snow. Plus, I don’t really like that job, maybe I can find another one.”
And so, it was decided. We kissed as the sun set and no little kids disturbed us this time, then, hand-in-hand, we walked off towards the airport with all our luggage. The future was bright and it would hold many treasures.
I woke up and looked to the left and saw Joseph beside me on the plane, sleeping soundly with his head on my shoulder. It reminded me of that night he saved me from Claudine. I kissed his forehead and looked out the window and into the future that awaited us.          
It was 20 years in the future and we were 40 years old. We had 2 children who were successful ad a professor at the University of Oxford and a pilot at the Toronto Pearson Airport. We were both happily living in Iqaluit, going outside everyday to ice fish for seals and every summer we would go south to a cottage we had bought near Algonquin Park.
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