48 – Peace

It wasn’t such a bad place to rest, all things considered.

No noisy neighbors, no heavy traffic. There was barely anyone around, and those few who came to visit were always polite and quiet.

The scenery was beautiful too. The mountain tops looked like fantastic ice castles, and the way they reflected the sunset made them seem to be on fire. The view of the distant towns below was spectacular, you could see the whole valley from here.

He hadn’t been so happy at first, of course. Who would take kindly to the news that there was no way back home? He had been so upset at his companions for leaving him here that for many days he seriously considered ending their friendship for good and never speaking to any of them again.

It had been a silly thought, really. They had barely made it back to base camp themselves during that terrible storm. Trying to carry him back, exhausted as he was and with a broken leg after the fall, would have clearly been suicide. Once the pain had passed and he could think clearly, he knew it was the only thing they could have done.

Besides, it was not as if it wasn’t a difficult decision for them too. He could see the pain in their faces as they turned away, not daring to look back. At least they’d tried to make him as comfortable as possible, even leaving him the last bottle of brandy. And they hadn’t lied to him with promises of rescue or safety they knew they couldn’t keep.

Yes, they were good friends after all. He even forgave them for never coming around to visit. The sight of his frozen body, still cuddled against the rocks where he had tried to protect himself from the storm would be too painful. And deep inside he was a bit glad no one tried to risk taking him back.

He really liked it here. Barring the sporadic snowstorms it so peaceful and quiet.

It wasn’t such a bad place to rest, all things considered.

He only wished it wasn’t so cold.

• • •

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