With few around, Lily got what seemed like the first time in days that she could just sit and think. Around her in the pleasant, snowy courtyard other students sat writing, murmuring to each other, drawing, or, like Lily, some were simply soaking in their surroundings.
Behind Lily, a great castle-like school stood, stretching to touch the sky with its towers. People streamed in and out carrying suit cases, preparing to go home for the winter holiday, though some chose to stay behind at the school over the brake, like Sarina, to get some extra studying in or just because they didn't want to go home.
Lily had decided to stay behind simply because she wanted to see the school in all its wonderful winter glory. The snow floated to the ground and landed in piled of fluffy, white mounds, causing the school to seem as though it were resting on clouds.
As more people went in and out of the school, Lily looked up, hearing faint footsteps approaching her and the crunch of snow, before her stood her friend, Andrew. He was tall and his hair was messy, though skinny he was obviously strong. Compared to Lily who looked quite plain except for her blood red hair, his looks looked almost blond, though were still quite brown.
"I heard you were staying behind…" he said, sitting beside her on the bench.
"Yeah, I figured I would see whether the lake does really only freeze over on Christmas Eve…" she said. She had always loved ice skating, but could never go to a rink and didn't have any skates of her own. The lake by the school was said to freeze over on Christmas so perfectly, it could bare and elephant, but still be smoother than if it had just been polished.
"Still set on that?" he asked with a hint of a smile of satisfaction. "Well, I just wanted to give you your Christmas gift before I left…" He set a package slightly larger than a shoe box beside her. "Don't open it 'till Christmas eve!"
"Wouldn't dream of it!" she replied, hugging the box as he left, watching him go.
On Christmas Eve, Lily woke to seeing a fresh blanket of snow outside her window. The thermometer read 22 degrees, by the time it was 6:00 pm it had dropped to 10 degrees.
Lily hadn't gotten a chance to head over to the lake yet, so she decided this was the perfect time. As she left her room, she grabbed the unopened gift Andrew had given her, planning on opening it by the side of the lake.
When she finally reached the snow covered banks lining the lake, she found that the lake had, in fact, frozen over. Many other student had taken advantage of this and were already skating on it, throwing snowballs at each other, and laughing as they went.
Sitting by a tree that had minimal snow beneath it, Lily sat, wishing to be on the smooth ice as well.
As she wished for what she figured the impossible, she fingered at the wrapping of Andrew's gift, eventually reaching a cream colored box.
Opening the box and discarding the packing paper, Lily let out a gasp.
Andrew had given her her wish. She held the white, practically glowing skates in her hands, a note attached read: "Sometimes when your set on something, you need some help to fly… -Andrew"
With a smile of such delight she had never had, Lily hastily pulled on the skates, amazed at the perfect fit of them.
As she stepped out onto the ice, she realized how much joy could come from beyond some simple gift wrap…