A Cold and Hungry Mountain

Raed called on Saturday while I was out.
“What did Raed’s message say?” I asked my husband.
“He said it’s urgent, I’ll call him tomorrow,” he answered.
“Oh, do you think something’s wrong?”
“No, he sounded cheerful, I think.”
“Maybe Simone is pregnant, or maybe they’re finally coming to visit us?”

Sunday, coming back from a jog in the park, I heard muffled Skype voices from the study. When Chris came in he said, “Benjamin died.”

Benjamin, I remember meeting you and your girlfriend at the time at the little town in Switzerland. You were both accomplished skiers. Chris and I would only dare to try snow shoes. I couldn’t understand your girlfriend very well and assumed my German skills were lacking. Chris later told me that nobody could understand her at times, she spoke a difficult dialect.

You were the kind of person who knew the use of every little thing at REI. You were a teacher, although I think you didn’t like the rural area where you found a job.

You died doing something you loved, but what if you were cold? What if you knew the end was coming, and watched your fingers turn black? Did you think of your mother? But instead of that–I hope the mountain took you quickly.

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