Utah

Updated: Oct 3


On the first day of school,

It snowed 36 inches.

It was incredible.

I had never seen snow in my life and the sight of it falling from the sky was beautiful.

The ground was dusted in a sheet of sparkling white snow that glowed in the moonlight. It was the most magical sight I have ever seen.

I packed a snowball and threw it at my brother. He pitched one back, and it hit my ear canal, and that's all it took to ruin snow for me.


I was freezing.


As my mom drove my sister and I to school, we noticed everyone wearing snowsuits. We didn't even have a coat. I was wearing tights and a windbreaker. Oh, and a turtleneck. “Don’t worry!” My mom said. “You’ll be inside all day anyway!” We shuffled from the car to the door dodging our inadequate preparation for the weather.

At lunch, I ate my sandwich as slow as possible to avoid going outside. I dreaded the thought and saw everyone going there. One by one, kids laced up their snowsuits. Soon, I was the only kid in the cafeteria.


The lunch lady walked up and said: “Time to go outside.”

“To do what?” I asked.

“Play.” She said.

“There's no playing in this outfit.” I replied.

“I’m from California. If it so much as rains, we play inside. Can I just go back to my classroom and pretend like this conversation never happened?

Lunch Lady: There’s no one to watch you…Unless you want Norm to watch you.

Me: Who’s Norm?

She pointed to a man in the hall. Norm was the creepy janitor. He had dark circles under his eyes and skin so white it tinged green under fluorescent light bulbs. He wore a grey janitor outfit and was splashing a mop of dirty bleach water on the linoleum floor.

I hopped up, and without a word, went outside.

I stood by the door freezing, absorbing all the heat I could from a 5-centimeter gap in the door, watching my peers play in the snow. They were throwing snowballs, building snowmen, and licking icicles. The sight of it all made me shiver.

Out of left field, a little girl walked towards me. Her little snowsuit: Swish, swishing every step. “YAY! A friend.” I thought. She walked up to me and asked: “Are you Mormon?” I wanted to lie, but “No.” I replied.

“You’re going to hell.” She said.

“That's fine.” I replied. “At least hell is warmer than Utah."

©Val Douroux 2022