Lights fade into a dim glow casting shadows from each lamp, bookcase, and the chandelier above the ornate wooden table with 10 chairs.  A piano sits silently overlooking the floor to ceiling windows facing east, over the manicured lawn, past the quiet streets, before the views becomes lost in the Lake Superior waters.

An empty ship is anchored a few miles out, waiting out the choppy waters and preparing for the snow that is forecast to arrive this evening.  Tomorrow it will bring the anchor back in and complete the journey into port where the cargo holds will be filled with iron ore before heading back out for processing.

The air is filled with an aroma that I cannot place, but it is soothing nonetheless.  Perhaps rosemary.  Yes, I believe those are rosemary cookies baking in the kitchen.  The same kitchen that made the delicious breakfast of cinnamon French toast, wild rice sausage, and blueberry muffins.  The day was busy and fulfilling with a hike through the forest, and along the river, where I attempted to cross the fragile ice and went through.  Thankfully the river at that point was merely a few inches deep, but cold nonetheless, and the sounds of cracking ice can be disheartening.

In the afternoon, we stopped for lunch followed by hot chocolate and coffee overlooking the iced shoreline and the crashing waves.  Thoughts quickly came back to life as the wood-burning stove made its way through layers of clothing, to the chilled skin, before reaching the bones.

It was a good day, and now I watch a couple walking their dog across the street as the first snowflakes begin to fall.  The wind is coming in off the lake and hitting the windows, quickly turning the snow to water and leaving streaks, as the fireplace is melting the bodies within to comfortable postures on sofas and overstuffed chairs.

I hear a bottle of wine being uncorked and the methodical pour of chardonnay into crystal.  I prefer coffee and walk toward the dining room and into the room where mugs, glasses, a refrigerator, fresh baked cookies, and the single-cup coffer maker are kept.  Italian Roast is inviting and the rising steam catches my nose and I cannot help but close my eyes, inhale the bittersweet and smile.  Nothing like fresh coffee to finish the task of putting the mind and body at ease.

Walking to the great room, and past the piano, I see you at a small table.  You seem agitated, distant or preoccupied with something I am not aware of, perhaps not even able to understand.  I walk over to you, it seems you did not know I was there, I looked down, to ask you a question, to inquire about what is wrong, and see you are cutting your wrist.

** This is a work of fiction based on real events and is part of the “Story of Joline”.

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