Janey and I were in our snowsuits, just outside the pasture, on the Lund’s farm. It was one of those warm winter days when the fog rolls in from who knows where and everything’s white—the trees invisible, the snow-covered cornfields infinite beyond the near fence.
“Did you know,” Janey said, “that if you shut your eyes, it’s impossible to walk a straight line?”
I was eight, maybe nine. I didn’t believe her. So I closed my eyes and took a few unsteady steps forward. The thick, damp air cocooned around me, absorbing all but the sound of my heavy footfalls in the snow. My course felt guided by some invisible tunnel heading straight toward the fence posts at the border of the cornfields. After ten sure steps, I opened my eyes.
Everything had disappeared.
I watched my breath float into the air and join the fog as it drifted past my face. I turned a full circle. “Janey?” I said.
But she was gone. Five years had passed. She’d moved out, headed west for college.
And there I was, her little brother, stranded in a winter field, wondering how I’d lost her.