Of Gifts Given and Lagom

I was curled up on my window seat, watching the snow fall and tracing patterns in the fog my breath left on the window. I wanted to know why missing someone, and the ache to be with them, seeped into your bones; until it was impossible to remember a time when you didn’t feel that way. The want to hold and be held, smiles, laughs, hell, even screaming would be something. Better than the constant feeling that nothing was quite right. I sighed at myself, closed my eyes, and placed my forehead on the cold glass. I was being miserable even for me. I bolted upright and clutched at my heart when my door swung open. Fig rushed past me, opened the window, and started climbing down the trellis. I poked my head out the window.

“What the hell are you doing?” I shouted down.

“Nothing.” Innocence drenched her tone. Does she honestly think I believe that?

“Doesn’t look like nothing.” I countered. She jumped the last few rungs and landed in the garden. She shot me a cheeky grin and bolted off into the forest. “Just be careful!” I shouted after her. Not that it made a difference. It fell on deaf ears when I was standing right in front of her. I shut the window and went back to my previous position. She can use the back door to get in. I wondered what she was up to; it was fairly obvious she wanted me to though. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have left out my window. I rolled my eyes in exasperation. There was no such thing as talking to me. No, no, it all had to be theatrical. I blinked at the pinging noise that suddenly happened under my nose.

“Sabine.” She was throwing rocks at my window. Why? “Open your window.” I cracked open the window enough to be heard.

“We have two doors, use one.” She threw another rock. “Hey!” That almost hit me.

“Come down.” She demanded.

“Not if you keep throwing rocks at me.” I countered.

“I’ll stop if you come down.” She argued back. I almost said she would have to drop the rocks still in her hand, but stopped myself. It would just create an endless loop until I eventually gave in to her demands. Better to just get this over with quickly. I groaned in exasperation.

“We’re at an impasse, aren’t we?” I asked in a monotone, hoping to convey my annoyance.

“Yup.” So smug.

“I suppose I should come down.” Just because she won, doesn’t mean she would get an easy victory.

“Yup.” I heaved a deep sigh.

“Fine.” I quickly grabbed my coat off my bed, then opened the window the rest of the way and climbed down.

“Merry belated Yule.” She smiled sardonically. “You know where your present is.” Again with the theatrics. But, yeah, I had a pretty good guess. I wrapped her in a hug.

“Thanks, Fig.”

“Don’t worry about it.” She gave me a little shove towards the forest. “Now go.”

I made quick work of the path I had walked a thousand times before, only to stop short at the sight before me. Fig had taken the time to set up dozens of candles leading from the bridge into the ruins. I wanted to quell the hope that was rising in me, but I couldn’t. I had only been semi-serious when I thought if anyone could find a way for Elias and I to have time together it would be Fig, but had she? I ran the last few feet and there he was, waiting for me. I ran into his arms, and I felt as though I was on solid earth for the first time in weeks. His arms tightened around me and his hands ran up and down my back, before letting me go. He bent down and fiddled with his phone and a speaker until soft guitar began to play. He stood and extended his hand.

“Dance with me.” I smiled softly and went right back into his arms. He tightened his arms around me and tucked his head into my neck, while we swayed in time to the music. It was all easy. Blissful. The song came to an end, but he didn’t stop holding me. “Happy New Year.” He whispered into my ear. I ran my hands up his neck and into his hair, so he would pull back and look at me. He looked how I imagined I looked, longing replaced with happiness. I memorized the face I had missed so much for a moment.

“Happy New Year.” I quietly said back. He kissed me under an explosion of fireworks and I reveled in this brief moment we had been given. That this moment was enough.


The song is Half of You by Cat Power. Listen here:

Have a happy New Year!

Side note: Lagom is a Swedish word that loosely translates to just right. I know it’s pretentious to use a word from a language you don’t speak, but there’s no English equivalent and I felt that this was the best word to describe Sabine’s feelings in this outtake.