She stood in the entrance to the kitchen, one pajama leg folded up and her hair falling into her face. Her lip quivered like she was frightened and her eyes were leaking like she was broken.
"What's wrong, baby?" I opened my arms and she folded herself into them before her sobs erupted. Her tears came like a rush of warmth, a heat that grew from the edges of her eyes and turned them into a personal ocean. I pushed her back and smoothed the hair away from her heart-break mess.
"I just miss my friends," she managed to whimper before burying her face against my chest again.
It had been too long. Too long for a girl who adores school and loves her friends like they're the glue that seals her days to perfect. With Christmas holidays and the blizzard that held us hostage, she felt like forever was the worst kind of prison and an infinity of snow days was an evil curse from a living fairytale.
I settled her back into her bed with extra kisses and special dream angels. "Maybe you could write your friends a letter tomorrow to let them know how much you missed them," I suggested.
She nodded against her pillow and was already drifting, though the tears were barely dry on her cheeks.
"Bonne nuit, ma petite fille," I whispered and she smiled sleepily, her eyes already closed.
The next morning, I pulled myself from blizzard slumber and shuffled from my room in the same clothes I'd worn for the two days prior and found her already hard at work on her letters - cutting the paper, writing her message, folding them, placing them in a little treasure box she'd use to carry them to school.
"You sweet, sweet girl!" I said.
"I think my friends are really going to like them," she said, beaming.
"I know they are!" I told her before going to the kitchen to make us hot oatmeal, praying that the storm would soon stop so she could deliver her darling little messages of love.