White. I opened my eyes and saw nothing but pure, white. Was I dead? I was so cold... how could I be dead? Heaven - if that was where I was to go - was pure and wonderful, not this. Hunger gnawed at my insides, the pangs like a dagger stabbing repeatedly. How long had it been since I had eaten? I did not know. My sister... had she abandoned me? Where had she gone?
I moved to sit up, my body sore, as if ran over by a train repeatedly. When I sat up, I saw something covered in snow next to me. It was such a strange shape; it could not have been a log of any sort. I put my hand on it and brushed off the newly fallen snowflakes. To my surprise, there was a cold, stiff object there. Pale and somewhat of a blue hue covered whatever it was, platinum blonde hair such as my own blowing gently in the harsh wind. The more of it I uncovered, the more I realized this was not just some random thing.
That's right - how could I forget? The damned cold had taken her from me. My sister, Ukraine, lay there on the floor of the tundra, her lips blue. Her eyes were closed - she must have fallen asleep while death took her away. And what of my little, younger sister? Belarus - though I called her Bella, like I used to call my older sister Kat. Where was Bella? I looked around in a panic - surely she had not left me too? My head goes from right to left frantically, my heart racing. I'm surprised it still works, as cold as it is.
"Bella!" I shout into the cold, howling winds.
My voice falls on deaf ears, as there is no reply. I stand up, even though I'm growing more tired by the minute. I know the hypothermia is setting in - or at least frostbite. But I must find my little sister. My stomach growls again and I find myself fighting to stay awake. I leave my older sister's body behind, but there's no time to cry or grieve. If I don't find Bella, I won't want to survive. She is my only hope for fighting my way through this. I trudged through the drifts, the unforgiving cold slapping me in the face. I call to her, I look around everywhere. I've pasted the eerie sight of my older sister's unmoving body at least five times, but no sign of my small sister. Where could she have gone? My heart pounds faster as the wind howls more. I swear I can hear something in the wind; someone calling my name.
I whip my head around, but no one is there. I swallow my thick saliva and continue forward, shivering. Bella has to be somewhere around here, right? I keep my eyes as open as possible while I search. And then, I hear it again.
I turn around once more, only to be confronted with a bright light. It's from the sun - perhaps a hole in the clouds? I look into it and there I see her - Bella! My eyes light up as I see her.
"Bella!" I shout with glee.
"Big Brother!" She replies, running toward me.
I laugh - maybe there is a reason to live. I run toward her, smiling at her scent. She smells just like Big Sister used to... Did Bella know about Ukraine's death? I shook the thought out of my mind as I got closer to her. I felt her warmth embrace me, her arms wrapped tightly around me. And then... she disappeared. I opened my eyes when I realized I was holding nothing. Tears threatened to spill from my eyes.
"...Bella? Bella!" I wailed.
Her scent still lingered, as did her warmth, but not for long. I stared at where she'd been moments before. I know she was there, I heard her, I felt her! I know she's somewhere.
"Bella? Bella, stop hiding!" I laugh, telling myself that everything is okay, Bella is probably hiding.
As I spot a wonderful hiding spot behind a large tree, I start to run toward it. I'm quite far from Kat's body now, but that is her final resting place. I don't want to be near that place right now. I can't be near that place right now, Bella needs me! I rush behind the tree, laughing. Suddenly, something catches my foot and I plummet into the slicing snow, it's coldness pricing my every garment and the ice feeling like a blade against my face. I don't mind though - Bella probably did this. I turn around.
"Good one, Bella! Now, come out of hiding and--"
As I look for her to come out, I see a hand, laying in the snow. It looks very similar to Ukraine's hand. The facade I've made in my head begins to fade. Realization sets in.
They've both died.
I sit down next to Bella - she's been gone for awhile. Her beautiful face... just like Ukraine's. They look like they're sleeping. I want to shake them and wake them up, but I know they won't budge on their own. I finally start to feel my tears streak down my face. I want to wail, but my voice is stuck in my throat. I can only cry. Suddenly, I begin to start laughing again. I don't know why, but suddenly this completely morbid situation has become extremely funny. I'm still crying, but now I'm laughing. I look at her body and I laugh even more. I look up into the sky, laughing as hard as I've ever laughed. Suddenly, I notice that it's becoming extremely warm. So warm, in fact, that my clothing is too hot for me. I begin to take it off, layer by layer, as thin as they are. I'm still laughing as I strip down - eventually I'm wearing nothing but my underwear. Not even my scarf. I run around, laughing. Everything feels so warm, like a summer's day. I can't figure out why I felt so sad before, this was the greatest day ever!
Before too long, about 15 minutes, maybe, I started to feel very tired. Extremely tired, in fact. My body was begging for me to lay down. So, I did - right next to Bella. I figured that if it was comfortable enough for it to sleep there, it should be for me too, right? Of course. I laid down and used some of the soft, warm snow to cover up. As I laid down though, I sat right back up. I could hear people calling my name. They all said it over and over again. Different voices were yelling.
These voices began to fade as I closed my eyes. All went black as I drifted off into a dreamland.
Suddenly I felt myself fling forward, bright light hitting my eyes. I flinched at their brightness, recoiling. Suddenly, I heard a gasp.
"I-Ivan!" a woman yelled.
The voice... I had heard it before. It was beautiful, like honey. I look around, squinting now. That's when I realize.
That was all just a dream...and I just woke up from a coma I'd been in for five weeks. Everything came back to me at once. When I realized it was a horrible, horrible dream, I also realized I was alive and that my beautiful wife was there, like she said she would be, her arms clutched around me. Tears, as endless as they were, rolled down my face.
"..I-I'm a-alive!...Oh, my god... S-Sunflower, I-I'm alive..." I sobbed.
We sobbed very much that day. But at least we were together.