I sat up waiting in the dark for the new year.
Sitting on the window seat, knees against the glass, the view of the valley spread out before me. I listened to the last few thousand ticks of my fathers wall clock, counting down the end.
I watched the valley, cold beneath the spotlight glare of the nearly full moon on the freshly fallen snow. The stars glittered above the familiar outline of the mountains like diamonds or sapphires in the frozen sky. I listened as the seconds ticked down. My mothers soft snores from beside the fire, my brothers coughs muffled from the other end of the house. The dogs shifting in their sleep. And then the unmistakable sound of fireworks. Distantly. My head snapped to the glass and just on the horizon I could see the red and gold flares sparking against the sky to the South and then there, closer, to the East as well.
I closed my eyes welcoming in the new year, feeling the dregs of the old one ending, like cold tea poured down the drain. I let it go. Feeling something like relief.
I'd welcomed in the last year in an empty shared apartment in Harlem, New York. Sick in bed with the flu, I'd woken up just before midnight and heard the astonishing sound of a million people shouting "Ten. Nine. Eight! Seven! Six! Five! Four! Three! Two! One!" And then the unmissable roar of "Happy New Year!" As ninety three blocks away the ball dropped and New York was reborn into 2014.
I blinked and looked down at my cell phone. It blinked obligingly up at me 12:00am on January 1st 2015.
I smiled. "Happy New Year." I whispered to myself, my breath making a white fog against the frozen glass.