It was the first day of spring, and Cora was refusing to believe otherwise. The night before, she had dug her bicycle Pocahontas out of two feet of dirty snow, filled its leaking front tire and splashed oil all over it. She was wearing her spring coat and stood gloveless and hatless before her bicycle, ready to take the first ride of the year.
She heard a knock on the window behind her. It was the Ukrainian guy who lived on the first floor with the one-hundred-year-old man.
“What are you doing?” he mimed through the glass.
“It’s spring,” she called back.
They watched a few snowflakes drop out of the sky and the Ukrainian guy mimed, “you’re crazy.”
Cora shrugged and got onto her bicycle. Her legs ached as she peddled up the hill out of her neighbourhood, but she was in much better shape this year than she had been at the end of last winter. Last winter, she had had a job. She had bought expensive cheese and had taken the streetcar wherever she needed to go. This year though, her job had ended in October, and for the past four months, she had only eaten potatoes and homemade hummus and had walked anywhere that was less than an hour and a half away.
She didn’t have to worry about any of that now though. Her breath came out in white clouds before her face and her fingers ached on her handle bars, but it was spring and she had a job and she had a bicycle, and she felt the future a bright red bud about to burst to bloom in her chest. Soon she would drink red wine on the beach and play croquet in the park. The winter she had thought would never leave was finally zipping up its duffel bag of snow and icy winds. Spring was opening like an envelope, and she biked forward into it. She knew it would be the best, the best and most beautiful, the best and most beautiful spring.