Another week went by and Rachael found out a little more about Sammi each time, until eventually one night Sammi told the tragic story of her girl-friend.
Wendy had died 3 years ago this winter in a snow cliff accident. The cliffs edge gave way, Sammi was unable to keep hold of her girlfriend and she fell to her death. The guilt is still with her and she had never returned to that place high in the mountains.
There was always chores to be done. Doors and verandas needed sweeping everyday, the nights supply of wood to be brought in and snow had to be removed from the wood shed roof. Rachael was outside shovelling the snow from the door when Sammi came out.
“Where’s your jacket and gloves.”
Rachael sighed “I just can’t work in them.”
Sammi grabbed the jacket and gloves from behind the door and threw them at her “Don’t let me see you leave this house without them, is that clear” barked Sammi
Rachael saluted “aye aye” and grinned but the humour was not returned
Later that night Sammi returned to the fire and stoked it up high, the room echoed with the sounds of the crackling. “hmmm it’s going to be a heavy one tonight” quietly spoke Sammi as she returned to her chair and book.
“what’s that mean” interrupted Rachael
“it means many flakes”
“oh so does that mean we will be buried high” as Rachael
Sammi looked up stern then relaxed “it means we will have a lot of shovelling tomorrow”
Rachael was allowed to put on a log when a sound echoed around “THUMP”
Rachael let out a little shriek as the cabin vibrated suddenly “what the hell was that… is that an avalanche”
Sammi chuckled “no.. the snow on the roof is compacted tightly and when it gets too heavy gravity takes over and it breaks and slides off. Believe me you do not want to be caught under that”
“Well I don’t plan to.” Rachael pulled the blanket up tightly as it was still cold even with the fire up.
Sammi yawns “well I’m heading off to bed, night Rachael”
“night Sammi” and snuggles down
Sammi turns to leave but moves back to the fire and puts an extra log on. “it’s going to be cold, do you want another blanket”
“oh yeh could I”
Rachael woke up first. The sun was out brightly, but the air still had a nip in it. She noticed Sammi had not disturbed so decided to get started on the chores. She grabbed the door and looked at her coat and gloves. “Na won’t be out long” and headed off towards the wood shed.
Sammi started to stir, she would feel a draft and cursed. She had constantly reminded Rachael to close the door.
“Rachael….close the god damn door” yell Sammi, but got no reply. She then heard the faint sound of something dropping and a slight cry. Sammi got up and peered over the loft
“Rachael” still no reply. She headed down stairs to the slightly ajar door, Rachael’s coat and gloves still there
“bloody hell” cursed Sammi.
Sammi headed out into the yard, everything was completely white. Sammi looked around “Rachael where are you”. She then noticed the wood shed door slightly open and a large pile of snow over the door way.
“oh shit” Sammi sprinted to the shed and started digging into the snow. It felt like minutes before she reached Rachael and eventually dragged her out. Rachael’s face and hands where blue and she wasn’t conscious.
“oh no no no Rachael cmon” she rubbed her hands and face.
Sammi carried Rachael’s limp body into the shower and turned it on over them. She let the warm water wash over Rachael, rubbing her face and trying to stir her around.
“cmon girl talk to me” and slightly slapped her cheeks. She heard a slight murmur and Sammi held her close “that’s it girl, come on.”
Rachael became a little more coherent and Sammi stripped their clothes and wrapped a towel around her and Rachael then carried her to the fire. She stoked up the fire high and placed Rachael close to it.
Sammi quickly got dressed and made a hot drink. She sat down next to Rachael and pulled her into her arms holding her close. She could feel Rachael trembling
“come on now, I’ve never known you to be this quiet” said Sammi in a cheery voice.
“ohhhh I feel” came Rachael’s first words
Sammi wrapped her tighter and breathed sigh of relief looking to the roof “ thank Christ Rachael, you gave me the biggest fright.”
“ I’m sorry…. I” and she started to cry
“hey hey It’s ok, you’re fine now” She let Rachael sob “you need to drink this, you need to get your strength back” Sammi holds it to Rachael lips and let her take some
Rachael’s face screwed up “ohhh that is so terrible take it away”
Sammi laughed “I know but it will get your strength back, now come on just a little more”
She eventually coaxed Rachael into drinking it all and she fell back weakly against Sammi.
“you didn’t take your jacket or gloves” said Sammi quietly
“ I know… I thought” and broke down again “I nearly died didn’t I”
“I’m so sorry Sammi, I’m nothing but trouble.”
“It’s ok….” reassured Sammi
“I only wanted to help, when it fell on me I couldn’t breath” and sobbed loudly
Sammi cuddled her “well you’re ok now”
Rachael rested all that day, remaining unusually quiet. Sammi was concerned because usually she couldn’t shut her companion up. Unable to read her book because of the silence she looked over at Rachael. She was just vacantly gazing into the fire.
Rachael looked over “huh oh I didn’t say anything”
Sammi chuckled “I know, it’s very difficult to read when you’re not chattering.”
Rachael smiled at her trying to cheer her up “enjoy it”
Sammi still wasn’t happy with Rachael lack of enthusiasm “Look how about in a few days, if the snow has eased back I’ll take you on a trek up the mountain. I want you to show you how the mountain breathes, and only if you are well enough.”
“really…. Or you just saying that” half hearted Rachael
“We will go, you just rest up and I’ll take you, I promise.”
Rachael smiled and went over to Sammi throwing her arms around “I can’t wait, I’ll be fine”
Sammi relaxed “ok ok…. Go back and rest” blushing at the sudden affection she received