It was December 7 when it happened. I was on my way to school when I saw a snowflake falling slowly to the ground. Winter was my favourite season and here was the proof it had begun.
Without thinking, I ran towards the snowflake and picked it up, making sure not to crush it. The cold sent shivers through my body.
But as I started walking towards school again, with the snowflake in the palm of my hand, I felt happy.
Realising Christmas was only a few weeks away filled me with joy. The hot chocolates, the cakes, the presents, the Christmas tree ... everything I could wish for was coming soon.
This year I had been careful to be really good, so that Santa would bring me exactly what I wanted. And I only wanted one thing, and that thing was called Nate Brown.
I was nearly 14, and Nate was the boy I had spent the last year daydreaming about. He was perfect. He had black hair and green eyes, and perfectly tanned skin. He looked like he had walked straight out of a movie.
When I arrived at school, I got my makeup bag from my locker and went to the girls' toilet to freshen up. My mum wouldn't let me wear makeup to school. She only allowed me to use it on special occasions, because, she said, I was naturally pretty. Yeah right, I thought.
My girlfriends were already in our first class. Amber, Massie, Georgia and I had been friends since kindergarten. And that's how it would always be.
As I said hi, my friends started screaming and shrieking in a worrying way.
"Whoa, guys, calm down," I pleaded. "What's going on?"
"Guess what, Bridget?" Massie teased.
"What?" I replied, losing patience.
"The Lower Six are organising a sort of prom for us!"
"It's called The Snowflake Ball, and you have to have a partner or else you can't get in," Amber explained.
"And there's a catch - girls are not allowed to ask a guy. If you want to go, you have to get a guy to ask you!" said Georgia, bubbling with excitement.
"Whoa, chill, honey," Amber said, with a pout. "How are we going to get a guy to ask us out? Barely anyone one looks at us."
"Well, Massie is going with Aaron, right?" I pointed out. "I mean he's got to ask you, you're the cutest couple in Form Four."
"Thanks, honey, but I'm not so sure. He hasn't even mentioned it. Not once. What if he doesn't want to go? I can't miss the ball," Massie complained, looking desperate.
Our agonising was interrupted by the start of class. During the maths lesson, all I could think about was who I could go to the ball with. I really didn't want to miss it either.
Massie was so lucky she already had a boyfriend. Amber was gorgeous and had all the guys in Form Four drooling over her, so she wasn't going to have a problem. And Georgia? Well, she was hilarious and would probably be a target for all the cute boys who wanted a fun night out.
But me? No, I didn't have any of their advantages.
As I finished my geography class, I realised I had forgotten all about the snowflake in my locker. It must have melted by now and made all my books wet.
But when I opened the door it was there, still frozen solid. How was this possible? The temperature in my locker must have been at least 15 degrees higher than outside.
And even by the evening, it still hadn't melted. It's not that I wanted it to, but this was just ... weird.
I put the snowflake in the microwave, to test if it could resist extreme heat. To my amazement, when I took it out it was still as solid, shiny and cold as ever.
The school week finally ended, and on Saturday the girls and I went looking for dresses for the ball at Bergdorf's.
I found a green dress that perfectly matched my blond hair, some killer heels and a gorgeous headband that emphasised my golden locks.
Massie got a purple mini dress, a black biker bangle and killer heels. Amber got a long black dress, a headband with amber in it and some really nice heels.
And, finally, Georgia bought this stunning turquoise dress, with a really nice necklace and some cute flats.
We all looked stunning - even me, for once.
"Bridget!" called Massie, from the shoes department. She had a huge grin on her face.
"Yeah?" I said, walking slowly towards her.
"Guess who's in the men's changing rooms right now?"
"Er ... my dad?" I guessed.
"No, Nate," she hissed.
"What? Are you serious?" I said, as I suddenly started to feel dizzy.
I had been trying on clothes and I was in a gorgeous mini dress, but what if he thought I looked fat? Oh god, I had to change, and it was just my luck that the changing rooms were now full.
That was when he came out of the changing room with a handful of men's clothes. He saw us, smiled and started walking towards us.
Oh god. What was I going to do?
"Hey girls. What are you doing here?" Nate said in the softest voice I had ever heard.
"Oh, we're shopping for dresses," Massie said. "Have you heard about the Snowflake Ball? Are you going?"
"Of course I've heard about it," Nate replied with a laugh. "And, yeah, I'm going. I just haven't had the courage to invite a girl yet. Are you going with Aaron?"
"Well, he hasn't asked yet but I'm sure he will soon. Sorry guys I'm going to have to go help Georgia find another pair of shoes. Nice to see you, Nate."
And then she left and I was alone with him. How could she think I could handle this?
I smiled at Nate, then turned to look at the stacks of dresses in front of me. I expected him to leave. But he didn't. He came closer.
"So, are you going with anyone?" he asked, his voice filled with curiosity.
"No one has asked me, so I guess not," I said, hoping my desperation wasn't too obvious.
"I know someone who wants to ask you," he said with a grin.
A smile slowly spread across my face. "Are you serious?"
"Yeah." he replied.
"Can I ask you who this person is?"
"Ok. Who is it?"
It took me at least 20 seconds to realise what he had said. Then I grabbed at the opportunity.
"Oh, yeah?" I said with a grin.
He grinned back. "Yeah."
"Well, then tell him I say yes."
I smiled. He smiled back. And then he kissed me on the forehead and walked away.
I couldn't believe it. The most amazing guy at my school had asked me to the dance. This guy could have any girl he wanted, but he wanted me. It was just too amazing.
There were only two days left before the dance, and I was in my room bored to death as I waited. I looked at the snowflake on my bedside table, still solid and cold. It was reflecting gorgeous colours from everywhere, and looked absolutely stunning.
I went to bed thinking, when I wake up there will only be a day to go before I see Nate.
Then, suddenly, it was Friday 18th, the day I had been waiting for.
After school, Amber, Massie and Georgia came to my house to get ready. They had all found dates. I decided to bring the snowflake with me so that I could show it to Nate. I hadn't shown it to the girls, but I wanted to show it to him. It was if I knew he knew something about it. Weird, huh?
As we entered the ballroom, I gasped. I had never seen anything so wonderful.
There were lights, dangling snow cones and snowflakes. The dance floor was covered with non-slip ice, and the DJ had an igloo-shaped booth.
A light on the ceiling created a bright blue circle in the middle of the floor. And there, standing in the middle of that circle, was Nate. His eyes were begging me to join him, and I did.
Nate put his arms around my waist, and I slid my arms around his neck. He smiled and we started to dance.
We started talking, and then I told him about the snowflake.
For a moment he didn't say anything, and I feared he might think I was crazy. But then he put his hand in his pocket and pulled out the exact same snowflake as I had. I checked my bag, but mine was still there.
When he saw my snowflake, Nate looked at me. "You know when I found mine last year, I researched it. And I found out there was another one somewhere in the world. But I never thought I'd see it.
"The legend says that once the people with the never-melting snowflakes are united, they'll fall in love."
He looked down and blushed, and I blushed too.
Then Nate leaned closer and kissed me. It was magical.
This was what Christmas was all about - magic and love. And even though it wasn't Christmas night, I somehow knew this Christmas was going to be different.
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