Shiro stopped, taking in a deep breath. She gritted her teeth at the intake of crisp, cold air, and shuddered, letting out a cloud of smoke. "I wish I could call a cab, but no, mum said I'm too young to use a cab, alone!" Shiro thought irritably, staring down the horizon of trees near a gas station that was possibly 30 or 40 miles away. "I'm a strong, independent 14 year old girl! I don't see what mum was talking about."
In truth, her legs were weak, lungs were burning, and back was aching due to the humongous backpack that was slung over her backside.
The airport was 50 miles back, and she had taken several breaks, despite wanting to just collapse on the side of the road.
"Would I be prettier as roadkill?" Shiro wondered aloud, jokingly staring at the icy roads.
Shiro had another option, but immediately discarded it... even though the want to take a car ride was a great one.
Shiro shook her head at the thought, pursing her dry, chapped lips. "Hitchhiking never ends well,"
Shiro could hear her mum clearly in her head. "You can never know who could "help" you out. A religious, Gifted-hating old man or one of your long lost thrice removed cousins... those people are crazy." Yes, she called those people, whoever those people were, crazy.
Shiro groaned, beginning her slow pace towards the never-coming horizon.
Her Uggs were soaked from the slush, and covered in snow. They sort of looked like Snowballs™.
Moving on, Shiro began to think back to her mum, dad, older brother and niece. "It's odd being away from them." Shiro thought, somewhat lonely now. "I'm so used to mum's eccentric personality, dad's crazy inventions and Jasper's talkative mouth... not only that... but I.." Shiro glanced at a passing car, her thoughts disrupted, not because of the type of car, more rather the person inside.
They looked... familiar.
"Nah," Shiro laughed, feeling her cheeks burn at her "optimistic" gesture. "Like anyone I know was here, in Alaska." Yet, that feeling of familiarity remained, another feeling- uneasiness- had connected itself to her.
Shiro rose her scarf a little higher, to cover her flushed cheeks. "I wish I had my mittens." She glanced down at her reddened hands; they were numb... shaking, even.
Poor Shiro forgot to grab her mittens on the airplane, and it was too late to get them now. "I also wish I had bought some coffee, though I doubt it could stay warm in this below freezing atmosphere..."
It took a while, perhaps longer, but Shiro finally reached the gas station.
Shiro's pace began to grow more recklessly fast. "I'm lucky if they still have food in stock," Shiro murmured joyfully, rushing across the snow-filled lot that contained the car from earlier.
Upon coming inside, Shiro was greeted rather cheerfully by the cashier, with a warm smile. "Good afternoon, miss-" She noticed that Shiro was flushed, and her hair was covered in little snowflakes.
Just earlier, Shiro was unfortunate to have been hit by a wave of snow by an oncoming car, covering her from head to toe. Luckily, most of it melted and dried, yet there was a layer of frost on her Uggs.
"Oh, did you walk here? Or did you take a bus-"
"THERE WAS A BUS AND NO ONE TOLD ME?"
The cashier jumped slightly, yet nodded, her smile forming into a nervous one. "Yes," The cashier agreed. "Where did you come from exactly?"
"The airport. 50 or 60 miles back."
"Holy cow, that must've been quite a walk."
"It... it was."
"Well, you're here now, and we just got a renewal of supply and stock dropped off. So you can look around. Everything is fifteen cents off." The cashier went back to whatever she was doing before... talking to a customer.
Shiro happily glanced around, pulling her scarf down, so she could finally breathe. She spotted a shelf full of all kinds of bread, white bread, wheat bread, corn bread, raisin bread.. you name it. "Breeeead..." Shiro thought, her mouth watering at the sight of food.
The poor girl hadn't eaten since her arrival at the airport, which was 7 hours ago, approximately at 9:37 a.m.
Neither did she sleep yet... jetlag was close on setting in...
"Little lady, you seem hungry." A rich, English accent commented from behind. Shiro turned around, facing a charmingly beautiful woman who was a few inches taller than her, petite in frame. Shiro couldn't help but stare, a little ashamed of her lithe body.
The woman had fair skin, that was sprinkled with freckles that laced her cheeks, a little on her nose, and on her ears. Her ginger hair was choppy, and purposely messed up, reaching her shoulders. The woman's brown eyes were filled with mirth, and she looked like she was smiling all of the time.
Shiro realized that the woman noticed her staring, and she began to redden, coughing a little.
"Oh, you noticed?" Shiro giggled nervously, wiping her slobber away with a sleeve. The woman laughed, a lovely tinkle. "Indeed I have, perhaps you haven't eaten in a little while?" She questioned. Shiro nodded sheepishly, mumbling, "You haven't even heard this half of the story..."
"Oh, um, well I haven't eaten in 7 hours, or rested since, well, last night, um I mean... where I was, it was 10 p.m, and now its 4 p.m and I'm so confused-"
"You remind me of someone I know.. You haven't eaten in a while or rested?"
"Oh, uh, I just got off of my flight, that departed from Florida."
"I see... well, you certainly should get something to eat, and some rest. Have a good day, little lady, and... farewell." The woman gave another smile, and turned away, following another woman who was at the counter. They quickly left the gas station, entering their car.
Shiro became a little confused, yet was feeling relieved.
First, because there was a restock. Secondly, because what she hoped for is what she got- Alaskans were friendly.
Shiro picked up a croissant that was wrapped in plastic, a few breakfast bars, a Gatorade™, and a pair of oversized gloves (since they didn't have child sized gloves...).
The cashier grinned, quickly scanning them. As she did so, she made conversation with Shiro. "Weather seem nice to you?" The cashier asked. Shiro shrugged, taking out her wallet. "I suppose. But I wouldn't call snowstorms "nice"." Shiro replied. She then placed 10 dollar bill on the counter, eying Alexander Hamilton, before he was swiftly taken away. "They are nice," The cashier deadpanned, before bursting into loud chuckles. "Nice? I have snow melting down my spine."
"Poor.. did you pack an umbrella?"
"Unfortunately, no. I didn't expect it to snow so much."
"Well, it is Alaska."
"Are you stereotyping Alaska?"
"I.." She laughed. "I guess I am? I mean, but... its snowing more than usual, lately."
"I am well aware."
The cashier handed Shiro the bag, smiling. "Good luck, girl."