posted on Jan, 10 2014 @ 05:18 PM
“Our first winter, I was not sure I loved you” she confessed with a small grin. “You could barely provide me with a coat!”
He laughed at her jest.
“You have always loved me. You just did not always know it!” He held her tighter to him. Her small frame had grown sharper from not eating, and
he hated the way her bones poked at him. That first winter had not been that bad. They had spent it learning about each other. There had been
arguments, of course, but they had both made adjustments, and they had grown together.
“I don’t remember that winter being this cold, though. We were still able to go out in the sunlight and feel the warmth on our faces. Now the
sunlight feels cold, too.” He felt cold as well, but she didn’t want to think about that. Since they had come together his blood had always run
so hot. Sometimes at night, when she would put her arm around his chest, it was like hugging a rock that had lain in the sun all day. Now his skin
was as cold as the wind that blew at them constantly.
“This winter will pass, too, my love. No matter how long it holds on or how cold it gets, it will eventually break into spring, just as it always
has. Then we will dance in the sunlight and be warm.” He wanted to build her a fire. He wanted to make her warm again, but he also selfishly
wanted to see her face by firelight again. He wanted to watch the orange sparks reflect in her golden brown eyes and be as entranced as he had on so
many other nights. He wanted to do this, but there was nothing left to burn. Last night they had burned their walking sticks and even one of the
tattered blankets that was not any good for warmth anymore.
“Our second winter together I will always cherish. Do you remember the way your son would run and fall on his belly just to see how far he could
glide across the snow? He looked a fool, but then so did you when you tried to go further!” She laughed and started to cough again. The pain
didn’t rack her body as it had with these fits for the past two days, but her throat felt terrible. She wanted water badly, but all of the water
was frozen into ice and they had no fire to melt it. As the coughing eased, she thought to take a mouthful of snow and let it melt, quenching her
thirst. Then she realized that she didn’t have the energy to move and get it. It had been days since they had found anything to eat, but the
hunger pangs eventually went away. Maybe she needed to sleep to regain some strength.
“I did go further than him that winter, but he soon outgrew me. He could have slid for miles by the time he was a grown man, if the urge had ever
taken him then! He was so strong! I miss him. We should have had more babies.” He felt like crying, but the tears did not come to his eyes. He
remembered his son setting off on his own. It had been snowing that day, too, a particularly hard winter that year. He had held his wife close and
told her over and over that he would be fine. He believed it himself, but it was still hard.
“I’m glad we didn’t! I have enjoyed all the years that we have had alone with each other. You have had only me to spoil! Besides, how could
we have ever hoped to take care of little ones over these winters that grow longer and colder every year?” The thought of another mouth to find
food for and another body to find warmth for made her shiver. Still they may have made it until this year. This winter had come far too early and
too harshly. She could not remember ever seeing snow in the summer before. It had quickly done away with the food supply, so they had come south.
They had seen very few people along the way and eventually no people. Shelter was harder and harder to find until they were forced to find places
like this, nothing more than a wind block made from a unique ice formation.
“Colder? Come closer. I’ll keep you warm.” He cradled her head and pulled her face to his bare neck. “I love you” he mumbled as sleep
over took him.
She snuggled in as close as she could and wrapped her arms around him tighter. “I love you, too.” Soon she slept.
The overhead projector showed two bodies entwined in an embrace. The frozen remains were so well preserved that you could see a small grin upturn the
lips of the female of the couple. The old professor at the lectern looked both excited and weary as he fed his findings to the room of peers.
“As you can see the preserved bodies make this couple easily identified as Homo Sapiens Idaltu, though there placement below the Antarctic Ice Sheet
dates them to at least 2.5 million years ago, before the beginning of the most recent ice age. It is only due to our long period of glacial retreat
that we were even able to find them. This is confounding however, because as you know, Homo Sapiens Idaltu was previously thought to date no more
than 160,000 years ago, being the closest relation to our current day species. Also, please note that although the marriage tradition predates
written history, we have never had evidence of it from such an early time period.”
A rather amused looking man stood in the back and interrupted the professor. “Sir, I know that the bodies presenting as they are leads one to
believe that there was a close connection involving highly evolved emotional attachment, but honestly as a man of science, how can you claim they are
married? Most likely the position suggests a need to share warmth and nothing else!”
There were a few murmured agreements in the crowd, but the professor just grinned. When it had quieted he resumed in an amused tone himself.
“Perhaps, sir, you have missed the band of gold clearly seen around the fourth proximal digit of each body’s left hand?”