The young boy turned around at the sound of his name––only to be tackled by his friend.
“_____!” he said as he attempted to sit up. “You’re supposed to hide when you play Hide-and-Seek!”
The ten-year-old beamed at the twelve-year-old below her. “But I missed you!”
Peter couldn’t help but laugh at her innocence, and he patted her head. “Alright. How about we go inside?”
“Okay!” _____ got to her feet, along with Peter, and headed inside.
“Hiya, little dudes!” said Alfred as the two walked into the living room. He sat up from his seat on the couch and picked up _____ in his arms. She squealed in delight, then giggled as he gently placed her on the carpeted floor.
“Hi, Alfie!” She stepped in front of him, leaning on the couch to get closer to him. “Can we watch a movie in here?”
Alfred blinked. “Aw, but I was watching. . .”
“Puh-leeeeeaaaaase?” said Peter and _____ simultaneously.
“Oh, okay!” he gave in, letting out a chuckle. “I just can’t say no to you guys.” He patted their heads, then stood up and walked out of the room.
Peter picked out a movie while _____ made herself comfortable on the couch. Soon enough, they both sat together watching The Prince of Egypt.
Sometime during the movie, _____ had gotten closer to Peter, and she was now sitting right beside him with her knees to her chest and her arm around Peter’s. Her hand unintentionally slipped underneath the boy’s sleeve and wrapped around his upper arm.
Peter jumped back at the contact. “_____! Your hands are cold!”
_____ blinked at him. “What’s the matter?”
“I don’t want your cold hands on me, okay?” he said, sitting back in his original position.
_____ continued to stare blankly at Peter, but soon a saddened expression threatened to take over her face. “But. . .I just wanna sit by you. . .”
Peter pursed his lips. “Well. . .you’ll have to warm up your hands, then.”
_____ looked down at her hands for a moment, then smiled. “Okay.” With that, she scooted back over to Peter and sat on her hands.
Puzzled, Peter looked at his friend, but passed it off and continued watching the movie.
“Y’know,” said _____ after a moment of silence. “Arthur says I have cold hands because my heart is warm.”
The boy looked back at _____, a surprised and honestly confused expression on his face. “What?”
_____ removed her hands from underneath her and held them out. “He felt my hands the other day and said that they were really cold. And I said that they’re always like that. Then he smiled at me and said, ‘Cold hands, warm heart.’”
A long silence passed before either child reacted. Then, slowly, Peter took both of _____’s cold hands in his and held them close to his face. He smiled softly at her and said, “He was right.”