"Are you lost?"
The words barely had a chance to reach her ears before she turned quickly towards to source of her daydream disruption.
"Huh?" she asked. It wasn't as if she hadn't heard him. She just liked that one word.
"Are you lost?" the man repeated. He spoke slowly as if she were a child too caught up in their childhood endeavors to understand simple words.
The girl smiled.
"Yes, I am. I am lost."
The man congratulated himself silently, proud of his talent of noticing when people had somehow stumbled somewhere they never intended. "Well then, where did you come from? You live somewhere close?"
A look of confusion passed the girl's placid face. "Oh no, no, no. I'm not trying to find my way anywhere."
At this point, the man too was very confused. "I don't quite get what you mean. You know how to get home?"
"No, not at all," she stepped a bit closer and whispered as if what she was about to reveal was a precious piece of information. "I'm here on purpose." She spread her arms wide, indicating the town seemingly encapsulated in a snow globe was exactly where she wanted to be.
The man furrowed his brows. He didn't understand a damn thing she was saying.
And she knew. He stared at the ground for a hot minute, asking himself if she should leave this girl to fend for herself. She seemed to know everything. He looked up, she was looking up at the sky now. Small and delicate snowflakes were making their daily travels down to earth, and down to the girl's tongue. He watched her intently, observing the strangest person he had met in a while.
The majority of her face was red from the cold. Her nose was the most affected, seeming to radiate an intense amount of heat to keep the rest of her face warm. Her fingertips looked stiff, but from the tiny grin that never left her face, it looked as if she was enjoying everything. Being cold, being lost, having snowflakes from an unknown piece of sky fall gingerly onto her face. She loved it all.
"You do want to get home, don't you?"
Again she stopped her neverending daydream to address the nice stranger. She now sat roughly down into the snow.
"I don't think that's really the point," she said. "I don't really have anywhere I wanna go back to."
His face gave an inquisitive look for a brief moment but he didn't speak. Now he wanted to know what she meant.
"I go places, places I haven't seen before. And I get lost."
"But why?" he asked, taking a seat on the ground beside her. "Bad things could happen. Run into the wrong kind of people, you know."
"Everyone's the wrong kind of person to some extent," she said. "Even me. That's why I'm here in this town talking to you instead of at home." Again he stayed silent to process what she had said. "I haven't been home in a while."
"How long is a while?" the man asked.
"No clue. I don't have a watch." She chuckled as if this was all a huge inside joke. "I don't know what day it is. Do you know what day it is?"
And at that moment, the man realized two things: number one and the most important, this girl had no care for the consequences of her actions (good or not), and number two, she should not be traversing through towns when she couldn't even tell you what day it was.
"It's Thursday," he told her. "November 2nd."
"Ohhh." She fell back into the mountain of snow behind her and started laughing uncontrollably.
The man didn't get the joke. "What- what's so funny?"
"I missed my birthday!" she almost yelled. but she was not upset in the slightest, in fact, she seemed entertained by her fallacy.
"When was it?" the man asked, smiling with her. He was close to laughing too, her laugh was almost infectious. He didn't know how something like missing your birthday could be funny, but maybe he was plain. Perhaps she could teach him something about humor. Regardless, he stifled the laughs erupting from his belly.
She took a minute to count on her fingers. Her fingers and hands were so small, so red and stiff. "It was 3 days ago." She held up three fingers, putting them in his face. "Three, see? Halloween time, I think."
He wondered at that moment how old she turned. He couldn't decide whether he should ask, considering she didn't even remember one of the most eye-catching holidays of the year. Yes, Halloween was a few days ago. But wouldn't that be something children liked? Kids liked candy. Did she go trick or treating? She looked young enough, or able to pass as young enough at least.
Her body seemed almost compressed, considering she was not very tall at all. Her legs were short stubs, and her snow-covered boots weren't that big either.
"How old did you turn, then?" he asked.
She was digging her feet in and out of the snow. "I turned 20," she said with a smile.
He was now the most confused he had ever been. a 20-year-old who hadn't been home in a while was in a town unnameable to her and missed her birthday because she was going to randoms towns to get lost on purpose-
A harsh voice disrupted his thoughts. He was brought back to Earth. It was Homer, the grey cloud with legs that yelled every word he spoke. "Arden!" his coworker called. "We need you in here! You're 30 minutes off the break."
"Arden," the girl whispered. The man looked back to his coworker, cursing him for breaking this very strange moment in his day.
"I'm- I gotta go." Arden started making his way back into the tiny shop, of the many tiny buildings in this tiny snow globe town. His coworker was now back inside, satisfied that Arden was finally coming back in.
Arden heard the smallest sigh behind him. He couldn't tell if it was relief or not, but he didn't care. He swiftly ran back to the girl.
"Your name, what's your name?" He asked quickly. He looked behind him, hoping Homer wasn't going to come out once again.
"Santino," she said softly. "My name is Santino."
Saint, he thought to himself. Her name means saint.
Beautiful.

Arden now said nothing else, making his way back to his work, where he was needed. He didn't say so, but he wanted to at least hold her hand, just for a minute. Warm them up a bit. Or give her some damn gloves.
He tried to always work where he could watch her from the window, but all that was left were her footprints in the snow and the snowflakes that were falling once again, faster than he could count.
She had gone to get lost again.
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