Mona picked at the slate grey nail polish flaking off of her fingernails. She'd chosen the color on a particularly sunny day when the ground was covered in feet of snow, and she'd convinced herself that it was a chic seasonal choice. Now, she wasn't so sure. It just seemed too dreary, especially now that it was coming off in sheets and leaving her nails underneath looking sad and dreary themselves. Still, she couldn't stop peeling it off. If felt as though with each bit that came off, spring could come just a bit quicker. And Mona, she was ready for spring. She needed it.
The summer before Mona took a great new job that moved her from sunny California to northern Minnesota. She'd loved it, at first. The summers were beautiful, and she found herself hiking through the nearby woods every chance she could. She even saw a bear once, from a distance, though thankfully it didn't see her. She left after a good minute of slack-jawed staring, back the way she came.
Autumn was gorgeous. Mona loved taking her lunches in the nearby park, even though there was a distinctive chill in the air, so she would watch the leaves turn. So many colors, and with evergreens amongst the other trees it seemed that the colors would never end.
But end they did. Soon winter hit, when it seemed Autumn had only begun, and everything was blanketed in snow. This, too, was beautiful, at first. She'd never gotten to hike in snow like this, and she loved being the first one to place a footprint in freshly fallen snow. The snow just kept falling though, melting a bit some days when the sun came out, then freezing again, leaving a crust of ice on top.
She'd rallied around Christmas. It seemed right that the world should be covered in snow at Christmastime, and it made everything seem more festive. Mona loved seeing the little main street shops with red and green lights strung around their picture windows and the tinsel angels attached just below the city street signs. January though, was grey in comparison. February too, even more so with the coming of Valentine's Day and her not having even a hint of romance in her life. In March she began to hope for Spring, long for it, and despair as well. It'd been so long since she'd seen Spring, and she'd never actually seen it here, where the winter seemed to last forever. She'd begun to wonder if the weather had become broken here, and they were stuck in winter forever. Probably not, but she just wasn't sure. And so, she had decided to make the best of it, celebrating the grey with her choice of nail polish. A bad decision, as it turned out.
Bernice, her manager, stuck her head over the cubicle divider. "You know, you'll destroy your nails that way. You should just get them redone."
Mona shrugged. "Doesn't seem worth it yet. They're just going to come off again."
Bernice laughed. "Your first winter here, of course it's hitting you hard. I should have done this sooner. Come on, get up."
Mona looked at her sideways. "Where are we going? Work isn't over yet."
"It is for us, sweet pea. Let's go, we're getting your nails fixed. Jeannie at Painted Posies needs to be on a first name basis with you, at least in the wintertime. And no grey this time! Sunny yellow, or hot pink. Something Spring-ish." Bernice grabbed her coat for her and bustled her out the front door, all the while debating what cheerful color Mona should choose.
For the first time in weeks, Mona smiled. Spring would be here soon.