Lydia lived inside of a snow globe that was kept on the top of a shelf. She didn’t mind the weather, though it was always the same. She never had visitors. Everything was protected by a thin dome of glass that curved around her small world, shielding her. She was safe, but she felt like something was missing.
One day, a young man took the snow globe down from the shelf. At first, Lydia was frightened. It was jarring to be moved after remaining in the same spot for so long. The movement stirred up the flakes of snow that usually rested on the ground. However, the warmth of hands around the glass was comforting, and she began to like the feeling of being held. Lydia began to welcome the change, thinking perhaps the presence of warmth around her usual protection was exactly what she had been missing.
Every day, the young man would return and cradle the snow globe in his big, soft palms. The hours that Lydia usually spent in her room, dreaming, were spent with her hands resting against glass, trying to touch what was on the other side. Before, she had feared ever being lifted from the shelf. She had peeked out over the edge, and the way down seemed so far that she couldn’t even see what was on the bottom of what would be a long fall if she were to ever be dropped. Yet, once she had been lifted, she came to rely on the man’s daily visits, and she lost her fear of the drop.
However, the man’s visits decreased as time progressed, and Lydia felt the emptiness begin to return. The loneliness stung more than it ever had before because she had something to compare it to for the first time. When the man would come and take the snow globe into his hands, Lydia would feel whole again. She wished he would never leave, and every time he did she felt a terror, as if he may never return again. Worrying and thinking about him filled the days that he didn’t visit, and pressing herself against the wall that separated them filled the days that he came. She began to wish she didn’t live in the snow globe anymore. She could go with him when he left and feel his skin against her own. Touch him for real.
The man didn’t visit for an entire week. Lydia tallied the days on the dust against the glass. On the seventh day, he finally returned, and she thought she might cry tears of relief. She ran her fingertips over where his would be as hot liquid spilled onto her cheeks. She felt the dizzying sensation of being lifted. Her footing was uneven. She stumbled, and the snowflakes around her flew up in a whirl of abrupt movement. Her stomach turned over on itself; suddenly she felt as though she were plummeting. The warmth had gone from the glass, and she looked around to see nothing but a blur as she fell. She’d been dropped.
The globe hit hard ground in a splash of water and glass, and shards flew through the air. Lydia’s world had been shattered to bits, and she was left lying in the ruin with no one to help her pick up the pieces. She had given her entire world to one pair of hands. So much so that she had forgotten the fear of the fall and craved the absence of her glass protection. With her defense gone, she wished nothing more than to have it back again, but the destruction was irreversible. All she knew was that her fear had returned, and her world would be forever changed.