He shivers in the sterile air, pristine and shimmering as the last light of the day clambers over the rooftops. The yellow-pink hue setting a million and one diamonds ablaze, ice and snow twinkle in the embers of the day, crackling underfoot.
Each steps snaps through the silence, echoing against brick and stone, gravel and mortar and his breath barely escapes before falling to the ground. A flare of light as a car slides past, careful on the icy road, and again he wonders why he is out tonight, why he is trudging against the biting cold.
Pulling his coat tighter still he steps on.
He thinks of the future, resolutions drift through his mind and he discards them wantonly. He knows which one he is waiting for and with the patience of solitaire he continues to deal with each one as it comes to him.
Lose weight, the card says. He chuckles at the banality, far too obvious.
Read more books, it says. He considers this a worthy aim but knows all too well that if that were to happen, things would stay the same.
Keep in touch with your friends.
Keep in touch with your friends, it repeats. He forces it from the deck, knowing it to be the best of all yet fearing how it will play as the year unfolds.
He turns the next card in his mind.
He is resolved.