The headlights on his car were practically useless; so fogged over she could hardly see five feet in front of them. He never seemed to mind though. He drove this road often, over the bridge that crossed the Yellowstone River, its shallow banks frozen over for the winter. Past the small gas station they had visited on their second date to pick up drinks for the road, and then the road curved. She always felt he took this curve too fast but of course, he disagreed. Soon they would turn on to the gravel road that led to the big red house in which is parents would greet them with smiles and food. She was excited. She was nervous. It had been nearly a year since they had split up but somehow, they managed to remain best friends. His parents were excited to spend time with her, just as she was excited to see them. As they walked in they were greeted by a new puppy and the sound of laughter. The smells of cigarette smoke filled the air and she let out a slight cough. 525 days with out a cigarette she thought to herself; stay strong. A wave of anxiety washed over her as she looked around the room. There were more people there than she thought there would be. She didn’t do well in large groups; she would have to make due. She made her way through the room to greet everyone, silently rubbing her index finder and thumb together. Calm. An hour went by filled with idle chitchat, playing with puppies and eating too many sweets and then it was finally time to do what they came here for. It was time to play pinochle. It was his family’s tradition to play on holidays but without here there over the past year they had not been able to play. She thought to herself, well, maybe your son shouldn’t have broken my heart. She kept her thoughts to herself. As a young girl she always imagined herself ringing in the new year with her husband on her arm, in a room surrounded by friends and family. She had not had that yet. In fact, this was quite the opposite. Her once fiance sat next to her in a room filled with cigarette smoke and dog hair. His parents sat across from her, joking around with each other; clearly in love. It wasn’t the ideal New Years Eve, most people would be astounded that they were still this close to each other after the heartache she suffered, but it wasn’t up to them. She wasn’t alone. She was happy. Rubbing her index finger and thumb together she took in a big breath of air; calm. She glanced down at her phone. 12:01 AM; happy new year.

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