There is a scent of vanilla floating in the cold, damp night.
And a warmth like a fireplace beckoning me over. One by one, everyone is pulled out of their rooms like moths to a flame.
If the kitchen was warm before, it is much warmer now with all these bodies so close together.
Without warning, the stove is on and the smells of tea and hot chocolate are suffusing the air. If it was almost uncomfortably warm before, the kitchen is now sweltering. Nevertheless, hot mugs are being passed around. Chatter is lighting the small kitchen up.
And the cake that brought everyone here in the first place is being sliced, the delicate fumes wafting in the air.
And as I take all this in: these content faces, the gentle laughs, the simple happiness of it, all I can think is how long until this all ends?
If the kitchen was sweltering before, it is much colder now.
Note: Day 12 of my NaNoWriMo writing challenge