For a moment, I wondered how different my life would have been had they been my parents, but I shook the thought away. I knew my father had done the best he could, and I had no regrets about the way I'd turned out. Regrets about the journey, maybe, but not the destination. Because however it had happened, I'd somehow ended up eating shrimp in a dingy downtown shack with a girl that I already knew I'd never forget.
She went to the window. A fine sheen of sugary frost covered everything in sight, and white smoke rose from chimneys in the valley below the resort town. The window opened to a rush of sharp early November air that would have the town in a flurry of activity, anticipating the tourists the colder weather always brought to the high mountains of North Carolina. She stuck her head out and took a deep breath. If she could eat the cold air, she would. She thought cold snaps were like cookies, like gingersnaps. In her mind they were made with white chocolate chunks and had a cool, brittle vanilla frosting. They melted like snow in her mouth, turning creamy and warm.