There was once a ski overall. Stylish and comfortable, made of a modern slightly gleaming red fabric with some sewed-on silver stripes on its shoulders and a variety of pockets for all possible occasions, fastened with high quality zippers. It belonged to a young tall beautiful woman with long brown hair and huge grey eyes. She liked the overall very much. It became her, accentuating her womanly shape, she always favored red, and silver on its shoulders highlighted the grey of her eyes.
She was a skilled skier. She drew out her turns on the slope fearless and effortless, barely touching the snow. The sun would shine in the endless blue skies, the snow would sparkle scattering from under the ski. She would skim down the slope on high speed, and holding back its breath the overall would skim along. Sometimes it would be cloudy, and then snowflakes, dancing around and changing their colour from light blue to lilac, would tickle softly the fabric, increasing the feeling of speed. The owner adored mountain ski and loved her new overall.
In the afternoon the owner would sit with her friends in some après-ski bar, there would be light cheerful music, everyone would drink beer, talk and laugh, joke and flirt, and tell stories of their active winter day. There would be a lot of different other overalls: male, female, new, old…
— Where have you been today? You were not on the fifth slope.
— The owner skied the ninth and the fifteenth.
— The black ones? Wow! How does it feel?
— What do you think? Awesome!
It was a slightly battered gray overall with shabby cuffs, put on a slightly battered middle-aged man, who tried in vain to flirt with the owner. “They waited for us on the fifth all day long, probably afraid to change the slope in order not to miss us… My owner has even forgotten to think about them…”
— Yesterday we have been to such an amazing place! So special! There played a classic music! It’s such a pleasure! — it was a white quite elegant overall with fur trimmed hood, made of fabric, which should have been trendy at least fifteen years ago. It was put on an older woman, whose fingers were disfigured by rheumatics. “Sure enough you relished a classic music! What other kind of music could you possibly enjoy? Like hip-hop? — thought the red overall to himself, but aloud he said only: — That’s interesting!”
In the evening tired and satisfied both, the owner and her overall, would go to the hotel to take some rest, for the next day would bring more skiing, more snow and wind, and speed! A feast of activity, youth and health!
During each winter the owner would spend several vacations in different ski resorts, and the red overall would invariably accompany her. The time between travels he spent hanging in the wardrobe, where he held pride of place. He rested and conversed with other owner’s clothes also kept here.
— Where have you been?
— What have you seen?
— Was there anything of interest?
— Should I tell you a new joke?
— How was the weather? Any luck?
— Oh my! Drenched to the core! And the chilling wind!
There were office clothes, home clothes, beach sundresses and evening garments, some of the things were formal, suited for an appointment with a doctor or a solicitor, some rather frivolous, meant for a date or an evening in a club, sport clothes for different kinds of sport, for jogging, for swimming, for gym, for hiking. The most expensive and the most prestigious thing in the wardrobe was the red overall.
He would talk with enthusiasm about his days in the mountains, telling the others about snow and frosts, about non-pro ski competitions their owner would partake, about funny incidents on the slopes, about après-ski bars, the music and jokes heard there, about the men flirting with their owner, and how firmly would she set some of them down.
— As if one could see anything clothed in all those thick overalls! — shared his doubts a rather daring top, who in his whole life has been twice to a night club and was lying on a shelf ever since.
— And the food? What kind of dishes do they serve there? — asked a swimming suit.
— There are no dishes. It’s a ski bar. There are just hot dogs and fries, coke and beer to choose, — explained the red overall with a laugh.
— And music, and talks, and everyone’s eating and laughing! It feels like a restaurant to me! I’ve never been to such a place. All I’ve ever seen is a swimming pool. And the moment the owner gets out of the water, she takes me off, puts me in a plastic bag and puts some other, dry clothes on. It’s only then that she goes with her friends to the cafe close to the sports center, — he sighed and added with a yearning in his voice: — You have it all!
Every summer the red overall would hang in the back of the wardrobe and sleep, to wake up only, if there would be a comb out or some interesting conversation in the wardrobe, and to fall asleep shortly after. Summer was the time of ongoing rest or plainly the time, when nothing ever happened. The summer was there to wait for the next winter.
In the beginning of winter time he would awake, for the new ski season would start, new ski travels would be planned, and his world would come to life again. They would go somewhere new or to some places they already visited before. They would ski all days long! The life would sparkle with frosty little snowflakes dancing in the wind! Everything would be exciting! Everywhere would be fun! His owner would enjoy herself immensely, and time and again one would hear the high tinkle of her laughter!
And the red overall was happy! To tell the truth, he wouldn’t know any other piece of clothing, which would be happier then him. On the mountain he was put on the one of the best skiers, who would easily master the sharpest slopes. In the bar his owner was the most beautiful and the most sharp-witted woman present. And no one in the wardrobe ever had as much unforgettable impressions and dangerous adventures as himself! Not to mention his good looks, and how expensive he once has been!
Such an enviable life the red overall was leading for eight years. And then something unimaginable has happened…
At the very beginning of the winter the owner has bought and hung in the wardrobe one more perfectly new ski overall. It was elegant and smooth to the touch, light lilac with delicate turquoise green snowflakes on its shoulders. Its quality and usability lay way under that of the red overall. But its shiny exterior appearance outdid those minor shortcomings.
The red overall became deeply confused:
“What does she need him for?… Hasn’t she got me?… Maybe he is for something else?… Yes, he has to be for something else.”
But when asked by neighbors the newcomer would assure everyone to be a ski overall…
The clarity of matters came soon enough. The owner departed for the ski vacation and took the new beautiful lilac overall along. The red one was left behind hanging in the wardrobe…
It hurt! He was close to tears… Sure enough nobody owed him anything. But at some point it was his life one took mercilessly away from him…
A week later the newcomer was back in the wardrobe. Full of impressions he narrated the adventures of his very first ski trip to everyone who would listen. The wardrobe inhabitants asked questions and listened with interest.
— It’s so wonderful! It’s such an all consuming feeling! To race down the hill! I don’t even know how to describe it to you! — raved the new lucky one.
“Right! That’s maybe why you should just shut up! Because you don’t even know anything!” — thought the red overall to himself.
— There was one time I thought I would tear apart! We were getting off the lift, when a little boy pushed his way straight under our ski. The owner slowed down abruptly and tried to avoid a collision. The fabric of my leg got stuck between the two seats of the lift, while the latter kept moving. It was such a dreadful moment! Such a strain! I thought my seams would rip up! — related the lilac overall.
The response in the wardrobe:
— What a horror!
— What a terribly dangerous kind of sport!
— How brave he is! To withstand the accident without tearing apart!
“Yeah! Right! What a hero! Wouldn’t he be so sweet and tender, and would he instead be made of special fabric as I am, nothing would get stuck where it doesn’t belong. Loser! — thought the red overall. — Maybe the owner has noticed, that he is less practical, and chooses me the next time.”
But the next time as well as the ensuing ones she took skiing the new lilac overall. And the red one, now the old one, stayed behind in the wardrobe… That’s it… The old one… He has heard her saying to someone: “I’ll take the new lilac overall with me and leave the old one at home.”
From time to time the owner would carry out a comb out of the wardrobe. She would look through the things on the shelves and the hangers, pick out some of them, sometimes she would try them on, muse and put them back, sometimes she would sort them out right away. Mostly those were the clothes, she put rarely on or has not put on at all for a while, or has mistakenly bought, or just didn’t like. She would stuff them into the pink plastic bags, and those things would disappear from the life of the wardrobe forever. The red overall never before gave much thought to what happened to those clothes later. It never concerned him. Surprisingly now, during one of the comb-outs, he found himself holding his breath back all the time, something inside of him getting tight, being able to breathe out only, when the procedure of sorting out the unneeded things was through, and the door of the wardrobe closed. He could not comprehend his own reaction… Just because the owner has bought one more ski overall didn’t mean she stopped liking him. Actually, she possessed a lot of favorite things, and numerous of them were interchangeable. But a fear crept inside of him… The fear that now, once he was not new and modern anymore, he will be got rid off…