A Special Christmas


Asha Chandar, Reporter

“Alex! Come on. We’re going to be late,” I yell from the doorway.

“I’m coming!” She replies, running down the stairwell.

Together, we both head to my car, and pull out of the driveway. We soon reach Marcus’ house where he and his sister are waiting for us. Alex hops in the back to be with Skylar and Marcus gets in the front seat.

“Hey man, how’s it going?” I ask, as he and Skylar get in the car.

“Alright,” he replies, “Jay just texted. He wants us to pick up a few snacks on the way.”

I nod, and we detour to grab some snacks before we head off to Charlie’s house. I can’t wait to see him tonight. He hasn’t been himself since Halloween, and I hope being able to relax with us will help him a little.

While, in the store, I stop to get Charlie Cheeto Puffs. I also grab him a Hershey’s bar, and some other candy.

“He’s been down lately,” I mention to others, “and it’d be nice if we could use this dinner party to cheer him up.”

Eventually, we pull into Charlie and Jays’s driveway, where their parents SUV sits.

Jay come out to greet us.

“Charlie’s in the kitchen. Just set everything on the counter for now.”

We follow his directions, and find Charlie standing at the stove stirring something in a large pot. After a few minutes of chaos, the two of us are left there alone.

“Hey there,” I say.  He jumps ten feet in the air, and turns around.

“Bailey you can’t scare me like that. Especially when I’m standing over a pot of hot food,” he replies.

“I’m sorry, but what are you making? It smells amazing.”

“Garlic mashed potatoes,” he grins, “your favorite.”

“Can we kiss under the mistletoe later? I noticed it under your kitchen doorway. And who way you get to be with your favorite.”

He chuckles, “Maybe. But we have to sneak it before our band of misfits ruin it.”

“Okay. Do you need any help while here?”

“Nah, go watch the game. It’s the Seahawks versus the Rams.”

“I’m not leaving you. If you don’t want me to help I’m going to sit here and blast Christmas music,” I say.

“Bailey, you don’t have to do this. I’m fine.”

“You haven’t been fine since Halloween. Tell me what’s wrong.” I go over to him, and notice him fidgeting.

“That house changed me. I now know just how weak I am.”

“Charlie,” I hold his hand, “you are so strong. I love you for that. You are a strong, independent man.” I wrap my arms around him gently.

Jay and Marcus peek in as Charlie starts crying and I can tell it’s going to be bad.

“We’re going to go back to his room for a bit. Can you two take care of dinner?’ I ask.

“Yeah of course. Just make sure he feels better,” Jay says.

Once in Charlie’s room, we both sit on his bed as I play some music to calm him down.

“Are you okay?” I ask softly. He nods.

“I’m just really stressed, and everything has been catching up to me lately. I’m sorry.”

“There’s nothing to be sorry for. Just tell me what I can do to see that beautiful smile of yours.”

“Just lie here with me for a while. Please.” he whispers.

A few minutes later, we’re lying on his bed. I hear his breathing even out as he falls asleep.

“How is he?” Jay asks, coming in after half an hour.

“Tired. Is it okay if I staying the night?” I ask.

“Of course. He needs you. He trusts you.”

“Is dinner ready? He needs to eat.”

“Let’s eat and watch a movie. He needs something simple to cheer him up,” Jay says before leaving the room.

I gently shake Charlie awake, and he rubs his eyes sleepily as he sits up.

“Hey,” he says hoarsely, “thank you for being there for me. What’s the plan?”

“We’re going to eat dinner and watch Elf.”

“That sounds amazing.”

He smiles softly at me. and we head out of the room. Everyone else is already in the living room with dinner, but I notice Charlie heading a different direction.

“Charlie?” I question, as I follow him into the doorway.

“Look up,” he says, “you said you wanted mistletoe.”

I smile, realizing how lucky I am to be with someone so kind, loving and strong this Christmas season.