A Writer's Journey

December 25, 2017

Christmas Lights

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 am
Tags: , ,

It was cold.

She rubbed her hands together as they were getting cold despite the gloves she wore. Her nose had lost feeling a while ago and she could feel her body trembling. Yet she waited, knowing it would be worth it in the end.

“I’ve brought hot chocolate,” he said, holding out a thermos. “You want some?”

“Thank you.” She took it, smiling at the man. Like her, he came up here every Christmas Eve. She never asked him his name and he never asked for hers. They just sat on the hoods of their cars, watching the city below.

He watched as she poured some hot chocolate into a cup and then took the thermos from her. Instead of going back to his car, though, he lingered. “May I join you?”

“Umm, sure…” She scooted over a bit so he had some room to sit on her hood.

Their shoulders brushed as they watched the sun set over the hills. “Almost time,” he said.

She nodded, sipping the hot chocolate. “This is good. Thanks again for it.”

“You’re welcome,” he replied before they fell into an awkward silence again.

Setting aside her hot chocolate, she held out her hand. “I’m Noelle, by the way.”

He chuckled. “Noelle? How appropriate.”

“Thank you.” When he didn’t say anything else, she leaned closer. “And you are…?”

“Kris,” he replied. “Like Kris Kringle.”

She giggled, trying to hide it behind her hand. “Sorry. It’s probably not funny.”

“No, it kinda is. I’ve come to accept it.” He winked at her and she flushed.

“I get it, though,” she said. “I’m a Christmas baby and I was teased mercilessly.”

“Christmas baby as in…?”

She nodded. “Tomorrow is my birthday.”

“Is it as bad as I’ve heard?”

“I think it depends on your parents,” she replied. “Mine are pretty good at trying to separate the two, so it’s not as sucky. But I’ve never had a birthday with my friends on my birthday. When I was little, that’s all I wanted. I even asked Santa for it.”

He smiled. “I doubt he could give you that.”

“No, he couldn’t, though he did leave a very nice apology letter and a doll wrapped in birthday wrapping paper,” she said.

“Santa was considerate.”

She laughed. “Yes, he was.”

“Today’s my birthday,” Kris said, sipping his own hot chocolate. “I’ve escaped my birthday party.”

“What? Why?” She set down her drink, focused on him now.

“Because everyone gets overly cheery in trying to pretend that my birthday isn’t Christmas Eve and after awhile, I need a break from all the attention, you know?”

Noelle nodded. “I guess so.”

“So, I come here and watch the lights with you,” he continued. “Then I go and get a drink at a nearby bar with my friends.”

“That actually sounds great.”

Kris nodded before looking out over the little town they called home. “It’s about to start.”

They both fell silent as church bells rang to welcome the evening. Houses began to light up, block by block, until the whole town was illuminated in bright reds, greens, blues, yellows and whites. She could make out some Santas as well as several reindeer and an army of snowmen. There were also a few Nativities and a bunch of stars shining below them.

It was a Christmas Eve tradition though no one knew why everyone started to wait for the bells to ring to turn on their lights. Noelle had discovered how beautiful they were from that particular overlook and that’s when she had met Kris. And now they were on their way to becoming friends.

“Beautiful,” he said.

She smiled. “It is. People are definitely missing out.”

“I agree,” he replied. “But I hope they don’t catch on. I like this being our own private thing.”

“Me too,” Noelle agreed.

Kris hopped off her hood. “Well, now that we know each other’s names and that our birthdays are so close together, care to join me for my birthday drink?”

“I’d love to.” She hopped off as well. “Where are we going?”

“Just follow me. It’s not far away.” He headed toward his car.

Noelle smiled before catching sight of his thermos. She held it up. “Do you want this?”

He grinned, leaning against his door. “Give it to me at the bar. That way I’ll know you will follow me.”

“Don’t trust me?” She leaned against her car again, grinning at him as well.

“I do,” he said. “But a little insurance never hurt, right?”

Noelle laughed and placed the thermos in her car. “See you there.”

He nodded, getting the car. Together, they turned on their lights and soon pulled away from the spot. Behind them, the Christmas lights twinkled and beckoned them to a night they would never forget.


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