So I have been loving all the Christmas oneshots. They are probably my favorite type of oneshot.
So I decided to write my own.
But it's a but different. Not so happy and filled with cheer and pleasantries.
I hope you will give it a chance.
Mistletoe is over rated, and eggnog is disgusting. I hate mint, so candy canes are nixed. Some try to give me the fruity kind, but I say no to those too, since not only do I hate mint, I hate eating something that eventually gets all pointy and usually stabs you in the tongue. It's really a safety hazard if you ask me.
It's my first Christmas in the MacDonald/Venturi house, and the new members that I have to call part of my family, were all quite surprised that I am not particularly a "Christmas Person".
"Everyone thinks that because Casey is usually such a high maintenance girl, who tries to make things look happy, and does her best to make everything perfect, and is usually so peppy, that that must mean she is all into holidays. But holiday jolliness is not what she does best." Lizzie explained to George, Edwin, Marti, and Derek when I refused to help decorate the house with lights and all that other Christmas junk.
Derek has come to calling me Ms. Scrooge.
Twinkling lights, and snow, and Christmas carols make me angry. I've never discussed why I hate the holiday so much, so Lizzie has no idea, but being the wonderful sister she is, she accepted that. But I think my mother knows.
Maybe she thinks I was too young to remember. But I still think she knows.
"Casey, I'd really appreciate it if you at least tried to keep your detest for Christmas at a reign this year. Lizzie and I have gotten used to it, but George, Edwin, Marti, and Derek are really into the holidays. And I'd really appreciate it if you didn't complain, especially with Marti around. I don't want to put a damper on a little girls Christmas." That's what my mother said to me when she pulled me aside a little while ago. I didn't want to, but I understood where she was coming from.
"I will not bake. I will not decorate. And I will not sing any form of carols." I said.
"All I am asking is you pretend. Okay? But if Marti asks you to participate, I suggest you make up a pretty damn good excuse, or force a smile and deal with it."
"Fine." I sighed.
I've watched with my teeth gritted as the Venturis prance around the house like little elves of Christmas spirit. I was completely surprised that Derek was quite into holiday cheer. It's a surprise for both of us, I guess. He turns out to be all into merriment, while I'm the Grinch. Anybody on the outside would think it would be the other way around. Hell, with the way this past year has gone, I half expected it to be the other way around.
But it's not.
I'm sitting somewhere in the middle on steps of the stairs. Edwin jumps up skipping, wrapping garland around the rail. I can't believe that they decorate all the way up until Christmas Eve. I bet they will be hanging more bulbs on the tree after we open presents tomorrow.
Yes, I open presents. I may not be into all the sparkles and bows, but hey, I'm human, and if there's a present under some god-forsaken tree with my name on it, I'm going to open it. Just maybe not with the giddiness that everyone else will.
When Edwin reaches me, he wraps garland around my neck like a boa, which I untangle and politely throw back at him. "Save it for the railing."
"And Ms. Anti-Christmas once again rears her ugly head. Tell me, what do you have against holiday festivities." Derek says as he walks up the stairs in mock announcer voice, holding his hand out like a microphone. Edwin, un-fazed by my actions, continued to go up the stairs and down the hall.
"I have a good, solid reason to not enjoy what you call merriment. But it's my reason. And if I was ever going to tell anyone, it would never, ever be you." Bitterness struck my tongue as I spoke.
I actually seemed to get to Derek. He flinched slightly at my spark, but quickly recovered, at least on the outside.
"Hey, if you're going to be the bitch I knew you were, then go right ahead." And then he walked past me and up the stairs.
I sat there, stunned. Sure, Derek and I had had plenty of fights, and quarrels, but our words never seemed to be aimed to hurt. But this lashing was. And it had. At least me, and the way Derek's words came out, I'm pretty sure it got to him too.
I couldn't sleep. I tossed and turned, and tried to count sheep, and banged my head against my pillow, but I was still wide awake at midnight.
Merry Effing Christmas. I thought as I sat up. That's when I heard a rustling downstairs. Oh, great, a fat man in a jolly red suit just must be downstairs. I wonder who it is, George or Derek.
I got up and creped downstairs. I lurked into the kitchen and found no one. Then I turned into the living room. That's where I found him.
"Tsk, tsk. Even I know that those aren't for you." I said to Derek who was sitting on the floor next to a small table that had a plate of cookies, some milk, and baby carrots for the 'reindeer' that I had seen Marti leave out earlier for 'Santa'.
Derek looked up at me surprised, but the surprised look on his face quickly changed to a scowl. Probably from remembering our word exchange of earlier.
His look made me sad. In all our fights, I still didn't want us to be really angry at each other. Or him angry at me.
"What does it matter to you. Even if there was a Santa you'd think it funny, me taking cookies from a fat guy who gives presents to kids." He continues to much at a gingerbread cookie.
"I'm sorry." I say.
"I said I'm sorry. I didn't mean to lash out at you. At least not that much." It took a lot out of me, but I managed to apologize.
Derek sat there thinking for a moment, still holding the cookie.
"You're not really a bitch you know. At least not that much." He said.
I laughed a little, glad that things were slightly resolved.
I stood there a little while while Derek continued to eat the cookies. Marti must have wanted to contribute to Santa's belly that shakes like a bowl full of jelly, since she put out enough cookies for a small army.
Then Derek looked up at me. "Why do you hate Christmas so much?" he asked. "No need to answer, I guess. It's just curiosity. You seem to have a real grudge over the whole thing."
I sighed and went to sit next to him on the floor.
"It's a long story." I say to him.
"I've got time." Derek counters, handing me a round cookie.
"It's just sugar, no Christmas theme on this one." He said.
I took it and nibbled t the edges, putting my palm to my chin.
Everything remained quiet while I contemplated telling Derek the reason behind my holiday aversion.
"I was six, I think." I said. Derek lifted his head toward me. His eyes seemed bright, and he seemed surprised that I was actually going to tell him. He turned toward me a little, and I could tell he was going to listen for once. He actually wanted to hear me.
"I was six, and Lizzie must have been only two. I remember all the lights on the tree. I remember looking up at them in a little dark red velvet dress, and Lizzie sitting in a little baby bouncer next to me. I remember my mom sitting with us on the floor, opening one of those big tin cans with those three different types of popcorn. You know, the caramel, the cheese, and the regular. I used to love those."
My breath began to catch in my throat as I felt my nose tingle, and tears begin to swell in my eyes. But I kept going.
"And I remember following my mom when she went into the back bedroom, even though she told me to wait in the living room with Lizzie. But I picked Lizzie out of the bouncer, and grabbed her hand, and we walked together. I hid with her in a crevice filled with shadows at the end of the hall, and I looked into the room. I remember seeing my dad. Sitting on the bed with a beer bottle in his hand, with at least 4 empty ones on the floor, and a brand new six pack next to him. He was fumbling with a portable cd player."
I felt the first tear roll down my cheek.
"I remember hearing my mom scream. Scream at him for already being drunk at 10 in the morning. Screaming at him for being in the bedroom on Christmas morning, while his daughters were opening presents. I remember he barely listened to her. He didn't really seem to notice until I watched my mom grab the beer bottle from his hand and throw it against the wall. I watched it shatter, and saw the liquid creep down the wall And I remember her screaming 'Get out!'."
I tried to breath, but it began to get harder. More tears fell down my cheeks. This was the first time I had ever spoken any of this out loud.
"I watched him move past me and Lizzie, my mom followed. So I grabbed Lizzie and followed too. I put Lizzie back in the bouncer and rushed out the front door with my parents. But out of everything, the thing I remember most, is watching my dad tear across the lawn, kicking down candy can lights we had lined in our yard, before getting in the car, slamming the door, and driving off in a drunk stupor. That's what I remember."
I couldn't stop the tears. Letting myself remember it all, was something I had tried for almost ten years to forget. I sheltered myself from anything that could remind me, and hated everything that could.
"Oh, Casey.." Derek said. I didn't expect it, but Derek wrapped his arms around my shoulders and pulled me closer. I let myself collapse. I put my head against his shoulder and sobbed uncontrollably until I couldn't sob anymore.
Derek whispered to me after I lied silently against his chest for a while.
"You're not six anymore. And you have people who want to help you make new memories. Better memories. Because you deserve so much better. You deserve everything."
Derek brushed some hair out of my face gently.
I moved my face to look up at him, and he looked down at me. His face was filled with compassion and caring, and I felt safe in his arms. That's when he gently tilted my face up to meet his, and he kissed me. It was a kiss like no other. Filled with soft emotion that I can't possibly describe.
The only thing I can describe it as is warm. He tasted like so much that comforted me more, so that I felt like I was going to melt, but most of all gingerbread was distinct.
And one thing can say now, is that I officially love gingerbread, forever and for always.
So here it is.
I told you it was different. I hope a good different.
I just wanted to mix it up, since Christmas isn't always happy.
Not to mean to bring anyone down or anything, I just wanted to bring a different emotion to a holiday oneshot.
Of course I had to add Dasey.
I put myself in all of my writing, sometimes using real life quotes, or relating myself to the character I am writing. Or even using real life situations.
And for me, a situation in this story is very much real.
I guess part of my reason for writing this was to be able to say to anybody who reads this, was to say, appreciate you Christmas. Appreciate it if you have your annoying relatives and frustrating little siblings and cousins. Enjoy it.
Because for the first time, my Christmas won't be wrapped up in unhappiness, and a feeling of we need to celebrate it because it's tradition. This year it'll be because we want to, and we can do it happily.
Merry Christmas, readers. Merry Christmas.