Hey there! Merry Christmas! I thought I would give you all a Christmas treat (or if you aren't Christian then just a regular treat) and I decided to write a Christmas story.

My friend on my university course is writing a Christmas story on fiction press that has been counting down to Christmas from I think it was summer. I read her story and was transfixed.

What if someone wrote a story that counted down the Advent days? So I did. And even though it's November when I write this it's still Christmas in my heart! Ahaha!

So happy 1st of December and the first day of Advent and remember to check back tomorrow for the next calendar instalment.

Enjoy!


Advent


December 1st – 24 days to go
Kyoko Says Goodbye
The alarm rang shrilly out into the dark room. Kyoko rolled over and, with her eyes still closed, slapped her hand about in the general area the alarm usually was.

It didn't stop.

Mainly because it wasn't there.

She cracked open an eye, there was no light in the room at all, even with the curtains pulled back from the window but it was bitterly cold and Kyoko had to resist burrowing herself under the covers against the chill. A groan spilled across her parted lips as her face scrunched up, woefully unprepared despite everything.

After a few moments she cracked her eyes open again and levered herself up on her elbow to get a better view of the room shivering against the cold. The ringing was getting louder, more insistent in its mission to fully integrate her into the waking world.

There. In the corner.

Flipping the covers from her legs she rolled onto the floor and with weak legs staggered over to the corner of the room. Kneeling, and with her eyes still shut and shivering violently, she groped around until she managed to find the switch that turned off the alarm.

Blessed silence followed.

Wondering what the time was she risked blindness and peeled open her eyes. The bright light of the digital clock took a moment to swim into focus but when it did Kyoko could make out the time, '7.30'.

Wait…

Seven thirty? That wasn't right…

Wasn't her alarm supposed to go off at Six o'clock?

Panic burst into Kyoko sleep fuddled mind. She was an hour and a half late! If it was seven thirty now that meant she had half an hour to get ready and get to work on time. There was no possible was that that was ever going to happen!

But wait…wasn't there something she was forgetting? Something important? Something so important that she had set her alarm clock half an hour early for, so she could have enough time to get ready?

Yes there was. But what it was was eluding her…

Something in Kyoko's brain connected. That's right! Ren!

Ren…

Oh no, Ren. He was going away on a shoot somewhere and would not be back for a couple of weeks. Well, actually, his plane left tomorrow but today would be the last day he would be working at the agency.

That's what she was forgetting. She had wanted to look nice too.

Kyoko sat on her floor frozen for a moment, alarm clock clutched tightly to her chest before the thought that she was going to be even later for work than she would have been sank in.

The adrenaline kicked in and in a blur of speed she threw on her bright pink jumpsuit and rushed down the stairs, hair blown back. There was only time for a quick goodbye before she jumped on her bike and peddled away as fast as she could towards her work.


"Wow." Kanae breathed in amazement. "What happened to you?"

Kyoko, to busy with the task of wheezing and crawling her way up the steps into the entrance of the building, didn't answer, choosing to save her breath for the mountain that was made up of the last three steps. Making it over the last one she collapsed and rolled onto her back, sucking in a great lungful of air.

"I…woke up…late…" she managed to get out between gasps, "alarm…didn't…go off…on time…cycled…"

Kanae stared down at her friend.

"You cycled?"

Kyoko looked like it would take her a minute or two to work up enough strength to answer so Kanae just continued, slightly exasperated at her friends actions.

"Kyoko. That cycle route usually takes someone an hour to do and you're telling me you did it in less than half that time?"

Kyoko just nodded.

Kanae pressed her fingertips against her forehead, feeling the vague beginnings of a headache starting. Sometimes, she thought, Kyoko just scared her.

Kyoko, still lying on the floor and unaware of Kanae's thoughts closed her eyes.

Blissful stillness.

The morning sun was just high enough to warm her face and dry the glisten of sweat that coated her skin. Until a shadow fell across her face.

Blinking, she gazed up at the figure but as they were standing in front of the light their face was thrown into shadow, so much so that Kyoko couldn't tell who it was.

Kanae, who was muttering about aspirin turned to face the figure standing next to her. Kyoko saw her stiffen in surprise.

"Ah…Good morning..."

The figure tilted their head slightly to the side.

"You do know you're blocking the door."

Kyoko's eyes widened and, despite her protesting muscles, shot straight up and to attention staring straight ahead, not daring to meet Ren's eyes. Of all the times he could have seen her he had to come across her now when she was still messy looking from her mad dash to work.

"Ah! S-sorry!"

A small smile twitched across Ren's lips as he gazed at the dishevelled girl in front of him, which was completely missed by Kyoko who kept staring straight ahead of her and was studiously avoiding his eyes.

Kanae didn't miss it though and her eyes narrowed and Ren walked past them and into the building.

Kyoko let out an explosive breath as the doors shut with a click. She paused for a moment before turning to Kanae with a bright smile splashed across her face.

"We should get going!" She said before she followed the path that Ren had taken only moments before into the building.

Kanae blinked blankly for a moment then, rubbing her forehead again and making a silent vow to herself to find and take the strongest painkillers she could find, made her way into the building.


Sighing, Kyoko leaned against her broom in the corridor. It was getting late in the afternoon and she hadn't managed to run into Ren all day. She wanted to say goodbye to him before he went off.

She sighed again. Being assigned to clean the corridors had excited her at the beginning of the day as she had thought that she would have bumped into Ren again sometime during the day when she looked a little more presentable so that she could properly say goodbye and good luck to him.

But he seemed to have disappeared of the face of the planet.

Now it was nearing four o'clock and she was running out of time. Yashiro had accidentally let it drop that Ren was planning to leave at around four thirty so that he could make sure that everything was ready for his trip.

Damn! This wasn't how the day was supposed to go! She was meant to get up early so that she could spend some more time to make herself look better. She wasn't supposed to rush over to work like the demons of hell itself were after her. And she was definitely supposed to see Ren and talk to him before he went away.

But that seemed to be rapidly disappearing. She was stuck here, cleaning, while the time she could be spending searching for Ren was rapidly disappearing.

She would never get to say goodbye at this rate.

Kyoko opened her mouth to let out another explosive sigh which was prematurely cut short when a mop hit her in the face.

Looking timidly over it she came eye to eye with a very pissed off looking Kanae.

"Kyoko," she growled, "if you sigh once more! I swear I will not be able to be held accountable for my actions!"

Kyoko bit her lip and gripped both mops tightly then looked down at the ground depressed.

"Sorry Moko."

This time it was Kanae's turn to sigh and running her hands through her hair she came to a decision.

"Here. Pass them over."

Kyoko looked confusedly over at her friend.

"Huh?"

"The mops. Pass them both over. You go and find Ren."

A blush spread rapidly across Kyoko's cheeks despite her best efforts to stop it.

"W-who said anything about Ren?"

Kanae's only response was to raise an eyebrow.

"Kyoko, please. You've wanted to do this all day."

The blush spread across, heating her ears. Seeing this Kanae smiled slyly and continued.

"If fact…" she mused, "You've been thinking about this ever since Mr Yashiro 'slipped' the fact that Ren planned to leave at four thirty today."

"I-I haven't!"

"Yes. You have. Now pass over the mops and go find Ren. I'll still be here when you get back. But I'd hurry if I was you; you only have about twenty minutes now."

Kyoko paused. Kanae could see a tug of war being battled out in her mind. Finally something seemed to give as she turned back to Kanae with a smile.

"Thanks Moko!" She said, thrusting both mops at her friend and rushed off down the corridor, "I'll be back in half an hour!"

Kanae smiled to herself at her friends actions and started to again mop the floor.


Kyoko rushed through the corridors sparing only a quick glance at the doors either side on her search for Ren. He really seemed to have disappeared as he didn't seem to be in the building at all.

Kyoko glanced at her watch and felt something cold crawl into the pit of her stomach. It was four twenty five. Ren had been planning to leave at four thirty. Maybe he had already left?

She tried to banish the idea but the more effort she put into ignoring the thought the more it made itself more and more plausible in her mind.

It wouldn't be much to leave five or ten minutes earlier than planned if the person in question didn't know they had anything to wait for.

Maybe she really was too late and he had already left.

She would get to say goodbye or see him for another couple of weeks.

Becoming more and more distracted by her thoughts she almost ran past the door that led into the reception area without looking. It was a quirk of fate that turned her head at the last possible moment.

Even so, it was another couple of moments before her brain processed what she had seen.

The tall and imposing figure Ren made cutting a swath across the reception area heading for the exit.

Twisting her body she backtracked as fast as her legs would take her. Bursting through the door she ran the rest of the way across to Ren. Startled passers-by either pausing to stare in disbelief as the bright pink clad girl rushed past them or, once seeing what she was wearing, turning back to their business, completely used to this type of behaviour.

Ren pushed on the doors, ready to exit the building.

"Ren!"

He paused, then looked back tensing slightly, confused as to who would be calling out to him. Yashiro paused next to him and looked back as well, a smile flitting across his face as he recognised the jumpsuit and the short hair.

Ren relaxed slightly as he too recognised Kyoko.

"Yes?" he asked as Kyoko rushed up, slightly breathless, to where he was standing, one hand paused on the door. "Is there something wrong?"

A grin broke out across her face and Ren blinked.

"Nope! No problem." She softened her smile a little, "I just wanted to say goodbye and good luck on your shoot."

Ren paused then allowed a small smile to cross his lips, this time one that Kyoko saw.

"Thank you. I'll see you when I get back."

Turning, he pushed open the door fully and walked out followed closely behind by Yashiro.

"Goodbye Mr Yashiro!" Kyoko called after him.

He turned and with a small smile gave her a little wave.

"Goodbye Kyoko. And take care."

The door shut behind him and Kyoko watched them get into their car through the glass. Then, with a stupidly huge grin splashed across her face, she turned and made her way back to Kanae and the rest of her work.


It was dark by the time Kyoko got off work. She stepped out into the night and watched as her breath clouded in white dragon's breath in front of her face. She still wore a grin on her face even as she rubbed her hands together vigorously and blew on them to get them warm again.

Picking up her bike she started on her way home. The sky was clear above her, each star seeming magnified in the dark velvet of the sky, making it almost painfully beautiful to look at as well as making the night almost as painfully cold.

She had said goodbye to Ren before he had left and on top of that it was the 1st of December today.

Only twenty four more days until Christmas!

There was so much to do and plan.

But despite that…at this precise moment…everything seemed right.

A perfect beginning.


I hope you enjoyed the first day of 'Advent'. Please review and tell me what you think!

Ds