Author's Note: This is kinda depressing, but that's what happens when I spend Christmas far away from home. Also, I wrote that in an hour so bare with me. "Christmas Really Sucks" is a song by Jay Brannan.
It's only four in the afternoon but it's almost dark out there. They're showing a Christmas movie on TV but you ignore it as you stand by the window, watching the Christmas lights and the few people still outside, hurrying to go back to their lobed ones and the warmth of their home. It always snows on Christmas in the movies. For the longest time, you've thought that it always snows on Christmas day because that's always how it goes in the movies the movies. That and the fact that you always had snow on that day in Chicago. As much as you hate the snow during winter, you love it on Christmas day. You always thought that Christmas without snow wasn't really Christmas, but then again you didn't think it was possible not to have snow on Christmas. That was until last year. You remember how disappointed you were when you were told that it barely snows in Seattle and that you shouldn't get any hopes on having a white Christmas that year. You remember how angry you felt when you realized it was true when you woke up on the 25th and there was nothing on the sidewalk. You remember how hopeful you were, spending the day looking out the window, waiting for the snowflakes to slowly fall down on the city. And you remember her. You remember her chuckle when you mumbled to the sky that this the worst Christmas ever before she sneaked her arms around your waist and pressed her lips on the back of your neck. You remember how you shivered when you felt her breath on your ear as she promised you there would be snow next year, that she was going to make a special request to Santa just for you. You couldn't help but smile after that, before turning around and telling her that it didn't matter if it didn't snow that year or the next one, as long as she was there with you. You remember how you thought you would spend all your Christmases together forever.
But this year she's not here and neither is the snow, and you don't think Christmas could be worse than it is right now. You didn't go back to Chicago, using work as an excuse to stay in Seattle, but the truth is that you didn't want to ruin their holidays by being all depressed. You know they have snow there, your mom called you this morning and told you, but it doesn't matter anymore because you know she won't be there since she barely talks to her parents anymore. And you can't help but wonder what she's doing right now, where she is, who she's with. Maybe she's alone, just like you, and you wish you could be alone together. And maybe it's because you've never felt so alone in your life, or maybe it's the bottle of wine you've been drinking for the last hour that's now laying empty on your living room floor, but you find yourself picking up the phone and dialing her number. You don't even know if she still has the same number, but right now all you want is to hear the sound of her voice and maybe make sure she's feeling as miserable as you are.
You don't have time to think of what you're doing when someone picks up the phone, and you know right away it's her. You haven't heard her voice in months and the effect is immediate. You close your eyes and take a big breath as you try to ignore the celebrations in the background.
"Hey," you whisper and it's the only thing you can say right now to prevent your voice from breaking.
It doesn't take her long either to recognize your voice.
"Jessie?" she asks, but something in her voice lets you know she already knows the answer.
"Yeah," is all you manage to breathe out.
There's a long pause on her side and all you hear is the sound of a door closing followed by silence.
She's not alone, you know it, and it makes you want to hang up. How can she be celebrating while you're on your own?
"What- Are you- How are you?" she finally stammers and you almost chuckle.
She sounds worried and it makes you feel a little better that she might still care about you.
You always knew your relationship wouldn't last, simply because young love never lasts, but you were actually wondering if you would become strangers after your break up or if you would stay in touch. You haven't stayed in touch, but the fact that she hasn't hung up yet gives you hope that you won't be total strangers to each other in the future. Because even though it's over, even though you know you're probably better off without her, she's still the only person you've ever loved.
"I'm fine," you lie, because you can't tell her how you feel after all this time.
And that's it. You don't know what else to say, because anything would be inappropriate. You can't tell her you miss her, you can't yell at her for being happy, and you can't joke around as if everything was fine between you two. She must know that too because she's not saying anything, and you can't help but think you really should have thought of what to say before calling her.
"I was just thinking about you," she finally says quietly, and you can almost see her biting her lower lip.
Another silence. You should be happy that she's thinking of you but you're not. If possible, you're even sadder.
You let out a long sight and don't even try to hide it.
"This sucks," you say, you eyes fixed on a random spot outside.
"Christmas. Christmas sucks."
She chuckles and you can't help the small smile on your lips. You love it when she chuckles. It's sexy and cute at the time, just like her.
"Yeah it does," she says softly, almost absentmindedly.
You don't know if she actually agrees with you or if she just wants to make you happy but at this point it doesn't matter.
You close your eyes and swallow the big lump in your throat.
"I should go," you say with a trembling voice, knowing that you can't hold it any longer.
There's nothing else to say anyway. You knew it the second she left the apartment for the last time seven months ago.
"Yeah," she whispers, probably thinking the same thing.
You wait for her to say something else but she doesn't, and you know it's definitely over.
"Bye Katie," you say, the tears now slowly falling down your cheeks.
You go to hang up without even waiting for a reply when you hear her call you name one last time.
You hold your breath, hopeful and scared at the same time.
"Merry Christmas," she says after a small pause, and you can hear the small smile in her sad voice.
You smile too, realizing that it's exactly what you wanted to hear.
"Merry Christmas Katie," you softly say before hanging up.
You go to put the phone back on the coffee table and as you come back to the window, the tears have been replaced by the tiniest of smile. And as you look up at the sky one last time, you can't believe what you're seeing.