Ennis and Jack and BBM belong to Annie P, I'm just taking the guys out for a spin and changing stuff I can't stand (I fixed it)
This is my BBM Xmas story. I was inspired by one of my FAVE Xmas movies "It's a Wonderful Life."
Christmas Eve in Riverton Wyoming, like many towns this time of year, was decorated for the holidays. The big pine tree in the town square was shining brightly with multi-colored Christmas lights. There were wreaths on the light poles and a big snowflake hanging over Main Street shining brightly, just like that star that guided the three wise men.
There were carolers going from door to door through the town singing Christmas music.
Couples held hands as they looked at the store windows done up for the holidays. People were shopping and buying food for their Christmas feasts.
Everyone was in a festive mood, everyone except for Ennis Del Mar. He used to like the holidays, first as a kid with his brother and sister, then with his daughters. They'd go sledding, build snowmen and make snow angels.
But all that changed one November day when a simple postcard with the words 'deceased', ominously stamped in red, tore his heart out.
He turned away from the happy celebrants and got into his truck and drove back to his lonely trailer.
His girls were all grown up and moved away. He'd get a phone call and some presents in the mail from them, but his life wasn't a happy one. There was a hole in his heart that only Jack Twist could fill.
Ennis put his bags of groceries on the small kitchen counter and put the milk and eggs in the fridge and grabbed a beer. He sat down with a heavy thud onto the old reclining chair.
He turned on the TV and flipped through channels, then settled on the classic "It's a Wonderful Life." He remembered watching it one time with Jack when they'd met in a motel room somewhere between Riverton and Lightning Flat. They were stuck for a few days when a blizzard closed the roads.
"Jack fuckin Twist," he took a sip of beer and watched the movie. The scene of the kids playing by the pond reminded Ennis of the time in the Tetons when he and Jack threw snowballs at one another. They found out how much fun making love in the snow could be that day.
Ennis wished he could find a reason to be happy again, but it was like the life got sucked out of him the day Jack died and sometimes he felt like George Bailey, wishing he'd never been born.
Ennis figured he hadn't amounted to anything in his miserable life, so it wouldn't be like anyone would miss him.
The last thing Ennis remembered was Clarence the angel trying to convince George he had a wonderful life, and then Ennis fell asleep.
Ennis awoke to the sounds of cows mooing. He looked around him and saw his father's barn.
"Ennis, did you milk those cows, yet?"
"Not yet, Dad, I'm hooking them up now." Ennis stood there shocked as he saw his younger self-going about his morning chores. He was up first thing in the morning and was expected to get his chores done before school.
He and KE would walk to school after breakfast. KE was older by a few years and you'd think he'd have more sense than to walk too close to the icy road.
Ennis watched his younger self save his older brother when a truck lost control and almost slammed into KE.
Ennis realized the danger, grabbed his brother and both boys fell down a snow bank.
"You see, Ennis, if you hadn't been there your brother would have been killed by that truck."
"Who the hell are you?" Ennis asked the white, winged figure.
"I'm your guardian angel."
"What do you want?"
"I heard you say you wished you were never born. I wanted to show you what would happen if you weren't here."
"I don't believe in guardian angels."
"It seems you don't believe in a lot of things. Including your relationship with Jack Twist."
"You shut up about Jack."
"You don't know how many lives you've touched including Jack's."
"You're crazy." He looked around and noticed he wasn't in the past. He heard arguing.
"He's a lazy, no good kid. You sure he's even mine."
"Of course he is, John, don't say such a thing."
"He couldn't even pee straight. He can't do nothing right."
"Shhh, John, Jack will hear you."
"You think I give a damn?"
Ennis was in a bedroom; he saw a figure on the bed, huddled in a corner. He held a toy cowboy riding a horse in his hand.
Ennis' heart broke when he saw a young Jack crying. He couldn't have been more than ten years old. He remembered Jack telling him how his daddy could care less about him, but to see the abuse himself he was tempted to hit Jack's old man.
"Jack! You get the hell down here!"
"Comin, daddy," Jack slowly got out of bed and put his treasured toy on his desk. Opened up the door and trudged down the stairs.
Ennis wanted to hold him and take him away with him. "Why is his daddy so mean to him?" he asked the angel.
"There's no easy answer with that one. I don't think he ever knew love in his entire life. If you never know love you can never feel love for others. He resents Jack because no matter how cruel he's been to Jack, the boy still can look at the bright side of things. "
Ennis watched Jack come back to his room wearing a big smile on his face. He sat on his bed and Ennis noticed Jack's coat was moving. The boy slowly opened his coat and inside was a small puppy wiggling around inside trying to get warm. It started to whine.
"Shhh, pup, you want to get us both into trouble?" Jack whispered at the small brown puppy.
Jack looked for a place to hide the puppy. The pup was licking Jack's face. Jack grabbed an old blanket and fixed up a spot in the back of his closet and put the puppy on it.
"I'm going to have to come up with a name for you. How about Brownie?" He got a lick on the face as an answer. "I'll have to get some food, too."
Ennis couldn't help smiling at the funny scene before him. Ennis remembered the blue heeler pup he befriended on Brokeback. Jack loved dogs so much.
"He looks so happy." Ennis remarked to the angel.
"He is, one of the few happiest moments in his miserable life. But just like everything in Jack's life, happiness is short-lived."
Ennis was shown the days Jack spent with the pup. Sneaking food to him, taking him out when his father was out in the field. He told his mother about the dog and she helped him by providing food and looking after Brownie while Jack was in school.
One day Jack came home and Brownie wasn't there.
"Momma…momma, Brownie is gone, he's gone!" he came running into the kitchen.
"Jack, I'm sorry, your father found him, I tried to stop him."
His father came into the house. "I told you no dogs and I meant it!"
"What did you do?" Jack grabbed his father by the shirt. His father struck him across the face with the back of his hand.
"You miserable brat. I give you a roof over your head and this is how you repay me!"
"John stop," Jack's mother told him.
"You take care of your son, I have things to do." He turned and slammed the door behind him.
Ennis' heart was ripped out of his chest as he watched Jack sobbing as his mother held him.
"He killed my dog," he sobbed.
"Bastard," Ennis' muttered. "Angel you said I helped Jack. I haven't even met him yet."
"No, not yet." The angel took Ennis into the future. Along the way Ennis saw bits and pieces of his own unhappy life. The hardships he had to endure after his parents missed that curve in the road. Dropping out of school to work and making the mistake of marrying Alma.
He got to see Jack's journey, too. He was shown the rodeos Jack rode in and his father refused to see him ride.
Then he watched Jack open up the newspaper and look at an ad, probably the same one he saw, advertising work up at Brokeback Mountain herding sheep for the summer.
"You going back up there this summer, Jack?" Jack's mother put a piece of cherry pie and a cup of coffee in front of Jack.
"Yes, momma, I want to get away from here and take a break from the rodeo. I'll be back in time to help get his place ready for the winter. And to join up with that rodeo that comes through here in September. "
"Okay, Jack, but you be careful up there. I remember how you said you were all alone up there last year."
"I will, momma. Maybe I'll get lucky and have a partner this time."
Ennis knew the rest of the story from here. How they gave each other the eye outside Aguirre's trailer. And how that first night in the tent went and pretty much every night after that. Then came that fateful morning when Jack was breaking down the tent and told him that Aguirre told them to bring the sheep down cause of some damn storm coming. Ennis often wondered if there really was a storm coming. He never liked Aguirre, didn't like the dirty look he gave them when they came back.
"You think he knew?" The angel asked him.
"Knew, knew what?"
"Knew you and Jack were queer."
"You shut the hell up about us!" He tried to shove the angel but his arm went through the white figure in front of him.
"Jack loved you Ennis, he wanted a life with you. But you turned him down. Several times if I recall. What do you think that did to him? You punished yourself too, not thinking you were good enough to deserve any happiness. You robbed both you and Jack of that happy life.
"Yeah, well it's too late now isn't it? What is this all about, angel? Why are you showing all this? Jack is gone, didn't you see the postcard I got returned to me?" The heaviness in Ennis' heart returned to him ten-fold as he remembered that day like it was yesterday.
"I remember everything, but you know there are such things as second chances. Don't you believe in Christmas miracles Ennis Del Mar?"
"Maybe for other people, but it's too late I told you. Jack is gone, I couldn't even take his ashes up to Brokeback like he wanted." Ennis felt some tears form around his eyes when he thought about it.
"You have to have faith, Ennis. Just close your eyes and relax. I'm going to take you somewhere you always wanted to be."
Ennis felt the angel wrap his arms around Ennis.
Ennis didn't know how much time had passed, he felt like he'd just fallen asleep. He slowly opened his eyes and felt the warmth of the sun shining on his face. He had to squint against the bright light that streamed in through the window. 'Just a dream,' he thought. He suddenly realized he wasn't sitting on his recliner in his old trailer anymore; he was in a big bed. He rolled over and saw someone else was in the bed with him. He recognized the back of the dark head.
"It can't be, just can't be." He said softly, he reached out and touched the dark tendrils of hair, soft just like he remembered. Then the figure rolled over to face him and it was…"Jack." His mouth dropped open in shock and tears formed in his eyes. "Jack?" He ran his fingers over Jack's face. The thick eyelashes fluttered open to reveal the bluest eyes Ennis had ever laid eyes on.
"Mornin, Ennis. Did you sleep well, cowboy?"
"Jack, where the hell are we? Am I dead?"
"What are you talking about?" Jack was now fully awake and sat upright, leaning against the headboard. "I'm not dead, I'm alive. We're on our ranch in Montana living that sweet life we both wanted. Don't you remember?"
"What year is this?"
"It's 1988, why? Are you okay, Ennis?"
"I must have been dreaming. " Ennis got out of bed and rushed over to the window. He looked outside and there was a blanket of white snow covering the pastures and fields as far as the eye could see. "This is all ours?"
"Yep, we've been living here for the past four years."
Ennis felt Jack's arms come around his chest and he leaned his chin on Ennis' shoulder. "I remember you made me the happiest man when you finally said yes. That you couldn't stand it anymore couldn't stand living alone anymore. I tell ya Ennis. I was trying to find a way to quit you, but I never could. And I'm glad I never tried. I never would have known any of this if I had." They stood there for a few minutes, "It's Christmas morning, sweetheart, let's go see what Santa brought us."
Jack led the way out of the bedroom to their living room. It was decorated for the holidays, stockings hung by the fireplace and a real Christmas tree all lit up in the corner of the room. There were presents underneath.
"The kids will be coming over in the afternoon, so we have all morning to ourselves." Jack was acting like a kid and started looking at all the presents. Ennis didn't know what to say. "I didn't get you anything." He looked down at the floor.
"Sure you did, there is this big box that says to me from you." He kissed Ennis on the lips. "You sly devil." He gave Ennis his gift; it was a pair of boots and some gloves. Then Jack opened his gift. Ennis thought Jack was going to have a heart attack by the look of shock on his face.
"Ennisss" he whispered. His mouth dropped open. "I can't believe it. How did you know?" Ennis didn't know and he came around to Jack's side of the box to see what had surprised him. Inside the box was a puppy; brown, just like the puppy that Jack's father had gotten rid of. "It looks just like…"
"How did you know about Brownie?"
"An angel told me." Ennis joined Jack on the floor; the puppy was squirming between the two men. Jack couldn't stop kissing him. "What are you going to name him?"
"Well Brownie certainly sounds good, and this time he'll have a loving home."
"You bet." Ennis looked at Jack. "Do you believe in Christmas miracles?"
"I sure do!" Jack grabbed Ennis and they hugged each other tight. Ennis looked over towards the window and saw the angel looking inside. He smiled and winked. Ennis smiled back and mouthed a 'thank you' to him and watched the angel disappear.
Ennis was so happy that he'd never have to spend another Christmas alone. He had everything he ever wanted in his arms.
Ennis and Jack and Brownie, want to wish you all a very Happy Holiday and a Happy and Healthy New Year!