Merry Christmas, Finn
I drove the distance. It felt like it took no time at all but that wasn't true. The ride had taken the same amount of time it always takes; well at least the last couple of times.
I hardly remember the bright lights of New York fading and the dim yellow lights of Lima appearing. It was almost daylight out. Which didn't matter in the scheme of things. I didn't need the light.
Not for this.
I pulled my car to a stop in front of the gate as the sunlight broke over the hills. I took a deep breath as I watched the fat man in the blue overalls press a button for the gate and it swung open. He nodded at me as I slowly drove past.
Not much further.
I stopped and put the car in park. They were all here. I grabbed the box in the seat next to me and got out. The frozen ground crunched beneath my feet; the sound made me sick to my stomach.
"Hi Rachel," Kurt said as he hugged me.
"Hi," I said as my breath vaporized in front of me. "How are you guys?"
"Alright," Mercedes said with a gentle smile. I smiled back and nodded. I couldn't speak anymore. I smiled at everyone standing with me. Noah, Sam, Quinn, Tina, Mike, Brittany, Santana, Artie and Blaine.
"Hey guys," a voice said approaching us. "Sorry I'm late."
"It's ok, Mr. Schue," I said squeezing his gloved hand. He smiled at me.
"You should start Rach," Kurt said pulling his Burberry scarf around his neck. I nodded again and set my box on the ground. I saw Santana quickly wipe a tear away when I pulled it out. The two foot tall Douglass Fir Christmas tree.
"I got permission to plant it," I said sniffling. I pulled a small shovel out of the box. Sam took it from me and dug a hole. "Thank you," I whispered as I took the burlap sack off the roots and placed the tree in the cold ground. I covered it up and rose to my feet.
"I'll go first," Blaine said as he reached into his pocket. He pulled out a tiny pair of red boxing gloves and hung them on the tree. "Thanks for keeping...you know what, a secret," he said stepping back.
"My turn," Artie said as he wheeled closer. He placed a tiny wheelchair that hung from a thin gold string on the tree. "Thanks for always pushing me."
"I'll go," Mike said. He pulled a pair of tiny dance shoes from his pocket and put them on the tree. "Thanks for being brave. It helped me find my passion."
"I'll go," Brittany said next. She reached into her pocket and pulled out a unicorn. "Thank you for...being you."
Santana said nothing. She just place a tiny rainbow on the tree.
"I'm up," Puck said. He placed a small letterman's jacket on the tree. "Thank you bro."
"I'll go," Tina whispered. She place half of a heart on the tree; it had the letter F on it." Thanks for being my best friend forever," she said as she held the other piece in her hand; it had BF on it.
"My turn," Quinn said. From her pocket she pulled a small tiara and the number five. "Thank you for always supporting me."
"I'm next," Mercedes said. Sam handed her a tiny microphone. She placed it on the tree and wiped a tear from her eye. "Thank you for always appreciating me."
"I guess it's my turn," Sam said clearing his throat. He reached in his pocket and pulled a little red plaque with QB #1, scrolled on it. "Thanks for pushing me, dude. It means a lot."
"I guess I'm up," Kurt said with a smile. He pulled out a curved swatch of black and white with a tassel hanging from it. "Thank you for being an amazing brother."
"May I?" Mr. Schuester asked touching my jacketed shoulder. I nodded and he stepped forward. He reached in his pocket and pulled out a pair of small drumsticks that were tied together with red and white ribbon. "Thank you for being my student and colleague and my friend," he said before he stepped back beside me.
All eyes were on me.
I took a deep breath and stepped forward. I placed a gold star on the top of the tree. I stepped back to my spot in the horseshoe we had made there."Thank you for loving me when I didn't deserve it and when I loved you so much..." I paused and wiped my tear-stained face. I cleared my throat and started again, "and when I loved you so much I couldn't breathe."
We all stood there silently crying. As everyone collected themselves and they began to leave, they said their goodbyes and hugged me.
"Do you want Blaine and I to wait?" Kurt asked when it was just me, him and his fiancé.
"No," I said quietly. "I'll be over soon." He nodded and gave me a tight hug before he grabbed Blaine's hand and they left me standing there alone.
"Well, it's just me and you," I said with a weak smile. "They all showed up. I told you it was you they liked," I said with a chuckle. "I always said that being apart of something special makes you special. I was right," I said brushing tears away. "It's just so terrible that it took me until it was too late to realize that the something special I was apart of...was me and you," I said as I took a few steps forward. I reached out took a deep breath and began to sing,
"Merry Christmas, darling. We're apart that's true. But I can dream and in my dreams, I'm Christmas-ing with you."
I stopped and placed my hands over my face as I sobbed. I finally got my tears under control and looked down, "Merry Christmas, Finn. I love you," I whispered before I turned and went back to my car.