All I Want for Christmas
Gabriella Montez and Ryan Evans had been dating for just under a year and, if Ryan hadn't gotten the job of his dreams, this would have been their first Christmas together. Gabriella felt bad for thinking about her boyfriend's job in such a negative light. After graduating from Juliard with a Bachelor of Arts, Ryan had gotten many calls for choreography work in the States and in Europe. He travelled around a lot, which was how he was reunited with Gabriella, but he was always able to come home for the holidays at least. This year Ryan got the opportunity of his dreams, headlining with a troupe of singers and dancers performing for the troops away at war. The tour would run through the entire month of December and he would return to New Mexico on the 2nd of January.
Tonight was Christmas Eve and Gabriella was sitting in her apartment cooking Christmas tamales, pots boiling and corn husks ready to be filled. As her mother did before her, Gabriella cooked when she needed a distraction. She had been at it for an hour when the phone rang. She glanced at the oven clock: it was almost 8pm. She wiped her hands on a dish towel and picked up her phone. The Caller ID said it was Ryan. Gabriella grinned and her heart pounded as she pressed the 'TALK' button. "Ryan!"
"Hey, Gabs." His voice was smooth and easy, the way she remembered it. "It's good to hear your voice.""Yours too," she cooed.
"What are you up to?" he asked. Gabriella hated small talk. It was so awkward when there was so much more to do than play catch up.
"I'm making tamales.""You've been missing me," he teased. She had talked about how much she enjoyed spending Christmas morning making tamales with her mother the last time they spoke. She would only take on a job like that if she really needed the distraction.
Gabriella looked around at all of the food in the pots and on the counter tops. She changed the subject. "So, how's the tour? Where are you now?""It's been great. I've never experienced anything like it. I could do this every year," Ryan gushed.
Gabriella's heart sank. "Every year?" she asked in a small voice.
He chuckled. "I miss you too. One more week, love.""I bought your Christmas present yesterday. Where do I send it?" she changed the subject again."Oh..." he temporized, drawing out the word. "You know, you should probably just hold onto it."Gabriella was surprised. "What? Why?""It may not get to us in time... And I want to see your face when I open it. Just hold onto it, okay?"
Gabriella frowned. Ryan was acting weird. "Okay, Ryan," she acceded."I have a Christmas surprise for you."Gabriella walked over to the window and looked out at the snow covered view outside.
"Ry, I don't want anything for Christmas," she sighed.It was Ryan's turn to be surprised. "No?"
"There is just one thing I need. I don't care about the presents underneath the Christmas tree. I just want you for my own, more than you could ever know. Make my wish come true. All I want for Christmas is you."
A car drove passed her house, then another and another. She walked out of the kitchen toward the living room in the front of the house.
"I don't want a lot for Christmas, this is all I'm asking for." Her voice cracked as she choked back tears. "I just want to see my baby standing right outside my door." Gabriella stroked the front door wistfully as she passed it by and entered the living room. "I just want you for my own, more than you could ever know. Make my wish come true. All I want for Christmas-" The doorbell rang stopping her midsentence. Gabriella jumped up in astonishment and returned to the door. She cracked it open against the cold to see who it could be. It was Ryan. She squealed, thrusting the door open all of the way, and hugged him, "-is you!"
When she hugged him, Gabriella felt something strange between them. She let Ryan go and stepped back to take a look at him. His arm was in a sling but he was smiling. "Oh, Ryan!"
He shrugged, then winced. "Merry Christmas. Can I come in? It's freezing out here."
She blushed and let him into the house with an appology.
They settled into the warm kitchen and Gabriella made them cups of hot apple cider. Ryan told her about how the troupe's caravan was caught in a crossfire between destinations. He got shot in the shoulder, was patched up and sent on the earliest flight back to the States. When he finished his anecdote Ryan looked straight into his girlfriend's eyes. "Be careful what you wish for."