Chapter 41 - Christmas 1/2
I sprung from my bed, gasping for air and trembled. I thought that I'd vomit, and gazed at the time on my phone. It is... Christmas today?! Wait, so what just happened was a dream, and he doesn't know? Oh, thank god. Nevertheless... I'll have to tell him someday.
I gulped and dropped my pajamas to the floor, getting dressed in a comfy white hoodie, a black skirt, and my black boots with silver buckles. Now it's time to pick up my gifts and enter the train station...
Feeling nervous and insecure about what to expect, I rang the doorbell at Nakajima's house. Pablo opened the door. "Oh, hey, Ku! Welcome!" he smiled, "Also Merry Christmas!"
"Merry Christmas. Thanks for inviting me."
"No prob. Come to the living room!"
I entered the dining room, mixed with the kitchen and living room and his dad, Aaron, came to my sights. "Good afternoon, Mr. Nakajima."
"Huh? Oh! Good morning, lady." he grinned.
Mai playing videogames saw me, dropped the console and stores to me. "Hi, Ku!"
She pushed me into a hug cheerfully. Marshmallow barked playfully at me, jumping on my knees.
"Marshy, no!" Pablo shouted at the dog. It sat and licked its jaw. "Sorry. Excuse him; he's, uh, a little excited."
"He's fine with me." I crouched on the floor, the dog trying to lick my whole face. It raised a smile on my lips, and I buried my head in his fur. I guess this place is my home.
"Are your parents going out somewhere today?" It's Christmas, in Japan, the most romantic day of the year. They should go on a date."
"They are going." Pablo shrugged, "We're going to have the house just for ourselves. We can decorate the tree if you want and go somewhere for lunch; I don't mind."
Go somewhere for lunch? Did he ask me for a date?! Whoa!
"Although, if you want to be seen in the public."
"I-I-I don't mind being seen at public." I stuttered.
Before he could reply, Aaron chose to talk. "Mai and Pablo come here. Mom and I are going somewhere right now. You can buy some food if you don't want to go to the public, take something from the fridge or freezer."
"You can decorate the tree with Ku. You know where the decorations and ornaments are."
Nanami walked to Aaron, and they left. Pablo faced me. "Have you had breakfast?"
"Yea." Honestly, I was too upset to eat anything but managed to buy something at the train station.
"Ok. I suppose we can finally decorate the tree. Have you ever decorated it before?"
"No." A wave of excitement rolled over me. I'll be celebrating Christmas! Mom disagreed with these events. I can't remember when it's the last time I did something like this! I'm going to help! And get Miz."
He nodded, walking upstairs and returning with Mizuki and Mai. "Let's decorate the tree!"
"Let Ku do it."
"I'm gonna help." Mai volunteered.
"What should I do?" Mizuki asked.
"Decorate the tree?" Pablo sneered.
"You can do that yourselves."
"It's a tradition, Miz. You have to help us!"
"Ku can do it instead of me."
"You're lazy, Miz!" Mai objected.
"I'm not. I'm just having a video chat with Narumi, and I promised her I'd be right back. She doesn't want to be seen in public. I'm going to finish the call, and then I can help you, ok?"
"We're gonna be done by that time."
"It doesn't matter to me that much. I'm twenty-one already, remember?" with these words, she left.
"Whoa, such support. Whatever. Let's continue decorating the goddamn tree." Pablo returned his attention to the tree.
I rummaged through the box with ornaments and took out an ornament with glitters.
"This one is cool!"
"Miz bought this one. Everything containing glitter attracts her."
"Hehe, yea." I finally experienced happiness for once. Not sure why the voices don't talk now. I guess increasing the dose worked well, even if the side effects are nightmares. "Can I hang all ornaments with glitters?"
"Of course!" Pablo responded.
We continue hanging ornaments with glitter; Mai hanged small piñata ornaments and Pablo icicle ones.
"This is fun! I've never decorated it before! I always wanted to, though, only if there was anyone. I'm thankful you invited me here; otherwise, I would spend Christmas alone, and I'd probably cry...!"
"You can always celebrate anything with us!"
It is heartwarming, seeing somebody cares and sacrifices their time for you. Finally, I'm not going to be alone anymore!
"Hey, do you celebrate Easter too?"
"In Spain, we have Holy Week. It's religious, not any chocolate bunnies or chocolate. More likely mourners, usually women that hold candles, people dressed in silky costumes with pointy hats, floats, we have balls of wax competition, things like that. We are atheists, so we don't celebrate that, plus here in Japan, we can't celebrate Spanish festivals. I like the food the most. Monas de Pascua, pestionõs, torrijas, bueñelos, hornazo, leche frita..."
"Mhm." I had no idea what all those foods were. And why women hold candles? What kind of celebration is that? And what the holy sausages are floats? Balls of wax? Which balls? Did he mean male reproductive organs? Probably not, or did he? And on top of that, it's religious? What? I don't understand this at all... And Holy Week is like Golden Week in Japan?
"Um, why do you have women just holding candles?"
Pablo giggled, and Mai explained. "They aren't just holding candles. They're mourners upon Jesus Christ's death."
Mourners upon someone's death? This was the first time I heard something similar, unsure if Mai said it incorrectly.
"And what are floats?"
"Artwork with Virgin Mary, something like, uh, stand with candles and behind it is a statue of the Virgin Mary, I'm not sure how to explain." The other sibling replied.
"And why do you make male reproductive organs from wax?"
"W-What?!" Pablo burst into laughter.
"What?" misunderstood Mai, "Why? Just making balls from wax."
"But what balls?!"
Pablo seemed like he wished to answer; however, he couldn't because of the laughter. His laughter was probably contagious as I giggled too.
"Balls of wax, sure! But not the ones you think!"
"So it's like Golden Week in Japan?"
"Yeah, something similar."
Time flew fast, and we soon realized our project is done. "Yay, We're done!"
"What about tree trooper?"
"Oh, I forgot. I'm going to put it on top because I'm the tallest one here right now." Pablo said and reached to top.
I observed the masterpiece of a while, then grabbed my phone from the pocket of my jeans. I took a few photos of the finished product. "Great! What do we do now? You said your grandpa is going to come too, right?"
"Yup, but like at 17 or 18 o'clock. Parents are going to be home at that time."
"And what do you want to do? We can go for a walk, play videogames, watch something, play with Marshmallow..."
"Uhm, what about the walk?"
"Outside is cold, though; you don't mind?"
"It's fine with me."
"Alright, let's go." he handed me some of Mizuki's warmer clothes, and we exited the building. Around us appeared trees without leaves; we walked on grey tiles. In the distance, I could see places resembling parks and frozen lakes.
"Follow me," he said out of nowhere, and I did. We stopped behind a tree in a place with not many people.
Pablo suddenly hugged me and squeezed me in the hug. I received a flashback on Keichii, and my eyes widened in fear. "I missed you so much!"
I didn't see this coming. Why did he announce this now? Could he perhaps feel shy in front of his parents? Yup, it's probably it.
"Oh, I missed you too." I smiled sadly. We couldn't talk outside a phone screen, and we did text a lot. I was just stressed because of my situation and did not think about him as much. Or am I wrong?
He loosened the hug and looked at me, smiling. I couldn't help but smile too. Our heads were close, and he reached, placing his lips on mine gently. I thought I'd be afraid; however, in comparison to Keichii, this felt different.
My heart pounded in my chest, and I experienced my face becoming red. I returned the kissing while he wrapped his arms around my back. Closing my eyes and he did too, I thought this is the perfect Christmas gift.
When we pulled away from a little, I buried my head in his chest, hearing his heart beating like mine.
"I like you," he whispered, and my heart melted. I knew it's not just "I like you," but he is probably too shy to say it. In my opinion, that's adorable. Nevertheless, only if you knew what I did... Would you still like me or push me away in disgust?
These thoughts only brought me sadness, and I sniffed. "I can tell you anything, right?"
"Of course, why?" he questioned, with his arms covering my back.
"You wouldn't hate me?"
"Are you doubting me?" I felt that he frowned, but didn't push me away. "I'm not capable of hating you!"
He lifted my head a little and placed his hands on it. I had to look at him even if I did not desire it. "I'm always here for you."
Pablo seemed to notice the sadness in my eyes. "Is there anything wrong? You can always tell me."
I closed my eyes, thinking I'll soon start sobbing. "It's nothing, really. It'll pass."
Maybe I will tell you later, yet, how can I be sure you'll understand? I'm afraid of rejection, and I can't be sure what it would do to me. If it happens, will it be the end of me?