Walking in a Winter Wonderland
"Well, well, it looks like we're under the mistletoe…" he said, the corner of his lip twitching up into a smirk.
"It appears we are." I said curtly, "Now move you creep."
"I was only joking Cole." He said. Most people call me Nicole, even Nicky, but not him, no, he calls me Cole. Of course.
"Okay, that's really creepy. How do you know my name?" I asked as I walked into his house, my younger sister trailing behind me.
"I'm psychic." I rolled my eyes, "Okay, so my mom told me your names before you came in. Merry Christmas."
I looked around his house. It was pretty big, but definitely not monstrously huge. It was decorated with warm colors; oranges, reds, even yellows, but covering the walls were wreaths, garland, and other decorations. I walked into his living room (or what I presumed to be his living room, it had many people in it) where on one wall there was a fireplace and in a corner there was a Christmas tree with a heap of presents under it.
"Aren't you going to ask me what my name is?" I heard someone whisper in my ear. I jumped up nearly fifty feet in the air but landed somewhat gracefully, earning a strange look from people who I assumed were his relatives.
After recovering I answered, "No."
He snickered and seemed to be looking behind me, so I turned around and saw my mother tapping her foot, crossing her arms, and glaring. The pissed off stance.
"Nicole Noelle Nalleigh! Don't be so rude! Especially to these nice people who invited us over on Christmas" she scolded, "Now ask what his name is!"
I sighed, not in the mood to piss off my mom and Christmas, not after what happened.
"What's your name?" I said dully. I fidgeted with the fringe of my scarf as he answered.
"Nicolas." He answered, crossing his arms. I made sure my mom walked away before glaring at him again.
"Listen, don't come near me at this party, don't even think about talking to me, and don't even breathe my air. I'm thankful that you invited us over, it keeps my mom happy. But just don't eve, and I mean ever, venture near me." I said. At first he looked a bit shocked, making me smirk. However, he quickly recovered.
"Whatever Grinch." He said as I scowled, "Just remember you owe me a kiss."
And he walked away.
I found myself alone in a house full of people.
A couple of hours later, the house was still in complete and utter chaos, dogs were running rampant, kids were wrestling, and 'Uncle Earl' was rambling on and on about his life in the war. Which war? The one against 'the devil'. I sighed as I blew a strand of hair out of my face.
"Uncle Earl, Coley here has to help me with some school work." He said lying. It was a complete lie, considering we weren't even in high school. Some how, my professors decided not to give us any work.
"Educate the ignorant! Brilliant! Off you two go!" he said staying on the couch, "NO FUNNY BUSINESS THOUGH! THAT'S THE DEVIL'S WORK!"
Nicolas grabbed my wrist and dragged me away. I followed him up the stairs where he unlocked the door to what I assumed was his room.
"In my room alone already. Wow, we're moving pretty fast." He said, winking. I just rolled my eyes as he took a seat on his computer chair.
"Why do you keep your door locked?" I asked.
"It keeps the little kiddies out. They have a habit of making messes." He said putting his feet up on his desk, "Don't get me wrong though, I love kids. I just need a break from my crazy family once and a while."
"I wish I had a crazy family." I said, "I mean, as much as I was suffering, I've always wanted one. I love my mom and sister, but I don't have any cousins."
Any cousins on my mom's side, I thought.
My Dad left my mom on Christmas when I was five. Though that's a young age, I still remember tidbits.
I ran down the stairs, a happy five year old, under the Christmas tree there were a couple of presents, I was going to open them but instead the yelling of my mother and father distracted me.
"Jay! You always come home drunk! You weren't here for Christmas Eve! I support the family now, not you!" said my mother, tears streaming down her face.
"Of course I support this family! Do you go to work? No! I do! And once and a while I deserve a good drink!"
"Once and a while?!" she glared, "Once and a while!? YOU DO IT EVERY DAY! YOU WASTE YOUR MONEY ON CHEAP LIQUOR!"
"Well I still support the family—"
"YOU DON'T SUPPORT THE FAMILY! I GOT A JOB!" said Mommy.
A 5-year-old me quivered behind the wall, listening to their argument.
"I TOLD YOU NOT TO! I FUCKING TOLD YOU NOT TO WOMAN! IT'S NOT SUPPOSED TO BE THAT WAY! MEN ARE BETTER! WE'RE THE BREAD BRINGERS!" He shouted.
"THEN YOU'RE NOT A MAN!" argued my mother.
"What do you even do for a living?" he seethed, "ARE YOU A HOOKER TOO? HAVE YOU BEEN CHEATING ON ME WOMAN?"
"How dare you even let that thought sink into your shriveled up brain! I make an honest living as a maid!"
"Hah! Honest living? It's degrading!" he laughed over the cry of my 3-year-old sister who was coming downstairs.
"Shh, shh." I said pulling her close to me. Her body shook as they continued to yell.
"NOT AS DEGRADING AS HAVING YOU AS A HUSBAND YOU LAZY ASSHOLE! WHY DID I EVER EVEN MARRY YOU?!" she screamed, "Who do you think bought the presents? Not you! I bought it with the money I made. Not you."
The door was slightly ajar so I peaked into it. He was grabbing her forearm trying to drag her out of the house through the back door. She pulled away.
"Do not disobey me!" he screamed pushing her down.
Suddenly she started sobbing.
"I lost it!" she cried pounding her fists on the floor, "I lost it!"
"Lost what you bitch, your sanity?" he sneered.
"YOU'RE BABY!" she screamed. He stared back at her flabbergasted.
"What?" he said in a barely audible whisper.
"I'm—no, not anymore. I was pregnant." She said. He just gave her a cold, has look and walked out the door.
That day, I stayed with my neighbors while my mom was taken to the hospital in an effort to see if she had really lost the baby. She did. When she came back she seemed sad, but my little sister didn't notice. My mom tried her best to carry on Christmas normally but that memory was always vivid in my mind around this time of year.
We moved from town to town up until last year, where we moved here. But that didn't really matter because I don't go to high school. No, I'm not a drop out, I'm in college. My mom didn't have any relatives to support her so she made ends meet with odd jobs until she went to night school to be medical assistant.
"Why do you hate Christmas so much?" asked Nicolas snapping me back into reality, "It's my favorite holiday."
"I don't hate it," Just the memories, " It's just that since we have no relatives we typically end up spending Christmas as a small family, and that's what I looked forward to coming back to from college, but instead I end up in someone else's house with someone else's family, with a bunch of strangers. I barely even know you."
"How about I try and cheer up your Christmas." He offered getting up, startling me. I got up too, "Let's go open presents and gorge on massive amounts of food downstairs."
I nodded, still not entirely liking him, but it was better than spending Christmas alone.
"So how about that kiss?" he said smirking before trudging down the stairs, keeping me from punching him in the face.
I met Nick a lot that year, it turns out he went to college in Boston too so we met up a lot. But somehow around this year I found being around him harder. He made my heart beat fast, he made it flutter. I was so scared of this that I almost went to the doctor to see if my heart was failing or something.
I rang his doorbell, my mom and sister eagerly waiting behind me. It was freezing after all. The snow from the previous week was still on his family's lawn and the wind was howling. It was exactly like walking in a winter wonderland. The pine trees were dusted with white and icicles hung from his roof along with his bright colored lights.
I decided to look decent so I wore a gold and white dress—obviously nothing fancy but it was white and came up to my knees, it had gold lining and all. I put my hair in and wore gold flats and everything.
The door opened as I fidgeted, with my cardigan. He saw my face but then did a double take.
"You look…. Great." he said eyeing me up and down.
"Thanks." I said with a small smile. He looked up at the doorway, causing me to look up too.
"Now how did that get there?" he said smirking as I glanced at the mistletoe, "A kiss fair maiden?"
"We'll settle." I said kissing him on the cheek. He stood there shocked as I walked into his warm house.
"What was that for?" said Nick walking up to me.
"It's Christmas. I'm feeling generous. I love this holiday." I said.
"Hey, isn't it you who said, just last year, one Christmas ago mind you, that you hated Christmas?" he said as I was welcomed by his family.
"I never said I hated it, I just said I hated spending it with you." I said sticking my tongue out at him.
"Oh, of course." He said. His grandma gave me a hug and asked me how I was doing before she left to go greet everyone else.
"I love your family, your grandma is so funny." I said.
"Didn't you, once again, last year say that it was like being with a bunch of strangers?" he asked as crimson rose in my cheeks.
I merely shrugged.
"You're pretty." Said his little cousin Ashlyn.
"Aw, thanks." I said as she gave me a hug.
"I think he's shooing me away." She said, tilting her head to the right.
"Huh?" I said turning around to discover Nick mouthing 'Go away' to her.
I rolled my eyes, shaking my head but smiling.
"No I wasn't I love little Ashlyn!" he said feigning innocence. He picked her up easily and spun her around.
She giggled as he put her down, "I'll leave you two alone now."
Her eyes shone brightly while she spun around to leave.
"That was adorable." I cooed.
"I'm pretty cute. But manly of course." He said flexing an arm. I looked into his warm chocolate brown eyes and almost got lost in them. Oddly enough, they reminded me of hot cocoa. His hair and grown out slowly, but surely since last Christmas. A bit of it was in front of his eyes, but not enough to cover them. It was cute.
"What are you looking at?" he asked.
"Your eyes—" I realized what I said and covered my mouth with my hand frantically.
"Huh? What about my eyes?" he said leaning in smirking.
"Nothing, I mean your eyes as in…uh…The way you dot them. You know, when you write." I said as a blush tiptoed into my cheeks.
"Okay, uh huh, sure." He said, wearing a triumphant smirk, "It's okay though, I think your eyes are lovely. They're like ice crystals."
He spun on his heel and left. An enigma that one.
I looked out the window and it was snowing, hard. Since I had already stuffed my face with food I decided to go outside.
I put on my warm jacket, a scarf, and a hat and stole my sister's boots.
"Where are you going?" said Nick in my ear, repeating exactly what happened last year. His warm, yet minty breath tickled my ear as I still felt its sensation.
"Don't scare me like that!" I said, "Anyway, I'm going outside."
"I want to come." He said pulling on his jacket.
"Fine." I said, ignoring the butterflies in my stomach.
As I stepped outside I stuck my tongue out, trying to catch snowflakes on my tongue.
I stopped to look at him. The corners of his lips were tilted up in a one-dimpled smile. A genuine smile.
"Let's take a walk." He said, "Just to the lake in my development and back. It's beautiful you know."
I smiled and nodded.
Everything was covered in white, it was almost blinding. But beautiful. The houses looked like they could be on Christmas cards, with their lights and what not.
Out of no where, because I was too busy observing the white winter scene I tripped on something and managed to fall. Trying to catch my balance, I turned at an awkward angle and fell on my butt in the snow.
Chuckling, Nick said, "Want me to help you up?"
"In a second." I spread my arms out, ignoring the melting snow that was seeping into my jacket, and the flurries landing on my face. I sighed contently before moving my arms and legs up and down, side to side.
"Help me up." I asked as he pulled me up. He pulled me so hard I fell into his embrace. Once again, my cheeks turned red and I ignored the flutters erupting in my stomach. I detached myself from him to try and avoid and awkward moment.
"A snow angel." He said as I tried to dust all the snow off of me, "Must've been sent down from heaven."
I nodded, at the time not realizing he was looking at me and not at the imprint of an angel I made in the ground.
We continued to walk, with linked arms as I hummed "Walking in a Winter Wonderland" and then "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" as well.
"Take a turn here." He said, pulling me onto a path in the woods, "Stay with me and don't get lost."
We took a series of twists and turns before finally stopping in front of a frozen lake.
"We're here." He said. We stared at it for a moment. The snow was falling gently, and with the accumulated snow and the white pine trees, the scene was beautiful.
"What now?" I asked.
"We walk on it." He said, "I used to do it all the time when I was younger."
"WHAT?!" I screamed incredulously.
"Shh, you might cause an avalanche." He joked.
"We can't possibly do that! Are you crazy? The ice will crack!" I said.
"Of course we can. The flag is up, that means the officials checked on it and the ice is thick enough to walk on. Normally people play hockey here or go ice skating but everyone's inside celebrating." He explained.
I eyed the water skeptically, "Fine."
He went first and motioned for me to come over.
"I'll hold you hand." He said as if it would make a different.
He led me out to the middle of the lake. A couple of times we both nearly slipped but somehow we never actually fell.
"The real reason I wanted you to be out here is because it's beautiful. And I wanted to be alone with you." He said, looking straight into my eyes as I nearly melted.
"You know, you almost sound like a psycho serial killer." I said laughing nervously. I wanted to be with him but at the same time, I was scared away thanks to my mom's situation. If he even wanted to be with me you know?
He chuckled, "It's nice to get away from the chaos."
Out of my bag, I pulled out a medium sized present.
"It's nothing special, but I remember telling me you had one when you were younger but you gave it to good will." I said handing him the present. He looked at me and smiled. He undid my carefully tied bow and then began to peel off the tape.
"Oh just tear it open." I said rolling my eyes, but on the inside I was anxious.
He pulled out a Rudolph stuffed animal and his hot cocoa eyes swirled around, misty eyed.
"It's nothing really. I mean it's obviously not the original one you had but—" I babbled before he cut me off with a hug.
"It's the best present I've ever gotten." He whispered into my ear sending chills down my spine and back up.
He pulled away before taking out a long, but small present. I daintily took off the wrapping paper and opened it.
"It's… it's beautiful." I choked up. I pulled out a silver, heart-shaped locket with a picture of him and I in it. On the front our initials were set out in diamond.
"This must've cost you a fortune…" I trailed off.
"Anything for you." He said.
My jaw dropped, "Seriously, you shouldn't have…"
"I've got to tell you something. Just ignore this because this was something I can't hold in any longer."
"Don't tell me you're gay." I groaned.
He chuckled, "Far from it. Anyway, remember last Christmas?"
"That was the day I met you. I called you Cole and everything. Well, ever since then I've liked you. The moment I saw you I thought you were the most beautiful woman in the world. I want you to be my girlfriend." He admitted, "I know it's not the most romantic speech ever, and I know you deserve more, but I'm not that good at making romantic speeches."
"My dad left my mom Christmas morning when I was five" I blurted out. I prayed that he would understand me.
"And you're afraid I will hurt you?" he asked.
I nodded, "Don't be mad, please don't be mad."
"I'm not, I understand. Just…. I want you to know, I'd never, ever do anything to hurt you Nicole. Not in my life." He said solemnly, "I understand if you don't want to be with me."
He frowned and began to walk away.
"I still owe you a kiss from last year." I said. He turned around, nearly falling but regained his balance, his mouth agape.
"You mean…?" he asked and I nodded, he skid up to me and kissed me.
Though it was cold, and our kissing definitely did heat me up. Shivers ran up and down my spine but at the same time I was warm. It was a pretty PG kiss, but it meant the world.
"I'm so glad." He said, wrapping me in his arms.
"Me too." I smiled.
It was Christmas again. And again it was a white Christmas.
I knocked on the door, expecting Nick, but instead it was his family. They all smiled at me. Throughout the course of the year it was like I was incorporated into their family.
"Where's Nick?" I asked anxiously.
"Oh, right, almost forgot, he's out on the lake." Said Nick's mom Miranda.
Ashlyn and a bunch of Nick's cousins walked up to me, "Please say yes, say yes!"
I looked at them, confused, "I'll be back, I have to go to the lake."
After a few wrong turns in the winter wonderland I was at the lake. It seemed to look exactly how it did last year around this time, except this time, Nick was pacing back and forth in the middle.
"Nicole!" He said running over, anxiously. By doing this he fell flat on his butt and I laughed, extending an arm to help him up.
"Will you come with me to the spot where I asked you out?" said nervously. I giggled then nodded, following him to the center.
"Okay, I really want to get this over with, I'm so nervous…" he mumbled to himself before looking up at me and turning red.
"Nicole Noelle Nalleigh. We've been dating for a year, yes?" he asked and before I could answer he continued, "It was on this day, on this spot where I asked you to be my girlfriend. And on that day you realized I couldn't make romantic speeches. I really don't want to beat around the bush because I love you so much. You're the most amazing person I've ever known and even though we just got out of college, and we've only been dating for a year, I know that I want to spend the rest of my life with you." My jaw dropped as he got down on one knee, making a crisp crunch when making contact with the fresh snow.
"Nicole Noelle Nalleigh, let's make your name a bit less…alliterated and make it Nicole Noelle Winters. I will never hurt you, it's my promise. Nicole," he pulled out a small package from his pocket, "Will you take my hand in marriage?"
As I nodded, he opened the package revealing a silver and diamond ring that glistened from the shine of the snow. He took my hand and put it on my right ring finger and jumped up, kissing me right on the lips.
I looked behind him and suddenly, all his relatives and then my mom and sister popped out from hiding places or behind trees—even his grandma. They all started clapping.
As he embraced me he whispered in my ear, "I love you."
I teared up and sighed, content in his arms, content with the day, and content with our little winter wonderland.
I bet you can't guess what day we got married.
A/N: Okay so, I had a snow day, and I guess I should've written another chapter of HYEW instead of leaving you with this short little Christmas one shot but I'm kind of at the moment…stuck. I seriously have no time at all because high school has gotten really hectic for me, and to add onto it I get home at 6 completely pooped out from track. But I promise that next chance I get I will write. I PINK PROMISE! And I take those seriously. I'm so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, soooooooooooooooooo sorry about that. I really am. I just get so tired sometimes. So what do you think? I think it's not exactly the best when it comes to grammar and punctuation, but I wanted to get this up ASAP because I know I'll forget to if I don't put it up today. Or I just won't have time. Oh and I rushed with it too so there wasn't too much detail and it's pretty short.
Disclaimer: I don't own "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" and "Walking in a Winter Wonderland"...obviously.