Last Christmas, I gave you my heart.
But the very next day, You gave it away.
This year, to save me from tears, I'll give it to someone special.
He hated Christmas. It was his most detested time of year. No, he wasn't furry and green and his last name certainly wasn't Scrooge but nevertheless, he still had a deep hatred for what was supposedly such a joyous time of year.
As he walked through the icy streets late one afternoon, he contemplated the next few days ahead. Alone on Christmas Eve. Alone on Christmas Day. It wasn't a very happy thought and definitely not something he was looking forward to.
It was a lonely time of year for him. He didn't have any family. His only distant relatives lived hours away and they had stopped making the effort to include him in their festivities many years ago. He didn't have a wife or children. He didn't own a dog or cat. Heck, even his small green cactus plant had shrivelled up and died earlier that week.
In hindsight, he never imagined he would ever be this alone. It had never been his plan to spend a solitary Christmas with only the crackling fireplace for company. No, it wasn't his fault he was alone on Christmas, it was hers.
She had broken his heart into a thousand pieces. Completely shattered it beyond recognition. She was the reason he hated this time of year.
"You're breaking up with me... on Christmas..?" he had asked in disbelief to his mobile phone. She hadn't had the decency to say it to his face. Instead she had waited and called an hour before the Christmas Lunch they were supposed to have shared. The Christmas lunch he had spent the best part of the morning carefully preparing. She had called him to say she had found someone else. Someone else who apparently had a six figure income.
"Bah Humbug," he spat bitterly. He hadn't allowed himself to think about that moment all year. Why did it have to come back now? Especially when all around him, the streets were filled with couples snuggled against each other and shrieks of laughter as every one made the last minute Christmas dash.
He had every intention of going straight home after work but his scantily filled refrigerator had prevented it. So instead, he found himself trailing the street in search of a butcher.
His attention was drawn to a large, well worn sign situated above a pair of brightly painted glass doors. "Kongo's Butchery" the sign read. Strings and strings of brightly coloured fairy lights hung from the sign and fell haphazardly over the shop doors. As he walked past, the glass doors automatically opened and the warm breeze invited him in.
A burly and beefy man stood behind the glass cabinets. A red Christmas hat was perched on top his thinning hair and a beaming grin covered his face.
"Welcome. Welcome to my butchery!" he boomed, his hands gesturing the man up to the counter. "I am Kongo. What can I do for you?" he asked joyously.
"I was just wondering if you had any nice Turkeys for tomorrow?" the man replied. Kongo smiled. "You're leaving it a bit late, aren't you?" he scolded. The man smiled. Moments ago he hadn't even planned on cooking such an extravagant meal for one and now he was planning on buying an entire turkey.
Kongo tutted. "Lucky for you, I've saved the best till last!" He shuffled towards the counter before calling, "Maria! Bring out my special turkey."
Moments later a young woman emerged from within the back room of the shop. The man's heart stopped. She was…exquisite. There was no other way to describe her. Her jet black hair cascaded over her shoulders in a river of curls. Her eyes were a dark forest green, speckled with a hint of gold. She had a large grin plastered across her ivory, freckled face, matching that of Kongo's. She was holding the turkey delicately like it was a newborn. She looked up and caught the man's eyes boring into her. She felt her heart flutter as she approached him.
"Our best turkey for you," she uttered softly and handed him the heavy package. He gave her a large grin and took the turkey from her outstretched hands. The pair stood looking at each other awkwardly for a few moments.
"Uh, I should go," he finally managed, his voice filled with disappointment. She gave him a flicker of a smile and walked with him towards the exit. He was nearly out of the door and back onto the cold streets when her gentle hand brought him to a halt.
"Look," she murmured softly, pointing upwards towards the shops exit, "Mistletoe." Her cheeks turned a deep crimson. He gave her a wry grin as he drew in close.
Maybe, Christmas wasn't so bad after all.
Hello! I hope you enjoyed this little ficlet.
A big thank you to ranDUMM who beta-d it for me!
To everyone on fictionpress, I hope you have a safe and happy Christmas :)