Jack Frost for Christmas (I've wanted to write this story forever! Read Intro for the funny story behind it)
Okay, so I was talking with my mom who's been watching a lot of Hallmark movies lately. I won't lie, some Hallmark movies are so bad they're good. I've always wanted to write a sappy, romantic Christmas story like a Hallmark movie and I finally did it! I kinda hate myself for letting my Hallmark side come through, but at the same time, writing this story made me happy so I shouldn't care haha.
Jack and I kept our best-friend dynamic duo up until the day before freshman year started. He stopped inviting me over to his house, in fact, he even told me that he didn’t want me to come over a few weeks prior. He said something about having work done on the house and he didn’t want me to see it until it wasn’t a mess anymore. I was stupid enough to buy it. Then, on the last day of summer, I moseyed up to his driveway after he didn’t return my call asking if he wanted to hit the cafe one last time before we started high school. He always returned my calls. When I reached his neighborhood, the SOLD sign in the front yard gave me a heart attack. Even his grandfather’s green punch buggy was missing.
I felt the world around me spin and melt. My lunch came up before I could stop the wave of nausea. Next thing I knew, I was bawling my eyes out on their front porch, wondering how I could’ve been stupid enough not to realize they were moving. I sat there for what felt like hours. Every time I managed to compose myself enough to stand up and head home, I’d get dizzy and start tearing up again. I knew I couldn’t sit there forever, so I slowly got up and began the trek back to my Aunt and Uncle’s house. I knew they’d kill me if I came home crying, without checking the mail, so I pulled the key from my pocket. Bills, a few coupons, and a tiny envelope with “Mel” scribbled in Jack’s messy handwriting, that had a lump in it. I ran in, tossed the mail down on the counter top, and bolted to my room while tearing opening the letter. A silver charm bracelet fell out with a scrap of paper.
I examined the charms. All of them were of ornaments that used to be on our tree when I still had my parents. A Belle and the Beast, a happy beach bum snowman, a gear from my robotics coach, an open book, and one of a heart. I couldn’t believe he remembered all my favorite ornaments that I used to have! Once I clipped on the bracelet, that hasn’t left my wrist since, I read the note.
“Dear Melody Mirabelle Cortez,
I didn’t want things to turn out like this. I didn’t want to leave you. I’m just as heartbroken as you are, maybe more. But I have to go, you’ve started to become like me. I’ve rubbed off on you too much. They won’t be happy with me for letting that happen. I need to learn their ways, and I have to be away from you and everything else we know until I have. Maybe I’ll be able to see you again in a few weeks, maybe a few years, maybe not until we’re both all grown up and you’re graduating college and becoming an engineering toy-maker like you’ve always dreamed. I’m gonna miss you more than you can imagine, you’re my best and only friend. I’ll never forget my childhood with you. You helped to make me who I am today, you’ve rubbed off on me too. I know this doesn’t mean much right now, but we’ll always be in each other’s hearts.
The rest of that day, I sat in my room crying and rereading his letter. I felt this wave of darkness and loneliness crash over me and settle in. That feeling is still staying with me, like an unwanted house guest who never leaves. At school the next day, everyone asked where Jack was. He, unlike me, had the potential to be popular because he was so cute, and cool, and just awesome. But he never left me, he gave up being Mr. Popular to stick with the dork who had next to nothing. I told everyone who asked that he moved, but I never told anyone about the letter that stayed under my pillow, or my pocket when I felt especially down. I drudged through every year of high school, friendless and living in a lifeless cycle.
Skip to senior year. I sent in all my college applications early action. I had no doubt that I’d be accepted. Who wouldn’t take the straight A making, engineering dork girl from a small town? I was a golden applicant. I couldn’t wait to get away from the town where I lived in an abusive, loveless house, alienated from everything, without my best friend. Who could blame me? My aunt and uncle were happy to pay for my admission, because it meant they’d be rid of me for good. I still expected to get full rides or close to it though, because I was such a catch to colleges. I really hoped a change of scenery would bring me out of my funk. Maybe I’d stop worrying about what happened to Jack. Maybe I’d run into him when I was away at school. I won’t deny it though, deep down, I wanted him to come home and be with me again. Him and Grandpa Bert were the closest thing to a family I’d had in years.
This morning, I found myself unable to focus on any of my classes. I don’t know why, maybe it’s because today would’ve been his 18th birthday. My brain kept trying to piece together what he might look like now. Taller, probably less scrawny, maybe he had still his freckles… All his quirks kept resurfacing in my thoughts too. I noticed a few weeks ago that my hands were always like ice, even I was holding a warm cup of tea. Plus I wasn’t shivering on my way to school like I had in the past. Of course I still bundled up, but it just didn’t seem as frigid as usual. Last but not least, I had been dreaming of white Christmas, which we hadn’t had in years. Today though, when I peered out the window at lunch, flurries were coming down outside. How serendipitous that days before Christmas, it begins to snow, for the first time in years. How did I manage to pick up on Jack’s quirks, years later when god knows how many miles separated us?