On the First Day of Christmas

by HelluvaGirl

He stands outside my house with a chic black bag.

This is for you. Danish candy. Do you like liquorice?

We hug giggling like kids.

At the restaurant, he asks me:

Wanna do this?

I’m hesitant. I’m too passive for any action.

Let’s call a cab. If we’re not getting one, it’s not in the cards.

Here’s what we’ll do: we go on the street and look for the cab. If we don’t catch it, it’s not in the cards.

We leave the restaurant and enter the freezing winter. It’s fun to walk together with him, chatting.

We do catch a taxi. The driver’s all cool.

Nobody sees anything?



We run down red lights.

There’s always a shade of crime when he’s around. I realise I miss it quite a lot.

He exits at the arena. I wait in the cab.

Take my card in case you need a ride after. Won’t be getting any wheels easily tonight.

He returns to pay what’s five times more the regular charge. In his hand, he’s holding the tickets.

We go inside to see a flood of cut-out lace dresses and suede platforms and every other style that could possibly be misplaced – it’s all there. The size of the crowd makes us think somebody brought a whole town to fill the arena.

We smoke outside.

How much were the tickets?

It’s my treat.

He looks at me looking at him.

It’s Christmas.

He holds my bag for me. He walks me by the hand through the crowd. He brings me sparkling wine after taking care of the coats. It’s not sweet – I hate sweet. In terms of sparkling wine, of course.

He makes things happen. It’s something so long forgotten I can’t even believe I don’t have to do anything but pretty much be there.

Inside, I witness something I’ve never seen before, not in any concert of any world-class superstar. The lights are overtaking, powerful, perfectly arranged. I’m so proud the guy’s Lithuanian I don’t even care I’m not a fan of his music.

Have a bit of a Trinity/Neo moment looking down at the crowd going wild, while we stand upstairs in silence, smiling.

I love his masculine side. With few words, with good manners, with complete openness we share when we’re not sharing silence. We notice we’re on pretty much the same page everywhere in life now. We get each other.

Has it always been that way?

It’s a sunny day at the lake. I just begged myself into this trip out of town after spending a night at a place I wasn’t supposed to be and my DJ Boyfriend is mad as hell. He may even break up with me, which would make it the… 154th time within 3 eventful years?

He will forgive me. 

Meanwhile, I feel like an outcast in that gang. They may not know anything, they may sense stuff… I don’t care. I don’t think I fully understand what I’m doing anyway – especially why. 

The sun is burning the skin as we lay on the wooden bridge. I look at him stretched on a towel not too far. I look at him for a long long while, thinking to myself he and I are the only people who have something in common here: we are both outcasts out of choice. We don’t belong to this or any other gang. We can go along but we will never go a step further if we don’t feel it. We are unreliable that way. We are too free and unpredictable, unlike everyone else around. We are different from them, and we are not the favourites.

At the cafe, we see his old acquaintances. Some leave. There are three of us at the table now. I remember the guy. We make a conversation and laugh a bit. I can feel he’d prefer to be alone with me.

Please pass me one of the magazines.

He starts rolling one. I look at him smiling.

Outside, the old gang is passing by. Hugs, kisses, so-what’s-for-the-new-year’s? We are scanned by every single person, their surprise poorly hidden behind the smiles.

She icily greets me through clenched teeth and is about to ignore me. I stretch out my hand. She forcefully kisses me on the cheeks. Then she comes up to him and starts whispering. I know exactly what’s going on. I’ve seen it before.

We are sunbathing at the lake. She tells something to my DJ Boyfriend – I can’t remember what exactly but I just go, you’re so head over heels with him, poor you.

Her face is on fire. She jumps up protesting and walks away briskly.

DJ Boyfriend later tells me she’s frustrated about what I said, and then I realise all her gifts in the form of perfume and underwear did have a meaning other than just being tokens of friendship to the man. 

Such a cool girl. She must hate me for stripping her that time. Few things are as shameful as someone flatly pointing out the obvious you think only you know. And now she sees me with her other target…

We pop round bars and clubs, and all are packed. I haven’t seen that many people in our town, ever.

Phone calls to owners, things start happening. He doesn’t drink but my cocktails keep coming.

Something scares me in him.

We keep appropriate distance, although he tells me at some point:

I have allowed myself to toy with the idea of you and me a bit. There are people who fit you in every aspect but you can’t imitate the chemistry. I can’t fool myself that way. Hence I’m very slow and cautious in giving grounds for any expectations. But to you, I tell things I have never told anyone. You get me. All of me.

That’s precisely what scares me: I do know all of him. I know what all this can turn into. Or is it in the past, just like for me? I think out loud:

We have been broken-hearted. We had no idea what to make of it then. So we went on messing up other people’s lives as bad as our own. At least I wasn’t even fully aware what I was doing. It took me… you know what it took me to stop and think, and change everything.

He knows me. He was one of the very few to visit me… there. I’m sure he told DJ Boyfriend, finally an ex, who’d call but I’d tell him it was stomach problems, no need to visit.

At a night club, I look at him and suddenly feel like touching, so I get my arm around his waist. He holds me.

Music, lights, movement.

It feels new. We are shy. It does begin to feel less scary and more exciting. Still unbelievable. Good that no one’s rushing.

I watch him and toy with memories. The truly ridiculous part is that his ex wife used to be the very image of me. To the point of people having mixed us up.

You have and will always be a threat to any woman because even in a couple, you are never anyone’s other half. You never entirely belong to anyone and it shows. 

We go to another place.

The owner comes out to let us in. Drum-and-base on top of rum kills me. He takes my hand and walks me home.

All those years after I steered away from the gang, we’d meet and talk every now and then. I thought I’ve become boring to him. Too proper compared to the restless hostess of dirty champagne parties in the unfurnished old-town apartment that has seen my end.

It’s exciting to have those memories, to know what we may or may not have done. To know how broken and wild we were. And to be sure there are things at least one of us will never become again.