It is the first time Etienne and I are spending Christmas together and Etienne could be any more chipper. This is a scene from earlier this morning before I went to work.
“Hey! Why’re you such a sour-puss on the holidays?” Etienne questioned, looking rather irritated as well, “It’s called HAPPY holidays for a reason, you know?”
I just sigh at his statement, “Well, you’re full of energy…”
And, of course, it would go to show that Etienne has already scolded me for being such a Grinch on the holidays and for not being in the holiday spirit as he is.
Maybe it is because he has celebrated the holidays with his lover, Pierre before. To be rather frank, I feel rather uncomfortable talking about Pierre even. Not that I hate him, he is a good guy. It remains a mystery why Etienne would exchange him for someone like me… But then again, it feels great to be chosen by someone you like.
Going back to the topic at hand, Etienne was so chipper about the holidays while I could not really give a damn. Maybe it is because I was single for too long and spent my holidays back at the agency, working my ass off. Yes, I am blaming my lack of social skills on the agency.
Etienne and I come back home on different times due to work. Etienne continued with his park warden job while I… I went back to your typical four-cornered life.
It was not bad having a normal, ‘my life is not in danger’ kind of day. Though, sometimes, I just never thought that sitting down for n number of hours would bore me so much. I think I would prefer going back to the days where I complained about my insufficient pay because I could not count the number of times I almost died in the middle of duty. At least there, I move and go to different places. I cannot stand being stationary. Also, that's how I got to meet the love of my life as well. Past self, you will regret saying that you wanted a normal job and life.
Moti, of course, has been visiting me frequently in my dreams. Moti kept asking me about trivial things and my relationship with Etienne and all that. That side of Moti never changes.
Finally, spending all my precious time in me four-cornered office has ended. I quickly pulled away from my table, took my back, and immediately left the office.
Stepping out of the building, I was welcomed with a white scene. I look up and I see snowflakes had begun to fall and blanket the whole city. It is a breath-taking sight. I wonder if Etienne is seeing this. I feel like when I come home, he will tell me all about this. It is adorable how he loses himself in talking and I could just see his eyes sparkling. Ah, no wonder I fell for him.
Thankfully, the snow fall was not that intense. I could go on and walk without any hats or whatever. Thus, I begun to progress the snowy streets, my eyes wandering as I did so. My eyes then caught on a screen and at that moment, I felt like someone just stabbed me in the back as I saw that I was Christmas Eve today.
“Damn it! It’s a curse for being single for too long!” I hissed as I grit my teeth.
I have not got anything for Etienne. I look at my wrist for the time. I can make it. I have until dinner before Etienne sulks! If I saved the world once, I can save it again!
I then began to dash. Being single for too long clearly had effects. I did not know what to give him. If I still had Moti with me, Moti would’ve given me a list of gift recommendations. But, now that Moti is gone, I have to think for myself. What would be a perfect gift for someone who has taken care of me so much?
My eyes shoot left and right for ideas as my legs carry me. My feet then stop in front of this shop. I breathe to catch my breath. This would work. I have been meaning to give him something special.
Thank the Lord for that shop as it saved my life. Literally. Once Etienne sulks, he will not stop. Surely, I hate the holidays. I liked the holidays more when you were single. It is just a day off wherein you can rest and stuff your face with food.
Reaching home, I take out my keys and open the door. The moment I pushed the door open and take a step in, I was welcomed with Etienne’s voice saying some term I was not use to. It was…
Etienne then tapped a finger on his lips. I eyed at him oddly but, I never turn down a kiss. Thus, I leaned in and placed a kiss on his lips as he expected or maybe wanted me to.
He then chuckled as his cheeks painting a lovely shade of red, “Aww, so you do at least know this tradition!”
“No, I absolutely don’t.” I flatly remarked.
Etienne’s soft smile disappeared in an instant, “Then how’d you know you were supposed to kiss me?!”
“I’m supposed to kiss you because you’re the person I love, okay?!” I replied, “Am I not supposed to kiss you for another reason than that?”
I heard Etienne grumble as he could not speak anything back in rebuttal. He then let out a sigh, “So, you don’t know what a mistletoe is?”
“All I know is that it’s a plant.” I stated.
“Yeah, it is but,” Etienne then placed his hand behind his neck, “You don’t know the tradition around it?”
“There’s a tradition around this plant?”
“W-Well, only during the holidays and all…” Etienne mumbled.
“So, what’s this tradition?” I ask.
“In the holidays, the mistletoe has this sort of tradition that makes you have to kiss the person you’re with underneath the mistletoe.” Etienne finished bashfully, adverting his gaze from mine.
Oh God, why is he just so cute. Damn it.
I then flash a small smile, “Okay so, all I have to do is to just kiss you whenever I’m under the mistletoe?”
Etienne nodded as he held my hand and pulled me inside the comfort of our home, “I just thought that maybe it would bring out your festive spirit, you know?”
“I don’t think kissing you would work but, I am always more than willing to kiss you.” I say as I plant a kiss on his cheek.
“Oh, but I added my own twist!” Etienne said with a grin, “We can only kiss each when there’s a mistletoe above us.”
I raise a brow, “You sure about that?”
“It’s to channel that holiday spirit in you.”
"Whatever you say."
Then again, I never thought I would be standing under a mistletoe constantly for the next five minutes. Every corner of our house that I go to, there is a mistletoe hanging. In the bathroom, in the kitchen, in the living room, EVERYWHERE! I just made it a point to collect all of them.
Christmas Eve is now upon us and Etienne and I are celebrating whatever there is to be needed to be celebrated. We had a feast that we cooked (no, I lied, it was only Etienne who cooked everything because I might cause fire again) and begun to tell stories about even the most trivial of things.
After washing, drying, and storing the plates, I begun to head over to the bedroom to change into casual clothes as I wore a corporate outfit the whole time. And of course, before I could even do so, yes, you guessed it! There was a mistletoe at the center of our door frame!
“Mistletoe!” Etienne chuckled.
“This is literally the fifth time this evening!” I exclaimed, then leaned to kiss him anyway. Not like I could resist him, right?
The moment Etienne turn his head, I took the hanging mistletoe and kept it in my coat pocket.
Both changing into casual clothing, Etienne was lying down on the bed as I sat down on the edge of the bed. As I was searching my coat for anything before I toss it into the laundry, I stumble upon the collected mistletoe and my present for him.
I turn to Etienne, luckily, he was still awake, just reading a book. I call out to him, “Etienne, could I have a moment?”
Etienne turned his head towards me and placed down his book, “Yes?”
“Well, you know, it’s sort of like Christmas already so…” I took out my present which was encased in a velvet felt box, “Merry Christmas.”
Etienne’s eyes widened. He shot himself up from the bed and hurriedly opened the box. I could see his eyes widen and water up. Just what I expe---No! No what I expected! He is crying! All I did was give him a ring!
I gulped while I take out the silver ring cushioned inside, “Do you like it?”
Etienne nodded his head vigorously as his tears continued to fall, “Of course! Of course I do!”
“Thank goodness,” I sigh in relief, “I wasn’t sure if you’d like it, really.”
I proceeded to wipe off the tears that stained Etienne’s cheeks and took his hand and slipped in the ring onto his pinky.
“Take this ring, this promise ring, as a sign that I shall continue to make you happy and feel loved.” I smiled as I cupped his cheek, “I love you.”
Etienne smiled back, “I love you, too.”
Etienne then leaned in, his eyes falling to a close. Oh, he’s going to kiss me. I then hum to myself. I want to try to be a bit mean today since he was also mean to me sometimes, too. Just a little payback would not hurt, right? And thus, I stop him from kissing me by placing my hand over his approaching lips.
Surely enough, Etienne’s eyes shot open and his look at me was full of confusion. I wanted to laugh but, I am desperately keeping it in check. He pulled back and tilted his head slightly, as if to ask why I rejected his kiss. Teasingly, I brought up his previous statement earlier, “You said we can only kiss unless there’s a mistletoe above us.”
Etienne’s eyes widened. Right after, he groaned as he furiously ran his hands through his hair, “Can’t we just overlook that statement I made just this once?”
“No,” I responded with a grin, “No kisses until there’s a mistletoe!”
“You didn’t even like the idea earlier!”
“You said it was to bring up my holiday spirit!”
“Argh! Come on!”
Etienne immediately got himself off of the bed and rushed out to the halls. I grinned on my spot. He then returned seconds later with a devastated look on his face. He then throws himself onto me and sobs. He clings onto my shirt and wails, “All of the mistletoes are gone!”
I roll my eyes playfully. Maybe I was too mean. But, I would be lying if did not say that I was enjoying this.
“Why did I have to make such a stupid rule?!” he whined as he continued to sob on my chest.
I patted his head and whispered, “Luckily, I brought something with me.”
Etienne lifted his head up and oh, how his eyes sparkled when he looked at me.
“Mistletoe.” I say as I wear the most charming smile I can manage, “There’s five of them. So, that would be five kisses, please.”
He sighed and laughed, “Oh, you.”
Our lips meet in a rush as we fall onto the bed. I put aside the mistletoes and wrapped my arms around him tightly, pulling him closer to me, feeling his warmth envelop my body.
If I were to spend my holidays like this with him then maybe, just maybe… I can come to love the holidays.