Brianna Rivera sat wondering if she would ever get anyone to ask her out. Her friends were all dating except her – and this made her feel really bad as she wanted to belong – to be a part of the reigning clique.
Her best friend Miranda had a boyfriend – Scott by name. And sometimes she envied seeing them together as it gave her the creeps. She wished for a man of her own, and hoped she’d find the perfect one for her this Christmas.
🎶🎶Greeting cards have all been sent🎶🎶
🎵🎵The Christmas rush is through🎶🎶
🎶🎶But I still have one wish to make🎵🎵
🎵🎵A special one for you🎶🎶
🎶🎶Merry Christmas darling🎵🎵
🎵🎵We’re apart that’s true🎶🎶
🎶🎶But I can dream and in my dreams🎵🎵
🎵🎵I’m Christmas-ing with you🎶🎶
🎶🎶Holidays are joyful 🎵🎵
🎵🎵There’s always something new…🎶🎶
“Something new! Christmas is the best!” a girl of about seven punched the air at the sound of the music.
“Hey, guys.” Brianna waved as she walked towards her siblings.
“I wonder where Brianne’s going.” the little girl said.
“Hey, Janine.” Brianna said, and stooped to kiss her forehead.
“Where’ you going, sis?” little Janine asked as Joshua’s gruff voice came.
“Miranda’s of course.”
Joshua was eleven and half – he was Brianna’s kid bro. He had a hots for Brianna’s best friend, Miranda Green. But his sister never lets him come with her whenever she went to her house. And anytime the Miranda came visiting, he’d be either or school or no where close to home, which got him feeling bad. He grew grumpy all the time whenever her name was mentioned, and would play pranks on Brianna just so he could get on her nerves for not taking him with her.
“Oh, quit being silly, Joshua!” Brianna gave his ear a draw.
“Can I come with you, Brianna?” asked her little sister.
“No, you can’t.” Brianna called as she slid the glass door open and stepped out.
She jogged down the lane, hands tucked in her pants pockets, as she stopped for a milkshake first before continuing for Miranda’s house, which she could see from where she was.
The airy smell of Christmas blew into her nostrils as she inhaled. She couldn’t remember when last she enjoyed that smell – but she liked the feeling it gave her. Letting her long hair swing freely in the wind, and her feet lead her through the snowy ground, she walked elegantly, not noticing the average, auburn-haired fella, dressed in a thick black coat, with a scarf that its tip swayed in the wind as it rested perfectly around his neck.
“Hello,” he summoned up courage and walked to her.
“Hello?” she looked up at the strange fella as she peered into two dazzling forest green eyes she had never dreamt to look into.
“Do you live around here?”
A blush coated her cheeks as he asked. “Yes. I do live around here.”
“Nicholas.” he stretched his hand out to her.
She couldn’t say.
She stood stunned. How does he know my name?
“Your necklace.” the handsome fella pointed, and Brianna smiled.
She loved the way his dimple shone as he smiled, and the way his curly auburn hair was. Maybe he’s not Canadian.
“Uh, thought you were headed somewhere?” Nicholas reminded, and she laughed nervously.
“I’m sorry. I just get nervous when I meet someone cute – cu… cu. I mean, new.” She corrected shakily. Get yourself together, Brianne! she scolded herself and clasped her fingers. “Um, ahem. I gotta be going now.”
“I shall come.” he spoke like he was in the nineties.
“I’m sorry, what?”
“Let me come with you.” he spoke normally now.
“Oh, um, uh, ye-yeah sure.” Brianna gave a nervous smile, letting him come.
She kept stealing glances at him, which he didn’t notice. This fella standing right beside her looked like a god – damn hot, glowing skin. I wonder if he’s human at all, she thought to herself as they walked.
They got to Miranda’s house, and she introduced him, making her best friend not so comfortable with him around.
“You said you know this guy?” Miranda’s ‘suspicious’ look came again as she whispered to her best friend.
“Uh… yes?” the latter whispered back, not so sure if she meant to lie.
“And he also lives here?”
Nicholas could hear them from across the living room, a smirk eluding his lips at the sound of Brianna’s voice –
The girls were unaware that he could hear them talking. And Brianna, who didn’t stop throwing quick looks at him, knew not he was seeing her.
Brianna was slowly falling in love with this guy. She wanted to know more things about him. And hopefully get to be close.
“So… where’ you from?” Brianna asked the minute they left Miranda’s house. She had felt sorry that she had lied to Miranda about knowing him well, whereas they just met. She knew her best friend – and was pretty much aware that she could query her bringing a stranger in, but it was worth the risk.
The auburn-haired bloke gave a straight answer to her question. “Patara — North Europe.” he added.
“Uh.” She curved her lips at his reply. Her major was History — how come she’s never had of Patara before, she blinked, and brushed the thoughts aside.
From that day onwards, the two became friends, and even visited each other whenever they wanted. Surprisingly, Nicholas never mentioned his parents or why they never came to see him… not even once — she was forced to ask him one day, as he gave no clearer answer to her question, waving it off. Brianna, as though a spell was cast on her, didn’t bother bringing it up again.
She got her Christmas wish, yes. But did she really know who this Nicholas was? No — because she was so blinded by love that she couldn’t see him for what he was.
Nicholas on his part, played it well. He would visit often, and also would buy gifts of all kinds whenever he came around. It seemed everyone was under his spell; everyone but one.
“You are one big liar, you know that?” Miranda walked up to him one day, an angry expression lingering on her face as she spoke with arms folded.
“How?” Nicholas turned to her.
“I don’t know,” she shrugged. “But I do know that you’re not really who you say you are.”
“And have you any proof?” Nicholas smirked at her ridiculous words and walked away.
Miranda knew there was something odd about him, but she couldn’t tell what it was. She just didn’t trust this guy as she was certain he was hiding something from them – something he didn’t want anyone knowing. She tried to tell her best friend this, but all she said fell on deaf ears.
Miranda loved Brianna so much, and couldn’t risk seeing her hurt. Why was her best friend being so stubborn over a guy she didn’t know? Not giving her much of a choice, she decided to keep her thoughts to herself, else their friendship would be ruined.
“Hey, honey. What’ you doing?” Miranda’s mother walked in one Tuesday morn.
Miranda, whose eyes were fixed on the picture album on her laps, relieved them a bit and got them on her mother. “Hey, mum. “I’m just going through your pictures here.” she replied.
Miranda nodded as she sat beside her. They glanced through every picture, as they laughed, reigniting old memories — but one photo caught Miranda’s attention, making her stop. “It can’t be!” she said aloud.
“What can’t be?” her mother looked at her, confused.
“Mum -” she raised her head up, resting fingers beginning to tremble.
“What is that?”
“How do you know this guy, mom?” Miranda got her eyes on the picture once again, and pointed to the man in the middle of two women; her mum she could recognize perfectly.
“Oh, that’s an old classmate of mine, baby.” came a shocking response that threw Miranda off balance.
“A-an old c-classmate?” she stuttered, not believing her mum.
“Mm-hmm. He used to live just down the street, but unfortunately he passed away many years ago. Why?”
Miranda couldn’t say anything but got up instead. With hands clasping the album and, a shaky feet, the frightened girl walked out the door, ignoring her mother’s call.
She headed straight to her best friend’s house, still not knowing how she would take the news, as their front door slid open before she could knock.
Her lips quivered with no words coming out of it.
“Mira, is something wrong? You look like you’ve seen a ghost or something.” Brianna joked. “Why don’t you come in first?” she ushered her in as Miranda made no movement.
“I’m talking to you, Mira. What’s wrong?” Brianna was taken aback by her present state. “Miranda!”
Miranda unclasped her arms and turned the picture book to her.
“And what’s that you got there?”
“Look closely.” Miranda said, and Brianna took the book from her.
“All I see is your -” Brianna gasped, catching sight of Nicholas. “Miranda, what is this?” she averted her gaze from the picture, not believing it herself.
Miranda could say no word.
“How is Nicholas Garcia in this picture?” she asked again, seeking for an explanation.
“Brianna,” Miranda’s lips moved. “Nicholas is a ghost. He died many years ago, Brianne.”
Brianna’s head spun at the mention of the last sentence. “You’re lying!” she said. My Nicholas can’t be dead. He can’t be!” she shouted insanely. “No! No, Nicholas is not dead. He’s not the one in that picture. Nicholas is not dead!” she kept on screaming as Miranda held her firmly.
Brianna’s heart was shattered. The one guy she gotten to love so dear, was nothing but a walking dead. How would she able to explain to anyone that came asking? Nicholas was not real, and now he’s gone. Is this really goodbye? How will she be able to get through this?
… and for the very first time, Brianna Rivera felt worse than she had ever felt — but never for once did she stop thinking of her dearest Nicholas. Goodbye’s not the last, she quoted at the end.
THIS IS MY HAPPILY NEVER AFTER TALE!
~ THE END ~
MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE 💘💘
HAPPY KWANZA, PEOPLE 💘💘