Remember When

Submitted into Contest #140 in response to: Write a story that involves a flashback.... view prompt

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Christmas Romance Fiction

She ran out of the front door.

“Hey! You’ve got the wrong hou-”

She looked down at the label on the package:

Beverly Ross

429 Winer Rd

Clery, MI

“Wait, it’s actually mine?!” she thought. 

Confusion filled her face as she returned to the warmth of her home. She placed the package on the counter as she opened her Amazon App to see her recent purchases. Nothing. 

It was the week before Christmas so this would be completely unshocking except she had received all of her anticipated gifts already. So who was this one from?

Beverly walked back towards her TV bewildered and decided to resume her movie. It was a typical Christmas romance movie with all the bells and whistles of your classic made-for-tv indulgences. Sure, it would be another lonely Christmas praying for her own romantic miracle only the writers of these movies could fabricate but it was Christmas nonetheless and that alone was enough for her. 

As she began to get back into her movie, the package loomed from behind her on the counter. 

Who could it be from?

Who had her address?

What was it?!

The mystery of it all started to create a sense of anticipation Beverly hadn’t felt since she was a child. She picked up the box and heard something slide within its confines. She placed the box down and read the label again:

Beverly Ross

429 Winer Rd

Clery, MI

“Okay. It’s definitely for me.” She reassured herself.

She picked up the package again, this time she gave it a little shake. No fluid sounds nor the clicking of glass. Definitely something small in there.

“Let’s think horses not zebras here, Bev. It’s probably something you forgot about.” she stated to herself. 

“Just open it!” she huffed as she walked over to grab the scissors from the junk drawer. 

She separated the scissor blades and as she went to cut through the tape she felt the swell of excitement build up again. As she placed her hand within the box she felt the edge of its contents. Beverly pulled the item from the box and noticed a small rectangle piece of paper drift to the ground with two lines:

“Do you remember when?

201-555-1203”

Beverly looked down at the gift and heat began to fill her body. Of course she remembered. How could she forget? Within a matter of seconds, the excitement of this mystery turned into an overwhelming rush of emotions Beverly hadn’t felt in a long time. 

She threw herself onto the couch and looked down at this tiny key to a locked vault of memories. Beverly picked up her phone and looked down on the new message. She hesitated. A text would be more fitting but what would she say? How would she even start the conversation?

Of course I remember.

Happy Holidays Nathan”

She looked at the screen of her phone for a minute before she locked it. Nathan knew she hadn’t forgotten the magical moment that casted a shadow on every “first kiss” to follow. She rolled the ornament between her fingers. The Rockefeller Christmas Tree. It was the Olympic Torch of the Christmas season and a constant reminder of the fairytale beginning to an epic tragedy for them as a couple. 

Beverly got up and walked over to her pre-lit tree. He knew each ornament held sentimental value for her and he made sure this one fit right in with the rest. She found a spot almost immediately and nestled the beautifully delicate ornament within the branches and lights. They were a typical case of the right person at the wrong time but boy did their love story have some moments that were almost too incredible to believe. Kind of like this one. 

“Well…” She sighed as she looked at the tiny crystal tree. 

Beverly walked back to the couch and sat down. As she tried to continue watching the movie, she began to lose herself in the memory of that moment. 

“Skating just opened. Let’s see if we can get in.” Nathan grabbed her hand and out the diner door they went.

“Run Bev!” Nathan yelled through laughter.

Beverly took a deep inhale of the crisp New York winter air as they ran down West 49th Street. Her stomach burned but she wasn’t sure if it was the sprinting down long city blocks after lunch or the laughter. Their adventures were always at the most unexpected times but they were the kind you never forgot. 

The blocks began to fill with people as they got closer. He pulled her arm into him and began to weave them through the crowd as only a former football player could. 

A green light. A break. A moment to catch her breath.

“Oh my…Nathan do you seriously think we’ll even get in? It’s already crowded and we still have a block to go.” Beverly questioned as she released warm puffs into the air with her exhales on the packed corner. 

“We’ll figure it out. Come on beautiful.” He said and he grabbed her arm, tucked it into his side and continued forward.

How he managed to make her trust him so implicitly with his confidence that usually led to success without arrogance, only made him seem more perfect in his overtly motivated and stubborn imperfections. He made her feel like she could conquer anything with him by her side and isn’t that what everyone wants, Beverly thought to herself. 

The crowd thickened as they rounded the bend of Rockefeller Center. Beverly could feel the nerves building. She had ice-skated maybe once in her life before this moment and she really did not want to make a fool of herself today, especially in front of him.  Yet, here they were running down the stairs aside a long line of people who had probably been waiting for hours. 

“Nate! Nathan! There’s a line! Come on. We’re not getting in. Please.” Beverly began to pull her arm to get his attention but he continued forward. 

“It’s okay, trust me.” He said between their bodies in a whisper than made it to her ears despite the hum of hundreds of mini conversations occurring around them. 

They made it to the registration desk and waited. What was probably mere seconds felt like an eternity to her. They weren’t supposed to be there and the faces of everyone that had waited in line for hours was an uncomfortable reminder of that. 

“Sir?” The woman at the desk signaled to Nathan. 

“I’m so sorry we’re late! Can we still get in?” He confidently and every so apologetically asked.

“Mr. Maradi, party of 2 for early skate hours?” She questioned while looking down at the screen.

“That’s correct.” He said without missing a beat.

“Well sir, luckily we have not begun processing walk-ups so, as long as you don’t mind skating with a full rink…” and before she could process anything else Beverly was telling her the shoe size she needed for her rental skates.

After lacing up, they stepped on the ice together while holding hands. Beverly couldn't help but feel it was an innocent sense of intimacy trusting one another to stay upright with almost no sense of control with traction on the Earth beneath them. 

She had never done anything like this with someone before despite living near the city her entire life. It had been built up as such a cliche date it was often automatically written off as an option. Yet, here they were participating in the most romantically humbling winter activity in a spot fit for the movies. 

Beverly looked over at Nathan and smiled.

“I can not believe you pulled that off. Your last name is definitely not Maradi.” Beverly giggled.

“It’s okay. Probably someone who wasn’t showing up anyway but now we get to pretend to be the Maradis.” He got confident and spun to face Beverly on the ice as they continued their perpetual circling of the rink.

“And what would that entail?” Beverly smirked while looking into his warm brown eyes. 

“A kiss from Mrs. Maradi to Mr. Maradi I think would suffice.” He pulled her into him. Their faces so close she could feel the heat radiating from his body.

Beverly looked up into the eyes of the man she had spent so much time with yet had never realized the idea of him wanting to kiss her would lift a thousand butterflies to flight within the pits of her belly. 

In a moment fit for a movie, they leaned into one another and their lips touched. A first kiss to end all first kisses. His arm tightly around her waist made them feel so secure the ice around them seemed to melt away, leaving stable ground beneath them. 

“Now that’s a kiss from my Mrs.” He whispered between the barely existent space between their lips. 

As the commercial for Poppy Pop Popcorn started, Beverly was immediately jolted back to the present day which included the reality of his absence. 

“Some fairytales aren’t worth reading again but some are made to be repeated, daily if you’re lucky.” Beverly thought to herself. 

She picked her phone up and opened the blank text with Nathan’s number keyed in. 

“It’s a memory I hope to never forget. Thank you. It’s beautiful. Merry Christmas Nate.” She typed in with the ice skate emoji. Her nod to the most unforgettable Christmas kiss. 

April 09, 2022 03:17

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