Romance Holiday

“Agh-” I groaned slowly, forcing myself to get off of the couch.

The door swung open, “I got us coffee - woah - are you okay?!” Isabelle ran over to me, “Are you sick or something? You look horrible.”

I rolled my eyes, “Thanks. And no, I’m just tired. And annoyed.”

Isabelle looked at me knowingly, “Still upset that you won’t be home in time for Christmas?”

“Yes. My body hurts, too.” I pulled my leg up, stretching it out. 

Isabelle smirked, “Yes, well, sleeping on the couch can do that to you. C’mon, you need to get out. Go on a jog. Tomorrow is our last show, and then you can head back to Arizona.” 

I smiled, thinking of the warm sun. We were performing in New York, and though I did love the vibe of the city, it was hard to perform in a small dress in the freezing cold. My whole body was stiff, making it harder to dance properly. 

I sighed, “I’m just upset. This was going to be my first Christmas with Jake, and I was really excited. He was excited too. Then I double-checked my schedule and realized we’d be leaving New York on December 25th, meaning I’d have to spend Christmas on the road. God.”

Isabelle hopped onto the couch, giving me a hug. She had a fantastic ability to always be optimistic, whereas I was in the corner being gloomy and sullen. It did get frustrating how happy she could be, but she was a great friend, so I dealt with it. 

I grabbed my phone, scrolling through some forwards and chainmail, to see some texts from Jacob.

“Hey Belle, I’m going to call Jacob.” I said.

Isabelle grinned, “I’ll leave - see you in a bit!”

I typed in his number, and after a few seconds of ringing, he picked up.

“Hazel?” His voice sounded from the other side of the phone. His smooth, concerned voice.

I smiled, biting my lip, “Jake, it’s me.”

“Are you okay? What’s wron-”

I giggled, “Nothing, don’t worry. I just wanted to call you, because I miss you.”

There was a pause.

“I miss you so much, Hazel.”

I sighed quietly. He loved me. He was good to me. He was so exhilarated to spend the holidays with me, and I felt like I had crushed it. I really did love my job. I loved dancing, putting on a show, entertaining people, even though it didn’t pay much. He had a high-paying job, and got to work from home with his laptop. He actually took off work so that we could spend time together for two weeks. 

“I’m so sorry Jake. I really wanted to spend the holidays with you.” I said quietly.

“I did too. But you love your job, don’t you? At least you’re doing something that makes you happy over Christmas!” Jake said, sounding chipper, as always.

I exhaled, “Mhm. I mean… I do really love my job. But it gets tiring. Sometimes. And I know the shows will be over soon, but I really just want to relax with you. I want to wake up at 10 in the morning and drink as much coffee as I want, eat as much as I want. Not be surrounded by music all the time. Not even music, noise! I don’t want to be surrounded by noise anymore. I just feel really burnt out. I want it to be over.” 

I heard a laugh, “Just try and enjoy it for a week or so. It’ll be over before you know it. I’m going to go on a run, love you, baby!”

I nodded, “Love you.”


After we finished the show, and I realized there was no point dwelling that I couldn’t be with Jake, all I wanted to do was sit in my hotel room alone. I was definitely fed up with all of the sounds around me, sounds of music booming, people talking, crowds cheering. All I wanted was to be alone for the holidays, as miserable as that might have seemed.

I looked in the mirror, putting on a light coat of make-up. I looked at the room-service menu, getting on the phone with a waiter, and ordering some pasta and soup. There was a knock on the door, and I opened it excitedly, expecting food, but saw Isabelle.

“Belle…” I said slowly.

Isabelle grinned, “Excited to see me?”

“Listen, Belle - this isn’t personal, I just want to be alone for a bit.” I said, tying my hair into a bun.

Isabelle nodded, “Well this isn’t personal either, but you’re being a… jerk.”

“A jerk?” I said, messing with my hair, “Isabelle, you’re not supposed to be saying bad words, and I think that is personal.”

I looked back at Isabelle. She looked stunning, as usual. Her dark black hair was set up in a french braid, and she had put on a beautiful floral dress. If I had a choice, I would go out in sweatpants and a crewneck. She was wearing a light coat of red lipstick and some pink blush. 

“We’re going out.” Isabelle decided, pulling me over to the bathroom.

“No! Belle, no. I’m not going out. Seriously, let me be!” I said, becoming genuinely irritated.

Isabelle gave me a look, and then the door busted open again. This time it was Danny, who was dressed in a parka and baggy sweatpants. His hair was slicked back with some sculpting gel and he walked into my room like he owned the place.

“Hazel!” He grinned, giving me a hug, “Today’s your big day, eh?”

I made a face, “What?”

Right then, there was a knock on the half-opened door. Great. My food had arrived. I quickly paid and then proceeded to start stuffing pasta into my mouth.

“Why are you guys here anyways?” I said between bites of pasta.

Danny sighed, “Belle called me. She said you had gotten grumpy that you weren’t going to be home for Christmas. Like you can properly celebrate Christmas in a place like Arizona, anyways.”

I gave him a look.

“Mkay, I know you miss Sir Jakey.” Danny said, laughing, “But you’re going to be even more upset if you stay at home, especially alone.”

I laughed, trying not to spit out soup, “No, that’s actually not true at all. I would like to be alone, I’m not having a bit right now.” I said in all truth, finishing up my food.

Danny nodded, “Okay… well, Izzy and I are still taking you out.” 

At this point, I felt as though I was on the verge of tears. I wasn’t the type of person who never cried, but wasn’t the super light one who always cried. Usually, the root of my crying would be me being flustered or annoyed, not me being truly sad.

Unable to utter a few words, I went along with it, allowing them to get me dressed up. I was too lazy to do anything, so they picked out a pretty dress for me, and did my make-up and hair.

“Darling, you look extraordinary.” Belle said, finishing up my braided bun. 

I couldn’t help but smile a bit, realizing that I didn’t look too shabby, “Thank you. But why are you guys dressing me up anyways-”

“Mmm let’s go.” Danny said, opening the door and practically pushing me through. 

I grabbed my trench coat as my friends dragged me out of the hotel, and into the New York snow. The icy, cold, snow which gleefully soaked into my brand new boots as soon as I took one step outside. I hated the cold. Everyone else was always so confused as to how I could be so cheerful about spending Christmas in a warm place, but they really didn’t understand that I grew up in the heat. My body didn’t do well in the cold, and when my body doesn’t do well, my mood doesn’t go well. 

After a while of walking in the cold, we finally arrived at the place Danny and Belle said I needed to see. I had no idea of where we were, as we’d turned many streets, and my phone was in the bottom of my purse. We were moving too fast for me to be able to do anything but speed-walk. 

We turned a few more streets and came to a large opening with a little trail surrounded by trees, shrubs, and flowers. Belle looked at me tearfully, sputtering, “Go. Walk the trail.” 

I laughed, “Belle, why are you crying? Are you okay?”

She quickly wiped tears, “Gah, I’m fine. Go ahead now!”

Danny laughed, “Good luck, Hazel.” 

I looked at them concernedly, beginning to walk the trail. I really wasn’t in the mood for a walk, and I was somewhat scared of what would be waiting for me at the end of it. 

After a few minutes, I could see the end of the trail. A glimpse of a beautiful view of the shimmering Atlantic Ocean caught my eye. I ran over quickly, but something else came into sight. Rather, someone. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Dark brown floppy hair that perfectly shaped his face. Beautiful tan skin. He was wearing a white button down shirt and khakis, and his perfect dimple was showing as he grinned. 

“J- Jake?! What are you doing here?” I asked, completely shocked, “How did you get here?!”

Jake laughed, “As soon as I heard I wasn’t going to be able to spend Christmas with you, I realized how much I missed you and loved you. I figured there was no point waiting, so I booked a flight over here.”

“Waiting for what…?”

I watched in awe as he got down on one knee. Was this really happening to me? The day I had envisioned since I was a little girl. He was the one I wanted to be with, surely! Right? I was questioning everything. 

“Hazel Amaryllis Lively, I can’t imagine my life without you, as you now are and will always be everything to me. Will you marry me?” Jake said, holding up a ring box holding the most astonishing ring I’d ever seen in my entire life. 

My eyes full of tears, I laughed, “Yes!”

He kissed me, and I smiled, admiring the emerald ring. I had mentioned once that emerald was my favorite gemstone, and he remembered. 

Around a year later, we got married, surrounded by friends and family. I felt like the luckiest girl in the world. Years after we continued to celebrate the holidays together, despite me following my dream and continuing to be a dancer. And one important takeaway - the cold wasn’t too bad after all.

December 26, 2020 04:29

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