Now Playing: Christmas Magic
“I invite you to my party on Christmas Eve. Will you come?”
Steven asked me one day.
“Thanks, Steven,” I replied, “I will certainly come!”
I was excited as this would be my first formal party. Rebecca was also very happy, as this would be her first party as well, so we started making plans. Rebecca was my best friend. We shared everything together and she used to stay overnight at my home at weekends. I would visit her regularly too, but as she had to share her room with her two older sisters, we preferred meeting at my place most of the times. Rebecca was Steven’s sister. She was the youngest in the family, while Steven was the second child.
Steven had a lot of friends who visited him all the time so their house was always full of life and mischief. Their parents were working all day away from home so the kids were free to make their own plans. It was one of those busy social afternoons when I met Chris for the first time. He was the same age as Steven, five years older than me, and he was one of his closest friends.
“Hi, Lia,” he used to say, “What’s up?”
“Hi,” I replied, and rushed to Rebecca’s room to chat.
Two days before the party Rebecca said: “You know, Chris will be at the party too.”
“So, what?” I replied. I didn’t take this as a hint.
“Come on…,” Rebecca went on. “I know you like him! Will you ever admit it?”
I blushed. I did like him. But that was it as far as it could go. I had not the slightest idea how to behave to an 18-year-old boy if he ever started a chat with me.
“OK, I like him a little bit,” I said “No big deal!”
But Rebecca was not satisfied. From that day on she started teasing me about Chris-you know how girls at that awkward age of 12 behave sometimes. I tried to ignore her remarks and, finally, the big day came!
“Hurry up,” Rebecca called me on the same afternoon. “Come to help me now! I need you!”
I had promised her to be there very early, before the party started. So, I put some rosy gloss on my lips, I wore my fancy bracelets and my new white shoes. I arrived at Rebecca’s in no time and rang the bell.
“Hi, Lia,” Steven said opening the door. He looked at me from head to toes and exclaimed: “What a gorgeous pink dress! You’re a model tonight!”
I was flattered, and I liked it. Before I had time to say ‘thank you’ Steven added:
“Chris will be here soon…you know, he’s interested in you,” and he disappeared into another room.
I stayed still. I just didn’t know what to say or what to think. Then I ran to Rebecca.
“Chris has talked to Steven about me…why didn’t you tell me?” I shouted in one breath. “You are supposed to be my best friend!”
Rebecca laughed. “Oh, come on! I knew it! Sit down, and let me explain,” she tried to calm me down. “Chris is Steven’s friend, not mine. And you know those boys, they do keep their secrets! He won’t possibly tell me anything about anything!”
She did not persuade me but I had to take it easy-there wasn’t any time left, and I desperately needed time to think and be prepared for all this. This strange feeling of excitement, mixed with happiness and anger all at the same time, was very new to me.
Just then I looked at the doorway. Chris was there smiling at me.
“Hi, girls,” he said. “I’m a bit early, so, can I help?” Rebecca and I replied in unison.
“Hi, Chris, and no!”
He looked a bit surprised at the way we reacted, but in a second he smiled back. “Well,” he said, “in that case…”
Rebecca walked out of the room mumbling something like “I forgot to…” and I was now all alone with Chris.
He came close to me and I noticed he was holding something in his hand..
“This is for you,” he said slowly.
I was at a loss for words. Then I replied: “Oh, how nice of you! What a beautiful rose! Thanks!” I took the red rose in my trembling hands but I didn’t know what to do with it. I just felt so uncomfortable. For an everlasting moment I could only hear my heart racing from excitement. Then the music started. Rebecca reappeared in the room and Chris left abruptly saying: “I’ll be back later…please, don’t vanish!” He sent me a cute smile and I smiled back.
That evening went by like a dream. Rebecca and I were the youngest at the party, while all the other guests, about thirty persons or more, danced and chatted loudly. Chris was dancing with me the whole evening, chatting about everything he wanted to know. I mostly replied with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ but by the end of the evening I was at ease with him.
When the party finished, after midnight, he kissed me goodnight saying: “I’ll call you soon!”
I stayed overnight at Rebecca’s. We scarcely slept, we talked and talked for hours on end till our eyelids became heavy. It was a magic evening and I wanted it desperately to last for ever. But the next day was a new day, and I knew that the magic moments end somehow.
Chris called me many times since then but we never actually had a date. My dad picked up the phone once and got really angry.
“Lia is too young. Please leave her alone!” he told Chris. Then he told me not to see or speak to him any more. “Wait till you get older,” he said, “you are only a child!” My mom agreed too, so I was not allowed to visit Rebecca any more. She had to come to my house instead.
Well, my dad was probably right, and although I did not like it at first, I had to obey and keep away from Chris. After all, I felt very indecisive and puzzled.
“Please, Chris, don’t call me any more,” I told him over the phone. “My parents are very angry…and I think that it’s too early for me to …you know.”
He never called back. I felt bad, and I kept thinking about him for a long time afterwards. I was full of doubts. Was I very insensitive? But somehow, I knew that I had done the right thing.
Years passed. One day, just before Christmas, I saw Chris across the road. We did not speak- I don’t know why. Maybe we both felt uncomfortable. Maybe he had forgotten this little magic of that time, who knows? But I believe that that old Christmas magic hasn’t gone for ever. I know that for sure, because I wouldn’t be writing these words now. It’s still here, in my heart, and makes me feel like a twelve-year-old girl again!
Liana Metal is an EFL teacher, book reviewer and writer living in Greece. She is an MAEd (Applied Linguistics) holder and she has been working in the ELT field for many years. She loves writing articles and stories in a variety of genres for publications worldwide. For any questions or comments, you can visit her at http://lianametal.tripod.com