The least I could wish for

This is a story about a Christmas romance. It's a take on the traditional story of Mary and Joseph but very different at the same time.
My main reason for writing this ... the 2013 advent calendar of stories but I guess it's also a different side to my writing.
Hope you like it.

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1. My Wish

It was a cold morning; a fresh layer of snow covered the grass and the trees were draped in the clearest, sparkling icicles. The harsh sunlight reflected into my eyes making me squint as I walked briskly up the hill. I had to get there soon. In five minutes it would all be over. I had to hurry.

                                                                                                ~*~

It was a month ago when Jamie first spoke to me. I sat across the classroom from him in English Literature but that day our teacher had paired us up with people we didn’t normally work with. As always, half the class shouldered this with a lot of moaning and groaning and the other sat in a sulky silence. Once we had quietened down, the teacher read out the pairs we were to work in.

“Jamie Edwards,” she paused and looked at me for a nanosecond before announcing “and Charlotte Green.”

After that I heard no more. Jamie was a cute guy, average height, slim and longish chestnut coloured hair. My friends adored him but me; I’m more of a personality girl than an appearance one. I needed to get to know him before I made any decisions. But don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t want an ugly husband but it just so happens that looks aren’t everything to me.

Anyway, we were in our groups and we were given a question to research together. I have no idea what that was now but it wasn’t exciting; this much I know because Jamie and I talked to each other a lot. We talked more than either of us had ever talked before.

There was something about Jamie. He made me want to open up, want to talk about the troubles I had, the things that gave me joy and the things that I thought no one would ever hear. I think I had the same impression on him. I know he told me his life story and not just to get sympathy. He’s not that type of person.

                                                                                                ~*~

I looked up at the hill in front of me. I knew I had to climb it. It was a steep hill with bare trees jutting out of the snowy ledges. Looking up I thought it seemed surreal, like it was another world, not Earth.

I drew in a deep breath of the fresh chilled air and began my upward trawl. If I got there soon enough I would have the chance to see the scenery laid out beneath me, the tiny villages dotted around this hill as far as the eye could see.

Thinking this I realised that it was so much easier to drag myself up the hill when I had something to look forward to at the top. Something that would reward me for the effort; not that what I was aiming for, what I was hurrying towards, wouldn’t be enough of a reward.

                                                                                                ~*~

As Jamie sat next to me, we talked about everything, literally everything. I learnt how his mum had left when he was three years old; the way his dad never noticed him or congratulated him; how he tried so hard at school but it never felt like enough to him and that the one girl he had fallen in love with did not appear to share his romantic feelings.

As he stated this, just like one would state a fact, he lifted his eyes and looked directly at me. In that moment I knew. I knew who this girl was. I knew why he was telling me all this. He may have been handsome, he may have been what nearly everyone wished for but she still hadn’t fallen for him.

I lowered my gaze, took a deep breath and readied myself for giving him my honest opinion, my honest answer. But I never got the chance.

“Charlie!” Maya slapped me on my shoulder and I turned to face her, anger pulsing through my veins. I had nearly admitted my love for Jamie to him, to ease the torment in his heart, and she had stopped me.

“What?” I snapped, irritated.

“You guys have done nothing, if you hadn’t realised, and Mrs Thompson is coming round to check up on everyone. Wanna copy some of our ideas?” Maya gestured to where she, and another girl I didn’t know the name of, were working.

“Sure.” I replied, turning to get some paper and begin the task.

                                                                                                ~*~

I was at the top with two minutes to spare. The snow around me glittered and the air was calm. It was still freezing though so I huddled deeper into my stripy woollen scarf, pulled my hat over my ears and pulled the zip on my jacket up to just below my chin.

Scanning the horizon I saw children playing in the snow and I heard squeals and laughter ringing out across the village. But looking closer to the hill I saw what I was really searching for. He was coming, like I knew he would.

Late last night I sent a text to him saying:

‘Pls come to hill 2morrow. U no u want 2. We have something 2 say 2 each other. Charlie xx’

His reply made my heart leap with joy when it beeped through on my mobile a few minutes later.

‘Of course I will. Would do anything 4 u. J xx’

My thoughts had wandered for too long. I knew it the moment I looked down to where he had been and saw no one within one hundred metres of this position. My heart beat faster as I wondered what had happened, where he had gone.

“Ahhhhhhhh!” I screamed as a snowball hit me in the small of my back and someone grabbed my waist, spinning me round to face them.

“That day in English, when we worked together, you were going to say something until Maya interrupted. That’s why we’re here, isn’t it?”

“I … I think you are amazing, Jamie. Ever since I saw you I thought you were cute and handsome but … looks aren’t everything to me. I needed to get to know you as a person before I said anything. It may seem like I don’t share your romantic feelings but … to be perfectly honest …. I do!”

Jamie lent towards me and I leant towards him, our lips met and we kissed.

Then we turned around and began to walk along the top of the hill, his arm wrapped around my shoulder, and we talked and sang Christmas songs.

It was perfect. I was happier than I had been for a long time.

This was the least I could have ever wished for.

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