Christmas Lights

"If we're all trying to live life to it's fullest, then why are we the ones trying to escape it?"

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2. Drapetomania

Drapetomania:

(n.) an overwhelming urge to run away.

"Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa la la la la la la la la, Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la la la la la la!" Christmas carolers sang from across the hall, loudly if I must say. I keep my eyes glued to the window pane to see if she'd ever come back to me, but her car never shows up. After all it's been about an hour or so.

I sigh thinking of all the things I could've done to change her mind and stay with me while my neighbor laughed obnoxiously to rub it in my face that carolers came to her house. But that was the thing from me and Laura, we were always showing off to one another her flat is right across from mine. And when I was away on tour she wouldn't do anything until I came home to El; she would never bother Eleanor when I was away. We always tried to make one another look bad, an as much money I might have I never wanted to leave the complex.

Eleanor knows how I am to our neighbor and thinks it's cute-oh, great she's up in my mind again. I sit down on the love seat and see two mugs of hot chocolate on the coffee table, cold. Only one is still full because I drank mine when I was waiting for her. The gingerbread house we made is ruined by the wall where our pictures are at, poor gingerbread man and his home. The air still smells like cinnamon from the candle we lit our night together on Christmas, but I'm glad none of this happened on my birthday.

I hear a car coming and I quickly rush to the window like a kid to his presents, but it's not her. Laura looks through her window too as if she was expecting someone and slumps her shoulders, she sees me and scoffs, shutting her Christmas themed curtains. I roll my eyes and close my curtains too and sit down on the couch, unwrapping a candy cane from the table.

It's minty spark dances on my tongue, while my finger is wrapped around its hook. I'm almost mesmerized by the colors that swirl around each other as if they're racing to the tip. I stop sucking on it, making a popping sound and lick my lips, feeling the mint taste on them.

I flip through the channels on the tv, hoping a Christmas movie would cheer up my mind while I spend this holiday all by myself. I would like to invite the boys, but their out spending it with their families while I sit here. A few minutes later I'm just staring at the wooden floorboards that move past each other.

I must be past the stage of bored and lonely right now that I've gone mental. I have no ideas what to do I'm just hypnotized by the floor and the sound of carolers singing at every house except mine. I should feel sad about that, but who would like six random strangers come to your front door and sing to get you in the holiday spirit? Exactly.

A few moments later, I hear a knock on my door hoping it was Eleanor who came back to me so we can forgive each other. But right when I swung it open I closed it when I saw Laura's face. I hear a groan on the other side and this time she's hitting the door with her fist.

"Damn Louis, open up!" She yells once I put my ear to the door to see if she's still there. I chuckle and look through the peep hole looking how she doesn't even mind the icy wind stinging her cheeks. "Louis!"

"Okay, okay! Calm down," I call back, opening the door for her to come in but she doesn't . I peer outside to talk to her, "You know the more you yell like that, you're gonna wake up the complex." I remind her from the last time she did something like this. Long story.

She rolls her eyes. "Everyone's gone for the holidays out to their families." She retorts moving some snow around with her combat boot. "I hate Christmas." She says, disconnecting Christmas lights that I wrapped around a tree that was outside in the middle of our flats.

"I do. I like presents, good food and family. Speaking of family where's yours? And if you hate Christmas why do you have those curtains?" I only met one of her family members and that was her twin sister. Who was so shy and quiet to even talk to me, but that was about a year ago I think. Laura doesn't talk about her family much, not that it's any of my business.

"They're visiting on New Years," my eyes widen not in fear, but in excitement. "Shocker, I know. Anyway, I came over here wondering if you wanted to go the bar that's down the street?" She suggests, shoving her small hands in her brown leather jacket.

I'm hardly here at this flat and my neighbor, who's a girl, wants to go to a bar with me? I didn't even know she could drink! I look at my empty living room, then at her, then at my coat, grabbing it. I slide it on and lock the door, "Sure what the hell? The paps might find us so let's give them a little present, shall we?"

She smiled and lead me to her black Charger, "Won't paparazzi think that you're cheating on your girlfriend?" She asked in a worry tone as we settled in the car and started driving.

To be honest, I don't even know if me and Eleanor are even broken up. That would be two years wasted. We fought for hours in our bedroom, until she started to leave and breaking our gingerbread house. But it's Christmas, so technically everything should be jolly and I shouldn't give one fuck. Now that I think about it, I could go for a drink. "Even if they do, I think she just threw our relationship in the dump. If she gets jealous, that's mine and hers problem."

She nods as if he understands and continues driving on the cold road. Luckily, I arrive there in one piece with all her swerving, honking, and speeding at people on our way. She laughs at my horrified expression and parks the car in a dark parking lot.

"Alright, now I know you don't care what I do because for the two years which is more like, what? Seven months? Something like that- feel free to drink as much as you want, we're staying here all night!" She cheered, stumbling into the bar and saying hi to the regulars that were there.

The bar looked like a movie set that it was that perfect looking. The bottles of alcohol and wine glasses upside down in the glass cabinets behind the bartender, the rich mahogany counters and black plush stools. The older people playing card games in the big green tables, and two giant pool tables in the middle of the place. A few rewards and certificates held up on the wall and the place was pretty dim, with music I never heard of playing.

A man pulled my arm as I followed Laura to her seat and get a drink also. "Your that guy who's on my daughters posters in her room!" He said in a grungy voice, he looked scary to be honest. He smelled like cigarettes, had a bushy mustache, beefy arms, and clothes that had cigarette burns in random parts.

I smile weakly trying to avoid my death of being killed in a bar and laugh awkwardly, "Yeah, maybe I am." Laura doesn't even notice and ordered our drinks while talking to the bartender. Hello? Are you gonna save my ass here?

"Yeah you are him! You sing about girls and how you love them all sappy in shit, and make her cry at night, chanting your gay band's name." He said, banging his beer bottle on the counter multiple times making me gulp in terror.

Did we give girls that effect? "Um, I don't mean to hurt her feelings or anything I just don't get to meet everyone one of my fans and-" I stop my words when I see Laura approach us, not even worried for my well being of meeting this aggressive man.

"Hey! I see you met Jack." She says, giving him an arm hug but his eyes never leave mine. What kind of name is that for a man his size? No, his name should be Bobby or something, but not Jack. Jack is the name for a small puppy with nice eyes, not a man with tattoos and could kill me right here, right now.

"Y-yeah, good to meet you Jack. Um, tell your daughter I said hi and I wish to see her soon." I say in an apologetic voice before rushing to the other side of the bar counters. I hear Jack grumble something and Laura laugh at his comment then coming towards me.

"Let's get you drink. You look like shit." She tells me and rings up the bartender. "Hey Tim! We need some drinks!" He nods at her cry and gets two shot cups for the both of us. "So what do you think?"

I look around to see what she means, "What do you mean?" I asked confused, she rolls her eyes and hands me my shot cup. The clear liquid just mocked me, daring me to drink it because I held it right there in my hand. Shit.

"The place! What do you think of it?" She took the drink right before my eyes that it looked like a vacuum suck it up so quickly. That was a horrible metaphor. Was I suppose to have an opinion on a bar that has been here longer than I have?

I look around some more and everything just seems old fashion. "Very original, I like it." She beams at the statement and motions me to take a drink of my shot. I do so and it feels like it's burning my throat, leaving it moisten and tasting bitter, but that was the beauty of it.

I make a weird elephant noise as I try to clear my throat so I could speak, making her giggle and pound on the table for more. "What is that?" I ask, ew my voice sounds like I smoke four packs of cigarettes.

She shrugs without a care what it was as long as she drank it and it tasted good. "Since I've been here I learned not to ask what names they are and just drink! After all that's what we came here for, right?"

The girl had a point. Her attitude said it all, too. For once I actually looked at Tim and was quite surprised, he could be around. 25-28 years old, but had that young look in his features. He must get a lot of girls but he certainly had more tattoos than I have now and is in fit. Probably gets girls here, but doesn't talk to them since he seems a bit of the shy type. I know, I know, but I just see this punk looking guy who is shy. Think of Liam's personality, but with more tattoos and working at a bar.

I take my drink in my hand and hold it up to Laura who sways side to side and singing to the music as if she knows the lyrics, but when she sings along, it sounds like rubbish. She smiles and continues as I laugh and take the shot. It was going to be a long night.

*****

After too many drinks, my stomach started to burn so much that I threw up; didn't even make it close to the toilet. I know, what a great way to spend Christmas. But I just couldn't take it anymore.

I lay against the door of the bathroom, blocking anyone who comes in and hear the beat of the music come to my head. I don't really know where Laura went, but before I took my third drink she was playing poker her jacket. She was fun to hang out with, but this was just going to be another sad story to remember.

I don't really want to be here anymore. I want to be home in my warm bed, with Eleanor, and the smell of cinnamon sticks in the air a we cuddle together. I want to have hot chocolate right now, yeah that sounds good. Big, white, fluffy marshmallows sprinkled on the thin chocolate surface an drink it until they shrink.

"You have issues!"

Those three little words that drunken Laura told me tonight were echoing in my head. She was drunk and well, drunken words are sober thoughts. I kick the stall door hearing it make a loud smack, I try again but I miss the door and stub my toe. Maybe they weren't issues, maybe they were just perks to people. Perks.

The thing is, those words hurt. The truth hurts and that was no lie to whoever said that. I have issues like no privacy at all really, and when I do it's only for a short amount of time. I'm never home only if I'm on break I have such little time. But at this moment, I'm just so hungry. I could go for a jammy dodger right now or a pack of jelly babies.

I convince myself that the venom I feel now in my mind instead of the burning sensation in my stomach, warning me I might throw up again. I hear a pounding on the other end and some muffled yelled words, "Babe! Babe!" Someone's lost their lover.

I feel the need to run and get the hell out of here before whoever is outside gets mad at whoever is "babe". The icy window is shut closed, calling me to open it so I could be free from here. Seems like it's done well to get my attention. I stand up from my spot and lock the door, heading towards the window.

I feel the coldness on the pads of my fingertips, I draw little things on the foggy window hearing the pounding get louder. Little stars and crosses are stained on the window as I unlock the silver latches. Brutal, icy wind comes right too may face; I stand on the bathroom wooden bench and attempt to crawl out, feeling the snow numb my kneecaps. I'm out.

I stand and look around me, making sure no one is around me, I take off. My hair flaps on my forehead and the wind stings my cheeks, snow blocking my view. The great thing is, no one is calling for me. No one is looking for me. No one knows that I went and left a bar where I ditched my neighbor.

Since the bar was only down the street I made it to my house in a short amount of time. Everyone's houses are dark inside except for the colorful lights that are on, the only lights that light up the complex. I sigh and throw up next to the tree Laura unlit before we came.

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