~~Jasper (Christmas Special)
"Sequoyah! Woya! Stop running around!" I told my grandkids while going to get the door. Woya gave me an innocent smile and followed her older cousin, who was helping his mother setting the table.
"You were waiting for someone?" Ahykoa asked me, frowning. I shrugged my shoulders.
"No idea... Maybe a friend of yours?" I supposed.
"Could it be a friend of Waya" she said, mentioning to my eldest son.
"I'll check" Curiosity was killing me inside. Who could be at this time on a Christmas' Eve? My family is here... Maybe an old friend of mine? That couldn't be, I greeted them all yesterday... When I opened the door, I found myself with a family of four, three of the faces I didn't know of.
First, it was a man with pale skin, blonde hair and sky blue eyes. He was holding the waist of the woman next to him, who had darker skin (a little lighter than mine), brown braided hair and changing-color eyes. Her hands were on top of her belly, that was showing up a bit. The last unfamiliar face belonged to a little boy of six, not older. His skin was pale, like his father (or, who I'm assuming is his father), but his hair was brown like his mother (again, assuming) and his eyes were green brownish. The three of them were wearing large coats over their clothes.
I stared longer to the familiar face in front of me. He was holding the little boy, smiling at me like an apology. His face brought me back to my childhood, when I've seen that smile growing up.
In front of my house, standing at my door, was my little brother.
"Tr-Tristan?" I chocked out, not able to keep the mad façade at him. Did I miss him? Of course, but I put my pride first after my father's death and I haven't spoke to him since.
"It's been a while, Adahy" he recognized. I nodded, incapable of saying another word.
"Grandpa, who is he?" I heard the boy whispering at his ear. Grandpa?! That means...
"Adahy? Who is it?" Ahykoa called me. I didn't know she was closed until I heard a dish getting break "Tristan?"
After making the extra guests coming in and cleaning the mess, we sat around in the living room, staring at each other, very scared of saying any word. Tristan's grandson, however, was oblivious to the tension and babbled to his mother's belly, calling it 'Cessa'.
"So..." the man started, feeling the awkward moment in the air, cleaning his throat "I hope you can forgive this, um, unexpected visit, but Piper wanted-"
"Piper?" I repeated, focusing on the woman sat besides him.
"My daughter" Tristan explained. I kept my mouth shut, trying not to let the torrent of thoughts out of my mouth
"Anyway, she thought this could be a good time for, um, reconciliation"
"Well, I think not" Waya interfered, frowning. Tristan sighed and looked at his daughter and son-in-law (not assuming, I'm watching at their wedding bans) who were holding Waya's stare, like it was nothing.
"What's your name?" the little boy asked me, standing in front of me "I'm Thomas!" he introduced himself, smiling.
"You named him after his father?!" Ahykoa gasped, a bit scandalize, making Thomas back up a little and hiding between his mother's legs "Who gave you the right-"
"I named him" Piper's husband voiced out. Everyone shut their mouth "I was born in a broken family and then, grew up without one. Family is important to Piper and to me as well, so I decided to name him after the man who also believed in family"
To say we were speechless was little. We were gaping at him with no shame, while Piper was blushing slightly at his words.
When dinner was ready, the mood was bizarre. Everyone was quiet and the clashing of the silvery was the only noise that was heard, except the occasional whispers between couples.
"It's been, um, lovely, to see and meet you all tonight..." Piper started close to midnight, once we were done eating and the dishes were clean "But, um, I think it would be better for us to leave" she finished, looking at his husband, who nodded and got up of his seat.
"But, Mommy!" Thomas protested "It's almost present time!" His father smirked and whispered some words in his ear, making his eyes open wide "OK, let's go!" he agreed to whatever he told him, out of the blue, puling his father to the door. But before they left completely, Tristan turned to me.
"Look, I know you have every right to hate me... I'm not asking for forgiveness, but for a chance to um, how should I put this? Have a fresh start" he explained "Here, this is my address" he gives me a paper with his address and phone number "We're spending Christmas tomorrow at my house and we'll be thrill for you and your family to come" he ranted, nervous "Well, um... Merry Christmas and I hope we see you tomorrow" And, with that, he turned around and left with his daughter and her family.
That night, I couldn't sleep. Everything that happened the previous night was still in my mind, going round and round, looking for a logical explanation. But I couldn't find one. I couldn't form one.
"Grandpa?" I heard a yawn behind me, to see Woya up, rubbing her eyes with her little fists "Why are you up? Were you waiting for Santa? Did he came? Did you see him? Why didn't you wake me up?"
I chuckled at the torrent of questions she was giving me. Believe it or not, she was wide awake.
"No, Woya, I wasn't waiting for Santa" I confessed, pulling her up into my lap "I guess I fall asleep or he wouldn't had delivered the presents" I explained to her. She gasped at me and nodded, eying the mountain of presents under the tree.
"Can I open mine?" she asked, innocently. I chuckled again and picked one present from the tree.
"Don't tell your Dad I let you open it" I whispered. She nodded again and brought a finger to her lips, unwrapping the present carefully. When she was done, she eyed it, curious.
"What is it?" she questioned me.
"It's a book" I smiled at her "It has a lot of stories of our people"
"Can you read me one? Pwease?" she begged, making me smirk and open the book in a random page and reading outloud:
'The North went traveling. and after going far and meeting many different tribes he finally fell in love with the daughter of the South and wanted to marry her.'
'The girl was willing, but her parents objected and said, "Ever since you came, the weather has been cold, and if you stay here we may all freeze to death."'
'The North pleaded hard, and said that if they would let him have their daughter he would take her back to his own country, so at last they consented. They were married and he took his bride to his own country, and when she arrived there she found the people all living in ice houses.'
'The next day, when the sun rose, the houses began to leak, and as it climbed higher they began to melt, and it grew warmer and warmer, until finally the people came to the young husband and told him he must send his wife home again, or the weather would get so warm that the whole settlement would be melted. He loved his wife and so held out as long as he could, but as the sun grew hotter the people were more urgent, and at last he had to send her home to her parents.'
'The people said that as she had been born in the South, and nourished all her life upon food that grew in the same climate, her whole nature was warm and unfit for the North.'
"Grandpa?" Woya called me when I finished "Is that what happened to the man that came last night?"
I blinked hard at her words and I kind of realized she was right. Something had came, the new era of civilization and Tristan had been willingly to embrace it. But if that civilization stayed in our lands, we could had been forgotten a lot of our own culture. So, Tristan left. He might not been fitting right, after years, and someone was asking him to go back to his roots.
In its own, the story was describing perfectly what was going own with my brother.
"What do you say to pay him a visit?"
"His house is big" I heard Sequoyah mumble, looking around.
"Probably to rub his success to others" Waya explained, bitterly to his son. I sighed and, before I could say anything, Tristan opened the door.
"Adahy? Welcome!" he greeted me, making us walk in. We stepped inside and noticed that the house was full. Minimum, seven families were gather in the house, chatting and sharing stories, while kids ran around "This are Piper and Jason's friends and family..." he trailed off.
"And we still have room, Dad" Piper walked behind Tristan, smiling "Welcome and join us. What's Christmas without the family?"
I couldn't agree more.
AHYOKA: Cherokee: "She brought happiness"
WOYA: Cherokee: "Dove"
ADAHY: Cherokee: " lives in the woods."
SEQUOYAH: Cherokee: "Sparrow"
WAYA: Cherokee: "Wolf"
MARRIAGE OF THE NORTH AND THE SOUTH (A Cherokee Legend)