Alex sighed as yet another Christmas advert came on his tv, he continued flicking through the channels but the damn bright lights and happy tunes never left. He ended up turning the whole thing off, he couldn’t bear anymore Christmas cheer, it was the last thing he had. It was the time of year he couldn’t turn on the radio, the tv or even go outside without be reminded of things he promised himself never to think about. So Alex was trapped in his apartment, hiding from the world just wishing for the days to pass.
He’d been sat on his couch for awhile, just watching the night sky and just letting his mind wonder. Though he was snapped out of his day dream by the sound of his phone ringing, the sound filling the previous silence.
“Hello?” Alex answered, his voice quiet for not being used in hours.
“Are you mopping in your apartment again?” Rian asked, Alex could almost hear him rolling his eyes.
“I’m not mopping…” Alex mumbled.
“Yes you are, that’s your mopping voice,” Rian argued.
“What did you call me for Dawson?” Alex asked.
“Oh right, well I got invited to this party and Cassadee can’t come so I thought you might want to…”
“I said no,” Alex snapped.
“Alex, you can’t just sit there and be miserable, that’s all you’ve been since he left. You’ve got to get out again and well it’s Christmas for goodness sake, it’s the time for cheer and drunkenness.”
Alex sighed again and looked out for his window over the city, so alive with people and Holiday lights. It was true that he’d been hiding away from everything because everything just reminded Alex of… Him. The person Alex loved so much but walked out of the door never to return, taking Alex’s heart with him.
“If I come will you stop pestering me?”
So that’s how Alex ended up getting ready to go out only days before Christmas, a holiday that brought make happy memories of a time long gone. Alex hadn’t been anywhere in so long, he couldn’t remember the last time he’d gone out in anything over than work his work clothes. He found himself slipping quite easily back into his skinny jeans and favourite white shirt, throwing his red flannel on over to the top so he was vaguely Christmassy. As he looked at himself in the mirror Alex actually he thought he looked quite good but then it was time to go and he couldn’t help that ache that settled in his chest whenever he thought about it. Rian was right, he’d spend too long locked up in his home feeling sorry for himself, fuck that he was going out.
As soon as Alex got outside he was met by bright shining lights and decorations lining the streets. Alex’s first reaction would be to run away, the sight of everything just brought back thoughts back of decorating his own home with his love by his side. He tried to push the thoughts away as he reached the bar Rian had told him about. He stepped inside, only to be greeted by even more decorations covering the walls and old Christmas no1s being played at too high a volume. It didn’t take Alex to find his friend, sitting at the bar talking to some guy.
“Hey Alex, you made it,” Rian cheered.
“I don’t know if this was a good idea… I might go,” Alex mumbled, the loud music and all the happy couples around him were beginning to make him feel a bit uncomfortable.
“No don’t leave, stay for a drink at least,” Rian said.
Alex nodded and took a seat at the bar beside Rian, who continued the conversation he was having as Alex ordered himself a Jack and Coke.
“So how are you doing?” Rian asked, turning to Alex as he sipped at his drink.
“Alright I guess,” Alex shrugged.
“Come on Alex, it’s been months since John…”
“Sorry, since he left, you can’t be miserable forever and well it’s Christmas,” Rian said.
“We were together for three years, three years and then one day he just decides he doesn’t want me anymore. How am I supposed to handle that?” Alex grumbled, taking a large drink of alcohol.
“I’m not saying there’s any magic fix, I know there isn’t but the way to get over him is to actually get out, all you’re doing sitting in your apartment is thinking about him and asking why he left, well guess what? That won’t help.”
Rian’s words may have stung a bit but they were true and Alex knew it. He sighed again and ordered another drink.
“I’m going to speak to some old friends, are you alright on your own?” Rian asked.
“You invite me to a party just to abandon me?” Alex asked, his sarcasm missing its usual bite.
“I’m fine, go talk to your friends.”
Rian just nodded and walked away, leaving Alex sat at the bar with only his drink for company. He couldn’t blame Rian for wanting to talk to someone else, he hadn’t exactly been the life of the party recently but at least he was trying to get back to being himself.
Alex sat on his own for a while, sipping his Jack and Coke and humming along to some of the songs he recognised. Rian came over to check on him every so often for going back into the crowd of people that had filled the bar, Alex was pretty sure he knew some of them but he didn’t feel like much like small talk. Alex was so busy staring at the bottom of yet another empty glass that he hadn’t noticed a person had sat down beside him.
“Want another one?” the voice asked.
“Oh hmm yeah, thanks,” Alex replied, looking up at see the person he was talking to.
He saw it was a young man of around his own age with dark brown eyes, two toned brown and blonde hair and a nice smile.
“I’m Jack by the way,” the man said.
“So tell me this Alex, why are you sitting here by yourself when there’s so much fun to be had?” Jack asked.
“I’m not really in the Christmas mood,” Alex mumbled.
He was about to take a sip of his drink when Jack put his hand in the way.
“Come on, I’m sure there’s more to it than that,” Jack said.
Alex resisted just rolling his eyes and walking away but there was something about Jack’s big dark eyes and his goofy smile that made him stay.
“If you really want to know, my boyfriend of three years left me and this is my first holiday without him,” Alex replied.
“Oh.. I was expecting you to say that a hooker stole your money or something,” Jack said.
Alex raised a smile at that and turned to face the man beside him, Jack pushing the drink back over to him.
“I’m sorry about your boyfriend, that sucks,” Jack said.
“He was an ass,” Alex replied, it was the first time he’d admitted to that despite that amount of times it was said to him. Maybe it was the alcohol speaking or maybe it was Jack, he didn’t know.
“Then you’re better off without him.”
“I wish I thought that was true,” Alex mumbled.
Jack wasn’t silent for a moment then the silence was replaced by a new song coming on the speaker, loud, cheery and oh so very Christmassy.
“Come on,” Jack said, standing up.
“Come where?” Alex asked.
Jack didn’t reply and just grabbed Alex’s hand, pulling him toward the floor where everyone was dancing. Alex tried to protest but Jack couldn’t hear him over the music, Jack just started to dance and Alex was forced to join in as Jack still held his hand. It didn’t take long before Alex was actually enjoying himself, moving in time to the music with Jack and singing along to whatever cheesy song was playing. In that moment everything was forgotten, Alex’s past, the reason for his misery all gone as he danced with Jack.
Alex didn’t know how long they’d danced for, everything was just a blur of drunken singing, dancing and standing on each others toes. Eventually Alex stumbled back over to the bar to catch his breath with Jack close behind him.
“Feeling a bit more Christmassy now?” Jack asked, leaning on the bar.
“You could say that..” Alex smiled, it was the first time someone had really made him smile in so long. But as Alex looked at Jack he couldn’t help to, his chocolate eyes and smile that could light up the room.
Jack just took Alex’s hands in his own and pulled him close so they were standing almost nose to nose. Jack smiled again and looked up, Alex followed his eyes and saw they were standing under some mistletoe.
“Can I kiss you?” Jack asked.
Alex could only nod and Jack leant in and pressed their lips together. Alex had never felt anything like it, not even with John, the fireworks seemed to explode from the moment their skin touched. Sparks flew and Alex’s hands find their way to Jack’s hair and Jack’s hands to Alex’s waist, pulling him closer. By the time Jack pulled away they were both out of breath but still holding onto each other.
“How do you feel about Christmas now?” Jack asked, his hands still on Alex’s waist and a huge grin on his face.
“I wish it could be Christmas every day if it meant I could kiss you again,” Alex replied.
Jack leant in to kiss Alex again, the fire still burning in both their hearts, the holiday songs still filling the room and everyone still dancing like nothing had happened. It had of course, love was in the air and Christmas was never to be the same again. Because it no longer remind Alex of someone long gone but of someone he loved who he first kissed under the mistletoe.