When I was a little girl, mother took subscriptions to three magazines. I would eagerly await the monthly arrival of the publications and couldn’t wait to dive in. My favorite thing was the short stories, complete in 5 or fewer pages. I decided for the holidays to relive that dream and write my own short story. It’s about 14 pages long. Please enjoy and leave a message letting me know how you liked it.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
The Christmas Boyfriend
Brooklyn found herself humming along with the music wafting through the department store speakers as she shopped for an outfit. Although Thanksgiving wasn’t for another week, some stores had already begun to play Christmas music.
Something about the songs seemed to put her in a romantic mood and she felt her heart grow warm. When the ballad made famous by, Nate King Cole began, Brooklyn closed her eyes and imagined herself in front of her fireplace with her boyfriend. But there was just one problem, she was single.
As quickly as the sentimental feeling enveloped her, Brooklyn felt it disappear. A sigh escaped her lips as she opened her eyes and continued the search for a top to match her straight leg pants.
“I want a beau for the holidays, even if it’s a pretend beau.” She thought to herself. Suddenly, a smile lit up her face as she formulated a solution to her problem.
She upped her pace in finding the perfect top. It was imperative she get home straightaway. Brooklyn had a plan.
Brooklyn opened the door to her two story town home. Once she secured the door, she made a bee-line for her bedroom and placed her packages on the floor. She kicked off her shoes and fell back onto her bed. It had been a long day and exhaustion reared its head.
The thought of dinner crossed her mind, but she shrugged it off; she was still full from a late lunch. A glance at her watch revealed she could grab a quick nap before she called her best friend. An hour later, she bolted upright in bed.
“Oh no! I didn’t mean to sleep that long. I hope Asher isn’t asleep.” She grabbed her cell phone and dialed him up.
He answered on the third ring. “Hey, what’s up?!”
Brooklyn smiled. “Not too much. What’s up with you? Were you in bed?”
“Now why do you always think I’m in bed at 9 o’clock? Who goes to bed at 9 o’clock?”
“You do and don’t even try to deny it, Asher.”
“B, when is the last time you called me after 9 o’clock and I was in bed?”
Brooklyn was silent. She twisted her mouth to the side and rolled her eyes around as she searched her mind for an answer.
“Hello?!” Asher spoke a little too loudly. His tone startled her.
“I’m here, I’m here.”
“Well, I’m listening.”
“Okay, it’s been awhile since you were in bed by 9 o’clock.” A sigh of mock defeat echoed through the phone.
“Right.” Asher smiled. “So, what’s up? I know you want to talk about something. I can hear it in your voice.”
“I have a favor to ask.” The sound of pans falling interrupted Brooklyn’s train of thought. Instead of her favor she asked if he were okay.
“I’m fine,” Asher sounded exasperated. “I put up a ceiling rack to hold my pots and pans. I bumped it the wrong way and knocked most of them down.”
“Wow, well do you need me to call you back so you can clean up?” She hoped he’d say no.
“Nah, I’m good. I can pick them up and talk. I’m not going to rewash them tonight anyway. What do you need?”
Brooklyn bit her lip. She couldn’t seem to formulate her words.
“B, are you there? I thought you needed a favor; what’s up?”
“I do . . . Okay let me just spit it out.”
“Yeah, why don’t you.” Asher interjected.
“Okay,” she said followed by a huff. “I want you to be my boyfriend for the holidays.”
Asher pulled the phone away from his ear and looked at it followed by, “What did you say?”
“I’m asking you to be my boyfriend for the holidays. Not like a serious relationship; just a pretend boyfriend.”
“Ummm. B, I need you to elaborate on this one.”
“Asher, I’ve been single for a while and every year, I spend the holidays with my family and friends. Now, I’m not complaining because I understand it’s a blessing to have family and friends. Some people don’t have that. It’s just that this year, I would love to have a boyfriend, even if it’s just for the holidays.”
“Okay, why me? I mean, I know you get asked out from time to time; why not one of them? I’m just your ride or die guy”
“Well, I don’t want just any ‘ole body, I want someone I can trust. Someone I know won’t expect favors or anything like that. I trust you Asher.”
Asher smiled. “I must admit I’m flattered. So, what do you want me to do?”
“Just hangout with me. Go with me to holiday parties and church events.”
“I think I can do that for you.”
Brooklynn smiled. “Thank you Asher, you’re always there for me.”
“You don’t have to thank me B; I got you.”
The days that followed Brooklynn and Asher’s holiday agreement transported her into a magical place. Whatever she needed, Asher accommodated. He became an Asher she’d never met.
He attended the church Christmas musical with her and seemed to enjoy himself immensely. He even questioned himself for not attending sooner. One Sunday morning, Brooklynn made a last minute call asking Asher to visit her church instead of his. To her delight, he met her in time for service.
“I just don’t want to worship alone today,” she said. “Not a problem,” he replied.
One Wednesday evening, Asher called and asked what she was doing. “Nothing really,” she said. “I was just about to watch a movie.”
“A movie, how routine. Go upstairs and shower and put on something semi-dressy; I have a surprise for you.”
Brooklynn frowned. “A surprise? What is it?”
“Well, if I told you, it wouldn’t be a surprise now would it.” That night when he picked her up, he took her to see The Nutcracker.
Brooklynn couldn’t help but smile. “Thank you,” she whispered as the second act began. “Our seats are perfect. This night is perfect.” Asher returned her smile and gave her hand a squeeze.
A week later on a Friday night he called and suggested, she put on something really warm. The surprise that night was ice skating. “How did you know I’ve always wanted to go ice skating?” she asked as they sipped on hot chocolate later that night at a local coffee house.
“Because, I listen to you.”
While he spoke, her mind to drifted back to the fun they’d had ice skating. The disc jockey played a few Christmas ballads and Asher had pulled her close. He’d held her by the waist as they circled the rink. Brooklynn melted into his arms and allowed him to lead; it felt like a fairy-tale.
She gazed into the face of her friend and wondered why he wasn’t in a relationship. You see, for the past two weeks, Asher had become everything she’d desired in a man. She couldn’t for the life of her understand why someone hadn’t snatched him up.
He wasn’t late for their dates. He opened establishment doors and car doors, pulled out chairs and never walked through a doorway in front of her. His conversation became lively and animated and whenever she phoned him, he didn’t rush her.
As she listened to him talk that night over their hot chocolate, Brooklynn wanted to ask so badly why Asher wasn’t taken. She decided against it for fear she’d abate the magic by talking about another woman. When she suddenly realized Christmas was only two weeks away, she had to work to conceal her sadness.
Brooklynn didn’t know who this romantic Asher was but she liked him and if she had her druthers, she’d keep him.
“What’s wrong?” His voice broke her thoughts.
“Why do you think something’s wrong?”
He leaned in. “Because, you have tears in your eyes.”
“I do?” Her question was sincere.
“Yes, you do.”
She managed a smile. “I was just thinking about a couple of family members who’ve passed on; just missing them.”
Asher smiled. “Liar, liar pants on fire. Nose as long as a telephone wire.”
Brooklynn sighed. “I’m okay. Just one of those moments a woman has every now and again.”
The look on his face told her he didn’t believe her, but he let it go. “I know you, Brooklynn. But if you say that’s what it is . . .”
Later that night, once home alone, she allowed her tears to fall. “Perhaps this wasn’t such a good idea after all. I’ve only set myself up for more disappointment once the holidays are over. I’m going to end this after the Community Holiday Ball. I’ll do New Years with my family and friends.”
“What time shall I pick you up for the ball tonight?”
“Well, it starts at seven, so how about six. That way we aren’t rushed.
“Okay madam. Six o’clock it is. I’ll see you then.”
Brooklynn gave herself the once over after she’d dressed for the evening. Following a disciplined year of weight loss and healthy eating, the black sequenced gown she’d purchased last year fit like a glove.
“How do I look?” she asked her friend Brice who’d come over to help her dress.
“Girl you look fabulous! I can’t wait to see Asher’s face when he sees you.”
“Oh please girl,” Brooklynn gave Brice the side eyes. “He isn’t in the least bit interested in me.”
“Ummm hummm. I wouldn’t be so sure.”
At precisely six o’clock the doorbell rang. Brice attended to the ringing bell as Brooklynn prepared for her decent down the stairs.
“Girl, when he gets here, let me open the door for him and position him at the bottom of the stairs. I want you to make an entrance; like they do on TV,” Brice said once Brooklynn was completely dressed. “I want you to take those steps like a runway model.”
“Brice, stop it!” Brooklynn chuckled.
“Humph, please. You know that always seals the deal on TV. When he sees you descend those stairs like a queen, and you have a spiral staircase too!”
“You just listen to Brice,” her friend said and winked her eye, “and you will see a side of, Mr. Asher that you’ve never seen.
Asher stood at the bottom of the stairs just as, Brice had planned. When he finally saw Brooklynn, the sight of her stole his breath away. The limousine he’d rented for the night, left her breathless. Brice smiled as she closed and locked her girlfriend’s front door. She felt like a proud mamma hen sending her daughter off on a first formal.
The music was lively and the food delicious at the charity ball. Asher was ever the gentleman and attended to Brooklynn’s every whim. The two friends laughed and danced the night away. However, it seemed Asher avoided the slow songs until finally the DJ played a Christmas song by the late great Luther Vandross.
Asher stood and extended his hand. “May I have this dance?”
“Yes, you may.” Brooklynn took his hand and allowed him to lead her to the dance floor. He pulled her into his arms and placed a hand at the small of her back and drew her in closer. He took one of her hands in his and kissed it.
“Asher?!” The expression on Brooklynn’s face betrayed her confusion.
“Shhhhh . . . Just dance with me.” After a few seconds he began to whisper in her ear. “I’ve waited patiently to do this for five long years. You always saw me as your ride or die, but whenever I looked at you, I saw my future.”
Brooklynn tilted her head and looked him in the eye. Suddenly, they became the only two people in the room. “Really I―”
“Shhhhh . . . just listen. I love you, Brooklynn. I love the curve of your face and the way your eyes crinkle when you smile. I love the sound of your voice and the sway of your hips when you walk. I love your mind and the prolific conversations we have whenever you’re bothered by something. I love your spontaneous nature.”
“Now,” he continued. “You’re probably dying to ask me why I never told you. Right?” She nodded because tears had choked her voice.
“I waited until now, because you weren’t ready before. I knew when you asked me to be your Christmas Boyfriend, you were ready to receive.”
The Luther Vandross song finished and so, Asher led Brooklynn out onto the facilities enclosed balcony to finish their conversation.
“Look, I know you and I’m aware you want to pound me with a million questions, but not tonight. We have plenty of time to discuss my decision to wait. I do, however, have a question for you.” He gently wiped the tears that cascaded down her cheeks.
“Am I correct in thinking you feel the same about me?”
Brooklynn smiled. “Yes, Asher I do feel the same way. I love you too.”
“Good.” He reached into his inside jacket pocket and removed a rectangular powder blue box. He handed it to her. “Open it.” Brooklynn gasped when she saw the beautiful white gold diamond tennis bracelet.
“Oh my gosh! Asher it’s beautiful! How did you know?!”
“Do you know how many times you’ve told me you wanted a tennis bracelet?”
Brooklynn looked at him and tilted her head. “And you heard me.”
“I always hear you.” He took the bracelet from her and slipped it on her wrist. “I don’t want to be your Christmas boyfriend.”
“You don’t?” She frowned.
“No, I don’t. As a matter of fact, I don’t want to be your boyfriend at all. I want to be your man. Will you be my woman?”
Brooklynn’s hand flew up to her mouth. As it did, her bracelet shimmered as it caught the lights from the decorated tree next to them. “Yes, yes I will!” she exclaimed.
The kiss that followed was more than she could have imagined. Tears of joy streamed down her face as she realized her one wish for Christmas had come true. And not only that, it had been with her all along, she only needed to open her eyes.
To be continued . . .
Merry Christmas from my family to yours!
Savannah J providing a place of tranquility away from the stress of life.
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