The following week's exams weren't
too difficult, at least not for me, and I was satisfied that I'd done
well. Both Toby and Ryan seemed fairly pleased with their performance
as well. Of course, we'd have to wait until after the winter break
before we got our exam results.
The holiday concert, as expected,
went well. It was nice for a change to be in the background. Of course,
I didn't get that powerful feeling that I usually got from the
audience, but it felt good to be part of a group. I wasn't sure yet if
I wanted to continue with the jazz band the following semester, but I
was still glad that I'd had the experience. And, at least, I'd met Cody.
After the concert, I promised Cody
would hang out together over the holidays, and he informed me that his
mother wanted Ryan, Toby, and me to come over for dinner one night. I
thought that would be an interesting experience. For one, I wanted Ryan
and Toby to see what kind of woman Cody's mother was, and I also wanted
how Toby and Cody would interact with each other. Maybe I shouldn't
have been trying to play matchmaker, but it was worth a shot.
I asked Ryan to stop by my trailer quickly before we headed back to his
house to begin the holidays, because I needed to pick up a few things.
As usual, I was a little nervous when I walked in the door but was
pleased to find that my mother wasn't even there, although Krull was
sitting on the sofa in just his underwear watching television, with a
beer in one hand, and scratching his balls with the other. He nodded at
me when I walked
in, and then I went back to my bedroom to grab my things.
As I was getting ready to leave, I realized that I'd never told my
mother where I was going. Not that she'd care, but I figured that since
I was going to be gone for the next two and a half weeks, I should at
least say something.
"Ummm ... Krull ..." I said hesitantly.
"What's up, little dude?" he asked.
"I'm going to be staying with my friends for Christmas, so I won't be
back until after New Year's. I just wanted to let you know, in case my
mom ... well ... worried or anything."
"No problem, bud. I hope you have a good time. Oh, and Merry Christmas,
Connor," he said with a sincere smile.
"Merry Christmas to you, too, Krull," I replied.
With that, I walked back out of the trailer and got into Ryan's car,
ready for our two and a half weeks together.
"Did everything go alright inside?" he asked me.
"Yeah. Even things at home are better than they've been in a long time.
Maybe things are finally starting to come together in my life," I said,
more to myself than to Ryan.
"I hope so, Connor. I want you to be happy. I don't want to see you
hurt anymore," he said, taking hold of my hand and looking at me
"I want you to be happy, too, Ryan. I just hope I can make you as happy
as you've made me."
"You already have, babe ... you already have."
And with that, we were on our way. Winter vacation was beginning, and I
hadn't been so excited for as long as I could remember. I just hoped
things kept getting better. It seemed like everything in my life had
changed so much over the past several months. It was a little difficult
to understand it all. I was so used to the empty feeling I'd always
had, that it was weird to suddenly feel this ... this feeling I didn't
even know how to describe. Maybe my lot in life had finally changed,
and I was being allowed the happiness I'd been deprived of for