I pushed the heavy snow aside with my booted feet as I hauled myself up the steep embankment. It was Christmas Eve, and I was out, alone, and cold. So cold. Yet I made my way forward. It seemed like hours. Minutes that is. The sun was on the crest of sinking, darkness already setting in. Hours had passed, and the woods seemed to have grasped me, held me, and now are pulling me in. I was truly alone. The duffle bag which contained all that I had left in life bit into my hand, even through the glove.
The wind had picked up and I bowed my head low to avoid the stinging ice that whipped though the drifts. The rock came out of nowhere. It caught on my foot sending me to the ground. I had neither the energy nor the ambition to get back up. I was dead.
It seemed like a short time passed, but reality told me it had been a long time. I got up. Well, not really up, just opened eyes. What I saw was heaven, not real, but heaven to me. Fire. Warmth. It was overwhelming and it felt great. I basked in it, ignoring my cold backside. I blinked ever once and a while, to make sure it was real. Then, I noticed a pair of eyes, staring at me from across the blaze.
"Hello," I tried to say, but all that came out was a kind of grunt.
"Was wondering when you would get up," the voice said.
I viciously cleared my throat and tried again. Then I truly embarrassed myself with one of the dumbest questions, "Am I dead?"
"No, amazingly far from it."
It was true, I felt all five fingers and all five toes, one each hand and each foot. "Wow," was all I could say.
"Merry Christmas," he said. I guessed his age to be around mine. Sixteen, from the voice of course. "Your gift this year is your life."
"Have to be right there," I replied. With that I sat up with a groan.
"Easy there." He was by my side in a flash to help me from falling back down.
"Why grandma, what strong arms you have." I heard myself say. `Did I just say that!!'
"What...Oh." And he laughed. Well, more like a giggle.
I started to blush and then joined in. "Why grandma, what big eyes you got."
"Shut up, they are not that big. Just nice, and...and..."
"Sure, they change all the time. Need a mirror endlessly, to know what color."
"Of course," I said sarcastically.
"Why grandma," he started at me. I just looked at him. "What beautiful eyes you have."
"Really, I always thought they were ugly. You know, I don't even know my angel's name."
"You, you did save my life."
"Brian. My name is Brian.
"Hello formally, My name is Trent."
"I like that name."
I started to shiver again. "and I like the warmth."
"True. Can you walk?"
"I think so, better give it a shot." Through all this time, his arm, hasn't left my shoulder.
We hobbled off. Well, me hobbling, he holding me up. It wasn't far off to a cabin in the woods. "You live here?" I asked.
"Me and my dad."
"I see." We entered and I immediately felt better. Indoors with the outside, where it belongs, outside. "Ahh."
I got my first look around and agreed with him. "Where is your dad?" I inquired, than kicked myself for prying to much. He evidently noticed this.
"No, its ok. I know you already. You may not know me. We go to the same school. You just don't notice me." And I kicked myself again.
"Sorry," I mumbled.
"Again, its ok. I cannot blame you. I purposely stay in the background."
"You want to ask why, don't you?" He looked at me with this calm, understanding face. I blushed. "Well. I am not afraid to say this, cus I feel it from you too. Don't ask me how, I really don't care. I am afraid that other people will find out my secret. Which I am now entrusting with you."
"Alright." I stood perfectly still
"I am...well...not straight," he rushed that last part. "I'veknownitforyearsfeltitinsidemewantedittogoawaybutitwouldnotgosoIjustletmyself
glidetothebackground." He said this with such tremendous speed that I was still processing one he had finished.
"Quite a mouthful there." This time he blushed. "Tell you the truth...wait...How the Hell you know about me!!"
"That damn `dar.' No way beating it."
"Yep, I could smell you commin' a mile away." He physically relaxed. "Tired."
It wasn't till then, that I realized how much I was. "Yea," I yawned.
"Come on, I'll show you the bedroom. My dad doesn't like anyone sleeping in his bed, so I guess we are forced with two options. Sleep on the floor, cus I ain't givin' up the bed, or join me."
"Floor...Bed." I really thought about this. Trust me, I read. I know. And sharing a bed always turns into...well."
"Bed. Good choice."
I was about to say floor, but upon his decision making, I suddenly felt that the floor wouldn't be much better than the snow. "Ok," was all that I said.
"So what you got to sleep in?" It was a direct question. I couldn't answer, I had no idea. I just grabbed a load of shit and tossed it in.
So I looked. "Nothing," I came up with.
"You know, you are turning this into a stereotype ever second here."
"Come on, I read."
"So do I."
"You wanted to choose floor, didn't you?" he asked me.
"Don't worry. I am not ready, and I know from the look on your face that isn't your goal anyway. So just take it off down to the bare essentials and hop in, we'll pretend it isn't a big deal."
And at that moment, it wasn't. I did as he asked, and he followed his own command. There. Not so bad. Light off, two gay guys in one bed. What could be so bad.
"Goodnight," he said.
"Yea," I mumbled. "Goodnight. My angel."
"You're my angel. Don't you remember?"
"Yea," I know he was drowsy now too. Then I did something that I thought I would never do. I turned toward him and kissed him on the forehead.
"Thanks," I whispered. He smiled. I couldn't see it, but
I knew it was there. "And Merry Christmas."