Friday, December 24, 2010

The Christmas dare by Ivy Parker



Perhaps, Jenna was just feeling caty. OK, a complete bitch she guessed, but seriously, it really was the same old crap when it came to the holidays. Or maybe she'd miss her dorm and all her so-called friends. Even her frigid roommate Kristen.

"I dare you to have some fun this Christmas." She started. Well, it was the last fifteen minutes she'd see her roomie before next year. Jenna had a train to catch and then all that lovely family havoc would start. It would be like being in a big ball of happiness that somehow Jenna would imagine a vat of calories and fudge to take back to her home away from home.

"What are you getting at?" Kristen was a bit cross there in her cross-country yellow hoodie and gray yoga pants. She tighten her shoes string a bit more. Her parents would be picking her up in a few minutes.

"You know, what I mean." Jenna was being secretive of course, "A hook-up."

Kristen shook her head, no.

"You don't even go to parties, do you?" Jenna pursed her lips.

"Not really." Kristen pulled a face which made Jenna think there was no way this girl would get lucky with her stringy hair and her sheepish looks.

"Think about it, you're not getting any younger. Maybe you'll find someone, or at least use some of your conversational skills, at least once." Jenna hinted as if she didn't really want to live with a couch potato who ran sporadically when asked to. "Just give it a try."

She rolled her eyes.

"You can text me." Jenna smiled then.

"What about you? What's in it for you?" Kristen gave her a dead stare as she hugged herself.

"I dunno. Just the idea of meeting someone new. Kind of makes me forget about the same old Christmas cookie and sugar sweet holiday. I want a real one, you know. A real holiday." Jenna sighed, thinking Kristen must find her a complete nut job now. "All right, not asking you to sleep with anyone, just a connection, all right. Broaden your horizon, Kris. That's all." With that said, Kristen was on her way. It wasn't that she'd agreed, but Jenna smiled thinking perhaps she'd put a seed of some sort in Kristen head now.

Soon enough, Jenna was on her way. No telling what story Kristen would have in mind, but Jenna wanted something out of the ordinary which had nothing to do with Christmas carols or sweet egg nog shakes. She supposed she was asking too much, but then he sat down.



There he was. All warm and cozy and nothing at all of a college student. Yet, young. Possibly, his classroom was life in general.  She hoped. She imagined. But she was wary too. How could she be so blind?

She'd promised her grandmother that she would not waver. Jenna had an obligation, her education. So she sat their still. Trying not to look at him in the eye, but a little. Yet minute by minute, she was certain it would be a missed opportunity. Perhaps she'd be shot down. Already, in her head, she could sense it would happen. This instant. Some nerve she had.

"You, visiting family?" She finally said all breathy as if this was her own challenge that she doubted Kristen would even think on.

"Excuse me?" He looked up at her from his book. It was something vaguely romantic, 100 years of Solitude.

"Oh, sorry," Jenna said with a wince. Shit, she thought, he did have beautiful eyes and he was definitely not average.

His smile was quick as if he wasn't that offended by her blunder.

"You looking forward to the holidays?" He was personable, but he kept his finger on the page as if to keep it handy in case he could return to it.

"Not really." She shrugged.

"Why is that?" His gaze caught her and she forgot the question.

"I really don't know. Its the same old shit." She was closed mouth.

"I like your honesty, truly I do." He informed her. "But seriously, aren't their presents and old faces to see?"

"Oh, of course." She supposed she took too much for granted. "You must think I'm-" She didn't want to finish the line. She really didn't. Jenna looked away then.

"Maybe it could different this Christmas." His smile was kind and she wanted to know his name. She did, but he hadn't offered it to her.

She introduced herself. Just her first name. After wards, she wished she'd given him an alias of some kind. Soon enough he was back to reading. He hadn't cared to be really personal with her. Jenna was a bit hurt that he'd left it at that. Left her hanging. Wondering what that meant? How could it be different? It was always the same, trimming the tree, going to the same places. Why did she want to avoid it so?

And then she went to sleep as the train slowly lulled on to her destination.

"Make them remember who you truly are." A whisper shot through her head. Jenna let out a breath then. He was not there when she awoke. Jenna slightly shivered. A part of her felt so sad. Really, it bothered her. The idea that they didn't know who she even was anymore. Yes, it was a complete dare, wasn't it? A little smile rose to the occasion. She hoped she hadn't ruined Kristen's Christmas.

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