Poems and Stories

Fate on Christmas : a short Christmas story

Aaron Jameson looks up and shivers. “Ahh… It’s freezing tonight,” he mumbles to himself, putting his hands inside his jeans pockets to keep warm. He’s standing under a huge billboard along Sunset Blvd., the billboard being that of his face, advertising the new album he just released.

Taking out his phone, he takes a quick photo of his own billboard and fusses a bit when he sees the photo blurry. His hands are shaking and he doesn’t know if it’s from the cold or if it’s because of nerves.

Shaking his head, he takes another and nods to himself when the photo this time around came out better.

He doesn’t really understand why he’s doing this but for some reason, he just found himself doing so.

It’s late and though Hollywood doesn’t really sleep, it isn’t as crowded as it usually is, especially since it’s a weekday.

There are only a handful of people out and about. But not too many that he would stand out as much. Plus this is Hollywood. People are used to seeing artists, like him, walking around.

Still, he took some precautions to look inconspicuous – wearing a black cap, to hide his infamous platinum blond hair, and a huge black hoodie.

“This is insane,” he mutters quietly before opening his Twitter app, his fingers hovering over the pen icon for posting a new post.

He instructed his van driver a while ago to make a quick stop here instead of taking him straight home to Los Feliz after being done at Staples. He doesn’t know what propelled him to do so.

Well, he does. But he just… He thinks… He needs to…

“This is really insane,” he breathes out. “But whatever. I’m here already. Might as well.”

He’s not sure if this would work. Or if she’s still online. He’s not even sure if she would see his post immediately.

But he just got done from doing a Christmas special at Staples Center and was just able to read her message to him a few minutes ago.

If I tell you I’m here in Hollywood and I offer one night, no holds barred, with me – will you think badly of me? Or will you say yes?

If yes – let me know. Otherwise, I’ll stop and remain just someone who messages you at random times whenever you need an uplifting one.

“She’s here. She said she’s here. In L.A.”

He knows it’s easier to just reply to her message. But he isn’t sure if she’s just some random fan that wanted a piece of him. Most of them do. And she did say to just let her know if it’s a yes.

And well, this is his way of letting her know.

That yes.

It is a yes.

He knows he is testing fate. And he knows there’s a chance that she won’t see his post. She might be sleeping already, if she is indeed here in Los Angeles. It is late after all; it’s past 12MD.

She might even interpret it wrongly. After all, isn’t it easier to just reply to her messages instead of doing this cryptic post as an answer?

But he wants to try it this way. Because even though it is a yes, he isn’t entirely sure about her and who she is.

Still, he just—he needs—he just really needs to try.

Because he has noticed her.

Even though she doesn’t know it.

At first, he didn’t – thinking she’s just one of his regular fans. She was one of the firsts who was able to DM him when he just opened his verified Twitter account. He didn’t know then yet that he had to disable his DMs to the general public.

He likes getting messages from his fans though, don’t get him wrong. But when it got to a point that his phone was pinging nonstop already due to a ton of DMs, he had asked his manager to help him disable it and remove all of it. Except the ones from his friends and her.

Because there’s just something different with the way she messages him. Something genuine, pure.

Something… real.

Her messages feel like she cares for him. Genuinely cares for him. And not as Aaron Jameson, the pop star. But simply Aaron, the real person behind the artist persona.

She asks about his well-being. She reminds him to take care of himself, tells him she is proud of him. She even talks about her day at times, and he found that he liked those messages of hers the most. He gets to know a little of her that way. To the point that he started to stalk her profile, seeing her photos and her thoughts from her posts.

He finds her cute. No, he actually finds her beautiful. The kind of woman that he would definitely go for.

But then again, he also knows that the internet is fickle. He knows that it’s possible that she could be using another person’s photos in her posts, a case of stolen identity.

However, he somehow feels that she is the real person behind all these posts of hers.

So when she suddenly said she’s here in L.A and that she’s offering him one night with her, his heart did a sudden double flip.

Even though he did question at first why she would suddenly message him that way. It seemed unlike her.

But still, when she sent that…

He finds himself suddenly wanting to see her, to be with her. Confirm that she is who she says she is and just—

He quickly composes his post, added the photo of his billboard and hit the send button before he could even start to second guess himself.

It’s freezing, you guys! Make sure you bundle up when you go out.

Also check this out – I’M ON A BILLBOARD! Can you believe it?! Come see it here at Sunset Blvd!

Much love, y’all! Happy Christmas!

“There,” he breathes out. “And now we wait.”

He hopes she’s still awake. He hopes that she’s still online. He hopes that she sees this post and deduces that he is here, in Sunset Blvd.

Waiting.

Waiting for her.

***

“Oh my god…” Kristine Mavros quietly mutters. “Oh god…”

Her wide eyes are glued to her phone, her hands frozen as she stares at the post of the one person she had a notification on over at Twitter.

She is already back at her hotel, lounging in her pajamas, about to sleep. She’s tired from all the walking she did today while seeing the sights of Hollywood. Plus she has an early day the following morning, her itinerary consisting of exploring Santa Monica and Venice beaches.

This trip to Los Angeles was her Christmas gift to herself, hoping to see the one person who made her heart pound like crazy. The only one person she knows her soul is yearning for. She wanted to see him, even from afar, even if she knows that he won’t recognize her.

Despite her always messaging him, she knew that those messages are most likely going unread. Because why would he read messages from a random fan, right? She is nothing special. Though she knows in her heart that she isn’t just a fan.

So this post? His post that tells everyone that he’s currently at Sunset Blvd.? His post that included a photo of where he really is, that is – if he really is the one who took the photo, just told her that perhaps… perhaps

Kristine breathes deeply, closing her eyes and counting to ten in her head. Her heart is suddenly beating fast. This couldn’t be…

Is this his answer to her earlier message to him? To that one night she propositioned that she only wrote due to some insane dare by one of her sisters back home?

But why didn’t he just send her a direct message? Isn’t it easier that way?

No. She thinks. He’s still a famous singer. He has to think of his reputation still. He has to be careful about who he interacts with. Maybe this is his way of letting me know that

Her message to him didn’t exactly say for him to reply to her via DM. She only told him to let her know if it’s a yes.

And is this that yes she is waiting for?

“Fuck it.”

She stands up quickly and takes one of her coats and scarves, donning them before quickly putting on her sneakers. She grabs her bag, opening the front door of her hotel room before taking another deep breath.

I hope I’m not just assuming things…

She starts to run, hoping that what she feels about that post of his is correct. That it is indeed his answer for her.

As she waits for a taxi that would take her to Sunset Blvd., she takes her phone out again and checks his post to make sure.

He posted at 12:30. It’s 12:50 now. Fuck. I hope he’s still there.

And as she entered the first taxi that she is able to hail, quickly telling the driver where to go, she prays that despite this insane move she is doing, that she would be able to still see him, confirm that his post was really for her.

Please. She thinks, closing her eyes fervently. Please be there. Wait for me. I’m coming.

***

Aaron checks his phone for the nth time that night. 1:30AM. It’s been an hour since he posted that post. And while he got a ton of replies to him from his fans, he has gotten no message or even reply to his post from her.

Closing his eyes, he leans his head back against the headrest of his seat and sighs.

Maybe she isn’t online anymore. It is quite late when he posted that. Her last message to him was at around 7:30PM that night so it’s possible that she is at her hotel now, or wherever she’s staying and completely asleep.

Or maybe… Maybe she isn’t really who she says she is. Maybe she isn’t real.

Ignoring the slight pang in his heart from that sudden realization, he sits up and looks outside his van’s heavily tinted windows.

Still with that silly hope that she could materialize in front of him, he grips his phone tight in his hand, praying silently in his head if could she please, please, please arrive.

He needs her to be real.

“Aaron,” his driver quietly calls. “We’ve been parked here for an hour. I’m not sure if it’s alright to be here any longer. We might get a ticket.”

He ignores his driver. He knows damn well that they’ve been here for far too long. He knows that yes, they could even get a parking ticket because of that.

But he doesn’t care about any of those. He could pay for that goddamn ticket if it comes to that.

Because he is still hoping, really, for a miracle at this point.

10 minutes. 10 more minutes then I’m going.

He resolves himself about that decision. If she doesn’t come within the next ten minutes then it means that fate just didn’t want them to meet. That perhaps it is fate’s way of letting him know that she isn’t real.

But then again – why didn’t he just reply to her messages to him directly?

Aaron groans. No, Jameson. You know why you’re doing this. Even if you are tagged the rebel by everyone, you still need to be careful. You’re still a pop star. And not just some ordinary guy who could go up to a girl and ask her out, without getting yourself plastered in front of tabloids the following day.

He is shaken out of his musings when he suddenly hears a car door closing somewhere near.

Looking up, he sees a taxi, perhaps fifteen or twenty feet away from where they are parked, with a woman standing beside it, just as the taxi drives away.

The woman looks around, walking quickly to the exact spot where he was just standing at an hour ago to take that photo of his billboard. He sees her look up at his billboard, then down towards something in her hand, which he deduces is her phone, then right back up at his billboard. Then he sees her take a deep breath, her shoulders drooping slightly.

Aaron cannot see her face. Not from this distance. He asked his driver to park a little ways away from where he took that photo of his billboard just in case any of his fans suddenly go to that spot. And true enough, only minutes after he posted a while ago – a few of his fans came to check out that spot, hoping for a glimpse of him.

“Turn around,” he whispers, bringing himself back to the present, as if doing so will urge the woman who is still looking up at his billboard to do so. He knows that there is a possibility that this woman is another one of his regular fans. However, he has a stronger feeling that this is finally her.

And as if she did in fact hear him, she turns around – though she is looking down, her face shrouded in shadows. He still cannot completely see her from this distance. He squints and curses the dark windows of his van.

Without thinking about it anymore, Aaron quickly goes out of his van and walks towards the woman, who at that moment looks to be deciding to leave.

No. He walks quicker, his steps almost breaking into a run. He needs to reach her. He really, really needs to see her. Please don’t go. Not yet. Look up. Look at me. I need to see. I need to know.

And once again, as if she heard him, she stills and looks up.

Right at him.

And he stops. His world stops. Time stops.

Because he finally sees. He finally knows.

“It’s you,” he breathes out. “It is you.”

Even though she looks a little different from the recent photos she posted – what with her currently wearing a baggy coat and scarf plus some glasses on, her hair in quite a disarray, barefaced and no makeup. And is she wearing just pajamas under that coat?

He still knows it’s her, however, because of her eyes. Her eyes that first captivated him when he saw her selfies from her profile.

And it’s currently these eyes that widen as she takes him all in. He knows she recognizes him by the way she gasps, even with his cap on and the distance between them. Her eyes tell him that she knows it is him.

Still, she asks in a small voice, “Aaron?”

He chuckles. He couldn’t help it. He suddenly wants to cry and laugh at the same time and he doesn’t understand this overwhelming feeling of finally meeting and seeing her.

“Aaron, is that—is that you?”

She knows damn well it is him. He could tell from her teary eyes as she starts to walk slowly towards him. As if afraid that this is all a dream. That if she walks quickly towards him that he would disappear.

Heck, even he thinks this is all a dream.

Which he knows all too well that it isn’t.

He looks up towards the sky and sends a quiet prayer of thanks to God for granting this. He doesn’t even realize that he was really hoping and praying in the depths of his heart that this woman, who is finally standing in front of him, should be real.

“Yes,” he quietly answers, looking back down at her. “It’s me, Kristine.”

This time, it’s her who chuckles, blinking rapidly to try and stop her tears from falling down. Though a couple still escapes, sliding down her smooth cheeks. He clenches his hands into fists, stopping himself from reaching out to wipe those tears with his thumb lest he overwhelms her.

And he doesn’t want that. Not when she is finally in front of him.

“Oh my god… I didn’t think… I didn’t know… I didn’t want to assume that…”

She then falls quiet. He does too. And they simply stare at each other, drinking the other in.

He doesn’t know how long they stared at each other like that. It could be just a few seconds, maybe minutes, hours. Perhaps even a lifetime. But he finds that he doesn’t mind just looking at her and seeing her, all of her.

Finally, he couldn’t take it anymore.

He grabs her by her shoulders and quickly wraps his arms around her, pressing her body close to his, her warmth adding to his own. He hears her soft gasp and he finds himself tightening his hold on her even more, especially when he feels her arms hesitantly yet slowly encircle him too.

“I honestly didn’t know if you were real,” he whispers as he feels her suddenly sobbing quietly against his shoulders.

“I didn’t know if you were getting my messages. Let alone, reading them,” she answers softly. “I took a gamble coming here when I saw your post. It was kind of presumptuous of me actually, thinking that your post might be your answer for what I sent you earlier.”

“It was,” he confirms as he pushes her gently away to look at her face, but still holding her within his arms. “It was my answer. I… I just… I didn’t want to message you directly because I didn’t really know if…”

She smiles a little and nods, and he sees the understanding within her eyes. “I understand, Aaron. I get it. Thank God then that I assumed your post was for me.”

This time, she grins. And he finally sees that dimple of hers that he used to only see in her photos and was the inspiration for many of his songs.

He grins in return before reluctantly letting her go and scratching his nape, suddenly shy. He internally groans and berates himself for how he is acting. Really? Now is when he has the audacity to suddenly be shy?!

“So… Uh… Well… Sh-shall we? Uhm. It’s getting… getting colder and well, it’s late already. Like really late. And I don’t know if you… uhm. And maybe it’s better if we—uhm…” he blathers.

“Considering that I ran out of my hotel, in my goddamn pajamas even, you should get by now that yes,” she stops and playfully pokes his side, “we shall,” she finishes. “Damn it. I even forgot to wear my bra in my haste,” she adds quietly, frowning a bit as she looks down her coat and pajama clad body.

And this time, Aaron groans audibly. “I don’t think that is something that you should be telling someone you just met, Kristine. Even if…” he trails off, reddening slightly when he remembers why they are in this current situation.

“Even if I did promise you one night with me?” she teases, making him blush harder. She then tiptoes towards him and in a husky, breathy voice adds in a whisper to his ear, “And I did promise. One night. With me. All of me. No. Holds. Barred.”

He closes his eyes and begins to breathe shallowly. He starts to think about what she could have meant when she told him that, his imagination running wild.

Opening his eyes, he sees her smug smirk which makes him narrow his eyes at her. This woman is a vixen, a dangerous one, despite the seemingly innocent look she has going on. That if he isn’t careful enough, he knows he could get addicted to her.

But he doesn’t care if he does become so at this point.

“I don’t think I would want just one night, Kristine,” he tells her lowly, before he grabs her hand in his and walks towards the direction of his van. “Until when are you here? In L.A?”

“Uh… let’s see… Sunday. I’m here till Sunday afternoon.”

Aaron turns back to her and this time, he’s the one smirking. “I think I want all of your nights until Saturday then. Can you arrange for that to happen?”

He sees her gulp before she wets her lips with her tongue. Then she raises a brow and slowly smiles up at him, biting her lower lip while doing so. She looks at him with those doe eyes of hers, the heat behind them unmistakable, that it makes him inhale sharply.

“Of course, Aaron,” she replies. “All my nights can be yours.”

He doesn’t know the implication yet of what she just uttered and how it would impact both of their futures. But right at that moment, he knows that aside from wanting to have this woman for himself – no holds barred, he also wants to get to know her better, on a deeper level than just the physical.

And as they giggle together when they enter Aaron’s van, they both don’t know it yet but fate is already working double time to make sure they never part.

***

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