"So, what just happens here?" Stephanie exclaimed causing me and Li to jump as we were surprised by the sudden appearance of Stephanie.
"Don't do that!" Li said then gently smack Stephanie biceps.
"Ouch" Stephanie yelp.
"Well, you deserve that," Li said.
My eyes fall downward looking at the plastic bag that Stephanie carrying. Stephanie notices my gaze and raises the plastic bag upward.
"I got it!" Stephanie said.
"What do you get?" I ask.
"Fried chicken!" Stephanie said excitedly.
"What?" Li and I both said at the same time.
"You know since we didn't get the turkey or any chicken so I went to KFC and got us a bucket of fried chicken," Stephanie said.
"I mean even if we get the turkey, do you know how to cook it?" Stephanie said Li and I both shrug our shoulder.
"Good point," Li said.
"Well care to tell me what happens because I just heard someone screaming?" Stephanie ask.
"Let me tell you a story about a selfless heroine that saves the day," Li said but was interrupted by me.
"Stop it,"I said nudge Li elbows with mine.
"Fine...Lina valiantly saves a young girl from getting crushed under a Christmas tree." Li said nonchalantly.
"Wow, wait how strong are you?" Stephanie puzzled and keep pressing my biceps.
"Stop that, I'm not that strong and it wasn't that heavy anyway," I said, Li and Stephanie raise their eyebrow and looks at each other than look back at me.
"Yeah...right...an 8-foot Christmas tree with a weight of 70 pounds is easy to lift up," Li said.
"I do a lot of squats. Come on let go home we got what we need" I said.
Christmas decoration such as snowman, twinkling light, and Santa life-size doll fills the street as we pass by the many apartment and shop near our own apartment. In corner of my eyes a black cloth flutter even though there is no wind blowing, I turn my head and saw nothing, thinking nothing of it I begin to walk again.
Reaching our apartment, we enter the front door and walk upstairs to our apartment, where we open the door to our apartment. I was amazed by the 5-foot gorgeous Christmas tree in the corner of our living room, wow the tree guy works fast and there a note on the table.
Thank you for saving my daughter,
I hope you enjoy the tree.
"Thank you....?what a minute, I forgot to ask his name," I said aloud.
"Whose name?" Li ask.
"The tree guy," I said.
"I think it starts with T, Todd? Turne? Tesla? hmmm" Li think aloud.
"Let just go with Todd, Thank you, Todd," I said.
"I'm gonna go ready the food while you guys decorate the tree," Stephanie said.
"Yes, ma'am," Li said, salute toward Stephanie and dash off to her room after she places the grocery on the counter.
"Do you need any help?" I ask.
"I will be fine," Stephanie said.
"If you need any help call me," I said then start walking to my room where I keep my art stuff.
Closing the door behind me, I finally can relax my own body. The feeling of being in your room is something else, it feels like I was safe to be who I am, no eyes watching me or no one judging me. I walk to my messy desk filled with a stack of paper and many types of pens and pencils with some of the brush that I used to paint.
I begin moving the stack of paper until I reach the color paper underneath it, then moving the color paper to the center of the desk causing the CB radio to revealed itself from underneath of the stack of paper.
I move my hand to reach the scissor but accidentally push my draw book off my table and onto the floor, I click my tongue in annoyance and reach down to grab the drawing book. I raise the book off the floor and accidentally opening it, the page flip to a drawing of Haru and a crow perched on his head, I draw when I was in high school.
Where are you right now? are you cold out there? Are you eating right? this question popped into my mind as I stare at the drawing I made of Haru.
I sighed and closed the drawing book, placing it back on the desk. I grab the stack of color paper and a scissor then move to my bed where is take a seat at the edge of it.
I flip the color paper and begin cutting it, I repeat this process for a couple minute and head out of my room.
When I enter the living room, li and Stephanie are arguing about something. I scratch my head and walk toward Li.
"You can't put that on top of the Christmas tree," Stephanie said, both of her hand on the side of her waist.
"And why not?!" Li said her eyebrows furrow.
"Because you supposed to put a star there not Ryan Gosling picture!" Stephanie argued.
"Ryan Gosling is my star!" Li response back.
"Well, not my star!" Stephanie said.
"Then who are your star?" Li asked.
"Benedict Cumberbatch and that, not my point, my point is we should put a star-shaped decoration, not out personal star," Stephanie said.
"Fine! But I still want to hang Ryan Gosling picture on the tree" li said.
"Fine!" Stephanie said.
"Fine!!" Li said, then she took off the Ryan Gosling picture and place a star on top of the tree.
I facepalm my self and shake my head at the ridiculousness of the fight. I walk toward Li and unfold my cut color paper, revealing a snowflake paper that I made.
I hang the snowflake on the tree and help Li hang the rest of the decoration.
I quickly lost track of the time as I was helping Li when I look outside the sun has already begun to set and orange color hue fill the once blue sky.
"It's ready!" Stephanie call.
I look toward the kitchen, Stephanie standing in the archway holding a plate of Fried chickens, Stephanie smile brought it toward the dinner table, she then serves the food on the table.
Li and I finish our what we were doing and head toward the dinner table, we both sit, joining Stephanie at the dinner table.
"Ta-dah!" Li exclaim and clicking a button her hand, causing the Christmas tree to light up.
I and Stephanie clap our hand together while the light on the Christmas tree twinkle at the corner of the room.
"Let's eat," Stephanie said after clapping her hands.
We all enjoy the meal and the talk we had with each other sometimes we share a story from when we were kids after we eat, we move from the dinner table to the couch watching Christmas special movies on the flat screen tv.
Snack bags were open on the coffee table and we each eat our own snack with a side of whiskey while watching the movie.
"What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? Do you want the moon? Just say the word and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That's a pretty good idea. I'll give you the moon, Mary" the man on the tv said.
"That stupid no one can give someone a moon" Li complained.
"Actually you can if you have a superpower," Stephanie said.
"Not possible, no superpowered alive in the history ever had that enough power to give someone a moon, the most powerful person that ever been recorded is the superhero Aegis" Li retort.
"Well you never know, the world work in a mysterious way," Stephanie said.
"Can we stop debating about superpowered and watch the movie?" I said.
"If you can choose a power? What power you would choose?" Li said.
"Telekinetic that would be awesome also I don't have to stand up everything I want to grab the remote" Stephanie said.
"I would choose super speed, no need to pay for a ride in the city," Li said.
"Girls?!" I grunt, li and Stephanie start giggling.
On the desk a smartphone screen lit up, vibrate and letting out a ringtone of someone calling. I saw Stephanie arch her body forward grabbing the smartphone off the table, she stands and answers the phone while walking toward the kitchen.
"Stephanie speaking," she said, I managed to hear before she move away.
"Can I ask you a question?" Li ask me.
"go ahead," I said.
"I always see a picture of a guy you draw in your sketchbook, who is he?" Li ask.
"Just a guy I know" I lied.
"Just a guy you know? More like a guy you stalking, I always see that guy in your sketchbook, is he like your dream guy or something?" Li said.
"He more than that, can we please talk about him and enjoy the movie?" I said.
"Sure, fine, I won't touch the subject," I said.
We both went back to watching the movie but I can hear Stephanie voice getting louder in the kitchen.
"Do you want me to be there?" Stephanie said.
"Are you sure?, I can take the next flight to reach there?" Stephanie said.
"I know but— yes, yes, I love you too," Stephanie said when she ends the call.
Stephanie walks into the room and says "I'm going to head to bed early". Her eyes teary and you can see the forced smile on her face.
Stephanie walks into her room and closes the door. I turn my head toward Li and she did the same thing, we nod at each other and then we both stand up from the couch heading toward Stephanie room door.
I knock on Stephanie door while Li is standing beside me, Stephanie doesn't answer. I go ahead and open the door revealing Stephanie wiping her eyes with her hands.
"What going on? Are you okay?" I ask.
"Brandon dad—just passed away" Stephanie wept.
I and Li both rush toward and embrace her with our body, Stephanie return our embrace but she couldn't hold herself from crying anymore. That night seems the longest night that Stephanie ever felt, she cry and sob without non-stop.
I glance toward the window as I was in group hug comforting Stephanie and I can see snowflake fall piece by piece, tonight could have been a truly beautiful night if not for the terrible news.
My leg dangle from the side of the metal container, the salty cold breeze blew my face with force but I didn't care, it not the cold that grabs my attention but it the bottle of pill I'm holding, I look at it for a while and clench it with my fingers then i store it in my pocket.
"Rider, can you hear me? "Cindy's voice came from the earpiece I wearing.
"Clear as the driven snow," I said to the earpiece with built-in microphone.
"Speaking of snow, it very rare for Lunarhaven to snow, must be a Christmas miracle," Cindy said.
"Your right," I said and held out my hand to catch one of the snowflake falling, it falls to my palm and begins to melt from the warmth of my body.
"The ship is inbound, can you see it?" Cindy ask.
I look at the distance and managed to see the silhouette of the cargo ship in the distance.
"Let's begin the assault," I said.