Compared to the warmth and light of the party in the dormitory, it was downright Arctic outside. Jessica stepped to the staircase railing, hearing that endless song playing through the walls.
I don't want a lot for Christmas
There is just one thing I need...
Jessica looked down the stairwell to where the other girl was sitting, head bowed and unresponsive.
“Esther? What’re you doing here?”
And I don't care about the presents
Underneath the Christmas tree...
“C’mon, everyone’s looking for you up there,” Jessica said, coming down the stairs. Esther gave a small, jerky shrug, staring at the cement at her feet. Jessica put a hand on her shoulder and shook it. “ What’s wrong?” she asked. “Don’t like Christmas?”
I don't need to hang my stocking
There upon the fireplace...
Esther gave a small nod, and the other girl smiled. “Aw, that’s nonsense. Everybody loves Christmas.”
“I don’t,” Esther said dully.
“Well, I’ll change your mind about that.”
I won't make a list and send it
To the North Pole for Saint Nick...
“No you won’t.”
I won't even stay awake to
Hear those magic reindeer click...
“Oh, yes I will.” Jess settled herself down next to Esther, hand still on her shoulder. “Why don’t you like Christmas?”
Esther’s eyes flickered over to Jess for a half-second before returning to the floor. “Bad stuff happens to me every Christmas.”
Oh, all the lights are shining
So brightly everywhere...
And the sound of children's
Laughter fills the air...
Esther hesitated, biting her lip, then spoke. “When I was five, my pet dog died. The year after that, my grandpa passed away...”
Santa, won't you bring me the one I really need?
Won't you please bring my baby to me?
“...Four years ago, my parents divorced on Christmas. Then...” Esther’s voice started crumbling. She gulped, let out a breath, and resumed, shakily. “Then, m-my stepmum yelled at me because.... because I said I was a lesbian.”
“Oh, you poor thing,” Jess said softly, embracing Esther in a hug - but the girl wasn’t done yet.
“And - and last Christmas -”
Oh, I don't want a lot for Christmas
This is all I'm asking for ...
Esther had tears falling down her face now. “Last Christmas, I-I tried to confess my feelings to my c-crush, b-but I was too scared-”
Make my wish come true...
“Who’s your crush?” Jessica asked, still hugging her. “I’m sure they’d date a beautiful person like you.”
Baby, all I want for Christmas...
Esther’s lips trembled, averting her eyes, and Jessica understood.
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