Holidays are not my thing. Haven't been in a long time. Yet here I am, looking through shops at all the trinkets and baubles, trying to guess what a certain Angel may be wishing for. What do you get for someone who could afford to buy anything he'd ever want to have? I was hoping going shopping with him would give me some clue, but he focused only on others. Go figure. I poke at a stuffed bear that is dressed like an angel and sigh as I notice the shopkeeper glaring at me, probably thinking I'm about to steal it. Trust me, it's nowhere near cute enough to give to Misha, so he has nothing to worry about. Not that he should worry anyway, because my days of theft are over. Thinking about Misha giving me a look of disappointment were he to learn I stole something made my heart ache terribly. Nothing would be worth disappointing him.
I made my way out of the store and wandered aimlessly down the street. There were far too many people bustling about, and too few things worthy of being gifts for someone like Misha. I decided I would try looking again after getting something sweet to eat. Shopping is tiring and my body needs its energy replenished.
Several hours and two pieces of cake later, I finally gave up my search and went back to the dorms. I'd really hoped to find something that would make him happy, but all I'd managed was to aggravate myself and get stared at by shopkeepers and strangers all day. I wasn't in the mood to face Angel, but we had our study session and despite my mood I didn't want to miss the time with him.
"Hey Krane," Misha greeted as I walked through the door. I gave him a nod in response and worked on stripping off my winter gear. Hearing him talk only served as a bitter reminder of my failure at finding him a present. Why does Christmas have to be so exhausting?
I'll admit I didn't pay much attention to the tutoring, though my focus was certainly on my tutor. The way his eyebrows crinkled when he would frown at a particularly tricky problem, the bright smile he gave me when I answered questions that just a few weeks ago would have had me struggling, the way the light reflected on his hair.. Suddenly, I knew what I could do for his gift.
The next day I made my way to the art room with more enthusiasm than I usually have, and considering how much I enjoy art it was a lot. Laying out a scratch paper and a handful of pencils I set to work. His face was so clear in my mind it was almost as if he was here with me. It was good that he wasn't though, because I would have been too distracted to pay attention to my piece. That, and it would have been awkward to have him watching me draw him.
An hour later I had the preliminary sketch completed and started the outline on the soft canvas. I haven't used any medium but pencil in a while, but I felt watercolor would better suit his soft, angelic features. It would take a few days to complete, but it would be ready well before Christmas. I just hoped he'd enjoy it. He was so disheartened when he saw the sketch I'd thrown away at the start of the year, so maybe he'd appreciate this gesture.
After getting the canvas fully outlined, I felt optimistic about how it was coming along. My hands were getting cramps so I determined it was a good time to head out. I ran into Ben on my way to the dorms and agreed to meet up at the gym in 20 minutes. I could use the adrenaline rush after sitting still for so long, and he needed a spotter so it was a win-win for both of us.
Ben could tell I had a lot on my mind but didn't push me to open up. We just lifted weights and enjoyed lighthearted chatting. It helped ease my mind a bit, though I still had doubts about the holidays.
"What do you do for Christmas?" I asked.
He looked up at me from the leg press with a curious expression on his face. "Usually spend time with my family. Phone calls with friends, open gifts, eat a lot of pie and go for runs. I hope it snows soon. Doesn't feel like Christmas without snow."
I nodded in agreement and processed what he'd said. I'd never done much for the holidays and I hadn't planned to start this year, but Misha seemed to really be into the festivities. Thinking about family made me remember how poorly things had gone between me and Noah when we'd gotten together. I pushed that thought aside, opting to ask further questions to Ben.
"Are there any good Christmas movies you'd suggest?" Maybe I could convince Misha to watch something with me. That seemed like something he would enjoy.
"How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a classic in my house! You can never go wrong with Home Alone or Die Hard, either."
"What about giving gifts?"
He raised an eyebrow. "What about giving gifts?"
"You know, how do you- When do you- Y'know, giving them?" I became flustered as I struggled to form my question.
"Is this about Misha?"
I shrugged, mumbling an affirmative.
"Well, it depends on if you're giving it to him as a friend or if you're finally going to confess your-"
"I'm not confessing, not now or ever. He doesn't see me that way, and I'm not about to ruin things," I interjected.
"Then, you could give it to him any time. Maybe wait until you're alone together in your dorm room and hand it to him. He may want to do a gift exchange, though."
I thanked Ben and left for the dorms. I needed a shower, badly. And I still wasn't certain I was going about the whole holiday thing the right way.
After all my classes I made my way to the art room to work more on the painting. I worked diligently for about an hour before taking a step back to observe my progress. Looking it over, I began to have my doubts. Sure, it vaguely resembled my Angel, but his hair just wasn't coming across soft enough. In person it's so soft and nice to touch, but on the painting it looked like it would feel like wet straw. I frowned, my eyes roaming the canvas, nitpicking every detail that just wasn't quite right. His smile was too wide yet not nearly vibrant enough, but I'd laid too much paint to change that. The large wings and halo were the only things that didn't look too bad, but the painting fell so far short of reality. I sighed, giving the painting one last glance before dropping it in the trash bin. Maybe I'd try looking through the shops again another day.
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