This one-shot is inspired by the song, “Christmas Day”, which one of my friend absolutely loves. (And when I say inspired, I do not mean it as a song fic.) This one-shot is also dedicated to her. Happy New Year! :)
BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!
“Mmm… shut up,” you groaned in annoyance. You were lying on your stomach, hovering your soft fluffy pillow over your head to block the drilling noise from your alarm clock. When it wasn’t of any use, you desperately reach out the top of your bedside table and slammed your hand on the buzzer.
Still tucked under your pillow, you close your eyes tighter wishing to go back to sleep. The alarm clock read 7:00 a.m. – your usual time to go to work.
And you had to work on Christmas Day.
Great. Just great.
However, you needed the money. And working on holidays would mean double the pay.
And double the pay means you would be able to pay the rent of your apartment, which you should’ve been paid a couple of months ago. Good thing, the owner hasn’t sent you packing or else you would be homeless, freezing on the side of the streets, and rummaging through trash cans for something to eat.
You groaned again as you lifted the pillow off your head and rolled on your back. You twisted to the side eyeing a glass spherical object sitting near the window.
You pulled the blanket away from your body and sat up from bed. After searching for your panda bedroom slippers, you approached the spherical object and picked it up. Giving it a few gentle shakes, you admired as the once clear glass sphere is now filled with tiny white flakes.
It has been years since you’ve had this snow globe. You can’t exactly remember when but you knew you were still in pigtails back then.
“Ummm… hi. But do you want to build a snowman with me?”
You were satisfied playing with yourself in the snow until a voice caught your attention. Holding snow in your hands, you looked up to see who it was.
He was probably the same age as you or younger. His skin showed much contrast from the snow around you. You thought he was adorable as he was dressed rather formally – a white button-down tucked in his pants, a black bowtie and… black suspenders.
He scratched his head and smiled shyly. “Ummm… I’m sorry. My name is Jongin.”
You smiled softly at the thought. “Where are you, Jongin? What happened to you?” you whispered to the snow globe.
“OK, Jongin. Time to go.”
You held your mother’s hand tighter as you saw several men carrying pieces of furniture into a huge truck. They come in with none and come out with many.
The little boy with bronze skin approached you. The sadness in his eyes were reflected on yours. You looked up to your mother silently signaling her that you needed time to speak with the little boy alone.
“Okay sweetie. I’ll be inside,” she kissed you on top of your head and smiled sweetly at Jongin.
“I want you to have this,” he said as he fished through the jacket of his thick pocket. “It’s a snow globe.”
You took the snow globe from his hand and held it near your face.
“I don’t see anything,” you muttered.
“You’ll see when the flakes fall,” Jongin smiled reassuringly.
Little by little, a figure inside the snow globe came into view. A smile crept up to your face.
Work went as usual for you at the office, except people were merrier and livelier. Only handful of the employees came, including yourself, and Christmas songs blasted through the speakers. It was nice seeing everyone in the holiday spirit (just because everyone was decent to talk to) but you were just too preoccupied with so much to do for the coming year.
“Hey, let’s have dinner outside!” your co-worker snapped out of your reverie with such cheerfulness in her voice. Your eyes moved away from your monitor for a moment and then back.
“And have a few drinks here and there,” another female co-worker chimed in.
You plopped your head on hand and shot them a questioning look. “Don’t tell me you plan to go to a club on Christmas Day?”
“No! No! No!” they both said in unison with their hands waiving frantically in front of their faces. “We are both very happy with our boyfriends,” one of them defensively.
“In fact, we’re going to meet them there,” the other said.
“Oh I see. Well, you girls have good clean fun. If anything happens, I’m going to have to whack your heads, and yes, that includes Luhan’s and Sehun’s.” Although you were only of the same age, you always had to act as if you’re the mature one.
“Aren’t you going to come with us?” One of them asked as she pouted pleadingly.
You patted the pile of papers beside you signaling them of the amount that you have to do before the year ends.
Both sighed in defeat. “Always the hardworking one. It’s Christmas Day, you need to give yourself a break sometimes you know.”
It was already 7 p.m. and you were the only one left in the office. You could feel your eyes heavy from staring too long at the computer screen. Numbness in your fingers are already creeping through your veins.
“Maybe a short stroll wouldn’t hurt,” you said to yourself. You hit Ctrl + S and logged off.
Christmas at night was certainly enchanting. Everything was filled with lights – from the shops to trees. The whole world seemed bright for a moment when reality seemed so dark.
Too mesmerized at the sight, you unknowingly bumped into a stranger.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” you hurriedly bowed and stared at the ground from embarrassment.
“Long time no see.”
That voice. That voice seemed so recognizable to you. You slightly looked up and came face-to-face with what seems to be his chest. Suspenders… black bowtie… white button-downs… could it be? A finger cupped your chin to meet his chocolate brown eyes.
“In case you have forgotten, my name is Jongin.” But it wasn’t his identity that surprised you, it was the next thing he did – a kiss on your lips.
“So how are you?” He asked as the two of you walked hand-in-hand through the lighted streets. It’s a good thing there weren’t a lot of people. The two of you both didn’t like crowds and you wanted to spend a warm and cozy stroll with Jongin.
“Living my dream and bearing the sacrifices. I actually have work today, but I just went out to clear my head,” you replied without looking into his eyes. You were actually still so embarrassed at the situation that you couldn’t bear blushing while looking at his handsome face. “How about you? Where have you been all this time?”
All of a sudden, you felt the warmth around your hand was gone. Your heart panicked for a split second until you felt long arms being wrapped around your body. You were pushed back to his chest and his head rested on your left shoulder.
“Jongin, I- “
“Does it matter where I have been to when I already have my arms wrapped around you?” He asked in a soft and serious tone.
You sighed knowing he was right. It didn’t matter where he had gone off since he left you only with a snow globe. What’s important is that he is here for you now.
After staying in that position for quite a while, you and Jongin strolled around the streets, eating street food and looking at fancy things that the shops had to offer. Everything felt surreal to you. Jongin felt surreal to you. You pushed your doubts away from your mind as you remember the conversation you had a while ago.
It was nearly midnight when you realized that you have spent your whole Christmas night with Jongin. Your work has long been forgotten when Jongin convinced you to stay with him. He offered you to bring you home to your apartment to assure himself that you will be safe.
“Let me watch you as you sleep,” he said lovingly as he stroked the side of your face. He sat on a chair that he pulled beside your bed. You were already ready to sleep and were comfortably tucked underneath your warm comforter.
You reached out your hand and lightly touched his eyes, nose, lips and cheek. “Tell me this is not a dream,” you whispered, sleep already consuming you.
His lips only curved up into a smile. He gently planted a kiss on your forehead and continued caressing your hair until your eyelids had no more strength in them.
BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!
Your body jolted at the sound of your annoying alarm clock. Your eyes were a blur as you looked around that sun was already up and you were slept against the window sill. The clock read 7:30 a.m. and you realized you slept around for another 30 minutes.
You hurriedly looked for your phone, which was lost in the sea of your bed. You looked at the date – it was the 25th of December. Christmas. Jongin.
You looked around your apartment for any traces of him. He’s no longer here. He wasn’t anywhere.
Hot tears began filling the rim of your eyes when you realized he didn’t say goodbye. How could he leave you again after that wonderful evening? His warmth, his touches, his kisses – were they all real?
You were crying uncontrollably until you noticed a chair pulled out beside your bed, and on top of it was the snow globe.
You got up and walked slowly towards it. The snow globe contained a miniature Jongin wearing the same thing he wore when you two first met - a white button-down tucked in his pants, a black bowtie and black suspenders. Underneath was a folded piece of paper that read…
“Does it matter where I have been to when I have been with you all this time?”
This oneshot is dedicated to a very good friend of mine who happens to love the birthday unicorn, Zhang Yixing. :)
Breathing out a sigh between nervousness and contentment, Zhang Yixing carefully lowered his camera and backed away from the inanimate object.
“And that’s the last,” he said to himself while clutching the camera carefully in his hands.
He looked at his watch to check the time. It was four in the afternoon, an hour and half before the possible sunset.
He steadily walked down the stairs to a room he calls his sanctuary. However, it was no holy place for light wasn’t allowed to penetrate the walls. The only light there was what Yixing flickered open – a red bulb in the middle of the room.
Zhang Yixing always had a knack for vintage. In spite of the advancement of cameras nowadays, Yixing still prefers to do things manually and take photos of black and white.
And it was this that fate brought the two of you together.
“So I made a right turn here… went straight… and then left…” He said as he scribbled his frustration on the map. He was lost – for the nth time. How could he forget where he lives?!
And to make things worse, how could he forget his phone?
He closed his eyes and rubbed the back of his neck. How long was he sitting at that café, thinking of how to get back to his apartment?
His eyes shot open at the sound of the shutter. “Excuse me, but what are you doing?” he asked.
You lowered the camera enough to make eye contact. “What does it look like?”
He reached out for your camera and see you fully. “You’re pretty brave to be a paparazzi, shoving your camera right in front of my face.” Although he was naturally slow to anger, but today was just a bad hair day.
You flinched your camera away from his hand and sat down across him. “Excuse me, but I don’t even know you. And just because I have a camera, I am judged already as a paparazzi?” Yixing could already see people throwing looks at your table.
“Then why are you taking a picture of me?” Yixing leaned forward and asked in a whisper, careful not to cause stir more the commotion you are causing.
You leaned closer, your noses nearly touching. “Because I think your handsomeness is worth capturing.”
Yixing chuckled at the thought. He honestly never thought of himself as handsome yet there you were, so bold and outspoken to a complete stranger. You were everything contrary to him, yet he found himself drawn to you.
The alarm went off and he proceeded with the last part of the development of the photo.
You checked the time in your phone. Five o’clock. Your boyfriend sent you a message to be home at 5:30. It wasn’t something new, he always messages you once in a while to spend time with him after work. Hurriedly, you turned off your laptop and made your way through the sea of people.
“Flowers – check. Lights – check. And…” Yixing made a quick scale on the piano. “The piano – check.” He checked his watch – five minutes before 5:30. He was sure you were already speeding your way through heavy metropolitan traffic.
“Thank you and keep the change,” you said as you hastily handed over the money to the taxi driver. It was a minute before 5:30 and you have to get to the rooftop as quick as possible. You fumbled at the keys Yixing gave you and made a mad dash to the elevator. His penthouse was at the topmost of the apartment complex and you silently curse him for being rich.
Alone in the elevator, you stared at your reflection. Then your heart starts beating fast. “Why the hell am I so nervous? It’s just a normal date like the many others we’ve done so before,” you thought to yourself, “Why the hell am I so nervous?”
You walked out the elevator and heard the notes to Yiruma’s “Love Me”. You loved this piece and you fell in love with it even more when Yixing dedicated it to you when he taught you how to play the piano.
Then, you saw the most romantic and most beautiful scene in the world.
Around the perimeter of the rooftop were photos of you, him and the things that reminded of you. Each photo was hung on a clothespin attached to a string of wire and were illuminated by yellow Christmas lights. At the center was Yixing playing handsomely behind the grand white piano. Realizing you were already there, he transfixed his eyes to yours striking every note and chord of meaning.
Then, the song came to an end and he picked up a bouquet of red tulips beside him. He walked to meet you and smiled with his dimples showing. “Do you like it?” he asked. Your breath hitched at the sight of him - white button down shirt with three buttons undone – and a black suit, pants and leather shoes, he looked like a prince. “And this… is for you,” he said as he offered you the bouquet.
“Yixing… everything is so beautiful,” you exclaimed with tears welling in your eyes.
He wrapped an arm the small of your back and drew you close to him. He planted a soft kiss on your lips and touched his forehead unto yours. “Let me show you more,” he whispered.
He took your right hand and led to the perimeter where the photos were bathed in light. You unpinned the first photo and studied it. “Your first photo,” you exclaimed meeting his smiling eyes.
“Are you sure this is already the one?” You asked him for the umpteenth time. It was already night time and your legs were already numb and your eyes were also dropping. You were practically searching the whole day, which could be an exaggeration but it wasn’t. Well, you got yourself into this mess as well since you offered to help the handsome lost man.
Standing in front of the building, he scanned from the door to the uppermost floor. “I think it is. The uppermost floor looks familiar.”
“Then try your keys. Let me rest for a bit,” you said as you sat on one of the concrete steps and rested your head against the railing.
Yixing walked up to the door and inserted the brass key into the keyhole. A twist on the left and finally, it opened.
“___________! It opened! I’m finally home!” He shouted with joy. Hearing nothing from you, he turned and looked at you from behind. He walked nearer and bent to see your sleeping face. For the first time, he saw your usual furrowed brows relaxed and plump lips slightly ajar. It was a beautiful sight and he couldn’t leave you like that alone. So he scooped you up, careful not to wake you, and took you inside his apartment.
“It was good you were a deep sleeper. I was scared that shutter sound would wake you,” Yixing said with a smile. He took the photo from your hands and kissed your head.
That morning, it wasn’t the sound of the annoying alarm clock that woke you up. It was the sound of clicking cutlery and the smell of sautéed garlic and onions. You pried your eyes open and saw a man with a childish smile on his face.
“I’m glad you’re awake. Please, join me for breakfast.”
“How did I…”
“You fell into a deep sleep and I couldn’t leave you.”
You blushed at his words and sat up from his couch. “Thank you. I’m sorry though for startling you yesterday.” Your eyes rested on your fiddling hands.
He sat beside you and took your hands into his. You looked up to meet his eyes with surprise and embarrassment. “No, it’s fine. Now please, join me for breakfast. It’s been a while since I had a guest in this house.”
Although things started off at the wrong note, you and Yixing shared stories of each other’s lives. He owned an art atelier, while you were only a budding photographer. He came from a wealthy Chinese family, while you admitted weren’t that rich nor that poor.
“I had a really great time, Yixing,” you said as you stood up and gathered your belongings, “but I really have to go home now.”
“I understand,” he said as he began stacking up your plates, “but let me escort you out.”
“No, it’s fine,” you said as you held his arm, “but I want you to have this.”
You removed the camera around your neck and handed it over to him. “It’s a classic. I just think you needed this more than I do. Take a picture of your house so you won’t forget where you live. Take a photo of that lamp around the corner since it could serve as a pretty good landmark. Your photos would serve you as your reminders, your memories.”
And indeed he did. The pictures pinned showed his mind and his heart. Some were hilarious, some were sentimental. When he asked you to be his girlfriend, he captured almost your every move and every part of your body – your eyes, your smile, and the twirl of your hair. In the three years you’ve been dating each other, no moment was left uncaptured.
You were at the end of his so-called gallery when you noticed an area missing a photograph.
“Yixing, have you forgotten to place a photo here?” You asked.
He smiled with his signature adorable smile. “No, because it was with me all this time.”
He fished his hand inside his pocket, took her hand and placed in on your palm.
Your eyes widened at the sight. “Yixing, I…”
Down on one knee, Yixing took out a blue velvet box and opened it. Inside was the ring that resembled in the photography you were holding. “__________, you may have known me as forgetful. But with you, I am always reminded of how wonderful it is to live and how beautiful the world is. I have been capturing moments with you since I met you and I wish to capture more with you as my wife. __________, will you spend forever in photographs with me?”