Chapter 4

Christmas Eve Will Find Me by Emily


Posted on 5 Views / 266 Hits Word Count: 4348 (19 minutes)

Reactions:

 Previous Chapter

As darkness consumed me, I had this feeling I was in a dream state. Flashes of memories, of smells, of sounds. Things that didn’t make sense. For example, why was I walking through a field? 


At least I thought it was a field. There was grass and trees. It was a bright sunny day. I could feel the warm sun on my face. Wasn’t it supposed to be winter? Why was I here and where was I walking to?


I tripped over something, I didn’t see. It wasn’t there before.


It was a gravestone.


I wasn’t in a field. I was in a cemetery.


I got up and dusted my knees off, when I noticed two or three people huddled around flowers and an open hole. A funeral?


In my dream state I kept walking towards it. I typically don’t walk up to random funerals, but my dream legs keep moving me closer. I could start to make out the faces of the few people assembled there. There was a man giving a sermon that I couldn’t hear. As I got closer I realized I couldn’t hear anything. There was another man standing next to him. Was that my boss, Elliot? There was a woman next to him. Was that my mother?


The woman tossed a flower onto the casket. The man placed a greeting card there. The 3 people solemnly walked away.


I approached the casket. I picked up the greeting card and read, “Rest in Peace, David. Your Co-workers”


David? This is me? I’m dead?


That’s all they wrote? Not even a “We’ll miss you?” or a “Thanks for the good times?”


I looked for a grave marker. There it was, propped up next to the casket. “David Wilson. 1989 -” There was no death date. This future wasn’t written in stone.


I eyed the casket. Do I dare look?


Curiosity got the better of me and I opened it.


Inside I found what I wasn’t expecting. It was Laura. Dressed in an elegant blue dress. Her eyes were closed, but her expression, rather than being one of peace, was more… pensive.


I heard a voice in the wind call me. “Laura.”


I turned around to see a feminine figure dressed in black. Is that Liz?


“Laura, come back” the wind said.


I closed the casket. “Liz!” I said. But my voice didn’t make a sound.


All I could hear was the voice in the wind calling me again. “Laura.”


“I was wrong to leave!” I tried to say. Again, no sound came from my mouth.


I went to run after her, but I tripped on something and tumbled into the freshly dug grave. The grave, while only 6 feet, felt like it went on forever. Instead of hitting dirt, I fell into darkness.


* * *


I was jolted awake by the end of that nightmare. I opened my eyes to find myself sitting at home. I was still on the couch. It was morning. My dinner was still on the TV tray and cold. The TV was off.


Was everything a dream? Did I fall asleep watching Christmas movies and dreamt I was in one? That felt longer than a single night. It felt real.


I got up from the couch and stretched. It certainly felt like i overslept. My muscles ached and my back was screaming at me because I slept sitting up. 


I gingerly walked to the door. I opened it to find my neighbor’s kids playing outside.


I cleared my throat. “Hey kids - what day is it?”


One kid looked at me like I had two heads. “It’s Friday, Mr. Wilson.”


“Friday?”


“Yeah,” the kid replied. “It’s Christmas Eve. We’re off from school today.”


It can’t be Friday. It was Tuesday yesterday. I noticed wet sidewalks and pavements. Wasn’t there a blizzard? “What happened to the snow?”


“It melted yesterday.” the other kid said.


It can’t be Friday. I closed the door and returned to the couch to look for my phone. Where did I put my phone? I dug through the couch cushions and pulled it out. I looked at the display. “10:12 AM, Friday, December 24”


They were right.


Two days had passed since I first sat down on my couch to eat that TV dinner. It was a dream, wasn’t it? I certainly didn’t sleep for 2 straight days.


Now what? Was I supposed to run around like a crazy man and make my peace with all of my family and friends? I glanced at my phone. “No Missed Calls.” I was sleeping for two days and no one bothered to check up on me? I came to a sad realization. I didn’t have any family or friends. None that mattered anyway. 


First thing I did was throw away the 2 day old TV dinner. I was hungry - but not that hungry. I washed that dish, made some coffee and made myself some cereal with milk.


I brought my coffee and cereal back to my TV tray and started eating


So there I was. Another Christmas. Another lonely Christmas.


I finished my cereal and I sat there in my quiet townhouse. I could feel an emptiness that wasn’t there last night. I thought about my 2-day long dream. Unlike other dreams, this one was imprinted in my memory. I remembered it as if it actually happened. I loved and lost. What if it was real? Why did I leave? Sure I only knew Liz for two days. But… those were amazing two days. I thought back to the cookie making, the tree trimming, the caroling, the carriage ride, and the kiss. I was actually enjoying it. Maybe that’s why people like those cheesy Christmas movies. They allow you to lose yourself in the story and become someone else for 90 minutes.


Was this dream trying to tell me something?


Maybe this wasn’t about the Christmas spirit. Maybe this was about my spirit? Maria was right - I really didn’t try. I was looking to date someone to not be so lonely. It never worked because I never really opened up to them. I never let them in. What made Liz so different?


While I was pondering all of that, I figured I’d follow through on the only Christmas tradition I do. Usually I wait until Christmas morning, but I'll do it on Christmas Eve while it’s still fresh in my mind. I scrolled through my contacts on my phone, and dialed my mother.


“David,” she said. “I didn’t expect your call today.”


“Merry Christmas, Mom,” I said.


“Merry Christmas, David.” she said.


I was silent for a moment. She didn’t hang up.


“Was there something else you needed?” she asked. “I need to get the house ready. I’m hosting Christmas Eve dinner. The kids are excited...”


When she said kids, she meant my step siblings. They’re all teenagers by now. When she remarried, she did the bare minimum for me and focused on her new family. This was our yearly call. My father cut me completely out when he got remarried. For whatever reason, he considered everything from his marriage to my mother - including me - dead to him. My mother at least tolerated the yearly call, just to make sure I’m still alive. 


“...is going off to college next year so we want to make this Christmas memorable.” she finished.


She wants to make a memorable Christmas? I found that funny. “Mom, I have a hard time remembering a good Christmas. When I was happy.”


She seemed surprised at my scathing retort. Usually I never spoke up, and was just eager to get this over with. She didn’t say anything right away. “Well - we had some good Christmases when you were younger.”


“Name one.”


“When you were happy? I remember one. The last one before the divorce.”


“Oh?”


She sighed. “It was the weirdest thing. You had asked for a Princess Belle dress for Christmas. So I got you one against your father’s wishes. You were only 5, who cares if you wore a girls dress at home. But when you opened it, your eyes got huge and I remember the smile on your face. You got dressed up and told us to call you “Laura” and danced around the house in pure joy. I’ve never seen you so happy.”


I was stunned by that revelation. “I… did what?” I said in disbelief. Was I still in the dream? Did my mom just say I called myself “Laura” when I was 5?


“I hadn’t seen you the same since. Shortly after that the divorce happened. I know we weren’t the best parents. We loved you and we tried. I know all you wanted was a family straight from a sitcom who would make you pancakes every morning. I’m sorry your father and I were never like that.”


“I know, Mom,” I said.


“I’m sorry we failed you David.”


She’s said sorry in the past, but this time it sounded like she meant it.


This is the point in the conversation where one of us should say “It’s not too late,” but neither of us said it. We had both moved on with our lives.


“I need to go, David.” she said. “Wherever you are or whatever you're doing, stay safe. Merry Christmas.”


“Merry Christmas” I echoed and hung up the phone.


I sat back on the couch in disbelief. What just happened here? I used to call myself “Laura?” 


I could hear Mr. Diggs in my head “Everyone has their own story. This is yours.”


Was that really my story? Was Laura… me?


I now remembered that Christmas, Mom was talking about. I remembered the yellow dress. I remember wearing it. I remember singing “Be Our Guest” as I danced through the house. I remember both Mom and Dad being annoyed that their son was dancing around in a dress. The very next day that dress disappeared. I remember asking for it, but both parents gave half-assed excuses. That was the last Christmas I remember being happy… until… yesterday.


Yesterday. Did any of that happen? Sure, Fairview could’ve been a dream. It could’ve just some repressed memories surfacing after falling asleep watching cheesy movies? But if it was a dream, what happened to me in those two days? People don't fall asleep on a Tuesday night and wake up on a Friday morning. 


But what if it wasn’t a dream?


I thought again back to Liz. How she was the first person in a long time I opened up to. Who I let in. What made her different? It just then occurred to me - it wasn’t Liz who was different. I mean, she’s great. Fun and attractive. It was me who was different. As Laura I was more confident. I flirted with her without any fear. I wasn’t pretending. 


At that moment, I felt like my world shattered around me. I’ve been just coasting through my life. What was I doing? I was sitting here waiting for Monday. Just sitting here, when I could be living my life.


I got up from the couch and walked to the door. I grabbed the knob, but realized outside wasn’t where I wanted to be. I turned my gaze back at the TV.


Fairview.


Laura.


Was it a real place or a place in my head? How do I prove it wasn’t all in my head? 


I grabbed my phone and googled Fairview. Apparently there are 28 states that contain a Fairview town.


I went to turn the TV on. Where was the remote? I knelt down on the floor and found the remote with its battery cover off. The 2 batteries were under the couch.


I reassembled the remote, and turned the TV back on. The TV was playing another movie. It wasn’t Fairview. This is how I found it originally. By flipping channels. I flipped the channel. Not Fairview. 


“Yet another remake of a Christmas Carol” I mumbled to myself.


I flipped the channel again.

Commercial.


And again.


“Another city girl country boy movie.”


Again.


“Evil corporations ruins Christmas for a family.”


Again.


Commercial.


Again.


Similar. But not Fairview.


I repeated this over and over and over.


I was getting anxious. I felt like I had lost something I desperately needed to get back. The more I dwelled on it the more it hurt. I shouldn’t have left her. Is this real heart break?


I could hear her voice. Liz’s voice. She was calling my name. I flipped channels more frantically. It became an obsession. I was determined to prove Fairview was real. It had to be real. I needed to return to it. To return to Liz. To Laura.


Hours started to pass. I forgot to eat lunch, I was too determined to find it. The sun had set now. The living room was dark except for the glow from the TV and the glow from my neighbor's Christmas lights through the window. I needed to go back. There’s nothing for me here. If I stay here, I’ll end up like that casket in my dream.


I was starting to get a headache.


In a fit of rage, I threw the remote against the wall. It shattered and the TV turned off.


How only the outside Christmas lights were the only source of light in my house.


I stared at the now dark and idle TV. I noticed my reflection staring back at me. It was Laura staring back at me. I reached out to my reflection. The reflection on the TV started getting brighter and brighter.


I heard knocks on the door. I ignored them and focused instead on my reflection on the TV screen.


The reflection dissolved into a bright blinding white light.


I got dizzy and collapsed to the floor. I closed my eyes and buried my face into the crook of my arm to shield myself from the blinding light. I felt that same moving sensation I originally felt. 


I heard knocks on the door again.


“Laura,” I heard a voice.


I lowered my arm and opened my eyes back up. I wasn’t in my living room anymore. I was kneeling down in Laura’s bedroom.


There was another knock on the door. “Laura, are you OK in there?” Claire’s voice said.


I got off the floor and opened the bedroom door to find Claire standing there in the hallway.


“I heard you crying.” she said.


I did it. I’m back!


I hugged her. “Mom, it’s good to see you.”


“What have you been doing here all day? I’ve called you for breakfast and lunch.”


I didn’t have a good answer. I then thought of Liz. I have to see her. I picked up my phone and called John’s number while Claire looked on.


“Miller Tree Service.” I heard John say. “Laura?”


“Is Liz there?” I asked.


“She already left. She went to the Christmas ball.” he said. “I thought you were skipping town again.”


“I came back,” I replied.


“Good,” he said. “She’s waiting for you.”


She’s waiting for me? “When is the ball?”


“Tonight at 6 PM. In… an hour.”


“Thanks John.” I hung up.


I looked at my phone. It’s 5 PM already. “I need to get ready.”


“Who’s at the ball?” she asked. “Are you seeing John?”


“No,” I said. I looked at her for a moment. “I’m… I’m seeing Liz.”


“Liz?” she asked, surprised. “John’s sister?” We made eye contact. I don't have much of a poker face, so she must’ve seen my feelings written in my face. I was expecting her to give me grieve for pursuing a same-sex relationship. Just like when my real mother gave me grief when I told her I wanted a dress for Christmas. When I told her I was a girl. Instead Claire smiled. “She’s cute. She’s a lucky girl if she’s captured your affection.”


I smiled at her acceptance. “Mom, can you help me?” I asked.


“I’d love to, honey,” Mom said.


I went to my closet and pulled out that red dress I saw yesterday. “I want to wear this.”


Mom smiled and started helping me put together an outfit. That red dress plus a black lacy bra and panty set. A pair of black tights, and black heels. She helped me stylize my hair and do my makeup.


I tried walking in heels, and nearly sprained my ankle on my first attempt. Mom chuckled if off and assisted me on how to walk in them, without asking any questions.


“She’s going to love you.” she said complimenting me.


“Thank you, Mom,” I replied, smiling.


“I love you, Laura.” she said.


I hugged her and tried not to cry. “I love you too, Mom.”


“Do you want any food for the road?” she asked.


“No time.” I said. “Thank you though”


I grabbed my coat and opened the door… only to find the sidewalk and driveway completely covered in snow. “What? No!”


“Oh my God” Mom said. “I forgot to shovel the driveway today.”


“I need to get to the ball,” I said. I looked at my phone. It read 5:59 PM. “I’m already running late.”


“Do you know anyone with a plow?” she asked. I saw her grab a coat and boots.


I thought about that for a second. “Maybe” I said. 


I called John again.


“Miller Tree… Laura? Shouldn’t you be-”


“John, do you have a snow plow?”


“I let someone borrow it.” he said.


“Who?”


* * *


Both Mom and I were shoveling the sidewalk and a path to the street. I saw truck lights in the distance. I did a time check on my phone. 6:15. I noticed the lights were white and red. As it got closer, a fire truck pulled up at the edge of the driveway.


“Laura, there’s no time,” Brad called from the cab. “Hope onboard.”


I returned to the porch to retrieve my heels then ran down the snow covered driveway in my snow boots. Brad helped me up into the firetruck.


Brad was listening to “Carol of the Bells” on the radio as I sat down and put my seatbelt on.


“Thank you Brad,” I said. “Why are you doing this for me?”


“We’re friends,” he said.


“But we’ve only known each other for a day.”


“Welcome to Fairview.” he chuckled. “Everyone's your friend. Besides, Eric couldn’t stop talking about how good of a time he had yesterday. You made that happen for him.”


I smiled. I mean, all I did was crash into that Christmas tree. It was Liz who made putting it back enjoyable for everyone. But I’ll take the compliment.


Brad turned on the fire engine's siren and we drove towards town.


* * *


We arrived in the center of the town. I hopped off the firetruck and waved bye to Brad, thanking him for the lift.


As I approached the banquet hall, I traded my snow boots for my heels. Outside of the banquet hall I found Mr. Diggs standing there.


“David, you’re back?” he asked.


I could hear a live band playing “Rocking around the Christmas Tree” coming from the banquet hall. She’s probably dancing by herself - or worse with someone else. I didn’t have time for Diggs’s bullshit..


“I had to come back.” I said. “You said yesterday I was lost. I think I found myself.”


“You think or you did?”


“I.. I did.”


He nodded his head with a warm smile. He breathed a sigh of relief “I was hoping you’d come back, Laura.”


The moment he called me Laura, I felt a warmth I couldn’t describe. Who is he? I wanted to run into the banquet hall, but I also wanted answers. “I..” I was unable to get the right questions out. “How did you… Who are you?”


“Me? I’m just a guy. I’m from your world, actually. I came here and found myself very much in your position. Unlike you, I never found myself. I resisted. I kept pretending. I turned my back to all of the signs. I was never able to return to the other world.”


“What is this place?” I asked. “How is this real?”


“It’s Fairview.” he said. “I don't know what this place really is. But I know it exists in parallel with that other world.”


“So it’s real? Can you go back and forth?”


“It is real. No you can’t go back and forth. Since you voluntarily came back, you’re here for good now. I’ve been here long enough to see other lost souls. Very much like yourself. Whenever I would find a lost soul, I’d try to help them and guide them. To do what I wasn’t able to do for myself.”


He started walking away.


“Wait, where are you going?” I asked.


“My work here is done.” Diggs said. “Merry Christmas, Laura.”


His work here is done? He left me with more questions than answers. But if I’m here for good, I suppose I can ask him again next I see him. “Merry Christmas, Mr. Diggs.”


I was about to enter the banquet hall when I turned back around. Diggs was gone. Did he vanish?


I entered the banquet hall. I checked my coat and my boots and walked into the ballroom.


The band was playing “I’ll be home for Christmas.” The hall was decorated with Christmas lights. There were several fans blowing glitter into the air to make it look like it was snowing inside. It was crowded.


The first people I saw were the bride and groom from yesterday. The look on their faces was that of surprise and excitement.


The bride came and hugged me. “You came back for her.” she said, embracing me.


The bride then started moving the crowd of people to make a path for me. “Excuse me, coming through” she would say. I heard whispers of “she’s here.” The crowd started to part for me. 


I started walking through the parting crowd. I saw Liz in the middle of the dance floor underneath a spotlight. She was wearing an elegant green velvet dress. We locked eyes. She looked surprised to see me.


The singer of the band kept singing slowly, “Christmas eve will find me where the love light gleams.”


I continued to walk to Liz. Time seemed to have stopped. The onlookers vanished and it was only me and Liz in the Christmas lights of the ballroom. I stopped right in front of her.


“Laura, you came back.” she said.


“No,” I replied, looking directly into her eyes. “I came home.”


I leaned in and she closed her eyes as we kissed. Much like the kiss on the carriage, our kiss was electric. Eventually our kiss came to an end, but our eyes locked onto each other.


The singer had a big finish “I'll be home for Christmas If only in my dreams.”


The song finished and the banquet hall was filled with applause.


“You know, I shouldn’t forgive you,” she said with a smirk.


“Yeah I screwed up.” I said. “I haven’t been in a successful relationship in a long time.” I said. “I’m flawed and I will make mistakes, but if you’re patient…”


“What if I’m not patient?” she said with a stern expression on her face.


What do I say to that? I’m not good at romantic monologues.


She reached out and grabbed my hands, and giggled, “Look how flustered you are. Girl, I forgave you the moment you walked into this hall. The way you parted a sea of people and strutted across the dance floor like you owned this place.”


I smiled and chuckled at her fake-out.


‘So you want to date me, huh?” she said.


It was my turn to joke with her. “I don’t know - you can’t whistle.” I said, giggling.


She playfully nudged my shoulder. “What about your job?” she asked.


“I’ll find another one.” I replied.


“What about the big city?”


“It’s still there. We can visit if you want.”


“So, Laura.” she said to me. “If we’re going to be dating. I suppose I should get you something for Christmas, tomorrow.”


“I already got everything I ever wanted.” I said putting my arms around her. She did the same and pulled me closer.


Another kiss.


“What do you want for Christmas?” I asked.


“I wanted you to come back to me.” she said. “I asked Santa, and he delivered. I knew you’d be back.”


I laughed. “Did you really?”


“I’m a kid at heart” she chuckled. “And a hopeless romantic.”


“So what now?” I asked. “What do you want to do?”


“What do you want to do Laura?” she asked.


I thought about that. “I’ve been in a funk for a long time. I think I need to catch up on some things.”


“Like what?” 


“I want to find some mistletoe. I want to have a snowball fight. I want to ride a sleigh. I want to wear an ugly sweater. I want to..”


“Get out of here and make love under the glow of the Christmas tree?” she interrupted.


I raised my eyebrow at that. “That… sounds tempting.” I nodded, trying to keep a straight face, but eventually let out a huge smile and laughed. Then I leaned in to kiss her. After another passionate kiss, I said. “Actually I’m kinda hungry.”


“I’ve got a lot of left-over cookies.” she said.


We both laughed as the band started playing a pop Christmas song. The rest of the dance floor filled in with people dancing around us as glitter snowed down on us.


THE END… or is it?


Happy Holidays to my readers!  Thank you for supporting me and my writing during 2021. I couldn’t have done any of this without the love and support of my own family and from dedicated readers like you.  I hope this holiday season and the new year finds you in the warmth of your home surrounded by people who love and support you.

~Emily


Reactions:
 Previous Chapter

Emily

Hi, I'm Emily and I'm writing Gender Transformation Fiction! This site is a place for my to keep all of my stories in one place. I'm also a software developer in the daytime, so this site will also be a proving ground of cool new features that pop into my head. Feel free to message me on Twitter or at my Discord Server! You can also find me on TGStorytime.com and FictionMania.tv.

Leave a Comment

You need to logged-in to leave a comment. Register | Log in

marter

This was beautiful.
Reply:

You need to logged-in to reply. Register | Log in

Emily

Thank you for reading! I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Reply:

You need to logged-in to reply. Register | Log in


More Series from Emily