|"One Magic Christmas"
by Jamie Phelps
|Disclaimer: I own none of the characters. They belong to those who created them -- but I wouldn't mind getting my hands on a few of them :)
Summary: Isabel has only one thing left to do this Christmas -- and what it is, turns out to be the most magical Christmas she's ever had.
Author's Note: I enjoy feedback. I'd really like to hear what you guys thought about this. It was a surprising direction this took. Send me your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org!
|Snow fell lightly as Isabel made her way slowly across the desolate ground. She knew the way all to well, as she’d traveled it many times over the past year. Sometimes she had a reason, other times she just needed to talk. But whatever the reason, she found herself there a lot.
It was Christmas Eve. Kissing Jesse goodbye, she promised not to be gone for long. She never was. And now, as she walked in the blistering cold she wished she’d asked him to come along. If anything, to keep her warm. But she knew she couldn’t have. This was something only she could do. She’d never brought him with her before and she wasn’t about to start now.
Wrapping the towel she’d brought along around her shoulders, she buried her hands deep inside her coat pockets. Her right hand settled on a tiny box wrapped in beautiful Christmas paper. She knew it was Christmas because she’d wrapped it. Maria had helped her pick it out. If only she’d have known he’d never make it until Christmas. Pulling the box out of her pocket, she looked it over. Even the ribbon was perfect. A perfect present for the perfect man, she thought. A smile formed on her face.
The snow had let up a little since she’d arrived, but the chill was still hanging in the air. Isabel didn’t seem to notice for the pain she was feeling inside was far too great. She saw it, just ahead. Even in the months that preceded this visit she had trouble moving when she saw it. It was as though if she continued any further, everything would really be true. But she knew she had to go on, as always. She laid the towel across the snow and sat down. She fished the tiny package from her pocket slowly, turning it over and over in her hand.
“This is for you.” She said quietly. “I know, it’s not much, but I wanted to get you something.” She laid the gift in front of the headstone. “I miss you Alex.”
Glancing up towards the sky she sighed. “I still can’t believe you’re gone. I keep going over and over in my head how I could have protected you. But all my love and the truth just ended up getting you killed. It’s all my fault, Alex and there isn’t a day goes by I don’t blame myself. If you hadn’t known the truth about me, this would have never happened. Because of me, you’ll never have another Christmas.”
Tears formed in her eyes. “Jesse’s a good husband. I love him and he loves me. I couldn’t have asked for a better man, but he’s not you. Everyone will always be second best to you.” She reached out and began to trace his name with her fingers. “This will probably be my last visit, at least for a while. Jesse’s starting to ask questions. I don’t have the heart to tell him I come here. I think he’d understand, but then I’d have to explain the whole alien thing to him. I won’t do that. I won’t lose someone else that I love because of my secret.” She shivered as the snow started to come down harder.
“I’m pregnant. Can you believe it? I wanted you to be the first to know. I haven’t even told Jesse. I’m not really sure how to feel. I mean, I’ve always wanted kids – you know that. I just never expected them to be with anyone but you.” An embarrassed grin spread across Isabel’s face. “I bet you didn’t know that did you? At least you would know your kid is half alien. I know Jesse will be a great father, I just don’t know how to get through the pregnancy without him finding out the truth about me.”
Off in the distance, church bells chimed. Had she already been gone an hour? She knew she had to be getting back to Jesse soon. There were still presents that needed to be wrapped for their family Christmas party.
“I should really be going now.” She said, wiping at her tear-stained face. “Jesse will start to get worried.” A gust of cold air caused her to shiver. She stood, shaking the snow from her blanket and wrapping it around her. She placed two fingers to her mouth and kissed them, before touching them to Alex’s headstone. “Merry Christmas Alex.” She forced the lump that had formed in her throat down. “I love you.”
At first she didn’t feel it. She didn’t even notice the change in temperature. But then it was only inches away from here neck. She shivered as the warm breath tickled the hair on her neck. “I love you too, Isabel.”
She turned around. Alex was standing in front of her. This wasn’t the first time she’d seen Alex. But she was surprised nonetheless. She pulled him close, hugging him tightly, willing for her to be able to let him go. After what seemed like forever she pulled away. “I thought we decided you weren’t going to “appear” to me anymore. Remember, it’s not healthy for me to see you.”
Alex ran his fingers along her cheek. “I know. But I just had to see you.” A crooked little smile formed on his mouth. “I can’t believe that even after being out here for an hour in this cold and snow you still look amazingly beautiful.”
Isabel blushed. God, she loved him.
He took her hand, interlacing his fingers with hers. “Walk with me?”
Isabel reached down with her free hand and picked up the present she’d gotten for him. “Sure.”
Together the two of them walked through the cemetery and into a park that was across the street. Like almost everywhere else, it was deserted and no one would be able to see anything. They made their way to a bench setting beneath a willow tree and sat down. Isabel turned Alex’s hand over and over in hers. “You wouldn’t believe how good it feels to hold your hand again.” She began.
“Yes I would.” He smiled. “Ya know, I don’t mind being dead – but what really sucks is having to be away from you. I mean, come on – you know dead girl hands are not nearly as soft as yours.”
“There’s that smile I love.” Alex pulled her closer to him. “A Baby huh?”
Isabel slowly nodded her head. “June 10th. I just found out today. I don’t know, Alex. How will I ever make it without Jesse knowing the truth?”
Alex sighed. “Everything will be just fine. You’ll figure something out. You’re a very smart girl. I think you can easily get around Jesse. And if that doesn’t work, just tell him the truth.”
“No. No, I won’t do that. What if he leaves me? What if it puts him in danger? What if I get him killed just like I did with you?”
Alex made Isabel face him. “You did nothing to get me killed. That was not your fault at all. Stop blaming yourself. I wanted to know your secret. I fought to know it. God, Isabel, I wouldn’t trade knowing your secret for anything. I fell in love with the real you. And that is something I’m very proud to say. What happened to me was awful, but in no way was it ever your fault. You have to understand that.”
Tears fell from Isabel’s eyes. “I want to believe that. I really do. I just – it’s hard Alex, really hard.”
Alex put his arm around her. “I know. Just know I don’t think it’s your fault. At least tell me you know that.”
“I know you don’t.” She laid her head on his shoulder. “I just have to find some way to deal with this.”
They sat in silence for a while. Roswell was peaceful at night, and despite the chill in the air, Isabel didn’t feel at all cold. She stuck her hand in her pocket and pulled out the tiny box she’d brought with her. “Here, this is for you.”
Alex took the gift and shook it, like a little kid on Christmas morning. “What is it?”
Isabel smiled. “Open it. I couldn’t wait to give it to you. I had it made just before you died.”
Alex slowly untied the ribbon from the box. Lifting the lid, he pulled a tiny gold chain from the box. He moved the cotton around and found a tiny heart shaped charm. On the front were the initials A.W + I.E. He opened the heart to find a picture of him and Isabel from the prom. On the side was one word. FOREVER. Alex swallowed the lump in his throat and looked at Isabel with tears in his eyes.
“Thank you. It’s – beautiful.” He slipped the charm onto the necklace.
“I didn’t know what would happen to it if I left it lay out here. I figured maybe the grounds keeper would pick it up when he was picking up flowers or something. I guess I never really expected you to see it. But I had bought it – and I still wanted to give it to you.” She reached over and kissed his forehead. “Merry Christmas.”
Alex smiled. “I still haven’t given you my Christmas present.” He said suddenly. Quickly he stood reaching for her hand.
“Where are we going?” She asked. She didn’t really want to know. She’d go anywhere with him.
“For just tonight, lets pretend you’re not an alien, that you’re not married, and that I’m not dead.” He smiled. “I want us just to be normal. Even if it’s for only an hour. Let that be my Christmas present to you.”
“But how – ”
“Just trust me, Is.”
Isabel took his hand and followed him. They walked further into the park and over to the newly added play area. Alex let go of her hand and ran over to the slide.
“What are you doing?” Isabel yelled after him.
“Sliding! Come on!”
“Alex,” Isabel began. “This is ridiculous.”
Alex slide down the slide, jumping up and pumping his fists into the air with a yell. “Woo hoo!” He ran back to the slide and began the climb again. “Come on Izzy, this awesome.”
Isabel couldn’t hid her smile. He looked so cute acting like a five-year-old. She gave in to her logical side and started up the slide.
“I’ll catch you.” Alex said, taking his place at the end of the slide.
A grin formed on Isabel’s face. “Oh yeah?!?”
The slide was faster than she expected and she couldn’t stop before she reached Alex. His arms were wide open as she fell into them, pushing him back onto the snow and her on top of him.
“Fun, wasn’t it?” He asked.
Isabel stifled a giggle. “Yeah, it was.”
Alex reached up and kissed her firmly on the lips. Days, months, years seemed to pass before he pulled away. “Race ya to the swings?”
He pulled himself from underneath Isabel and ran to the swings. Isabel followed jumping in the one next to him. “I’m a master swinger.”
Alex laughed. Between the two of them, they were going so high the legs of the swingset began to come up from the ground. They slowed to where they were just barely swinging. Alex looked up into the snowy night sky. He swung his swing close to Isabel and pointed upward. “A beautiful girl once showed me all the constellations in the sky. But of all the ones she showed me, my most favorite was the “V” constellation. You see, legend has it that a beautiful princess was sent to earth to live among the humans in hopes of saving her planet.”
Isabel blushed again. She knew exactly who he was talking about.
He twisted his swing around to where they were side by side, slowly he leaned over and kissed her. “And a beautiful princess she was.” He said, pulling away.
He stood up and pulled her to her feet. “Dance with me.”
Isabel looked around. “But there’s no music.”
With a wave of his hand, the park filled with the most beautiful music Isabel had ever heard.
“Dance with me.”
She placed her arms around him and moved in close. She felt sad that this night would end. If only she hadn’t lost him that terrible night.
“Iz, I want you to keep this necklace and wear it.” He tightened his grip on her. “You know it won’t do me any good where I’m going. But if you keep it, it’ll be like keeping a part of me with you.”
Isabel hid the sadness in her voice. “I don’t know if I can. I bought it for you. I never intended on wearing it.”
“I know. Please take it. I don’t want it to end up with the grounds keeper. I want you to have it. To hold close to you always.” He pulled away and fastened the necklace to her neck. “Our hearts will be forever intertwined.” He lowered his mouth onto hers.
The music played on, and they danced well into the night. Isabel was happy just holding Alex in her arms. She never wanted to let go. In the distance, the church bells rang again, twelve strokes this time, announcing that it was officially Christmas Day.
Alex pulled back from Isabel so he could see her eyes. “Merry Christmas, Isabel.”
“Merry Christmas, Alex.”
He stepped forward and placed one last kiss on her moist soft lips. He didn’t want to forget their sweet taste. “I love you with all my heart.”
Isabel closed her eyes and smiled. When she opened them, Alex was gone. She was standing in front of his grave again. She let her tears fall, knowing that tonight was the last time she’d see Alex. But she was happy to have been given the time. Something cold brushed against her chest and she reached up, feeling the necklace on her bare skin. She clutched it tight in her hands as she began to fight her way through the snow back to her car. Jesse would be worrying and she didn’t want that. Before she got to the gate, she turned one last time to see his grave. There, standing beside it was Alex, a goofy grin on his face smiling. He waved goodbye.
Isabel smiled, too. For once she felt like she could finally move past his death. She lifted her hand and waved back. “I love you, too Alex.”
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