With heavy steps, I climbed the two flights of stairs that led to my apartment. We’d been fighting before I left on Wednesday to drive the five hours back to my childhood home to spend the holiday with my family. We’d barely talked since. I’d wanted him to come with me, had reassured him up and down that my family would love to have him, but he refused to come. His own family had turned their back on him the moment they found out he was gay. And despite my family being supportive of me, of knowing who I was and loving me just as hard as always, he didn’t want any part of my family or the holiday.
I wouldn’t have gotten so upset if he’d been logical. We’d only been together six months, and living together for barely six weeks. I understood that even though he was committed to me, to making us work and thrive, that he was gun shy where family came in. If he’d left it at that, I’d have been disappointed but understanding. But my boy had a temper, and when I’d pushed too far in a last ditch effort to get him to come along, he’d snapped. The comments about my family faking their acceptance were hurtful, but even then, I’d at least understood where he was coming from. When he said he’d never spend a holiday with my family, and that he wouldn’t even be celebrating any holiday at all, I’d lost my own cool. He knew how I felt about holidays, and how much I loved Thanksgiving and Christmas in particular. I’d stormed out, leaving him steaming, and driven away.
I’d spent the last two days missing him like crazy.
We’d texted a little, talking about nonsense things, but neither one of us had called. Neither one of us apologized either. I didn’t know what I was walking into. But I knew I didn’t want to give him up. We were amazing together, and an argument even as big as this one, didn’t diminish that. He’d texted his love, and I’d returned the sentiment. I had to have faith in what we were building, and that we’d work through this now that we’d both had time to calm down. I’d left early this morning, earlier than I normally would have, just so I could get back to him and try.
I took a deep breath before I pushed the key into the lock, turning the deadbolt on the steel reinforced door, and pushing it open with my shoulder.
“Babe?” I called out, dropping my duffle in the entryway and toeing off my sneakers. I kept hold of the bag with the leftovers. My mother had thoughtfully packed them, and I knew he’d devour them once he saw what was inside. “I have good food and kisses for you.”
I tried for playful even though he’d hadn’t responded. I knew he was home. His car was in the parking lot. I’d looked. I shrugged out of my coat and hung it and my scarf in the tiny hall closet, then took another deep breath before I turned the corner into our apartment proper.
I stopped dead at the sight before me. He was standing in the middle of the living room surrounded by the big plastic bins in which I carefully stored the Christmas decorations every year. He’d shoved the couch down the wall and set the tree up in the corner. I had a fake one because I was allergic to the real thing, but it worked out well because I could have it up longer. He even had the lights untangled and laying on the end of the couch, ready to wrap around the tree. My breath caught as I took it all in, and I started to tear up as I found his gaze again.
“I’m sorry,” he blurted, blushing hard. He blew out a breath, and I knew from his expression just how sincere he was. “For what I said and for how I acted. I was wrong and I’m sorry and I want to spend all the holidays with you and your family.”
I took three steps to the left so that I could set my bag on the counter that separated the living room from the kitchen. And then I launched myself at him, hugging him tightly, breathing him in. The last couple of days had sucked, and I really thought he’d been serious about not celebrating holidays. But here he was, ready to decorate for Christmas with me, knowing it was my tradition to do it the day after Thanksgiving and really get into the spirit of the season.
I pulled back and grinned, then took his face in my hands and kissed him hard. It turned out I had even more to be thankful of than I thought.