ANOTHER YEAR LATER
“I don't like this place,” Anna mumbles to herself as she finally manages to hook a foot over the window ledge and launch herself into the small room, landing face first on the carpet. “Ow,” she lets out in a squeak after a few moments, cheek shoved awkwardly against the scratchy fabric.
“Hello?” a sleepy voice mumbles from further inside the room.
“Oh, God,” Anna whimpers, still with half her body sticking out the window and the other half splayed across the carpet. Please don't wake up please don't wake up pretty please don't wake up.
“Relax, Matt,” another voice rings out. “It's probably just a cat on window ledge or something - ”
“Dude, I thought I heard voices - ”
“Doubt it,” the second voice laughs, and Anna thinks she may be saved. “I need the bathroom, go back to sleep, okay?”
At a murmured assent from Matt, she begins hearing footsteps padding closer to her. “No,” she groans, but by now, she's given up with trying to move (okay, not like she was making much of an effort in the first place, but the awkward climb and shuffle up the drainage pipe of the building in order to get into each window wasn't exactly relaxing), and can only sincerely hope that whoever finds her is as kind as Jonathan was. The footsteps continue to come closer, and eventually she can make out a pair of slippered feet come to a stop directly in front of her face. There is a long pause as Anna holds her breath and hates herself for being clumsy and awkward and also the building for being so tall and not even having a chimney.
“Looks like quite the situation you've got yourself in there,” a voice says from above her, amused, and a glance upwards is enough to catapult her lower half into the building as she makes out the familiar features.
“Jonathan!” she lets out. “I didn't know this is your college!”
“Well, you do now,” he laughs, and she gets up to launch herself into his arms, smiling happily at the feeling of his chest rumbling with amusement. “Looks like someone's happy to see me,” he jokes, but she can feel the squeeze of his arms around her, and only grins wider into his shoulder.
“Of course I am,” Anna chastises, pulling away to glare at him. “It's been a year!”
Jonathan grins down at her. “That's true,” he agrees. “How's things?”
Anna, having pulled away, is a little distracted by Jonathan - aren't they supposed to stop growing at some point? And - oh. Jonathan is wearing boxers and a shirt.
Just boxers and a shirt.
“Anna,” Jonathan sings, poking her cheek gently. Her eyes snap back up guiltily, but he doesn't seem to have noticed, and she thanks all and any gods for low lighting. “Uh - sorry. Yeah. Things are good. Great. Really great. Great as can be, absolutely gr - "
“I'm getting the sense that they're great,” he teases, pressing a finger to her lips. She silently struggles to contain the flush threatening to creep into her cheeks, but then moves away, saying:
“College,” he agrees, running a hand through his hair.
“How is it?” she asks, lips curving up into a knowing smile.
“Fine, so wipe that smirk off your face, Miss,” he reaches over to flick her forehead gently.
YOU ARE READING
Twelve Ways To Spend One's Christmas EveShort Story
"Anna dislikes being stuck three-quarters of the way down a chimney. She really does. Not to mention, she's still going round North America, and there's, like, three continents still to get through in about as many hours."