Chapter 26: The Christmas Morning

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"Merry Christmas!" Samara sing songed as she opened our apartment door.

"Merry Christmas!" Nathan, Darian, and I said in unison.

Samara made her way to us in the living room, gift bags filling both her hands. She placed them under the tree and all of us stared at her. Once she realized we were looking she flipped her hair over her shoulder. "Don't look at me like that, Christmas is the season of giving."

"What did you get us, everything in Nordstrom?" Darian asked sarcastically, cracking up at his own response.

Nathan and I exchanged a look and we both rolled our eyes.

Darian sat on the chair and Nathan and I sat on the couch. Meanwhile, Samara made herself cozy in the bean bag chair Nathan spontaneously bought on Amazon a few weeks ago.

Clapping his hands together, Nathan looked around the room. He cocked an eyebrow and said, "Ready to begin?"

Everyone nodded their heads but suddenly, I remembered something. "Wait! We need to put on Elvis Presley's Blue Christmas!"

Samara gave me a strange look. "Why?"

"Because it isn't Christmas without the King?" I answered in a tone that sounded like it was the most obvious thing ever. 

Samara cocked an eyebrow and I rolled my eyes. "My dad always said that."

My friend nodded her head slowly, not bothering to argue with my logic.

"I've got you covered, princess," Nathan said, he pressed the remote to the stereo and Elvis's White Christmas began to fill the apartment.

I smiled to myself and my insides started to feel warm as I remembered my dad always trying to serenade my mom with this song while he made her coffee every Christmas morning.

Looking at Nathan, I gave him a grateful smile. "Thank you, Nate."

Nathan only gave me a smile in return and Darian stood up to pass out the presents. He went straight for Samara's giant gift bags and passed them out to us, quickly. Eagerness was plastered on his face as he plopped down on his chair and threw the tissue out of the bag. His eyes went wide and a grin formed, nearly going to his ears.

"What is it?" I asked, trying to stretch my neck so I could see.

Darian plunged his hands in the bag and brought them out. In his hands, were beanies of nearly every colour possible and some had designs on the front. There were at least ten or twelve and Darian hugged them all. When he noticed all of us staring, he narrowed his blue eyes. "If any of you steal my beanies, I will set your hair on fire."

I held my hands up in surrender and chuckled lightly. "I promise to not touch your beanies."

"Good," my roommate said in finality.

Samara smiled and she said, "I'm glad you like them. Audrey, you're next!"

I nodded my head and started to take the tissue out of the large gift bag. When I reached what was at the bottom, I laughed so hard, tears started to form. At the bottom of the bag was the green hoodie Samara had lent me the first time I had met her. Even though she had said I could keep it, I refused and gave it back to her the next class. 

"What's so funny about a green hoodie?" Nathan asked, his eyebrows scrunched in confusion.

I wiped my tears and smiled. "The day I met Samara, I got soaked from rain and she told me I looked like a drowned poodle and then gave me her hoodie so I wasn't in soaking clothes for the whole class."

"You really did look like a poodle," Samara mused. "But you look better in that sweater than me. Now you can't give back, it's a gift!"

I narrowed my eyes at my best friend and nodded my head. "Well played, Jones. Well played."

She tilted her head and brought her hands up, her palms facing upwards. "I try."

Samara jerked her head over to Nathan. "Your turn!"

Nathan didn't need to be told twice, diving into the bag he pulled out a box that said, Home Brew. His eyes went wide and looked at Sam. "Is this a brewing kit?"

She nodded her head. "Yeah, my mom got it for my dad but he had no interest in it. Never been used. I thought you'd like it, being a bartender and all."

"Thanks," Nathan said with a smile. 

It was nice to see him smile.

Darian clapped his hands together and our gazes shifted to him. He was sitting on his chair, still having his beanies close to his chest and one sat on his head that said, cutie. "I don't have anything psychical to give you because they haven't been sent here yet, but I got us all tickets to the music festival that's happening in the summer." 

We all let out a collective gasp and thanked Darian profusely. He had a smug look on his face. "I totally won Christmas."

"You don't win Christmas, dude," Nathan scoffed. "Christmas isn't something you win."

His brother stuck out his tongue and Nathan rolled his eyes.

Breaking apart their little fued, I said, "Alright, well I still have some stuff for you guys."

Getting up from my spot, I went to get my gifts from underneath the Christmas tree. Picking up a small bag for Samara, another bag for Darian, and a box for Nathan, I passed them out.

Samara opened her bag and screamed on the top of her lungs. "YOU GOT ME THE RIHANNA MAKEUP LINE?"

"I LOVE YOU!" She squealed and ran to give me a big hug.

I patted her back and gave her a smile. "You're welcome."

She sat back down and started to open her makeup and test out swatches on her arm. Meanwhile, Darian got to work on opening gift.

Similar to Samara's reaction, he started freaking out and screaming. "YOU GOT ME A EMPORIO ARMANI BAG? YOU ARE THE BEST ROOMMATE EVER!"

I gave Darian a smile. "Well, you're the best roommate ever. And the best deserves the best."

My roommate shot me a grateful look and I smiled sweetly back at him. I then looked over at Nathan and he stared back at me, looking hesitant to open his gift. "I didn't have any money to get anyone anything."

I touched his arm, giving it a light squeeze. Giving him a reassuring smile, I said, "Presents aren't everything, Nate. Just having someone to celebrate with is a gift enough."

I jerked my head slightly. "Open it, I promise you you'll like it."

Nathan nodded his head and began to tear the snowflake wrapping paper off the box. When he saw it was a white box, he gave me a quizzical look. I only jerked my head again, emphasizing to keep going.

Once he opened his gift completely, his eyes lit up, to the point I could see various colours swirling about. He looked at me and gave me a look I've never seen before. Was that a genuine... smile?

All of the ones I've seen on him never reached his eyes or were always sarcastic. But this one, this was one that caused me to feel something strange flutter about in my stomach.

"Audrey," he began. He held up the signed Floyd Mayweather boxing glove and stared at it in awe. "This... This is amazing."

I winked at him and gave him a wicked smile. "I told you you'd like it."

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