24 2 0

I apologize for this chapter I'm having awful writer's block, so it's short and boring, I'm sorry it's awful :(

"Merry Christmas!" There was already way too much cheeriness and Gaige was over it. 

Luckily, Gaige's parents had let him sleep in until roughly nine o'clock on the holiday. Then he was awakened and instantly greeted with energy, cinnamon, noise, and calories. Leon stuffed his face of their moms homemade cinnamon buns that they've had for Christmas since they were little. For the second year in a row, the sense of tradition and family flew over Gaige's head. And the cute, tasty little cinnamon buns rested in Gaige's stomach and his mind knowing the ceramic bowl they'd end up in later. 

Then they sat in the living room, Gaige and his mother nursing coffee cups -one black, one with tons of creme- as they each opened colorful paper wrapped boxes and bags. Neil got a nose hair trimmer from Leon and Gaige (despite Gaige not knowing) and a new cookbook form Paige. Paige received a fluffy lavender colored robe from her sons (this one Gaige did know) and stylish Starbucks coffee cup. Leon got two new video games and a pair of light-wash jeans from his parents. Gaige carefully pulled off the wrapping paper to see a new windbreaker, a new pair of Van's, and phone case.

"I'm sorry, hun," Paige gave Gaige a little pout from her seat on the couch across from him, "We haven't seen you, so we didn't know what you wanted, so we kind of just had to guess."

His family had never had much money, Gaige has always known that. Christmas that other kids got had come and gone in his life, sometimes he had it sometimes he didn't. But his parents -Neil and Paige- had always made sure to get him and his brother one present each. And he'd always be the most grateful for his parents love on Christmas than any other day. No matter how much he felt unworthy.

"No," Gaige shook his head and offer his parents a tight smile, squeezing the new windbreaker gently between his fists, "It's fine. I think they're great."

After presents, Paige spent an hour doing her hair, Neil made sure the stuffing was good to bring, and the boys messed around on their phone before they left to Paige's families house for the large Christmas party that would likely last an entire day. Full of too much food, too many people, and too much boredom. 

And Gaige even wore his new windbreaker just for his mom.

"Merry Christmas! Come on in, come on in!" Great-uncle what's his name -Maybe it was Robert?- swung the door open, shuffling in Gaige's little family with a merry smile to match the merry holiday. 

"Merry Christmas, Robert," Gaige watched with awkward lack of interest as his mother wrapped her uncle in a hug, a bag as a present to her parents in her hand.

Leon and Gaige merely offer a strange smile to their great-uncle, share a look, a  follow behind their parents like lost puppy dogs to the kitchen for Neil to put the stuffing for the conga line of Christmas linner (Gaige's perfect idea of combining two meals and saving calories). But, unfortunately, the kitchen was a hoarding center for grandmothers and other great relatives.

"Merry Christmas, Jones!" Mary -Gaige's grandmother- in all her amazon-like glory, threw her Santa themed kitchen towel in the air when she saw his little family squeeze their way into the jam-packed kitchen. 

All the spices, all the smells, all the family Gaige hasn't seen in what feels like forever. Gaige pushed Leon in front of himself, despite the fact his little brother would always be too little to cover him. His height got him caught in the whirlwind of gasps and greetings.

 "Gaige! You're back from Michigan! I didn't know I'd see you today, come give me hug," Gaige's face stiffly pulled up in a smile as his grandmother that smelled like ham glazing wrapped her bingo flaps around Gaige's disappearing waist.

Thin BonesRead this story for FREE!