Not edited much. That's your warning.

Happy holidays everyone!

Rated R

"Out by the roof, there's a rose suchuk ladder!"

I chuckled slightly at the sight of the little boy climbing up the ladder that had magically appeared, to his father's surprise. Despite watching it every year, The Santa Clause never failed to make me chuckle.

I sighed slightly at my crappy Christmas traditions and stood up from my couch, stretching slightly and groaning as my back cracked. I relaxed my muscles and padded over to the kitchen, checking on the food.

Despite spending Christmas alone, I refused to sink to eating pizza or going to Denny's. I wanted to keep the spirit alive somehow.

Every year, though, it got harder to do that.

I sighed again as my memories kicked in, my thoughts no longer distracted by the movie. I didn't want to remember why I was alone for every holiday. I didn't want to remember why I wasn't thankful at Thanksgiving nor merry at Christmas.

My family - and to a further extent, my ex - had really done a number on me, it seemed.

You've got mail!

I looked in confusion at my phone, the email notification temporarily pulling me out of my thoughts. I quickly finished checking the food before pulling up my email on the smartphone and checking it. A small smile appeared on my face when I saw the email in question.

Happy Holidays! the subject line cried out. The message itself was sweet, though completely stock. It simply gave well wishes to everyone of all religions, and wished them a happy and safe holiday. I chuckled slightly at the ending - Be sure to stay off the Naughty list this year by choosing a designated sober driver! - and shook my head.

Glancing at the sender, the cheesiness of the email made sense. It was a coworker of mine, José. He had been working at Thomson Reuters about as long as I have, his cubicle just a few feet away. He was always smiling at work, despite us having dreary desk jobs.

I quickly opened up a new message to send to him - being sure to only reply to him and not reply to everyone (having made that mistake before, I knew how embarrassing it was) - and typed out a quick message of my own.

Feliz Navidad, José! You celebrating back in your home country tonight? -Shane

Before thinking too much, I sent it, only afterward realizing that I may not be close enough to him to joke like that. He responded before I could truly start to worry, however.

Nah, they just jumped the border to join me :P -José

I laughed at his response, knowing he had lived in the US his whole life. Unfortunately, not everyone was kind to him at our work - he had gotten the whole "You damn Mexicans are stealin' all our jobs!" spiel right in front of me. It was only after the whole affair had calmed down that he told me that he had unfortunately heard it many times before.

Haha how kind of them :) -Shane

I immediately started beating myself up over that damned smiley face. I didn't want José to suspect anything - sure, if asked, I was fine with sharing my sexuality, but I was friends with him and I didn't want him to think I was coming on to him. That would be horrible if he found out just how attractive he was to me.

I heard beeping coming from the oven and I quickly checked on the small turkey. I saw that it still needed more time - a lot more time - so I slid it back in and adjusted the timer. I then grabbed my phone and went back to the couch, muting the TV as it swapped over to a commercial break. My phone chirped at me again and I quickly unlocked it, only cursing my eagerness slightly as I did.

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