Authors: Brittainy C. Cherry
Our Totally, Ridiculous, Made-Up Christmas Relationship
Copyright © 2013 by Brittainy C. Cherry
Edited By: Mickey Reed
Cover Design By: Berto’s Design
Interior Design By: Jovana Shirley,
All rights reserved.
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.
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To the hopefuls who believe in the magic of ridiculous, silly, and playful love.
Keep Dreaming. Keep Believing. Keep Loving.
I would like to start by thanking YOU, the person who is reading this. For so long these stories have lived in my head and I never dreamed that one day people would be taking this journey with me and giving my words a chance. Giving
a chance. It means the world to me that you took the time out of your lives to read my work, and I hope you received a bit of enjoyment from the experience. XoXo
To my fellow authors—only you can truly understand the fears, the joy and complete madness of this world we live in. I have come across so much talent in this year alone that inspires me to hone my craft. Thank you. Keep writing and I’ll keep reading.
My beta team—the best team ever. Thanks for ripping my novels apart just so I can put them back together, better than ever.
A shout out to Abby’s Book Blog—for all the help you gave me for this novella!
To my Dream Team: Rebecca Berto at Berto’s Designs for the amazing cover. Mickey at I’m A Book Shark, the amazing editor that she is. Debbie Popp Haumesser, thank you for your proofreading skills. I love you so, so much! Jovana at Unforeseen Editing—thanks for your awesome formatting skills! I love you all!
To my best friends—too many to name, yet all so important. Thanks for loving me even though I go MIA while writing.
To the siblings Bryon, Tiffani, Brandon, Candace, Isaiah, Ben, Will: So much love, respect, and pride to be able to call you all family. Love you!
To my papa: Thanks for the love and support! Love you, dad!
Lastly, this one is for you, mom: The one who believed in my dreams when I didn’t know how to. Thank you for standing me in front of the mirror at a young age and having me say over and over again, “I am somebody. And I have a voice.” You’re the Sherlock to my Watson. Love you to the moon and back!
A family gathering. That’s the last way I want to spend my Wednesday night. Why the hell do people act like they actually enjoy these get-togethers, when secretly, they all hate each other’s guts? I mean, let’s be real. You wouldn’t hang out with those people if they didn’t have your last name, right? This sucks ass.
Pulling up to my parents’ house, I toss my cig into the car’s ash tray, cussing under my breath at how annoyed I am with myself for buying another pack. Yesterday I was supposed to have my final smoke, but then Dad called irritating the living hell out of me.
My hands travel through my hair, and I glance in the rearview mirror, rubbing my fingers over my tired eyes. No sleep last night—my full attention was on Britney. Britney…or was it Whitney? The palm of my hand flies up to my eyes and I squint, trying to grasp the faded words and numbers. Eva. How the hell did I get Britney from Eva? Oh well, it doesn’t matter.
My tongue runs across my hand, erasing the lasting ink stain from existence. Never gonna call her again. She might still show up at Hank’s where she met me, cocktail wizard that I am behind the bar. It’s a known fact that girls flirt with bartenders, and I’ve made more than my fair share of trips back to random apartments, always with a different chick on my arm. That’s where Britney—er—Eva met me. That’s where all of the girls meet me. I never led her or any of them on, and I am very straightforward with each girl, telling them that it was only sex and nothing more. That way, I’m pretty sure if any of them build up some fairytale romance then it’s on them, not me.
I look toward the enormous home before me and slowly exhale with a heavy sigh. Everything about Dad is based on showing off. The sheer quantity of tasteless, gaudy decorations filling the yard is embarrassing. It’s one thing if you love Christmas, but the miles of glittering tinsel, the prolific herd of reindeer, the giant Santa, and flashing lights are simply Dad saying, “Look at me! I have money!” I’m pretty sure NASA is getting a pretty good view of all this from up top, too.
For a split second, I think about retreating, pulling off, but then I remember hearing Mom’s voice in the background on the call last night. “He’s really coming?!” she cried out, sounding way too excited about me making time to visit. After spending most of my life letting her down, I figure I should at least show up for an hour. Or twenty minutes. Whatever. I’ll stop in and say hi for five minutes.
Stepping out of the car dad bought me, I slam the BMW door, and rub my hands together, ready to enter a warzone. The hand-written sign on the door hangs and reads, ‘Five days until Santa.’ I want to roll my eyes that Mom still writes the word ‘Santa’ on the door, since my siblings and I are definitely past the age of believing in miracles and the lies parents feed their kids. Yet, I don’t roll my eyes, because it’s kind of cute, Mom’s belief in our youth. She’s a good mom, always has been. Maybe she was too forgiving of me and my screw-ups as a kid, but it’s nice to have an ally. Someone who loves me, scars and all. Too bad she married a jerk.
Dad opens the door, running his hands through his nonexistent hair, narrowing his eyes on me—but yelling so everyone else could hear within the house. “Well, look who we got over here! If it ain’t my son: the
.” The level of disgust that rolls off his tongue makes me want to knock his ass out.
“Don’t do that,” I hiss, annoyed with him already.
“You know what you’re doing. If this is going to be a chance for you to sit around and talk crap about how I’m such a disappointment, you can save it for Christmas morning.” Turning to head back to my car, I feel a hand grip into my shoulder and yank me back. When he pulls me closer to him, I smell the burnt cigar smoke that clings to his polo shirt.
“Your mother is in there waiting to see her son for the first time in a long time. So what you are going to do is smile, stand tall, and walk into the house acting like you’re enjoying yourself.”
That’s funny coming from him, the one person who never cared about Mom or her feelings because he was too busy getting busy with other chicks who didn’t have anything close to Mom’s charm. What a dumbass. But after he got cancer and had his balls chopped off, he realized all he wanted to do was be with Mom, the only person who had stood by him through some of his darkest days.
It’s pretty screwed up if you think about it; he had to lose his balls to grow the hell up and become a real man.
Shrugging off Dad’s apparent attitude, I push myself past him and head into the living room, where the whole family is gathered. “Kayden!” Mom squeals, leaping from the couch. She hugs me longer than I let people hold me, but I don’t complain. To tell you the truth, I should let her hug me a lot more often. When she pulls away, she shows her bright smile and lightly slaps my cheek. “I’m so happy to see you.”
I kiss the top of her head and gently slug her on the shoulder, “It’s good to see you, Ma.” My eyes take a once around the space, observing everyone who’s there. My older sister Katie is sitting by the coffee table playing a game of Jenga with my brother Landon and his girlfriend, Jasmine. My Uncle Randy is sleeping in the recliner while Aunt Sally is in the kitchen yapping at her two twin teenagers, Connor and Colin, to sit down and shut up.
“Boys! Video games! Upstairs,
!” Sally yells, and off they go running. When they leave, they shout greetings toward me, not allowing me time to respond. Sally’s whole body sighs with relief, listening to the twins’ voices fade away. She turns, meets my stare, and smiles. It’s not long until she gives me a short hug and pulls away.