You shivered as a cold breeze seemed to blow right through your body. You grabbed the thin cardigan you had on and tried to draw it closer around yourself. But in spite of the cold you smiled quietly to yourself and thought, At least I looked cute today. Shameless, you knew, but the person you were trying to be extra cute for was someone special to you.
You heard your phone buzz so you took it out of your pocket. It was a message from that person you were just thinking about.
Look behind you…
Puzzled, you turned around only to be greeted with a jacket in your face.
“Tadashi!” you complained, but you smiled as you quizzically held his jacket.
He smiled back and said, “Put that on. You must be really cold in that outfit.”
“…Thank you…” you slowed down and let him catch up to you.
“Why didn’t you wait for me? We walk the same way anyways…” he said.
“Sorry… it’s just that my mom wanted me home right away…” you sighed. “But, I’m glad you caught up, you slowpoke! You’re such a nerd, getting distracted by books on medical studies that our science teacher saves for you,” you teased.
He laughed and then said, “It’s better than getting all excited when that new ninja manga series comes out with a new chapter,” he lightly hit you on the shoulder.
You stuck your tongue out at him. “Hey, look who’s talking! You like it too! The San Fransokyo Ninjas are your favorite as well!” as you waved your hands around in protest, you accidentaly dropped your phone. “Darn it!” you quickly went after it- but the thing was… Tadashi went after it as well. Your hands touched, but you both awkwardly jumped back as your jerked your arms away.
“S-sorry…” Tadashi blurted out.
“N-no, wait, why are you saying sorry? You’re trying to help me out..” you said as you felt your cheeks burning. Tadashi took the phone and handed it to you. You were glad it was getting dark enough that he couldn’t see your cheeks… but then you couldn’t see what his reaction was either. Darn.
You two just walked in silence for a few minutes after that until you both blurted out something at the same time to break the awkward silence. You both smiled and Tadashi motioned for you to go.
“You go first,” he nodded.
“Well, I was just going to say that Christmas is coming up real soon, so mine isn’t that exciting,” you said, scratching the back of your head awkwardly.
“Oh what a coincidence, I was just going to mention that my aunt was throwing a Christmas party at
the Lucky Cat Christmas Eve,” he said somewhat awkwardly back.
“Oh that’s awesome!” you said. “Is it just going to be family?” you felt a little pang at the sight of your apartment. That meant that you wouldn’t see him for a few weeks, as winter break was coming up. Well, unless you saw him at the Lucky Cat.
“Y-yes… but…” you both stopped in front of the entrance of your apartment complex. You took your
bracelet and tapped it against the scanner… while looking at Tadashi.
“But what?” you giggled. “Why are you acting so nervous? Is Aunt Cass making you dress up like Santa to help drum up some business beforehand?” you teased. “If that’s so, I’m going to have to ask Hiro to take some pics.”
“No!” he sighed. He then took a deep breath and said, “You’reinvitedtotheChristmasparty.”
“What?! You said that too fast!”
He was about to try again when suddenly Hiro popped out of nowhere. He laughed and said, “He wants you to come over for Christmas Eve!”
“Hiro?!” you both shouted simultaneously. Hiro was Tadashi’s 10 year old brother. You two loved pranking his older brother… but you thought that he was a little too nosy for his own good… although when it came to finding out more about Tadashi…
“Gee, brother, for such a smart person it seems like it is impossible for you to do something easy like asking out your girlfriend to a party-“
“Well, Hiro, let’s go home,” Tadashi interrupted in a pained voice as he smiled at you. He cupped his hand around Hiro’s mouth and Hiro squirmed, protesting. “But yes, I would- love- no wait- uh... no just… can you come over Christmas Eve?” even in the dark you could practically see how embarrassed he was.
“Yeah I’m sure I can! My family never does anything Christmas eve anyways, but I’ll text you later to tell you for sure.” You said, resisting an urge to jump for joy. What did Hiro mean by girlfriend? You tried to ask Hiro with a look, but he was grumpy because of what his brother was doing.
“That’s great!” Tadashi said happily. He then lifted Hiro up by his feet. “See you later!” He walked away, holding a protesting, angry Hiro upside down. You laughed at the sight and then quickly opened the door and shut it. You just stood by the entrance for a while taking everything in. What did Hiro mean? Did Tadashi li-? No, you shook your head. No use getting your hopes up. But a Christmas Eve party! How exciting! You ran up to your apartment, said a quick hello to your parents and ran into your room. What would you wear?
You were feeling overall happy and full of warmth as you walked home accompanied by Tadashi. Your evening had been filled with holiday cheer, great food, lots of laughter because of the antics of Hiro, and B-rated horror Christmas movies. It was overall not a bad Christmas Eve. In fact, it may have been one of the best you’ve ever experienced.
But you were nervous.
You felt in your bag for the wrapped gift that you had yet to give out- Tadashi’s. Would he even like it?
You were about to take it out of the bag when suddenly Tadashi took your hand.
“T-Tadashi?!” you said, surprised, but you didn’t pull away.
“(y/n), please listen for a bit,” He said as you both walked, now hand in hand.
You nodded, looking at him feeling concerned. Why was he being so serious?
“I’m… I’m going to study abroad for the rest of the year,” he said as he turned and looked at you.
“What?” you said as a feeling like pain struck your heart.
“You know how much I am interested in Robotics, right?”
You nodded, biting your lip.
“So the reason why I stayed back so late the last day of school was because our teacher was telling
me about a once in a lifetime chance where I get to work in school in Europe that specializes in
Robotics with Professor Callaghan!” his eyes sparkled with excitement.
You couldn’t help but smile at that. “That’s… great, Tadashi! I’m so happy for you!” you smiled as you pulled your hand out of his. The rest of the year, huh? And with no excuse to talk to him… you tried to suppress your selfish thoughts but you couldn’t help it. A big tear swelled out of your eye and ran down your cheek. “Ah, I got something in my eye!” you turned away and kept walking.
“Keep telling me about that school!”
He grabbed your shoulders gently and spun your around. “Don’t cry…”
“But I’m going to miss you Tadashi… and there’s no excuse I can use to talk to you every day!” you started crying more, feeling pathetic.
“You… you need an excuse?”
“Well, how else can I talk to you, it’s not like I’m your girlfriend, you bakka!”
He suddenly took your hand and then smiled with that adorkably cute smile he had. “Well, how’s this? Is this a good excuse to call?” You felt something cold and metallic on your finger. When he let go of your hand it was a small silver ring.
“It’s a promise ring. Do you think you can wait for me? To come back, I mean… Hiro said that you were probably going to be snatched up by someone else if I didn’t do anything- wait, what am I talking about?” he rambled on awkwardly.
You grabbed his scarf and stopped his talking with a kiss. A cute peck on his lips.
His eyes grew big as he looked at you in astonishment.
“Is that a good answer…? Of course I’d wait for you… I’d wait forev- wait, no don’t make me get all gushy on you Tadashi Hamada,” you said, quickly wiping your tears away. “Of course I will still miss you to death but now that I can call you…”
He surprised you by sweeping you off your feet. “Call me. Every day. Because I’m going to miss you “to death” as well. I need you to remind me to check on the SF Ninjas as well… and I need to make sure I can keep you,” he had a goofy grin.
“Tadashi!” you protested, trying to squirm out so you could hide your ever reddening face but he wouldn’t let you go. After all, he had to look at you long enough to last six months.
When you got to the front of the apartment, you finally mustered up the courage to hand him your gift. “I hope you like it…” he started opening it, but you stopped him. “Open it when you get home, alright?”
You both looked at each other for a bit.
“I’m going to miss you,” he said softly.
“But first, I got to pay you back for that surprise you gave me back there…” he suddnely put his hands on your waist and kissed you deeply.
Yup, best Christmas Eve ever. At least, for now.
You were looking at the ring on your finger as you read the latest letter that Tadashi had sent you. Your friends and mainly Hiro made fun of you for using such “old- school” means of communication, but you loved it. His handwriting was so cute, and you got to keep all of them. In fact, you practically had a box full of them! You ran your finger across the post script, where he had written that he loves you. It had been 5 months since he left, but the distance between you two had seemed to have grown you even closer.
You were daydreaming about that Christmas Eve when suddenly you received a text. Curious, you checked it. It was from Hiro.
“Look your nerd boyfriend is on TV”
What? You scrambled to turn on the TV in your living room. There he was on the news- he had won the
International Robotics Championship and he was getting interviewed. He looked happy and he looked directly into the camera.
“-I have to say it, even if it embarrasses her. This lucky hat is the reason I won, because the person who’s my number one fan gave it to me!” he tipped his hat and winked at the camera.
You grinned, rolling your eyes. “Number one fan?”
You smiled feeling happy.
He wore that hat you gave him.
The one you gave to him on that special night, Christmas Eve.