The air is brisk in the city on this particular day. Jamie stands outside of a building, hands in his beige wool coat pockets trying to keep them warm. He looks towards the revolving doors every time a person walks out of them. He takes his phone out of his pocket to check any messages, and once he puts it back in his pocket, he looks up. He smiles at the sight walking towards him.
Grace is in a black pea coat, dress pants, and sneakers. She adjusts the strap on her shoulder bag while walking towards Jamie. She smiles once she sees him.
Grace: You could’ve waited at the cafe! It’s freezing out here!
Jamie: *laughs* I figured we could walk together to the cafe, through the park.
Grace smiles once she sees Jamie reaching out his hand for hers. She accepts his hand and he gently squeezes it, and they cross the street to the park.
The park is empty this time of year, but stragglers like dog walkers and athletes running alongside the lake are present. Jamie and Grace slowly walk through the path of the park, taking everything in, enjoying the winter scenery.
Jamie: It’s crazy how cold it gets here on some days, it honestly reminds me of the winter time in Korea.
Grace: Tell me about it. When I first came to New York in my teens, I was amazed to see snow a week after Thanksgiving. Back in Virginia, we didn’t see snow until the end of the season.
Jamie looks at Grace while she talks. She looks up at Jamie, then straight ahead, continuing her talk.
Grace: If there’s any place you want to be during the holiday season, it’s definitely New York City. i’m glad you’re here experiencing the holiday season while you’re here.
Jamie: Well, you’re going to have to show me all of the holiday things you can do in the city.
Jamie squeezes Grace’s hands for warmth. Grace takes in a deep breath; her breath is shown in the cold air.
Grace: How do you spend the holidays back home?
Jamie: It’s definitely different there than it is here. We celebrate Chuseok typically at the beginning of the Autumn season.
Jamie: “Autumn Eve”, it’s when families come together for feasts and festivals. I typically go back to my hometown to visit my mother and sisters.
Grace: Ahhh, so it’s like Thanksgiving?
Jamie scrunches his eyebrow, visibly confused.
Grace: Thanksgiving, the holiday where Americans eat plates and plates of food and worship a turkey for the day.
Jamie laughs loudly; the breath indicating the hardness of the laugh. Grace smiles and giggles along.
Jamie: That’s… interesting.
Grace: Ehh, if you ever get the chance to learn some American history, you’ll know how fucked the holiday is.
Jamie: Do you celebrate it?
Grace nods her head.
Grace: Yeah. When I was younger, my dad and I would go to my grandma’s place for Thanksgiving. It would be a small gathering; just me and my dad, my uncle, and his whatever girlfriend he was dating at the time. But, for the last couple of years, once my parents got back together, I’ve been in New York with my parents.
Jamie: That’s nice that you get to see both of your parents for the holiday season.
Grace shrugs her shoulders, she ponders in thought.
Grace: I guess.
Jamie looks down at Grace, trying to read her body language as they slowly walk through the park.
Jamie: It’s Willow’s first holiday season.
Grace instantly smiles at the thought of her daughter. Jamie exhales in relief.
Grace: It is, and man: my parents are going to spoil her.
Jamie: As a person that completely spoiled my firstborn niece, I can understand why they would.
Grace: *smiles in thought* Do you miss your family?
Jamie gently swings his arm with Grace’s hand in it, he tightens his mouth before he finally speaks.
Jamie: It’s definitely the first holiday where I’m not going to be home with them for Christmas. But I’ll be okay. They’ll be okay.
Grace looks on the ground while they walk, this time squeezing his hand. He looks at her, she doesn’t look back, but he smiles at the gesture.
Jamie: Besides, I have you to show me all the amazing things New York City has to offer for the holidays.
Grace finally looks up at Jamie, smiling. He smiles at her back and process to look forward while they walk. Grace is in deep thought until her eyes widen and lets go of Jamie’s hand and stops in her tracks.
Grace: Let’s start now.
Jamie: *confused* What?
Grace: Let’s start the NYC holiday tour!
Jamie: Grace, I–
Grace: It’s a Friday night and we’re already out! What better time to start it off?
Grace is bouncing in place, getting excited. Jamie stands there and can’t help but smile and chuckle to himself.
Jamie: You’re something else, I swear.
Grace smiles and stares at him like an excited puppy.
Jamie: Where to first, tour guide?
Grace squeals and grabs Jamie by the hand. He pulls him forward in her direction, now power walking down the path in the park. Jamie doesn’t protest, he follows Grace and locks his fingers into hers, going towards whatever direction she takes him.