My mom always makes a big fuss about Christmas, which is fine and all, but sometimes I feel like she gets a little crazier as the years’ pass. This year in particular is my parent’s 25th year anniversary. Apparently, my mom and dad got engaged on Christmas Eve and every single year she tells the same story about how my father gifted her an ornament, but then he accidentally dropped it and bam – there goes her engagement ring. It’s a cute story, but it’s literally 2043; nobody does corny little things like that anymore… well, besides my twin sister’s sappy-ass boyfriend.
My twin sister, Dylan, has fallen head over heels for Nathan; a guy in our grade that is the lead guitarist and singer in his band. Their music is cool, but I still don’t get how Dylan ended up with a guy like him. Dyl isn’t ugly or anything, I mean she looks just like me, but Nathan is always fumbling over his words whenever he gets around her, it’s actually disgustingly cute.
My mom walks into the living room in the loudest outfit imaginable; little jingle bells are attached to the hem of the skirt, and every light on in the house is reflecting off of her top. She has her hair up in a bun with a reindeer headband on her head. She throws on her apron and opens the oven, but then closes it after checking on the food. She looks at me sitting on the sofa on my phone without a care in the world.
“Reagan,” my mom calls out for me. I look up from my phone and in her direction. She looks stressed out, which isn’t a shocker to me. My mom is literally Christmas-zilla. “The family is coming over in a few and you’re not even ready yet!”
“Mom, Milo, and Sophie aren’t coming for like another two hours,” I said, slowly getting off the sofa. “And you know Micah and Rosie are always late. I’ll get ready when the time gets closer.”
“I need your help setting up the table, and getting the gifts together for everyone; there’s simply too much for us to do to have you sit around and wait last minute,” my mom argued as she took a tray of food out from the oven.
“Can’t you get Dylan to help?” I whined, not really wanting to have anything to do with the preparation process.
“Dylan is on her way to pick up Nathan with your father,” she answered. “Please, Reagan; get dressed and help me get things together.” I rolled my eyes and headed for my room. I wanted nothing more than to hide under my covers and just disappear for the day. But whatever; I guess I have to go and get an outfit together for this Christmas party.
I eventually exited my bedroom in my holiday outfit. My mom turned around and looked at me with raised eyebrows.
“What?” I questioned.
“Nothing,” my mom answered. “You’re just… really dressed up for a little family Christmas party.”
“Mom, you literally have bells attached to your skirt,” I laughed as I pointed out. “You’re still the queen of Christmas even in my little sparkly red party dress.”
“Well, I like the dress on you,” my mom smiled as she continued prepping in the kitchen. My mom was definitely an interesting woman. She’s a retired dancer-now-business-owner of the Castro Dance Academy; something that she created when she was young. She sometimes felt more like a friend than a mom, but when she felt like my mom, there was no doubt she was my mom. Despite our major differences, I think between my sister and me, I am a lot more like my mom, which is annoying but inevitable at this point.
“Is Dyl wearing a nice dress too?” I asked.
“I actually didn’t get to see what she was wearing, but you know it’s probably something really outside of her comfort zone if Nathan is coming over,” she answered. I walked into the kitchen and grabbed the file of clean dishes to place on the dining room plate. “I think she’s nervous.”
“I’d be too if I brought a boy over around this family,” I said without even thinking twice. “Like, Dyl has not only two older brothers but a twin sister that would literally knock that guy’s teeth out if he breaks her heart.”
“Nathan is a nice guy,” my mom stated. Nathan was a nice guy, but there was always something off about him that I could never put my finger on. “I hope that you will meet a nice guy like him in the future.”
“Please,” I scoffed. “Nice guys don’t exist in the city.”
“Your father was a nice guy,” she mentioned.
“Yeah, well dad was in love with you the moment he laid eyes on you,” I rolled my eyes and said to my mom. “Dad doesn’t count.”
“I think you’re selling yourself short,” my mom put the oven mitten down on the counter and looked at me. “You’re a beautiful and smart young lady, and any man would be glad to be with you.” I didn’t say anything back; not because I didn’t have anything to say back, but because there was nothing else to say back. I didn’t really want to date after my last breakup. My high-school sweetheart ended up being another girl’s high-school sweetheart, and it nearly fucking crushed me finding out that he was eventually going to leave me for this other girl, which made me even question if I was pretty enough to even keep a guy in my life. I eventually turned my sadness into some dark humor and here I am, trying to somewhat make it in the city as an aspiring female comedian… because fuck men and their dominance in this business to begin with.
“Yeah well I wear men’s repellant as perfume so,” I said as I finished setting up the plates on the dining room table. “That’s not going to happen.”
It was so good to see Nate after him being on tour for the last three months. He walked out from his gate at the airport and immediately saw me and smiled. I don’t even think I heard my dad call out my name once I started to run toward Nate. I wanted nothing more than to jump in his arms and kiss him.
“Nate!” I called out for him as I ran towards him. He dropped his bags and embraced me as I hugged him Gosh, it felt like heaven being able to touch him in the flesh again. I missed him. I missed us.
“Hey, Bob Dylan,” Nate laughed as he called me by my nickname. Nate thought that “Bob Dylan” would be a cute nickname even though it’s not really a nickname. Still, it was cute that he had a cute name for me. “I missed you.” He gave me the softest and most gentle kiss. I can’t lie; I definitely wanted more.
“Not as much as I missed you,” I stated. “Seriously, I’m so glad that you’re here.”
“Me too,” he said as we continued to walk toward my dad. When we finally get to him, I can feel Nate quickly letting his arm go from around me. I still find it funny that even though Nate and I have been dating since high school, he was still nervous around my dad.
“Nice to see you, Nathan,” my dad gave Nate a stern handshake.
“It’s nice to see you too, Mr. Kamalani,” Nate answered. My dad didn’t say anything back, we just began to walk toward the parking garage where we parked. It took my dad quite some time to get used to Nate and me being a couple. He very much scared Nate shitless when we started to date, but I think after a while he got used to it and even started to like Nate… I think. My dad acts like he does, but my dad’s not the greatest actor; he’s a music teacher for a reason.
The car ride back home was the most awkward part of the day. I sat in the front seat with my dad in the driver’s seat as Nate sat in the back seat with his bags. I couldn’t help but check on him through the rear mirror every other minute.
“So, Nathan,” my father began to say. “How was the tour?”
“It was amazing,” Nate said with a smile on his face. “Such an amazing experience to open up for such a great band.”
“Who did you guys open for?” My dad seemed like he was genuinely interested in Nate’s music career. I sometimes think that he only likes Nate because he was a musician, or maybe that was the reason he was so cautious with Nate like musicians know other musicians?
“Tales of Thomas,” Nate answered. My father didn’t react, probably because he doesn’t know the music scene that Nate plays in. In a nutshell, Tales of Thomas was a heavy metal band that, well, is notorious for heavy mosh pits and tons of crowd surfing. I saw them in concert, but from what Nate has told me; it’s a concert that you have to have health insurance.
“How many songs did your band perform?” I asked, even though I knew the answer. They performed five.
“Five songs,” Nate answered. “For one show, we were able to do six and an encore. It was so dope.”
I looked at my dad, who continued to look forward at the road as he continued to listen to Nate talk about his tour life. While I loved when Nate spoke about his music career and tour life, it would always make me sad when he did so. I loved that Nate and his band were finally blowing up and going to different cities to perform, but I missed when Nate was in his basement still making music every day after school. I love Nate, but sometimes I felt like Nate and I were more so in a long-distance relationship the more recognition his band was getting.
I catch my dad looking at me, in which I looked at him back and flashed a smile, letting him know that I was okay.
Reagan: Is that what you’re wearing to the party today?
Reagan looked at Dylan as she entered the house. Dylan looks down at her outfit; a pair of jeans and a thick, knit hoodie with black and white converse on. Dylan looks back up at Reagan.
Dylan: What’s wrong with it?
Reagan: You’re going to make me look overdressed if you wear that!
Dylan: Then why are you wearing that fancy dress to this holiday party?
Reagan widened her eyes to emphasize her point.
Reagan: It’s a holiday party! What do you mean why I’m wearing this! Dyl, please go and put something else on so I don’t look stupid.
Dylan: Why don’t you go and change?
Dylan looked at her sister, to which Reagan rolled her eyes and sucked her teeth.
Reagan: Wow, Dyl; You’re really going to wear that outfit to a party that your boyfriend is going to be attending?
Reagan scoffed as she crossed her arms along her chest. Dylan scrunches her eyebrows together; annoyed at her sister.
Dylan: My boyfriend doesn’t care about how I dress up.
Reagan: Yeah, that’s what they all say just to get the girl at first.
Dylan: *defensive* How would you know? Carter dumped you in high school and you haven’t had a boyfriend since!
Without even realizing it, Reagan pushes Dylan away from her, which makes Dylan angry.
Dylan: Don’t be mad at me for speaking the truth!
Dylan pushes Reagan back, which immediately sets her off. She grabs Dylan’s hoodie and begins to fight with her; Dylan tries to fight back by grabbing Reagan’s hair. It’s not long after that their mom, Jennifer, and their dad, Milo Sr. come rushing into the living room to separate the girls.
Milo Sr: Hey! That’s enough!
Eventually, Dylan is pulled away by Milo Sr. and Reagan is pulled away by Jennifer. They continue to yell at each other from across the room as Milo Sr and Jennifer try to calm thier young, twin daughters before the holiday party later on. They look at each other knowing that they have no chance in ever calming these girls down.