I don’t want a lot for Christmas There is just one thing I need I don’t care about the presents underneath the Christmas tree I just want you for my own More than you could ever know Make ...
I scrunched my face, repulsed by the smell, "I have no money"
He studied me, "Skyler Olsen?".
I gasped, a homeless dude knew my name in a dark football field in Jersey if now wasn't the time to run like crazy then I don't know when is.
He sighed, "Never thought this is how we will meet again"
Oh so I know him....OK...Not that I remember but he obviously knew me.
"You don't remember me?", he moved next to me.
I took a step back and shook my head.
He chuckled bitterly, "Well I changed, you however didn't"
I frowned, forget that he knew me, now is the time to run while you're still not a victim to a severe cannibalism.
"Johnie Daredell", he sat next to me with a thump, "Belleville high school?"
I wrinkled my eyebrows, trying to remember...Johnie Daredell...Johnie Daredell...Johnie Daredell....Johnie Dardell...
It rang a certain bell but a very distant one..."Johnie Dare-bottle?!"
Johnie fucking Dare-bottle! Who would've fucking guessed! He was Gerard's drinking buddy back in high school, getting trashed with him all the time! Mikey and I hated him! I held him responsible for Gerard's drinking habits!
"How are you?"
Oh he's doing great, Skyler, just stopped by to say hello on his way to his mansion. Gah.
Johnie chuckled again, "Could've been worse. What do you do here anyway?"
"I dunno", I said truthfully, "I felt like going home"
"So you came to a football field? You never were the football field kinda chick", he was looking at me with a funny look.
He was different, and I don't mean he was supporting the homeless look kinda different but the difference came from within, you could feel the weariness on him, his exhaustion bounced off his skin and his eyes glowed with helpless/
I wondered if I wore my feeling too, did I look as desperate as I felt? Can you touch my sadness? Can a stranger walking down the street tell I've given up like I can see it on Johnie?
"I missed Jersey, it'll always be home"
"I'd give anything to get the fuck out of there", he sighed, leaning on the bench behind.
I chuckled, "Someone once you told me you can get out of Jersey but you can't get the Jersey out of you"
"You can always try", he smiled.
I shrugged, I always took Jersey for granted, like it's a fucking state where can it possibly go? And sure enough, it didn't go anywhere, after all the drama and the loses Jersey was still there in all it's glory and it was home.
The smell was familiar, and I knew the streets like the back of my hand, and in a way it was comforting cause it was familiar, I could see me and Frankie chasing each other in school yard on the first day of school, and I heard my childish laughter when Ray stole Mikey's lunch and a rush of smells and tastes and words rushed through my mind, all happening in Jersey.
So maybe Jersey was the place you must likely get infected with HIV while walking barefoot on the beach but it was my only connection to the people I loved most in the whole wide world.
"You still hang with G?"
"I married him", I bit my lip at the lie but I still didn't know how I'm supposed to explain my status, but 'we got married but it turned out you need a marriage license and the fucking priest ripped us off' sounds a little too long and a little more then lame.
Johnie nodded with a nostalgic smile on his face, "So how is he?"
"As usual", it wasn't a lie but it wasn't the truth either.
"And that annoying brother of his?"
"He always how to cause trouble and get away with it"
He offered me his paper bag, i didn't have to think hard what was in it, it was a bottle of vodka.
I bit my lips, I could practically feel the soothing drink burning it's way to my stomach, spreading through my veins, hitting every cell, making them heavy and numb and flowing to my brain, surrounding it in a sweet mist, making me forget everything, "Just one sip", and foolishly I accepted.
One thing led to another and let me tell you something, when Skyler says she'll have just one sip, it really means one sip per second! So you do the math cause she can't. Oh and she starts to talk funny...
I was telling him about Gerard and our problems, he told me how he lost everything he had cause of gambling.
"We're missing two things", I heard Johnie's voice say but I couldn't see him and freaked, "Johnie?"
"Music and the tree"
"Where are you?", I moaned.
An arm suddenly appeared in front of me, waving. I waved back, I wondered if it was attached to anyone, "Johnie?"
"I'm here", his voice boomed from under me but it couldn't possibly be Johnie cause the bleach was under me so unless he morphed into a fucking wooden crappy bleacher there's no way...Or was there?
"Johnie", I cried out.
"What the fuck?", he slurred.
My head followed the voice and I came face to face with Johnie who was lying on the next bottom bleacher, "You're so fucked up I don't even remember her name", he smiled stupidly.
I rolled over to look at him and rolled all the way down to the ground landing on the sand, "I flew!"
"You crushed", Johnie laughed.
I laughed too and then he laughed again and before I knew it, we were taking turns to fly.
He climbed up the top bleacher and then land on the ground with a loud crash sound and then I'd do the same.
"We need a tree", he sat and put his head into his palms, his dirty hair hung over his hands.
"It's the 24th, where would you find a fucking tree?", I sipped air from the empty vodka bottle, recovering from a rather painful 'landing'
Johnie stood up and began walking...Well walking is a rather strong word...Making his way to the north exit of the field.
I wondered if it be really smart to follow a drunken homeless guy who claimed we need a tree fuck knows where, I mentally shrugged...Oh it wasn't mentally...Anyway, I...Umm followed him.
He broke in a song, it echoed through the ally we were walking in 'I don’t want a lot for Christmas
There is just one thing I need
I don’t care about the presents underneath the Christmas tree
I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
Baby all I want for Christmas is you'
The words rang loudly but it wasn't Johnie's voice that filled my head, it was Gerard's version of the song.
How funny is that, fate I mean. Johnie had a good voice, it was kinda loud in a drunk sounding way but a lot worse singers were being played on TV, it could've easily been Johnie who made it big and Gerard could be a drunk homeless dude.
Who gets to say who gets to be homeless and who gets to live their dream.
Is it really fair?
But I didn't get to ponder long about it since we reached the woods in the end of the town.
"Got an ax?", he yelled over his shoulder casually.
Shit! He's gonna murder me with an ax...Kinda cool, "What for?", I asked suspiciously.
"The tree", he pointed at one of the few lamp posts.
Oh he's gonna murder the tree not me...I'm such a fucking paranoid!
We entered the dark woods. Shadows and all kind of hooting and howling hunted the woods, it's like a fucking zoo of spirits.
"We need a Christmas tree", he decided, standing in front of an oak.
"That's an oak tree", I rolled my eyes at his idiocy.
"Always a smart ass", Johnie snapped.
"Basic Christmas knowledge", I shrugged.
"Well where are the christmas trees?", he glared at me.
Johnie muttered something about an ax as I wondered around to look for a Christmas tree when I heard a slamming sound.
I looked around startled to see Johnie's body slide down the oak, before I could manage to move any of my limbs, he got up and staggered away only to run into the tree again, "What the fuck!"
I ran to him only to see him slam into the tree for the 3rd time, "Stop!"
His face was covered in blood, a big wound was gracing his forehead, his nose bled and deep cuts were carved deep into his dirty face, "What are you doing?"
"I need an ax...Lena needs a Christmas tree..", his glazed eyes were looking beyond me, "I loved you...Blue eyes..."
I frowned, he was trying to knock down the tree.
I dragged him up to his feet but before he ran into the tree again I caught him in my arms, he started to cry and his body relaxed in my arms.
We stood like this for a while, I couldn't blame him for crying, his life was pathetic even more then mine but on some level it was our own fault.
Who asked him to drink? Who asked him to gamble? Who asked me to leave Gerard? Who asked me to allow my mother's words to sink so deeply? Why couldn't I let Gerard's words sink in instead?
Not one word of him telling me how loved I was sank in.
The song Johnie sang earlier echoed in my head again, bringing tears to my eyes.
My eyes burned, the tears felt like they were freezing with the cold winter wind.
A gun was fired not far from us and shattered our embrace.
"Get off the property!", a shadowy figure approached us but however dark it was, I couldn't ignore his rifle.
"Property?", Johnie called back, "The woods are public property!"
The wind was knocked out of me, that man was carrying a loaded guys and he argues with him?! How the fuck do I get involved with these idiots!?
"I count to 3", the man stopped behind another big oak tree, "If you punks don't get off my property, I will shoot you"
"Give me your best shot, motherfucker", Johnie position himself in front of me and raised his arms in the air, challenging the man to fire at him, I tugged on his dirty coat but he won't budge.
"Let's go, John!", I cried out, I didn't want to die like a deer on hunting season!
Johnie's eyes were sparkling, catching the moons rays.
At the sound of the man cocking the rifle, I finally managed to push John to run and we ran faster then the wind, like a fucking bunnies.
Breathless and panting we reached a lit street, it was empty and we could collapse on the pavement without risking looking stupid.
I looked around, we were still not far from the Way's house.
But sure enough, the 'wood' we wondered in was a private park at the edge of the town.
It belonged to a rich family, one of the owners won't bother with us but the servants sure as fuck would've shot us.
I looked at Johnie, his bloody face was washed with tears and sweat, I didn't know what to do with him. Take him home? To the hospital? We weren't friends but I couldn't just fucking leave him on the street.
"Do you have a place to stay?"
Johnie shrugged, "Go home, bitch"
"Johnie", I exhaled, my heart rate going sky high, wasn't he talking about ax's earlier?
"Go away, fucking bitch!", he stood up and began walking away.
I remained on the curb, watching his back going into the darkness.