I never used to believe in love
There were too many songs about it, too many movies
It felt a bit like Santa Claus;
It'd be magical and wonderful if he was real
But only children believed in him
I wasn't a child
At least, that's what I thought
I was strong, independent, and didn't need anyone
At least, until my mother died
I couldn't get out of bed for a long time
But finally, one day my best friends dragged me out of bed
They took me to a house party
"We're in college!" they said "You're only young once! Enjoy it!"
I sat in the corner.
Having a terrible time
Until I looked across the room
And I saw someone else who was having a terrible time too
Our eyes met from across the room, each of us in our own corner
He stood up, walked over to me
"Hi" he said.
"Hi." I said
"I'm Kris." he told me, holding out his hand to shake.
"Jessica." I replied
"You hate parties too?" He asked.
"My mother died." I said.
"That's shitty." he answered. I nodded.
I liked that he didn't try to sympathize, didn't pity me. He didn't fill the air with empty, pretty-sounding words. He said it like it was. And it was shitty.
"Would you like a drink, Jessica?" He asked.
"Why?" I demanded, wanting to know why he was being so nice to me.
"Because you're cute." he answered. I blushed.
That was our first drink together. But it wasn't our last
At first I was hesitant to tell people we were dating. I didn't want to jinx things
For the first time in my life I was free-falling into an emotion I didn't understand
But time went on and we were still going strong
I brought him home to meet my dad
When he came in the door, my dad was shocked. I'd never brought a guy home before
But my dad and Kris got along perfectly
Right before we were about to leave, my dad pulled me into a hug. He whispered into my ear, "your mom would be so proud of how happy you are."
I cried in the car.
Kris held my hand the whole way home.
I married him two years later.
At our wedding, all my friends teased me. "You said you didn't believe in love. Guess we proved you wrong."
I just smiled and nodded. What I didn't tell them was they didn't prove me wrong; Kris did.
A couple years later, and we were gathered around the fireplace.
Our little family.
Me, Kris, and our daughter, Noel.
It was Christmas Eve
Noel toddled up to our Christmas tree, reaching for a shiny ornament
She knocked it to the ground
It was a small figurine of a man in a red suit
"Mommy?" Noel asked me. "Do you believe in Santa Claus?"
I looked over at my husband, sitting on our couch in his pajamas, and smiled down at my little girl.
"Yes baby, I believe in Santa Claus."
"and he believes in me too."