It's a Christmas angst entry in to the EXO FF contest. I hope you like it, and if you find any errors, please let me know. Also, please let me know what you think....
It's Christmas Eve and I'm all alone, and I don't think I've ever been alone for Christmas. It will be my first Christmas without HIM, I think to myself as I watch the flames dance in the fireplace and a lone tear makes its way down my face. I can't bring myself to wipe the tear away. The corner where the decorated tree is usually standing is bare, for I just couldn't put one up. There are no Christmas decorations in the yard. It was his pride and joy to make our house the most highly decorated in the neighborhood.
Without another thought, I get up and grab an old photo book labeled Christmas off the bookcase. I need to look at him tonight and feel close to him again. Once I sit down and situate the blanket on my legs, I open the book to the first page. It's a picture of us taken on our first Christmas together. We look so young and happy sitting by the decorated tree in his dorm. I still wonder how Xiumin managed to get a photo of just the two of us, without any of the other members in it. Threats were probably issued, since both Chanyeol and Baekhyun liked to photo bomb us. I think Xiumin took a lot of the photos in this book, as I was always handing him my camera.
Turning the page, I start to tear up again. This is my favorite photo of EXO, taken Christmas Day that same year. I remember taking over a dozen shots, because the boys wouldn't cooperate and stay still. I finally gave up and just started clicking away. Right in the middle of all the shots was one that was perfect EXO. From left to right, Chanyeol and D.O. are hitting each other with stuffed reindeer. Then it's Chen, Baek, and Xiumin with their arms around each other and trying to look cute, but looking closely, Xiumin is giving an open mouthed Baek bunny ears. Next is Suho looking tired but smiling cutely at me. Lay is also looking at the camera and standing stick straight. I always had the feeling I scared him a little or at least made him uncomfortable. Then on the other end are Kai and Sehun. Kai is caught mid dance while Sehun has a hand on his belly laughing at him. Suho could never understand why I love this photo so much, but to me, it shows the true personalities of all the boys. They were dorks then, and I loved them for it.
I can't see the next photo, as tears are just streaming down my face. I slam the book shut and drop it on the coffee table beside me. It has been a difficult year for us all. It's painful to remember, but it would be even more painful to forget. I continue to just let the tears fall as I remember this past year. In February we lost our first EXO member. We all knew it was coming but that didn't make it any easier. Cancer is a bitch and it claimed Sehun. The spoiled maknea was not suppose to be the first to go. Suho took Sehun's death very hard, and though I was with Suho every step of the way, I think that was the start of his decline.
Lay, his wife, and child were killed in a plane crash in May. They were on the way back to China to see family when the plane went down. 178 lives were lost in that crash, and there are still no answers and no closure as to what happened. The shock took its toll on all the remaining members and their families. All of China and Korea mourned, and flags flew at half mast in both countries. The funeral for Lay and his family was huge.
After Lay's death, Suho made a point to see the rest of the members regularly. He and I would travel around Korea visiting each member, because a phone call was not good enough. Suho needed to see his comrades to make sure they were actually alright. Looking back, I think Suho knew his time was short, and he needed to make the most of it. In a way, he said his goodbyes to each of the members personally, though none of us knew it at the time.
Grabbing a Kleenex off the end table and blowing my nose, I think about my beloved. Suho was and is my soul-mate. I love him with my whole heart, and I knew he loved me with his. Choking back a sob, I grab the small silver frame off the end table and clutch it to my heart. It's the last photo taken of him. I miss him so much that my heart feels like it's breaking again. Through the years, no matter how busy Suho was with EXO promotions, concerts, or practice, if he wasn't coming home, he called without fail. Every time he left for an overseas concert, flowers were delivered to the door with a note saying how much he would miss me.
As I openly sob, I realize we didn't have enough time together. No amount of time would have been enough. I miss the little things the most, like Suho just holding my hand as we take a walk. I miss waking up from his incessant snoring and just watching him sleep. I miss having his arms snake around my waist as I wash dishes. I miss all the quick kisses he would give me when he thought no one was looking. I really don't know what I'm going to do without him. It's been the longest 6 weeks of my life, and though I get plenty of visitors, I am still lonely without him by my side.
Glancing at the clock above the fireplace, I notice it's not too early for me to try to go to bed. Sleep usually eludes me, but I will try anyway. The kids all called earlier to wish me a Merry Christmas, and hopefully I sounded joyful enough that they won't worry. They are busy with work and their own families.
Just as I push myself up, the doorbell rings. I'm not expecting anyone, so perhaps it's carolers. I saw some earlier as I came home from church. Yes, it must be the carolers. I hear a mixture of voices singing Oh Little Town of Bethlehem, which is my favorite Christmas song, as I slowly make my way to the door. I open the door and just stare shocked at the faces before me. Standing just off the porch are my 3 kids, their spouses, and their children. I also notice Sehun's wife Y/F/N holding the hands of 2 of her grandchildren.
The song ends, and before I can react, my 10 yr old grandson Minho steps up and hands me a bouquet of red roses. “These are for you Grandma. They are from Grandpa.”
Taking the roses in my right hand, I notice stuck in the middle is a card with very familiar handwriting. It's almost overwhelming and I start to cry again, though I'm surprised I have any tears left. I grab the card with my left hand and bring it up to read.
“Dear Y/N, This is my final gift to you. I love you so much, and I know that you're probably home alone on this first Christmas we are apart. You never wanted to worry me or anyone else, so I'm sure you didn't insist on the kids coming home for Christmas. I did it for you. Christmas Day the house will be filled with laughter and joy, like it should be. You will be surrounded by friends and family to help ease the pain of me not being there, like I promised I always would be. All of EXO will be coming, and they will show you how much they love and care for you. Our children and grandchildren will shower you with their love and affection too. Until we are reunited. All my love XOXO Suho.”
Looking up from the card, it's dead silent. Anxious faces look at me to see how I react. With tears still streaming down my face, I open my arms and declare, “Merry Christmas and welcome home.”