Author's note: Ok, does Angel Grove have snow? *dumb look* I don't even know! But since I like snow (I do live in New York *grin*) I make it snow, okeyday? And this has some references to God toward the end. If that bothers you, I'm sorry. You don't have to read it...
Oh, and this is my first fic with Adam, Rocky, and Aisha, so it could be bad...
Oh, and this is my first fic with Adam, Rocky, and Aisha, so it could be bad...
"Deck the halls with gasoline! Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la! Light a match and watch it gleam! Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la! Watch the school burn down to ashes! Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la! Aren't we glad we played with matches?" Rocky sang, walking into the main room of the Youth Center.
From a near by table his friends rolled their eyes. "Real mature Rocko." Tommy laughed.
Rocky took a mock bow, and Aisha took the opportunity to swat her boyfriend's butt.
The group laughed and Rocky unbent and slid into the not taken chair.
"Hey, where's Adam?" Rocky asked, glancing around the premises for their compadre.
Kim shrugged. "I don't know. I haven't seen him since school let out for break yesterday afternoon."
"He called me this morning. Said he'd be by around 2." Billy relayed the message to his friends.
Rocky nodded. "So...what are you guys doing this year?"
"Well, I'm heading out Christmas Eve to New York City. We're celebrating there with my Aunt and Uncle. It'll be a blast. We're staying there to see the ball drop and everything!" Aisha said excitedly.
"I'm heading out to France to see my parents. They promised they'd stand each other for at least one day," Kim explained, sorta half-heartedly.
The group was quiet for a moment. With Kim's parents split up, it put a whole lot more stress on the girl. Especially at Christmas time. She just wanted it to be a nice day to spend with family, but already looked like it was going to be disastrous.
"My house will be a hotel for the next week and a half. Relatives pouring in every few days, bringing presents, and food, and stories. You should our Family room. You can barely see the tree with all the presents already there!" Rocky threw his hands up.
The whole team loved Rocky's family. So big and homey. You're there for 5 minutes and their trying to feed you, and make you a part of the family.
"It's just me and my parents this year. We'll exchange gifts in the morning, and then go for our annual drive to the ocean for Christmas dinner on the beach," Tommy put his portion of the conversation out.
"Yeah, it's just me and my Dad as always. We usually don't do much. Just get up early and open gifts, and then sit around watching "It's a Wonderful Life", and "White Christmas" all day," Billy explained. Usually at Christmas time he felt horrible because him mom died the week of Christmas, but this year, he actually felt cheery. It wasn't that he'd gotten over his mother, just that he had friends, and his father to fill in the empty whole in his heart.
Adam came tramping in then, stomping the snow from his feet on the way in. His face was expressionless, unlike the glow his teammates seemed to have about them.
He dropped into a chair, and unwound his scarf. Every one stared at him waiting for him to say hi, or anything.
He stopped mid way through taking his jacket his coat off. "What?" He asked grumpily.
Kim scowled. "Jeez, what's the matter Grinch? Did Santa refuse to get you that 'How to blow up your backyard' kit?" She joked.
Adam glared at her for a second and Kim's grin was wiped off her face.
"Whoa, lighten up, buddy," Tommy suggested.
Adam just grumbled something unintelligible and leaned back in his chair, pulling on loose piece of thread that hung from his sweater.
Aisha cleared her throat and opened her mouth to make conversation.
"So...Adam...what are you doing for Christmas this year?"
Adam was silent and then answered, "I don't know. Probably nothing. After my Gram died in August, my parents have been totally closed off. They think they're nothing to be celebrate this year."
They all remembered when Adam's grandmother had died a few months ago. He'd been quiet and teary eyed for weeks. He'd finally broken out of the spell, but ever since Christmas had begun to come, he'd gotten grumpier by the day.
"Well, do you want to come to my house?" Rocky volunteered. His parent's wouldn't mind at all. They'd probably go buy him a few gifts, at the very least.
Adam shook his head. "No thanks. I'll just stay home. It only lasts for one day, right? I'll read or something in my room, and then it'll be over. No big deal."
Aisha gasped silently. Christmas? Not a big deal? The words didn't go together in her vocabulary!
Conversation was sparse as the afternoon wore on, and the teens soon dispersed in different directions.
As Tommy walked Kim home, he could feel the tension around her.
Finally she burst. "Tommy, what are we going to do? We have to do something!" She wailed, searching his brown eyes for an answer.
Tommy bit his lip. He didn't know what to say. He watched as Kim's face turned sorrowful and tears trickled down her cheeks.
Instantly Tommy whisked Kim into his arms. When she finally stopped sniffling she leaned away from him. "Tommy, I fell like a heel! Here I am complaining about going to France, and having my parents fighting, but Adam...he's not even celebrating Christmas at all!"
"Ok Kim, it's not your fault." He searched for more words to say, but couldn't find any. He didn't know what to think about this situation with Adam. How would they help their friend find the Christmas Spirit?
Then it came to him. Grinning like a fool, he told Kim his newfound plans who's old sparkle returned to her eyes. They rushed off in different directions to make plans...
"Guys, where are we going? I'm missing 'America's Funniest Home Videos'!" Adam whined from the back seat of the van.
"Oh hush, Adam. You'll see when we get there, ok?" Kim promised, twisting around in the front seat.
Tommy drove toward their destination, the Senior Saint's Home on the outskirts of Angel Grove, feeling that they were really doing something good.
"Yeah Adam, you're worst then my little brothers and sisters!" Rocky exclaimed.
Aisha closed her eyes and shuddered. "NO ONE, is worse then your brothers and sisters Rocky."
The group laughed. "Aisha is right, Rocky. You're younger sibling are quite boisterous," Billy agreed, remembering one fateful night when he'd helped Rocky baby-sit. The night was a disaster. They'd lost the youngest, later to be found sleeping in the dryer, and the twins had spilled chocolate syrup all over the white carpet in the dining room. He shuddered at the memory.
Adam went back to scowling and staring out the window. He didn't want to be here. He wanted to be at home feeling sorry for himself.
Before he knew it, they were pulling into a small parking lot. He read the sign on the side of the building, and his mouth dropped open.
"Angel Grove's Senior Citizen's home? Are you crazy? I don't want to be here!" Adam yelled, unbuckling himself and jumping out of the van. He stalked to the road and stuck his thumb out.
Tommy ran to grab his friend before he got himself picked up by a bunch of physco-paths.
"Lemme go Tommy! There's no way I want to go in there!" Adam screeched, struggling like mad.
The older, strong teen, quickly overpowered him, and Adam stopped struggling, letting the fire in his eyes know how much he hated Tommy at this moment.
The 4 other teens looked on worriedly, wondering what would come out of this.
"Knock it off, Adam! We're just here to sing a few carols, hopefully get a few smiles," Tommy explained.
Adam was silent and refused to look up. A moment later he sniffed and a water droplet fell from his chin.
Kim's eyes went wide. "Oh no...I didn't know it would make him cry. I never would have gone along with this..."She whispered.
Rocky stepped forward to talk to his friend. By then he had straightened and was brushing away the trace of tears.
"Hey...Adam, we didn't know it would bother you so much. We thought it might help if you're around some other older people."
"It's like you're trying to make me replace my grandmother!" Adam accused, obviously shaken by the event.
Aisha shook her head. "Heck no. We'd never do that."
Before she could go on, a young man dressed in white stepped out of the building and jogged over to them.
"Are you the group from Angel Grove High that's going to sing some Christmas carols?" He asked, rubbing his arms, as he had come outside without a coat.
Billy nodded. "That's us."
The man whose nametag read Jack smiled. "I'm so glad you've come. There's a large group that's waiting inside the game room for you. They can't wait to hear you."
"Well, we'll be right in." Tommy promised, a wide grin on his face. He knew there would be a lot of people wanting to listen.
Jack smiled again and ran back into the building to relay the news.
"I don't want to go in there," Adam said through clenched teeth, as stubborn as a toddler.
Tommy sighed. "Fine, wait in the car. I can't make you come in if you don't want to. Don't try hitch hiking, Angel Grove is full of wacks."
Adam opened his mouth to protest but shut it quickly. He frowned and retreated to the car without a sound.
Kim stepped next to Tommy. "Gee, that didn't work out very well," She grumbled.
Tommy draped an arm around her shoulders and sighed. "I know...but I'm not leaving him with the keys. He'll have to come in when it gets cold."
Rocky snorted, and gave him a look.
The group laughed quietly and walked up the snowy path into the L-shaped building.
It was warm inside, and there were elderly roaming everywhere. Some sat at a near by table engaged in a game of chess and other were sitting by a fire knitting and reading.
The signed in at the front desk and the man from earlier, Jack, led them down to a large open room. The Senior Saints sat around in chairs and couches, some in wheelchairs. There were 25 or so.
The walked toward one corner of the building where a lady was waiting to play the piano for them. Billy handed her the order of the songs they were singing, and soon started.
Twenty-five minutes and 16 carols later, the older in the room laughed and clapped appreciatively.
The group thanked them for listening and went around to introduce themselves.
Adam rubbed his arms up and down, trying to stop shivering. The anger in his heart had slipped away and coldness had set in. He didn't want to go inside for fear of butchering his pride more then he already had.
Why had he made such a big deal about going to sing to a bunch of old people anyway? He didn't even know them...
Because 'old people' reminds you of your grandmother...everything does...
Adam grunted at the thought. But it was true. Everywhere he looked. He saw his grandmother. How could he not? He grew up with her! She'd been the greatest person in the entire world! She never complained of old rickety bones, just went on playing tag and laughing like a kid. She'd been so healthy...until about a year ago. She started getting colds a lot, and finally they took her to the doctors. It was too late by then. The cancer had set in, slowly killing her. She tried not to let it bother her, telling Adam that she was going to be fine. But she'd never told a greater lie. 3 months after they found out about the cancer, she died, died while Adam was watching TV with her. He'd thought she'd fallen asleep, and had gently a lay a blanket over top of her and left her like that until his parents had come home to find her pale and lifeless.
Adam wiped away the tears and blocked the memories out of his mind.
That's it, I'm freezing and I have to go to the bathroom! Adam got out of the van and practically bolted into the warm, homey building. He asked where the rest room, and after relieving himself, went looking for the room where they were singing.
As he was wandering down the halls, he passed by a fragile looking lady in a wheelchair. He pulled what he hoped was a smile as he kept walking. Right after he'd gotten in front of her, he felt some one harshly slap him on the butt. He whirled around to see the lady smile and wink before wheeling away. Adam grinned. Old people sure had some personalities!
He heard a group of people talking off in the distance and he went toward it. As he was growing closer he stopped momentarily by an open door. Not knowing why, he peeked in and found a plump black lady lying in bed. The room was dim and rather bland looking.
The walls were painted a dull white, and nothing covered them. All the other rooms he'd seen had pictures and pictures of grandchildren and other such things covering every square inch of the walls.
"Well, are you going to come in, or just stand there and gawk some more?" Came a voice from the bed.
Adam jumped and his cheeks reddened considerably. "I..I.." He stuttered.
"Stop stuttering boy and get on in here!" The lady insisted sitting up in bed.
Adam stumbled into the room, still embarrassed.
He stopped a few feet from the bed and stared down at his brown shoes.
The lady laughed. Not a soft laugh, but loud and hearty. "I'm not gonna bite you, son! Now come here sit down in this chair."
The lady pointed to the chair next to the bed and Adam quickly slinked into it, this time looking at her.
"Well, introduce yourself..." She demanded gesturing with her hands.
"Uh...Adam Park, ma'am." He replied.
She laughed again. Adam realized he liked the laugh. "Ma'am? You make me sound like royalty! My name is Anya."
"Nice to meet you," He muttered.
"You don't sound like it. What's the matter? You're supposed to be happy. It is Christmas time you know..."
"I don't feel happy..."
"Well, it just looks like you're having a pity party, to me."
Adam scowled at the lady. What did _she_ know?
"Are you going to tell me what's the matter, or am I going to have a one way conversation?"
"Why should I tell you? I don't even know you..."
Anya snorted. "I don't know you either, but that's not stopping me."
"Fine, if you really want to know. My Grandmother died 3 months ago and my parents are so closed up we're not even celebrating Christmas! They're not even trying to talk about it, or get over it or anything! I have to come home every day to a filthy house and make dinner and try to clean up. I haven't talked to my parents in weeks! They just stay in their room after work doing who knows what! It's not fair! I'm trying to get on with life, and they're dragging me down!"
By the time he finished tears were pouring down his cheeks and Anya had a comforting hand on his knee. Blinking through his own tears, he saw some running down her chocolate face.
"Do you feel better now?" She asked.
Adam stopped choking on his tears and thought about the words. In a way...he did. It was what he needed to say for the past month, but yet...still nothing had changed. His parents weren't going to magically snap out of it.
"My family is gone, too. You're not alone."
Adam stared at her blankly.
"I was an only child. My grandparents were slaves in Georgia. They died before I was born. My parents died when I was 5 years old. I barely remember them. I spent most of my life in an orphanage. I tried to have a family, but miscarried three or 4 times. 6 years ago, my husband died, leaving me alone, without any money. I grew sick and was put in the hospital. After I'd gotten well, I was put here. And I've been here for 5 years. I've lived for 82 years. I think I'm pretty lucky."
"Lucky? How so? You lost all your family! Everything you had has failed you. How can you not be bitter?"
"By the mercy of God. He smacked me around after my Husband died. Told me to get on with my life. So I did." She shrugged with ease.
Adam's mouth dropped. "I...I can't believe it. You...you have the strength to forgive God for taking everything away from you?"
Anya nodded. "You should do the same. He knows what he's doing."
A nurse came in then and smiled at Adam. "It's about time Anya had some visitors."
"Well, he is my new grandson." Anya responded with a smile.
Adam looked deep into Anya's eyes. She had only known the boy for mere minutes, and was calling him her grandson?
Was this what he needed? Had God given him this great gift for Christmas? A kindred old soul who'd love him like a grandson? He hoped so. It was so much easier to think that God had given her to him...
"You'll have to come back tomorrow, young man. Anya needs to be getting to bed," The nurse told him.
Adam nodded with a renewed spirit. He smiled broadly at Anya who squeezed his hand and winked.
"It looks like we both need one another, eh?" She told him quietly.
Adam could do nothing but grin stupidly. He got up and walked out of the room, nearly running into the group of teens as he waved to Anya.
"Hey, decided it was too cold?" Aisha asked concerned about her friend.
"Yeah, and boy am I glad I came in."
The group looked surprised as Adam turned and walked toward the exit, a new bounce in his step they'd never seen before.
They exchanged looks before shrugging and following their friend out the door.
"Well, Anya. It's 15 years today that I met you. Seven years since you died. Little Anya is 8 years old now. She talks about you a lot. 'The nice old lady in the picture' she calls you. Molly is pregnant again. Twins, can you believe it?"
Adam stopped for a moment and traced his fingers along the marble headstone. How he missed her. He filled 7 years of his life with unbelievable joy. Strengthened his soul...given him a grandmother.
Things of course got better. Throughout the year after meeting Anya, Adam's parents began to come out of their shell, and get on with it. They met Anya and immediately loved her. Adam had gone every day to visit her. She was part of what made up his spirit. She kept him alive.
Now...at 30 years of age, he still faithfully came to her grave, bringing flowers once a month and talking to her about things happening.
Unknown to him, a spirit stood behind him, watching over him. Anya grinned at the boy. How she loved him.
"Thank you for giving me so much happiness Adam, I don't know what I would have done without you..." She whispered.
She gave him her blessing and went on her way, leaving him to mumble some more the gravesite.
"And thank you," He ended, "for giving me back the Christmas Spirit."
He stood and brushed himself off, and hurried back to the car where his wife and young daughter awaited for him. He picked the small girl up into his arms and held her tight. A gift from God. Anya, Molly, and little Anya, all blessings from the All Mighty, the Prince of Peace...