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    Sam Wyer
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

Cal - 15. Chapter 15

This is the final chapter, your last check-in with Cal and Davey. I hope you've been enjoying the story, and please remember to leave a review for other readers.

I swear I have never worked so fucking hard in my entire life. The hotel was fully booked for the whole Christmas and New Year period, and the bar was rammed every single night. Not only the regulars and the guests, but also all those fucking people that just go out at Christmas, you know, work parties and stuff, friends catching up. I had managed to negotiate heavily with Becky about my rota. I was still going to be working nearly every day, but manageable hours, and volunteering to cover Christmas Day morning and early lunch has earned me mega bonus points with both her and Frank. Davey’s work seemed to be taking the polar opposite course to mine, things were getting quiet, lots of people had time off booked, and even Davey was cutting his time in the office down significantly.

Last weekend we put up the tree. Now, I know, it doesn’t sound like the most exciting thing ever, and a year ago I’d have told you it was fucking lame. But I had the best time. I’d known it was Christmas Tree Day, because Davey has mentioned it almost every day for at least a month. I didn’t see what was going to be so exciting. I was woken up, early, by Davey. He was holding himself above me on the bed and bouncing up and down like a fucking idiot.

 

“Come on! Get up baby!”

 

“Fuck off.”

 

“No!”

 

The bouncing got more intense, only stopping when I opened my eyes and kissed him. He can’t concentrate on that many things at once.

 

“OK, OK. Can we at least have breakfast first though?”

 

We got dressed and ate in the kitchen as usual.

 

“So where’s the tree? And where do we have to put it?”

 

“Huh?”

 

“The tree Davey, I assume we need a tree for you’re totally made up Christmas Tree Day thing.”

 

“Of course. But we have to go and choose it.”

 

“What?”

 

“We have to go and choose the tree.”

 

“OK… how come you don’t just have one in a box from last year?”

 

“Ohhh, my poor sweet baby.”

 

“What?”

 

“We’re not having a plastic tree! We have to have a real one.”

 

“Seriously? Of course. What else would happen?”

 

I tried to sound incredulous, but I guess I wasn’t really surprised, I just hadn’t thought about it.

 

“So where do we have to go?”

 

“Down to the corner shop, they sell trees every year.”

 

I looked out of the window. The shop is about a ten minute walk, and it looked fucking cold outside.

 

Since meeting Davey I’ve had some pretty surreal experiences. But this might beat them all, standing on the street as some guy basically parades trees in front of us. We must have looked at six or seven before we were allowed to buy one. Not the right shape, too thin, too bushy, one sided, there was always a problem, apparently. They all looked like trees to me. But finally one of them met Davey’s criteria and the guy wrapped it in a net. It’s a good job his enthusiasm was as infectious as it was because it was fucking cold.

 

“How are we going to get this home?”

 

“We’re going to carry it, come on.”

 

“Hmmm, I thought as much. But there’s no way I’m carrying the heavy end, you can get that.”

 

To be honest, he could probably have carried the whole fucking thing on his own, but I picked up the thin end and followed behind him. It wasn’t a bad view either, Davey as sexy fucking lumberjack was definitely an image I’d save for later. After wrestling the tree into the building, and into the flat, it became pretty obvious that we had overestimated the heigh of the ceiling. But a bit of trimming and it fitted in, more or less. And looked fucking huge. We spent the afternoon decorating the tree, another first for me, it was always something Mum did, not with me. Apparently there’s a whole ritual to it, lights first, then tinsel, then decorations. It was awesome fun anyway, but eventually I had to go to work.

 

The rest of the week has been filled with me working and Davey making about eight times as much food as we are every going to be able to eat. Jen had the week off and Davey was actually pretty good at cooking. On Christmas Eve I was working all day, up until 8pm. Mary and Ben and his girlfriend were all due to arrive during the afternoon, so it felt kind of weird to be opening the door and walking in to a whole family of people. Davey heard the door and was stood in front of me before I’d even got it closed behind me.

 

“Hey baby.”

 

“Hey, is everyone here?”

 

“Of course, come on.”

 

We shared a brief kiss before I went through to greet everyone and Davey went back to the kitchen. I knew Mary and Ben well enough already, but there’s no need to be rude. I kissed Mary on both cheeks, while Ben got a hug. He faked being upset, so he got kisses too, which they all seemed to find amusing.

 

“And this is my girlfriend, Kristina.”

 

“Hi! It’s good to meet you, I’m Cal.”

 

She got kisses too. She was pretty hot looking actually, you know, if you like that sort of thing. She kept trying not to stare at me, so I guess she hadn’t known what to expect. My experiment with growing slightly longer hair had faded, and I currently have a two inch wide mohawk with the rest very closely cropped. I guess it can grab your attention if you haven’t seen it before. Davey re-appeared from the kitchen and I felt his arms encircling me as I talked with Kristina for a moment. She was a bit quiet, but seemed OK. I went to get changed and found Scarlett lounging on the bed. We talked for a bit too, she didn’t have loads to say though.

 

Davey had got dinner all prepared, so we were eating soon enough, and it weirdly felt like we’d been doing this for years, rather than for the first time ever. After a couple of glasses of wine Kristina seemed to relax, and she fitted right in. Unfortunately I was holding back on the wine as I was back in work early in the morning.

No-one else was up when I left for work, trying to be quiet as Ben and Kristina were sleeping in the lounge. I even left Davey in bed, which is always a hard thing to do. The walk was enjoyably quiet, I guess very few people have things to be outside for so early on Christmas Day. Of course the quiet didn’t last, and entering the hotel was reassuringly busy, and cheerful, which is kind of how the whole day went. Busy, but cheerful.

 

I got home about half past two, and things were much livelier the when I had left. Everyone was up, and they had all started drinking. Davey was cooking, with the insistent assistance of his Mum, which was quite amusing to watch. The plan had originally been to have lunch and then we’d open presents, but Davey couldn’t wait so as soon as I had got changed out of my work clothes it was time for presents. Between the five of us there was a sizeable pile of wrapped boxes and bags under the tree.

What I wasn’t fully prepared for was the mildly overwhelming emotion of it all. Sitting around, laughing, relaxed, giving and opening presents, I couldn’t help but feel happy. And also, jealous, because it felt like I was part of a proper family with people who loved each other, me included, so the somewhat upsetting comparisons to my previous Christmas Day’s were hard to avoid. Stupidly it was getting a gift from Davey’s Mum that threatened to bring me to tears, and I had to take a moment in the bedroom with Scarlett. Not that it wasn’t a good day, it was properly amazing. Which I guess is also what made me feel sad too. There wasn’t a card from my Mum or Dad, but I hadn’t made contact with them either, so I guess that’s how it’s going to remain.

Lunch was awesome, in fact, the whole day was awesome. Davey bought me some really cool headphones, and I’d got him some new clothes. He has a lot of clothes, but he’s sometimes dangerously close to buying a pipe and slippers, so I thought I’d help him update his wardrobe a bit. He put some of them on and he looks good. Of course I would say that. It was a properly amazing day. Lots of food, lots of alcohol, lots of incredibly nice feelings and good times. I think maybe I really might have a new family now.

 

**-***-**

 

One year later, and it’s Christmas Day, again. Because, you know, that’s how time works. Lots of things have changed, some big, some not so big, and lots of things have stayed the same. And some things have very nearly changed but thankfully haven’t. Those things have always been my own doing, and come solely from my own fucked up head, but they happen less and less now. I have more time off this year, which is pretty cool. We’re all here, at home, again. I guess we’re starting a new tradition. Kristina, or Krissy as she is now called, is here with Ben, although to be honest I wasn’t sure she would be.

There was a couple of rocky months over the summer when things weren’t going so well with them. Ben and I talked about it a lot and he was close to giving up on her completely, but things seemed to work out eventually. I guess Ben and I are pretty good friends now, which is another new experience for me. He’s a really cool guy and it’s easy spending time with him. It’s also pretty nice having someone to go and watch horror films with because Davey is completely rubbish at that. But he’s cute as hell so I guess that’s OK. Mary is here too of course, the ever present Mum. Between her and Jen I sometimes feel like I’m overwhelmed with motherly advice and opinion, but mostly that’s just a pretty great sort of problem to have. I mean, it’s better than what my actual Mum has ever been able to manage. I haven’t heard from her all year, and there wasn’t an invite to the wedding, so either she didn’t get married to “Jonathan” or, more likely, she just didn’t invite me. I’ve come to accept that that’s how things are between us, for both my parents really. If I ever think about it too much it’s still very sad, but I feel as though I’m better off with how things are now.

 

I finished work after lunch on Christmas Eve, and Mary was already there when I got home. I think she arrived early and Davey likes to complain about it, but they seem to get a lot out of their time together, despite the apparent constant disagreements about cooking. So now I’m off for three whole day, although that does mean I’m working at New Year. We’ve agreed that everyone will just come over to the bar so at least I’ll be in the same room, if not quite part of the party. I think Kati and Simon are coming over too. Apparently Kati has a boyfriend. I’ve decided that he must either be deaf, or a total fucking saint, because I don’t see how anyone could endure her for any prolonged period of time. We get on well enough now, but she can still be a bit annoying. She still keeps in contact with Mark, but there’s an agreement that no-one talks about him, at least not when I’m there. Ben and Krissy arrived just in time for dinner last night, and between us we sunk way too many bottles of champagne. I still can’t really drink the stuff, so there was some whiskey too.

 

This year, because I’m not at work, we’re doing presents straight after breakfast, and lunch is going to be at the now usual Christmas Day lunch time of about three in the afternoon. Krissy and I made breakfast for everyone, which was mostly eggs, bacon, and pancakes. Everyone except Scarlett of course, because despite her whining, she still isn’t allowed to eat our food. I have to give her points for being persistent though. I think I’ve decided I quite like Krissy. She has a slightly wicked sense of humour, which is probably necessary to survive the Carters. There was more champagne after breakfast, before we even started on presents. I seriously think we drink way too much over Christmas. And now Davey was taking the opportunity to embarrass me.

 

“We should make a toast, to Cal!”

 

“For what? Are you drunk already?”

 

“For your new job.”

 

“Davey, stop it! I don’t have a new job. You need to stop telling people that.”

 

We toasted anyway, because we had champagne. In fairness, I might have a new job soon, but nothing is confirmed. I’ve been doing a lot more stuff around the bar and hotel, and I’ve even had a couple of occasions where I’ve been asked to help deal with stuff, usually guests who can’t get their own way or some other sort of minor fiasco. It turns out I’m actually pretty good at problem solving at work, and getting people to calm down. I know, right, the fucking irony. Anyway, all I know for certain is that Frank has a meeting planned in for me and him in January. And Becky is reducing her hours because she’s going to go to university. Oh, and Becky told me she’s certain that Frank is going to make me the Duty Manager. I guess we’ll see.

 

We moved on to presents, and this year Davey has bought me a wallet, jewellery for my piercings, t-shirts which I think are just for his fantasy of me because they are tight and kind of low cut, more like vests, but I put one on anyway, and some new running gear. He claims that he ‘must have lost track’ of our agreed budget. Yeah right. Of course we were back in Paris last month to do the Christmas shopping. We never actually made it back before then, but we stayed for a few days this time, and Davey was right. The food in the restaurant at the top of the Eiffel Tower really wasn’t very amazing, but the view was. I’ve bought Davey a few bottles of what I’m assured by the wine merchant at work is some really good wine, and a weekend at a spa because he really needs to remember how to relax sometimes. And yeah, I guess I ‘lost track’ of the budget too. We’re both as bad as each other it seems.

 

Lunch was predictably tasty. Despite Davey and his Mum’s constant arguing about cooking it, they seemed to be able to produce spot on food between them. This year it was beef wellington, and about a hundred other sides. Davey doesn’t believe in cooking turkey for Christmas because ‘it’s too boring’. We’d finished eating, you know that point where you know you’ve had just the right amount too much food, and I was about to make some cocktails when Davey interrupted me.

 

“Actually, there’s one last present for you.”

 

“Oh? Just so that I know for next year, we’re giving up on the whole budget thing totally, yeah?”

 

He returned my smile and gave me a kiss.

 

“So where is it?”

 

I was intrigued because there wasn’t anything left under the tree.

 

“It’s hanging on the tree.”

 

I looked towards the corner of the room that was being dominated by the ridiculously massive tree. Again, it was actually too big for the flat. I looked back to Davey.

 

“Really?”

 

“Really, go on, you have to look for it.”

 

I walked over and spent a few seconds scanning the tree, nothing seemed obvious.

 

“This better be worth it Davey.”

 

I was joking of course, I’m not actually going to be annoyed about him buying me another present am I.

 

“Yeah, well, I hope it is else this is going to be very embarrassing.”

 

My questioning look to Davey didn’t elicit any further clues, so I went back to my search. It took me another twenty or thirty seconds before I saw it. I carefully unhooked the long chain and realised what I was actually holding. Dog tags. But this is Davey, they're were nice, and almost certainly not just stainless steel, they’re probably silver or fucking platinum or something knowing him. I put them on as I turn back towards him. They actually sort of went with my new t-shirt, and I caught that look on Davey’s face that told me I should definitely keep them on at bedtime.

 

“They’re cool Davey, thank you.”

 

I gave him another kiss.

 

“Erm, actually, babe, there’s… something engraved on them.”

 

The chain was long enough for me to be able to pick them up and read them without taking them off. There were two messages, one on each tag. I read them both. And then I read them both again.

 

“Fuck… Davey… Are you serious? Like, this is not a joke, right?”

 

Why would it be a joke? It would be a very shitty joke.

 

“Of course baby. Totally serious.”

 

I read the messages again, very aware of the four people watching me now.

 

‘Cal, I love you in every way, you make my world complete. Davey.’

 

‘Will you marry me?’

 

I looked up to Davey again. He was actually looking nervous, which made me smile even more.

 

“Yes... of course. Fucking yes!”

 

I ran the few steps towards a him, aiming for a very big hug and serious kissing, and was outdone by him as he picked me up. But that did mean I was able to wrap myself aground him, my legs around his chest and my arms around his neck as we kissed. I was definitely crying, but in a ridiculously, uncontrollable, unmanageably happy way. There was a lot of celebratory noises from the other three, and it wasn’t until Davey finally put me down that I realised something wasn’t quite right.

 

“You fuckers, why is no-one surprised, you all knew about this didn’t you?”

 

It was Ben who cracked first.

 

“Well… maybe.”

 

Not that it mattered one tiny bit. There were more drinks, of course, and lots of hugs from everyone. Later in the day I found myself in our bedroom, sat on the bed alone, when Davey came in to see where I was.

 

“Everything OK babe?”

 

“Yeah, of course, I was just texting a few people.”

 

I waved my phone at him as if it was evidence, even though it was technically a lie, because I’d messaged the few people I wanted to earlier. When Davey left again I retrieved the letter from my Dad from under the pillow where I’d thrust it just moments earlier. It was looking just as battered as something that has been screwed up several times would do. But this time, I folded it up neatly, and slid it back into the envelope, before dropping it in the bin as I walked back out to what is now, my actual, proper, forever, fucking awesome life.

Thanks for following the story through to the end, and with any luck you might even have enjoyed it.

Like I said at the top, please take just a few more moments to leave a review. Yes, as a writer I love to know what readers think, but actually it's way more useful for other readers. You can warn them away or draw them in as you see fit, but please do your bit to keep the GA world turning.

You can also continue the discussion on the forum linked below.

Thanks again.

Sam

Copyright © 2017 Sam Wyer; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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Chapter Comments



I've very much enjoyed Cal and hope to be able to peek into his and Davey's life thru prompts (I am never giving up that this is the end 😝😝😝) am looking forward to your next story 👍👍👍

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2 minutes ago, Justleah said:

I've very much enjoyed Cal and hope to be able to peek into his and Davey's life thru prompts (I am never giving up that this is the end 😝😝😝) am looking forward to your next story 👍👍👍

Thanks - and I admire your persistence :)  No promises, other than that I'll think about it.

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Thank you Sam it was a fantastic story and I loved it. I do love great LOVE/relationship story. I will look forward to more from you in the future.

Darell

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In my opinion you are in the top 5 of writers, i have read alot over the years and this has been at the top of my looking for the next chapter list, looking fwd to your next masterpiece.

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Wonderful story. I did think you rushed it a bit - perhaps more about Cal learning to accept himself and the world around him and how he works his way through all his anger and hurt. Your story had good bones and a good ending. I look forward to seeing more from you.

 

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Christmas always makes me teary; this final Christmas snapshot left me needing tissues. How lovely and good, and what a wonderful way to propose. 

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Really enjoyed this story...every chapter!! At first it seemed a little understated, subtle, offbeat...but that was just to draw us in and keep us locked in place...wanting more!! It worked...fabulously! Thanks lots!!!:2thumbs:

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Great story, and the ending was great, except for that letter!

 

Looking forward to more of your writing

 

Thanks

Edited by Canuk
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2 hours ago, 1brokNangel said:

What was in the letter from his dad ????

And why didn't he want Davey to see it ?

I guess some things remain uncertain, but isn't that always the way?

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2 hours ago, bubby1234 said:

In my opinion you are in the top 5 of writers, i have read alot over the years and this has been at the top of my looking for the next chapter list, looking fwd to your next masterpiece.

Wow, that's high praise indeed given the calibre of writing on GA.  Thank you, and I hope I manage to retain something close to that quality in the future.

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2 hours ago, Sweetlion said:

Great ending, I like how Cal learned how a family should feel like. 

Thanks!  Yes, I wanted to give Cal something more than a relationship, I think he deserves it.

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1 hour ago, Jeugie said:

Wonderful story. I did think you rushed it a bit - perhaps more about Cal learning to accept himself and the world around him and how he works his way through all his anger and hurt. Your story had good bones and a good ending. I look forward to seeing more from you.

 

Thanks for your comments, and you're probably right, it might be a bit rushed.  This was my first time writing fiction so I think I've learnt a lot along the way.  However I also remain paranoid about boring readers with extraneous details and lengthy scenes that add little or nothing to the story, or giving readers every time thing and leaving no room for imagination, so I guess I'm still trying to find the balance that works for me.  There's  another story coming soon so you'll be able to judge for yourself.

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1 hour ago, Parker Owens said:

Christmas always makes me teary; this final Christmas snapshot left me needing tissues. How lovely and good, and what a wonderful way to propose. 

Thanks Parker, it's nice to know that you enjoyed it.  And it's still flattering to have you as a reader :) 

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1 hour ago, Onim said:

Really enjoyed this story...every chapter!! At first it seemed a little understated, subtle, offbeat...but that was just to draw us in and keep us locked in place...wanting more!! It worked...fabulously! Thanks lots!!!:2thumbs:

I'd like to be able to claim there was a cunning and carefully laid out plan to do this, but there really wasn't.  I'm pleased you liked it.

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59 minutes ago, Canuk said:

Great story, and the ending was great, except for that letter!

 

Looking forward to more of your writing

 

Thanks

Wow, the letter is really bothering people isn't it?  It's good to know you have enjoyed this, and there will be more, but different, soon.

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well done on venturing out into critique land - very brave, but a proud moment. you have delighted us with these wonderful characters and made the journey enjoyable. I'm sure its a draining experience writing yet potentially exhilarating so we toast your success and hope there are more stories in you for the future. best of luck and bravo my friend. :2thumbs:

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27 minutes ago, Mym8te said:

well done on venturing out into critique land - very brave, but a proud moment. you have delighted us with these wonderful characters and made the journey enjoyable. I'm sure its a draining experience writing yet potentially exhilarating so we toast your success and hope there are more stories in you for the future. best of luck and bravo my friend. :2thumbs:

Thanks very much :) 

As for being draining, I don't think that's the right word.  There's hopefully no pretence that my writing is altruistic, I get a lot out of it too.  Although some characters really do manage to get inside you, like Cal, and that can sometimes be a little annoying.

There's more to come, but I think I'll leave it until next week until I start posting something different.

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Sam, you created a beautiful story that wasn't all rainbows and unicorn farts... Thanks for that. With characters you care for, and root for.

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4 hours ago, BlindAmbition said:

Sam, you created a beautiful story that wasn't all rainbows and unicorn farts... Thanks for that. With characters you care for, and root for.

I'm sure there's a place for rainbows and unicorn farts, and probably with added glitter too.  It's just not in Cal's world :) Although, I'm looking for a title for a new story...

It's great to know that you cared, thanks for reading.

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3 hours ago, deville said:

Fantastic story. I really enjoyed Cal, loved his take on life . 

Thanks very much, I'm pleased you enjoyed it.

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2 hours ago, jtpawlik said:

Awesome story! I wish that you would have continued it on more. Maybe there can be story II with Cal?

That's great to hear, thank you.  As for a sequel, there's no plan, but never say never.

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