Priscilla and Tallulah hosted Christmas at their apartment again for all of their friends who didn’t have any other plans. Their parents were on yet another vacation and neither of them really felt like spending the time Christmas weekend with their older sister and her family, although they were planning on going there for Boxing Day. By that point, Tallulah said, Hilary and Harris would have come down slightly from their Christmas morning high and would be back to their regular selves. Since they were apparently like feral children at the best of times, it was a lot to be around them while they were hyped up on Christmas cookies and excited about toys.
In any case, Ramsay attended with Oscar and Gord. Ramsay didn’t have plans for Christmas because he was Muslim. Oscar made him come because he said it would be fun. Also, he was trying to force Ramsay to ask out Tallulah. The worst part of that was that Ramsay wasn’t totally opposed, but he felt he should be. He liked Tallulah. Mostly he liked how grim she could be. But he was more than a little worried about the age difference.
“She’s so young,” Ramsay said on the subway as they made their way over to Priscilla and Tallulah’s apartment on Christmas Eve. They were going to spend the night so that they could all open presents together on Christmas morning. Ramsay had brought two gifts with him. One was a hostess gift of sorts for both Priscilla and Tallulah and the other was the present he’d bought for Oscar. Oscar was the only person he ever bought a Christmas present for.
“First of all, she’s only four years younger than you,” Oscar pointed out. “Secondly, emotionally you’re twelve.”
Ramsay began to rethink the present he’d bought for Oscar.
When they arrived at the apartment, Tallulah wrenched open the door wearing reindeer antlers on a headband and a Christmas sweater that had snowmen stitched onto it. It looked handmade, like someone had knit it specifically for her.
“Welcome to Rejects’ Christmas,” she greeted them.
“I won’t lie, it loses some of the magic in the name,” Oscar returned dryly.
“Well Priscilla wanted to call it Priscilla and Tallulah’s Misfit Toys Christmas Celebration,” Tallulah said. “But that’s the longest hashtag ever.”
Ramsay didn’t love the fact that there needed to be a hashtag at all.
When Gord arrived to the apartment, the last of what Tallulah had taken to calling their sad friends, the five of them settled down in the living room for the evening to watch Christmas movies. Ramsay had spent a large portion of his time and energy avoiding watching most Christmas movies, not for any kind of religious reasons, but because they tended to be filled with the kind of corny, feel-good drivel he loathed. The first one they watched was Frosty the Snowman and Ramsay found it almost difficult to physically sit through.
“Fuck this magician,” he grumbled part way through the movie.
“I know you’re not supposed to identify with this dude, but I feel like you may be taking your support of this animated snowman a little too far,” Gord remarked in return, raising an eyebrow at Ramsay.
“That’s not actually at all what’s happening,” Oscar interjected. “He’s just bitter because he’s afraid of magicians.”
“I am not afraid of magicians,” Ramsay protested firmly and indignantly right away.
“You are,” Oscar argued determinedly. “Magicians and clowns.”
“Well, clowns are fucked,” Priscilla cut in without looking away from the TV. “But magicians aren’t scary at all.”
“Ramsay had a traumatic experience with a magician when he was a child,” Oscar snorted. Ramsay hated when he said that, which he took every opportunity to do. It made it sound far more serious than it was and then, when Oscar inevitably got around to telling the full story, it made it seem even dumber than it already was. Ramsay regretted ever telling Oscar about it. He didn’t know what had compelled him to do so in the first place. He’d been drunk at the time; that had been the primary motivator.
“Should we be discussing this so cavalierly then?” Gord asked, shooting Ramsay a mildly concerned look. “Perhaps this casual viewing of Frosty the Snowman isn’t the right forum for this kind of conversation.”
“I’m not traumatized by magicians,” Ramsay cut in darkly, glaring at the side of Oscar’s head. He laughed.
“His mom hired one for his seventh birthday party and Ramsay thought that the magic was real,” Oscar began to explain. “So he got his own cape, top hat, and magic wand that he would carry with him everywhere in case his magical powers suddenly came in and he needed to use them to get out of magical shenanigans.”
Ramsay continued to glare at him, trying to hide the fact that he was deeply embarrassed. The others were all staring at him. Priscilla had even managed to drag her attention away from the TV.
“You sound like you were a very earnest child,” she commented after a moment. “What the fuck happened?”
“Well, his magic powers never came in,” Gord answered, as if it should’ve been obvious. Tallulah laughed and Ramsay felt part of his dignity wither away to nothingness. Oscar was the worst wingman in the world, especially for someone who claimed to want him to be with Tallulah. If that was really the case, he wouldn’t have told the magician story. Ramsay considered threatening him with bodily harm to keep him from ever repeating it. It would probably work; Oscar was terrified of physical altercations. Ramsay assumed it was because he couldn’t throw a punch to save his life. He had the arm strength of a small child.
The next movie they watched was The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, the original animated version. Ramsay found himself identifying to the Grinch pre-heart growth, which he assumed wasn’t the point he was meant to take away from the film. At least there were no magicians.
When it came time for them all to go to bed, Ramsay ended up sharing Tallulah’s bed with Oscar. Priscilla and Tallulah were sharing Priscilla’s in her room and Gord had taken the couch in the living room. Apparently their third roommate’s room was off-limits, even though she wasn’t there. Ramsay thought about how he had hoped the evening would turn out and sharing a bed with his dickish, cold-toed roommate wasn’t it.