“_____, I can’t sleep.”
“I can’t sleep, _____.”
“I’m sorry, sugar. What do you want me to do about it?”
Feliciano sat up in the king-size bed that we––along with Kiku and Ludwig––were sharing. He was sitting in a “thinker” pose on the left end, I was beside him waiting for his reply, Ludwig was grumbling beside me, and Kiku was sleeping peacefully on the right end. We all decided to share a room (and a bed) on account of the Bad Touch Trio and Alfred throwing a massive Christmas party in Ludwig and Gil’s house (in which Kiku, Feli, Lovino, and I also stayed). Dozens of people had been invited by the Trio and my four-eyed friend, and they all had been invited to spend the night. Yeah.
After a moment of thinking, Feli finally answered with a simple, “Will you tell me a story?”
I blinked, partially to rid myself of the sleep in my eyes and partially in bemusement. “Uh, okay. What kind of story would you like?”
This sent Feli into another thinking moment, and he quickly replied, “A Christmas story!”
I heard Ludwig beside me groan in annoyance, then he turned over with his back toward us.
I giggled. “Okay. It’s Christmas Eve, after all. Why not?” I thought a while about a good Christmas story to tell, then it finally came to me. “I got one. It’s called ‘The Christmas Orange’.”
Feli blinked in confusion, his head tilting to one side. “Cosa?”
“An orange. Now, here’s how it goes. . .”
And so I began my story.
There was a boy by the name of Jake. He was nine years old one Christmas Eve. He had lots of things on his Christmas list, and he was very excited about the following day. So the next morning, Christmas Day, he darted to his family’s Christmas Tree and ravenously unwrapped his gifts to see what Santa had brought for him. But he stopped after opening the first gift. Inside the box he opened was a little mandarin orange.
“What?” said Feli. “An orange? Why did he get an orange for Christmas? Didn’t he want toys?”
I nodded. “Yeah, Feli. He did want toys. But Santa left him an orange.”
“Was that the only present Santa left him?”
I smiled at him. “I’m getting to that.”
Now, Jake was obviously upset when he found out that the only gift Santa brought him was a measly little orange. I mean, who wouldn’t be? It’s an orange! How are you supposed to ride that up and down the street, or play it so loud that the neighbors call the cops on you?
So Jake told his parents, who also thought it was pretty ridiculous. Then he called his friends, discovering that they had only received oranges as well. Everyone became greatly upset––and I mean everyone. Even chairmen and higher-up people in the town were upset to see that their good little children had gotten oranges from Santa. So they did the ballsiest thing they could do.
They sued him.
“What the hell are you telling him, _____?”
I turned my head to see Ludwig sitting up and looking very displeased with me.
I smiled innocently at him. “I’m telling him that they sued Santa Claus because he gave them all oranges.”
He rolled his eyes. “I heard that.” He rubbed his eyelids. “Just finish the verdammte story.”
I giggled. “Alright. It won’t be much longer, anyway.”
So they took Santa to court. He did show up, dressed in his crisp red and white suit with his matching hat. Near the end of the hearing, he was asked by the prosecutor, “Mr. Claus, I think it’s time your are asked this: Why exactly did you deliver oranges to children when you were supposed to deliver toys?”
Santa was silent for a moment, then sighed and replied slowly, “Well, son, it wasn’t so long ago that people, especially children, were content with what they had. They may not have had much, but they had enough, and they were grateful for it. But nowadays, you don’t see things like that anymore. People, especially children, are ungrateful, and wish for more even when they have more than they need, more than what they will ever use. That’s why I gave them all oranges––to teach them the lesson that you should be happy and content with the things you have, and cherish those things while you can, because they won’t always be there.”
A silence enveloped the dimly-lit room as I ended the story. I looked at Feli, who had a warm smile creep onto his face. “Mi è piaciuto. I liked that story.”
I smiled back. “Grazie, Feli. I like it, too.” I looked back at Ludwig. “What’d you think, Luddy?”
A light shade of pink dusted his cheeks at the sound of his pet-name, and he nodded curtly before lying back on the mattress. “Ja, it was a good story. Now let me sleep.”
A smirk played on my lips. “Sure, Lud. I’ll let you have your beauty sleep now. Not that you need any, anyway.”
He grunted, and as I lay down beside him I noticed a small smile on his lips.
I grinned. “I’m glad you liked it, Luddy. Did you like it, Kiku?”
“Hai. It was very nice and interesting,” Kiku replied from his spot on the bed, not moving an inch.
I snicker, and say, “C’mon, Feli. It’s time to go to bed.”
He smiled brightly. “Si, bella!” He quickly turned out the bedside lamp and snuggled up close to me. “Buonanotte, bella. E Buon Natale.”
I pat his head. “Night, Feli. And merry Christmas to you, too. To all of you guys.”
I closed my eyes and waited for sleep to overtake me, half-hoping that I would wake up the next morning to find an orange in one of my presents.