When it rains it pours in California. I've lived here my whole life and I don't think I'll ever get used to it. The thought of rain after so much time of it not happening gives me an actual fear of mudslides. I have never found myself in the path of one, thankfully, and I really pray that I never will, either. Rain will always give me anxiety and I guess I've come to accept it.

I would be able to accept it more if this was daytime. I could keep myself from not thinking about it and especially with it being Christmas Eve, there's lots of things I could do. However, it is now Christmas Eve night and all I can do is lay here and listen to the raindrops thump hard on the window pane. I guess I don't have to, I could get up and try Mr. Roper's method: cocoa. God help me if that man ever did teach me anything other than what not to become.

I love that the first thing I see when I come out of my room at night is our Christmas tree. Janet always does such a good job at trimming it. Every color of the rainbow is perfectly in place and every ornament looks meant to be there. Janet really does have a special way with plants and hey, it is a tree after all. I just didn't expect to see Janet sitting by the tree is all. I almost didn't see her but the light of the star on top gave her away as I rounded the corner. The light shined down on her making her skin look effervescent and her eyes glowing; not to mention her teardrops that were alarming to me. I sat down gently next to her and she let me. I didn't know what to do, so I didn't do anything. I'll let her make the next move.

"I'm thankful for this rain," she finally said as she wiped her eyes.


"It's comforting to me."

"Then, why are you crying?"

"I miss Chrissy."

"I do, too," I said as I began to rub her back.

"I miss my family."

"I'm sure you do," I said as I kiss her cheek.

"And I'm sorry for you."


"Because," she said, beginning to sob. "You deserve more this Christmas than an emotional wreck of a room mate…"

"No, no," I protested as I took her face in my hands.

"I wanted to make this Christmas good for you, Jack. I knew it was hard for you, too, knowing Chrissy wasn't going to be here. I wanted you to have the most comfortable Christmas I could have given you. But, I couldn't, I just couldn't…"

"It's okay, it's okay…"

"I had a thousand dollar Christmas bonus and where did it go? Rent. It was the only way I could make sure we were okay into the next year living here, not to mention all the utilities. I just didn't have much left this year. I'm sorry, Jack, I'm so, so sorry."

She fell into my shoulder and sobbed. I rocked her back and forth as I was filled with a warmth I had never felt before. A warmth of knowing I had a woman who was willing to take care of me.

"You've given me everything I need. What could you possibly give me that means more than a home? You brought me in years ago when I had nowhere. You gave me a safe place to study so I could graduate school. Do you know how many gifts you've given me? One day, I hope you'll say yes when it can be my turn to do the same for you. Do you promise me you'll say yes?"

She silently looked up at me and nodded. She still had tears in her eyes, but she was smiling. I kiss her lips and hug her again. She told me she was going to say yes someday...