It was 24th of December, and the days were getting chillier with each passing one. Two days ago was your birthday, where you turned 17.
You sat in your bedroom, knitting a scarf for your cousin next door. It was a bright ______ to match their personality. You and your cousin were close, knowing each other since you were born, and from sharing a birthday. You knew that they weren't very fond of knitting, but loved the product. You sighed. Your cousin never had any patience for anything. Their parents weren't as lenient as yours, and when you could date at 15, they had to wait for another three.
You glanced out the window. How had the snow piled up so quickly? Two days ago, not a snowflake fell on your tiny little town. You smiled to yourself. You loved the snow. How could something be so natural and fun at the same time? The sledding, the skiing, the snowball fights... Don't forget building snowmen either! Everything that had to do with snow, you pretty much loved.
Looking around your room, you take the time to notice all of the furniture inside. There was the bed that you and your cousin had argued about when you were little. Your two families had gone to a rummage sale, and found two beds for $150. Your cousin wanted the bigger one, but was shorter than you. Your mothers ignored the pleas of you and your cousin, and made the decision you'd get the bigger one. You grinned. That was the only piece of furniture really worth any sentimental to you.
Then there was the desk by your bed, your dresser, bookshelf, and that cabinet where you kept all of your miscellaneous shit. Pencils, yarn, knitting needles, more books, hand sanitizer, trading cards, etc. You spent most of the time frequenting the cabinet, since you switched from activity to activity throughout each day.
Turning back to your knitting, you notice your scarf had grown considerably since you started earlier that day.
You had numerous scarves, since, that was all you could really knit. It was fun trying to come up with a variety, but new stitches were fun, too! You gave scarves out as gifts, and were planning to start donating them to charity, you had so many!
You set aside your yarn and needles to go outside. Though it was cold, you knew your cousin would love the idea of a snowball fight! They loved the homemade hot chocolate your dad made too.
You and your cousin run around in the still-falling snow, picking up whatever snow was around you. Throwing the snow at your cousin in glee, knowing that they'd be hard to miss with their lovely ____ (color) winter jacket.
A snowball hits you on the chest, and you squeal as some of the snow sneaks it's way into your shirt, chilling you a bit more than you already were. How could some people not enjoy this? It was so much fun to keep warm only by the amount of energy you had in the winter!
You hear your cousin snickering, and reach to get more snow. Balling up what was in your hand, you look around to spot your cousin about ten yards away right in front of you- a suspiciously easy shot. You take your chances, and with a corny flourish, let fly your snowball.
You look at where your cousin stood, only to see them dodge at the last second- letting the snowball hit a complete stranger on the sidewalk in the neck.
~Inside your Home~
Let's face it. Your cousin was a complete idiot. A bisexual, complete idiot. You pause. Maybe they did that just to flirt or something? My goodness, they were easy to figure out.
You peek back into the living room. Your mom was talking to the stranger- who now looked about your age, just tall- but mainly apologizing. Your dad had given the stranger a cup of cocoa, and they seemed to like it. Your dad said you wouldn't get the recipe until you were leaving home to face the world. You frown. Not too much longer until that happened.
You mom turns, and sees you peeking. She waves you and your cousin over, since they had apparently been standing behind you while you were deep in thought. Your cousin looks more pleased than anything, and sits down right next to the guy they had pretty much used as a human shield. "So," your cousin says to the guy. "You obviously aren't from around here. You gay or European?" You wince. Another one of your cousin's strange obsessions, Legally Blonde. Gay or European was by far their favorite song from it.
You come around the corner. Though you want to apologize more than anything, you can't bring yourself to. You feel blood rushing to your cheeks, and quickly look at the guy in your house, then at your mom. She shrugs, and gestures towards the guy. "Introduce yourself, ____". You nod.
Turning to the guy, you take a close look at him. Through his rather messy blonde hair, you could see two gigantic eyebrows. They were thicker than your pinky finger! Beneath the brows, you noted he had two bright green eyes. Well, they'd have been brighter if they weren't squinted at your cousin, who clearly had offended the blonde with their earlier implication.
"You bloody git! Where do you get off talking to me like that?!" You note a British accent too. Your mom, now understanding what's happening- she never listened to or watched Legally Blonde, so she didn't get the reference- shot a glare at your cousin. They ignore it, and continue talking to the guy. "Ooh! Britain, I assume? Your accent is so thick I could drown in it! What's your name again? I'll bet it's something that absolutely melts on the tongue in a British accent!" You sigh. Your cousin would not leave this guy alone now.
Your mom looks at you, and as if understanding what you need without speaking, proceeds to drag your cousin off the couch, and back into the kitchen. Your cousin doesn't object, but keeps talking even while being dragged by the arm across the floor.
You watch them go, then look back at the guy, only to find him staring at you. He blinks. "Who're you, love?" If the blood had left you cheeks from when you came in earlier, it came back now times ten. "Uhm, uh, I'm-", you stutter out. You begin to look frantically around the room- anywhere beside at this guy. He raises an eyebrow at your reaction. "Yes?"
You take a deep breath, trying to gather your wits. Maybe he'd just leave after you apologized? You'd never be so lucky as to have that happen, however. Right now, you probably should just act nice and friendly, and not a complete fool like your cousin.
You take one last deep breath. "Uhm, I'm ____. Nice to meet you, uh..?" You pause, and wait for him to answer. He nods to himself and then stands up , walking up to you. "Arthur. My name is Arthur Kirkland, and I also find it very nice to meet you, love." He reached out a hand, and you, assuming he wants to shake yours, offer yours in return. He smiles, and with a slightly mischievous glint in his eye, raises the back of your hand to his lips, kissing it lightly.
You face burns. It's so hot, you swear you could boil tea on it. You slip you hand quickly out of his grasp, and mutter something about the weather. Arthur chuckles to himself, obviously enjoying your reaction.
You try to gather up your courage so you can apologize, but just end up making your left eye twitch. You'd try later.
Your mom peeks into the room again, now accompanied by a much more calm looking cousin. They must've gotten an ear full from your mom.
Your mom looks from you to Arthur, and then back. You turn your gaze to the ground, signaling the obvious answer. She sighs, and then turns back to Arthur. "Well, Mr. Kirkland, I suppose if you're going to stay awhile, you might as well take off your coat?" She glances back at your cousin. Nudging them with her elbow, she says "And you might as well show him where the coat hanger is...?" Your cousin nods enthusiastically, beckoning to a reluctant Arthur, and then walks right, towards the entrance to your home.
As they leave your mother shoots you a look. "Please, ____, try to make this quick? I don't want to keep this man from wherever he was going." You nod, looking at your feet. This stunk.
You help your mom pour out some more hot chocolate for everyone, and then run up to your room to get a different scarf to work on. You didn't want your cousin to see their gift yet, so you had started another one, a pretty green, to work on as a decoy.
You climb back down the stairs and enter the kitchen, taking up a seat across from your cousin, kitty corner from your mom, and next to Arthur. You fidget as you sit, beginning to knit.
"Anyways, Mr. Kirkland, what's brought you to our humble little neighborhood?", your mother asks nonchalantly. He shrugs. "More than one thing, I suppose. I came to visit a friend over here for the holidays. I also seem to have been given a scholarship to your towns university. Did you know my friend lived only a couple blocks down the road? I'll not mention his name so as to save his family some embarrassment."
This makes you and your mother chuckle. You almost make a stitch too tight, so you swallow your laughter for a moment and then begin to do it over. "And how old are you, Arthur?", your cousin asks, not bothering to hide their curiosity. Arthur smiles a little. "Too old for you, sorry." He can see this doesn't please your cousin, and he quickly corrects himself. "19, sorry." He seems to notice he ruined the jolly mood by cracking the joke, and looks a bit ticked.
You smile. "Well, I'm glad that you got the scholarship, Arthur, but shouldn't you be off to see you friend?" You have completed a row of stitches as the whole scene played out. He looks over at you, more than a little hurt by the comment. You attempt to conceal your reaction by knitting. It works. He thinks you didn't see his face.
"Oh, ____?", he says. "Are you knitting?" You look up at him again. He seems a bit intrigued. You smile. "Yes! I've been taught by the best." You nod your head over to your mom, who has a look of pride all over her face. Arthur chuckles. "Well, that's wonderful. Is this one of many, or the first?" You blink, not understanding. He points to your scarf. "Oh", you say. "This is one of many."
Your mom sees an opportunity, and then winks at you. "____, dear, why don't you show Mr. Kirkland all of your scarves? Maybe he could take one from your ample supply." She looks proud of herself, so you don't say anything. You nod, and roll up your yarn.
"Then I guess you can, um, come with me, Arthur?" You scoot out of your chair and plod up to your room once again. You can hear Arthur behind, his steps more careful than yours. You enter your room, and mentally curse yourself for leaving your cousin's gift out on your bed. Arthur, now behind you, points at it. "____, what is that one?" You grind your teeth. "It's a secret. Not telling." You can feel his eyebrows raise behind you, so you move over to your cabinet. You fling it open, and pull out two boxes of scarves. You hand one to Arthur, and then sit on the floor Popping open the box, you feel joy bubble up inside of you as you finger through all of you scarves.
Arthur has been looking through his box, an extremely focused expression on his face. You watch him for a moment, then, feeling your face heat up again, look away.
Arthur had pulled out a deep red scarf out of the box- on of you better scarves, at that- and then had slid the box aside.
You cock your head at him. What was so perfect about it? Nothing was. You could see a stitch out of place there, and you had added one there... He returns your gaze nonetheless, and looks a little weird, too.
Leaning over by you, Arthur has a small smile on his face, and that mischievous glint in his eye again. Your face turns red again, and then his smile turns into a full-blown grin. He drapes the scarf around your neck, and then gazes at you. "Perfect match, love." You know he'd talking about the yarn color, but feel he's talking about something different.
You mumble. "Arthur? What the he-" He cuts you off, putting his lips on yours.
It was a soft kiss, and you knew you liked it. What's more, you liked HIM. You figured he felt the same, since he was the one who kissed you. He broke the kiss a moment too soon, and smiled.
"THAT, is what I was staying for ____, You."