The day was normal. I jumped up from my alarm screaming at me. Ten o’clock. As I throw my feet off the bed to stand, I remember what today is. Today is the day of the Rose Yule Celebration! It is December 23, rightfully scheduled to be near the Christmas holiday but not on it. My friend, mother of the group, planned this day for us all to be able to spend time just being together and enjoying the company of our “extended family.” I had been looking forward to this day since it was made back in November.
Rubbing my eyes, I yawn and stretch out those stiff, sleepy time muscles. I open my drawers and shuffle through my sets of clothes that I always just kind of throw in, pulling out my garb kilt and a black t-shirt to match. Getting dressed, I notice that I have no idea where I left my shoes! I give out a big sigh and rub my head as I try to remember where I last kicked them off. Then it hit me, almost literally. I tripped.
I stuffed a muffin in my mouth and headed out the door. Just in time, my friend was parked on the side waiting for me. So as I get into his car, this guy asks me if I am actually going to wear my kilt to a Yule party. “Uh, hell yea I am!” I said. He shrugged, accepted it, and drove off.
“Oh no,” I said.
“What?” he asked.
“I forgot my weapons.” I responded, looking at him with worry.
“Don’t worry,” he stated, “they have plenty there. They will let you use them if you ask.”
“You’re right,” I said in relief. I turned my head and just stared out the window, watching the world zoom past. Time passed almost instantly because next thing I knew, we were there. The party had already started but that was no problem. As we walked through the door, we were welcomed with cheers and smiles. Such a reaction always reminds me why I love them.
I look around the room and see all these familiar faces. But then, I notice a new face. It was a girl I had never seen before. She took a comfortable place laying on her stomach on the ground beside one of my long time friends. Her hair was dark but yet light, and she wore all black. She smiled at me as if she was happy to see me even without knowing who I was. It confused me. I couldn’t help but look at her every now and again for she was just so beautiful. But I saw the way she looked at my friend and I knew she wanted him. It wasn’t much longer after that encounter that she had to leave to return home.
I spent the rest of that night just enjoying being with my friends, exchanging gifts and enjoying some Yule time treats. There wasn’t any need to ask to borrow any weapons because by the time everything settled, it was already dark. By the end of the night, we were much too tired to drive so the mother and host were kind enough to let us crash there for the night.
“Here you guys go,” she said when she gave us some pillows and blankets to use. We said thank you, got cozy, and passed out deep into dream land.
I don’t remember what I dreamt, but it must have been nice because when I woke up, I couldn’t help but smile. We packed ourselves back into the car and my friend took me back home.
“Did you have fun?” my friend asks as he dropped me off.
“Yea, it was great to see everyone!”
“Well, what made you smile when we walked in?”
I blushed. He saw my cheeks get red and he smirked, teasing me by asking if it was the girl.
“Wh-what? What girl?” I asked nervously, obviously trying to hide my embarrassment. And with a smile, he drove off.
It was a few days later that I had another reason to put on my wonderful and breezy kilt. It was training day! I got up like any normal day, threw on my clothes, and this time knew EXACTLY where my shoes were, then head out the door with my weapons in hand. Unfortunately, I had to wait. It took a little time for that friend to return to me so that we could go hit our friends and vanquish our enemies. Once we get to the field, he takes out the equipment while I just headed out. Through the park, over the bridge, and into the field. As I’m walking, I get greeted by some waves, some hugs, and even an arrow!
It was an open soccer field with a set of metal bleachers in the middle off to the side. It had a sidewalk traveling from the bridge to the bleachers. There were some plastic barrels scattered around on the field. Those came in handy and were usually used as markers for multiple types of games played by the group. There were even a few trees near the bridge that people would set up chairs around and use as a lounging area along with placing their equipment on and around said trees. It was shaded and simply perfect to relax under during the hot days if you weren’t participating in any event or games.
“Hey, guys!” I shouted out to the guys on the stands. Those that heard me gave me a wave. As I started to set my equipment down, I heard the leader call out for a ditch battle. A ditch battle is just a big team battle. I snatched up my sword and shield and lined up so that I could play.
“One. Two. One. Two,” the leader counted off, pointing to each person as he went down the line. “Two,” he said as he pointed to me. I went off to join the other twos whose base of operations was placed to the left side of the field. As soon as the groups were made, he began to shout out the rules.
“This is a 3-5 battle. Three lives with a five second respawn at your base. Understood?”
Everyone shouted “Hai” to signify that they understood. “Alright then,” he continues, “Left side, are you ready?”
We screamed our personal battle cries.
“Right side, are you ready?”
They did the same. We were louder.
“Begin!” As the leader expelled that word from his lips, everyone began to charge at each other. By the time the teams collided, there were already two down on my team by the right’s archers. Luckily, we took out one of theirs with ours. There were swords slashing, daggers stabbing, polearms poking, and arrows flying everywhere. Shields were being slammed by the larger weapons. “Red!” they would call out with each hit in an attempt to "destroy" the shield. So much was happening, I could barely keep up.
Slam. I raised my shield to block an oncoming sword. As I looked to face my new opponent, my heart skipped a beat. Could it be? Before me was a woman in black wielding two blades. It was her, the girl from the party! I had no idea that she was a fighter and now I saw her in a new light. She was more than beautiful. She was absolutely gorgeous! In my surprise, I slipped. I was too slow to block her next blow. She struck me on the side faster than I could move my shield. I had died but in that moment I had never felt more alive.
As the battle continued, I tried to fight her again. Sadly, I could never make it in time. By the time I reached her, she would have died or been on the move for her next kill. At one point, I had no one around me and I got distracted just watching her move. There were very few people left in the game, but we were on our last lives as well. As I watched, I was stunned to see her swiftly dodge an arrow. But then I got to have a good laugh because once she dodged, she chased down that archer like a wolf to fresh meat.
Whack. I was struck with a courtesy blow to the back. In my defeat, all I could do was smile and laugh softly. It was none other than the leader who had completed my downfall. As I walked off the field, I watched as he bolted straight to her and in a matter of seconds, killed her with just three quick moves of his sword. She was good but unfortunately, he was better.
As the day came to an end, he approached me. “What happened out there?” he asks, smiling like he knew. “You were standing there like a deer in headlights. You made it way too easy to kill you. Is everything okay?”
Such a question made my cheeks flush with embarrassment. Yes, I was okay. I was more than okay. Could it be that... I was in love?