((Cristóbal Morales continued from Land of Milk and Honey, Don't Fail Me Now))
Any proper New Year's Eve ought to have snow, Cristo had often thought, though Kingman's rarely did. It was also not quite New Year's Eve anyway, and snow and ice would have undoubtedly made the roads more treacherous than anyone wanted to deal with at night. So all in all, it was less of a problem than it would be if there actually was snow, but the late December evening found itself lacking in a certain aesthetic quality all the same.
The days between Christmas and New Year's were dreary, just short of a week's worth of time for Kingman to get over its collective hangover and/or religious fervor just in time to do it all again. Cristóbal, being neither the drinking nor the devout type, was an outside observer to this as he was to most things Kingman did collectively. (With the exception of the dressing-down his Abuelita had given Dominic and some of his buddies concerning the suspicious eggnog that had appeared in their fridge on Christmas Eve. And even then, he hadn't been allowed any of the eggnog. Even the Kingman police force knew better than to cross Rosa Morales where some things were concerned.)
Regardless, there was no snow, it was not quite New Year's, the evening was gray, and Cristo himself silent as he waited on the front steps of his porch for his ride to arrive. Every year, the athletics department made some token effort to host a Christmas or New Year's or Generic Winter Holiday's social for its teams in an effort to bring together teammates who might not have seen each other over the break, and to remind those prone to slacking on their workouts that their grace period was just about to end. Cristo had found himself without transportation options for the evening, thanks to the family car deciding sometime last week that this winter was going to be its last, and Dominic unable to step in as chauffeur thanks to work.
Word of his predicament had gotten around, as things did among the baseball and softball teams, and Cristo's salvation had presented itself in the form of one Georgia Lee Day, who had informed him in a businesslike manner that his house was on the way to the school, and she didn't mind at all if he wanted a lift. He didn't know her well, but he knew of her; they didn't live far from each other, in fact. He knew her house as the small one with the slightly lopsided porch and the charmingly wild back garden, and he saw her from time to time when she went running around the neighborhood. There used to be many other girls coming and going, but now he thought that there was only one older sister remaining, and she was often out. He didn't think he'd ever seen Georgia Lee leaving or returning with her.
He sometimes wondered, when pondering other people's lives, if they looked into his own and wondered about it the same way he did to them.
This time, however, Georgia Lee's car pulled up to the curb before that train of thought could fully get in gear, and it felt rude to speculate about someone's personal life right in their presence, so he stood and smiled instead, and said "Hi, thanks for doing this," when he pulled open the passenger-side door and slid in. The inside of Georgia Lee's car was just as well-kept as one would have imagined, not even a stray textbook or paper to be seen. Compared to the clutter of his... well, his everything, it was unusual. The car felt very spacious without anything just laying around, and very much like he shouldn't touch anything at all.
Instead, he folded his hands in his lap and leaned back in his seat, leaving it up to her if she wanted to break the silence or not.
[Georgia Lee Day continued from Yes, Virginia]
Georgia Lee slowed, then came to a stop next to where Cristo stood.
Her phone sat on her lap, as shed expected to have to text him to let her know that she was outside. The fact that she didnt brought a smile to her face, as punctuality was a virtue she much admired.
His breath was misting in the air, and he gave her a wave as she pulled up. Georgia Lee waved back, then leant across to unlock the door so that he could get in.
Cristo was wearing a navy sweater, and Georgia Lee thought it matched her own navy blue sweater dress rather nicely. This wasnt a date, of course; they were only attending this event together in the most literal sense, and even then only out of necessity on Cristos part, and charity on her own. Still, Georgia Lee couldnt help but note what a fetching couple they would have made.
He was handsome, after a latin sort of fashion, and outside of his usual be-logoed t-shirts, he looked rather grownup. He had these wide, almost womanly eyes, that to Georgia Lee seemed almost unfathomably sad. She wondered what he was thinking he was sitting very still, but Georgia Lee didnt know whether that was calm or nervousness.
Georgia Lee had turned her CD player down when shed pulled up to pick up Cristo, but it wasnt completely silent, and Hoppipolla played faintly.
Cristo and her had been vaguely proximate since they were freshman. Like her, hed been an athlete since his first year at Cochise, and the athletics department were forever putting on these sorts of events. Theyd had more than a few classes together on top of that, over the years, but Georgia Lee realised this may well have been the first time that theyd actually been alone together.
Sure, they got on well enough, but Georgia Lee could say that about most of the people in the baseball team. She was down at the batting cages all the time, they were down there all the time, it was natural that theyd know each other. It wasnt like it meant anything.
If anything Cristo was probably one of the baseballers that shed spoken to the least. Now that she thought about it though, she supposed he didnt really talk to anyone much. Georgia Lee didnt think shed ever seen Cristo really deep in conversation. He had a certain air of contemplation about him, like he really considered every word that he said, and she thought he might be something of a loner on top of that.
Georgia Lee respected that.
She became uncomfortably aware that her hands were sweating, and she wiped them, one after the other, on her leggings. Her eyes flicked over to Cristo, who didnt appear to have noticed. The song faded, and in the silence between it and the next one her breath sounded deafening. She needed to say something, anything to break the silence.
looking forward to this, then?