Gel loved everything about Christmas, the presents, putting up the Christmas tree with her family but mostly the presents and it wasn’t just getting presents it was also the giving, she loved brightly colored wrapped presents with bows and ribbons that however was before the virus. The virus had completely changed the world which she knew and changed how she saw the world.
It had been a good seven years since Gel had celebrated Christmas and every year she forgot how special the day was for her. This year the idea of Christmas didn’t even enter her thoughts, she and the rest of her tribe had spent the past eight weeks at sea before they ended up becoming shipped wreaked and now Gel found herself walking through a forest with the only other person who she had found since the boat crashed…Darryl!
They are been walking in silence for the past two hours when Gel suddenly can?t take it anymore, looks up towards the sky and screams as loud as she can, before Darryl rushes over to her and covers her mouth with his hand.
‘Are you trying to get us killed?’ he questions in a hushed voice, ‘These woods could be the home of warring tribes…or worse cannibals’
Gel pulls herself free from Darryl and rolls her eyes at him ‘And they call me the drama queen? Darryl if there was anyone else here, do you not think we would have found them by now?’
Letting out a sigh, Darryl lowers his body to the floor, taking a seat on a large rock which is covered in green moss.
Darryl moves up allowing a small space for Gel to sit next to him.
‘They can’t all be dead…can they?’ Darryl asks, his voice breaking at the end. As much as he would hate to admit it, Darryl had started to like being a Mallrat.
They sat in silence for a moment, never of them wanting to say what they both feared before Gel pushes herself up and holds her hand out for Darryl. Darryl eyes her hand before he reaches out and takes it into his own and allows Gel to help pull him up.
A storm hit the Island causing Gel and Darryl to take refuge in an cave in the side of a mountain. It was nothing special but it went deep enough to keep them dry during the storm, it was then that the two of them decided that it would be best to stay here for awhile.
Awhile turned to weeks and the two of them had turned the small cave into their own home, after some practice Darryl had made two makeshift beds out of large leafs and Branches, they had also found a large stream which ran all the way back to the sea, where they learned to fish, life wasn’t perfect but it was better than dying. During their time together, the two of them started to become friends, they got used to each other’s ways and after awhile got themselves into some sort of routine, which would usually end in them lying in one of the bed’s together talking into the early hours of the morning, or until sleep consumed one of them.
One afternoon, Darryl came back to the cave after spending most of the day out hunting, he walked into the cave with a huge smile on his face. Gel looked up at him from beside the fire, where she was boiling some water.
‘What’s up with your face?’ Gel question
‘Do you know what day it is today?’ Darryl asked, unable to take the smile of his face
‘Between the boat crashing and us finding our new home, I kind of gave up with the days of the week’ she explained
‘Well I haven’t,’ he started to explain as he pulls out an old diary from his back pocket, he flicks through the old pages as he continues to talk ‘I’ve been keeping track since the virus hit, I think I’m a couple of days out of sync, but more or less there, but what makes this day so important is… that it’s Christmas’
Gel felt like she had been slapped, as her memories of past Christmases started to flood her, how could she have forgotten Christmas. Overcome with emotion, Gel covered her mouth with her hand and started to cry, causing Darryl to rush to her side, he puts an arm around her and pulls her close against his chest.
‘I didn’t mean to make you cry,’ Darryl whispered
‘It’s not you…it’s me, I used to love Christmas and I can’t believe I forgot all about it,’
‘Well a lot has changed in the world…I kinda got you a present, but you will have to follow me,’
Gel nods as she dry’s her eyes on the back of her hands. The two of them get up and Darryl leads her out of the cave. The two of them walk around the mountain which seems to take them a good few hours. They soon find a footpath and walk along it, Gel stops in her tracks as she see’s smoke rising in the distance.
‘What is this Darryl?’ She questions in concern
‘We always stayed on one side of the mountain, after our little encounter with the bear but today I decided to go further round then before and that?s when I found this path, which lead me to this village, which lead me to the…’
‘Mallrats’ Gel cuts in, as she spots, Amber, Ruby and Lottie walking down the path towards them.
‘I can’t believe we’ve been so close to them for so long…and they thought we were dead,’
‘Darryl you little star’ Gel cries out as she throws herself into Darryl’s arm, and rests her head on his shoulder, ‘This is the best Christmas present ever’
Gel pulls away and studies his face for a moment before she leans in and kisses him softly on the lips, before Darryl deepens the kiss.
Every year after that, Darryl and Gel escape to the cave where they celebrate their own Christmas together and it reminds them, how perfect their life was together in the cave.