Arbeitsbeispiele aus dem Englischunterricht der Oberstufe — 14.12.2020
A Christmas Story by Anna Weller
"Dammit Ryan, do you even have an idea how to put on a fucking fire?"
I peaked over his shoulder as Ryan was working, his girlfriend was screaming from across the room. From where I was looking, Ryan was doing a rather good job, but I wasn´t really in a place to judge, since he taught me how to start a fire in the first place. His girlfriend, however, couldn´t do it at all.
"I´m doing the best I can", Ryan said searched through his pockets. "Hey buddy, you seen my lighter?" He looked up at me and I pointed at the floor right next to him.
"This one?", I asked and smiled at him.
Ryan laughed and picked the red, shiny lighter from the floor. It was one of those lighters everyone had, but no one ever remembered buying, most didn´t even know where they stole it from. But they probably knew exactly who stole one of theirs and the exact time and place. Humans set strange priorities sometimes.
Then the fire lit up and Ryan clapped his hands together.
"Aha!", I exclaimed and smiled at me, "a little teamwork and we can do anything, can´t we?"
I smiled back at him. He had done all the work, but he made me feel appreciated. Maybe that is why I liked him so much.
"How about some hot chocolate?" He asked into the room.
"Yes, please. I would love that", I answered him immediately.
"Yes, me too." His girlfriend seemed to be in a brighter mood now that the fire was lit up and the warmth was spreading through the room.
"Okidoki." Ryan got up and swiped his dirty hands of on his pants. Then he turned to me. "Would you go upstairs real quick and ask grandma if she wants some too?"
I nodded and turned to the door.
"But if she sleeps, let her sleep!", he added.
Technically, grandma didn´t actually live with us. Her room was in a separate part of the house, and it took some stairs to get there. She wanted it that way.
She had told us, that she needed her private space and she wanted to savour her freedom, as long as she could still live on her own. We didn´t really believe her, as she was always a woman to enjoy others company.
I think she didn´t want us to take care of her, because it would make her feel like a burden. That isn´t true, but it´s hard to tell someone that, who won´t even admit it to themselves. So, instead of actually living with her and taking care of her, we make sure to go upstairs at least once a day and invite her to dinner with us regularly, so she will feel, that she is welcome with us.
Sometimes I am certain though, that she will feel welcome wherever she arrives, for she is the kind of person to be so kind, that no one can feel uncomfortable with her.
Maybe that is why I love her so much and why I enjoy being at her place as much as I do.
It might also be the odd tapestry on the wall, that shows pixies and fairies, dancing with each other on mushrooms.
And the crooked dresser in her bedroom, that always feels like it will break down every minute. But it feels like this since I was born, and it had never broken down.
It might also be the smell of lavender and honey that fills her room at all times, the tea on the stove that never really seems to get cold and the fresh cookies, that are always placed on her kitchen table.
Wintertime at grandmas is especially bewitching.
The fake snow on the windows, the fire in her open fireplace she lets us roast marshmallows on, the candy canes she hangs from the ceiling, the little Rudolf that sits in her kitchen and the cinnamon toast she makes, when it´s cold out.
But mainly it was because of how kind - and well - how odd she was.
I knocked softly on the door, so she wouldn´t wake, if she was sleeping, but loud enough for her to hear me from the kitchen. Something I had perfected over the years.
"Max!", she smiled as she opened the door and waved me into the room. "Tea?", she asked. I shook my head no.
"Actually, I’m here to-"
"Oh there´s something I need you to see Max!", she interrupted me, he eyes glowing with excitement. She took my hand and dragged me through the room to her window. She laid her free hand on the glass and stared into the garden outside, her wild eyes and the messy hairstyle didn´t give me any choice but to get excited as well. For what, I didn´t know yet.
"Snow", I said as I looked at the door and I sighed. "It´s so beautiful."
"It is, isn´t it?" Grandma grinned. Then she pulled her hands through my hair. "We should cut them again soon, or they will pull on it again, like they did when you were twelve. They don´t like long hair on you."
I smiled at the memory her words brought up.
"Neither did I."
"Well, they just always knew."
I nodded and took a cookie from the kitchen counter.
"I´m glad they did", I said, "Who knows how long it would´ve taken me to find out who I was, if they wouldn´t have been."
Grandma softly shook her head no and sat down at the kitchen table. It was filled up with Christmas paper, moss, pinecones, and bottles of honey.
"You were a clever boy Max, always have been. You would´ve figured it out just as fast.
I think they just gave you what you needed to admit it to yourself."
She was right. She always was. I didn´t mind it.
"His new girlfriend doesn´t understand it." I said and bit my tongue as soon as I had said it.
"Ryan has a new girlfriend?", grandma asked. She seemed bummed that Ryan hadn´t told her yet.
"Not for long. She called me "She" when we first met. That´s why he told her."
Grandma stood up from the table.
"It´s really not that hard to get", she grumbled and walked up to the fireplace, were she put another piece of wood on top of the fire. "It´s 2020. If you don´t get what transgender means in 2020, you should check to make sure you´re not an absolute moron!"
"What? It´s true. Only thing she must get is that you´re a boy, just as Ryan is. If she doesn´t get that what does Ryan want with that girl?"
"They don´t know each other for that long. Give her some time. I´m sure she´s trying."
"Maybe. Just take care of yourself, yes?"
I nodded. Of course, I would. And I knew, if I wouldn´t, then Ryan and she would.
Grandma looked at the clock on the wall. The cow that was depicted on it smiled down on us. I always felt like it was watching me - in the nicest way possible. It was almost 6pm. I stopped. The snow. The honey. My hair. The time!
"Are they here yet?!", I asked grandma. The excitement in my voice wasn´t to be overlooked. Grandma laughed softly and nodded. Maybe Ryan had sent me up here because he knew.
"Oh! Grandma, actually, Ryan sends me!"
"Did he? Tell me about it in a minute, will you? First, we´ll make the food ready."
"Yes, of course." I looked at the table and the bottles of honey on the table.
"Where are the crackers?"
"Same place as always", she laughed, and I opened the cabinets of the kitchen drawers. I pulled out the seven types of crackers inside. I couldn´t stop smiling. I hadn´t helped feed them in such a long time and I had always loved them so much.
"What a shame we only have them throughout the winter", I said.
"We don´t have them", grandma corrected me and took half of the crackers out of my hands, "We host them. They are our guests."
I opened up the crackers.
"One for each?", I asked as I placed them on a plate with flower ornaments.
"As always. But they´re two more this year. So, it´s 24."
"That´s the whole pack of crackers!"
"Well, so it is then", grandma said and watched me work.
We put fruits, some cheese and salat on the plate and finished it all off with the honey, which we distributed over the rest of the food. It looked disgusting. I loved that.
We left the room through the door I had come in through and took a left turn, another pair of stairs was leading up from there, to the attic of the house. Soft light floated down the stairs, voices tinkled through the air and the undeniable soft sound of buzzing. I tipped from one food to another, I couldn´t wait to see them again.
Grandma went ahead of me and opened the door, so I could carry the food upstairs.
As I stepped into the attic, it was as beautiful as the day I had first seen them.
Fairies floating through the air in the soft lit room, their wings almost transparent in the lamp light. Their little high voices welcomed me excited into their midst, their fingers touching my hair in adoration, a little one hugging my leg, another on my shoulder.
Their soft faces showed happy grins and laughs as they buzzed around me, the undefinable smell they distributed through the room smelled like heaven to me.
Seconds later, the plate was emptied, everywhere around me I heard munching and crunching and happy laughter.
"So, what did Ryan want?", Grandma asked.
"Oh, just if you wanted some hot chocolate."
"I want hot chocolate", exclaimed a fairy and swirled around in the air.
I laughed. "I will get you some, don´t worry."