‘Four Lonely Hearts’

(Christmas story)

That day was a special day. Jonathan did not even need to look at the calendar or ask passers-by about it, because everyone, young and old, just knew about it.
What comes to your mind when you hear the word “Christmas”?

Jonathan in his childhood associated Christmas with something like the advent of the New Year. That day, Santa Claus came, glitzy gifts appeared, all folks got together, chewing the same fat at a festively decorated table. Later, he associated Christmas with the end of a semester, pressing college exams, hilarious students` parties and the heavy hangover in the morning, the next day.

This time, Christmas should not be similar to the previous ones.

Hurriedly gathered, he left his apartment. There was a light frost on the street. A light but cold breeze blew, making him chillily wrap himself in a coat that was not too warm. Somewhere in the distance, he heard the singing of Christmas carols; the smell of holy baking was in the air – that day all bakeries worked twice or even three times more than usual.

Fortunately, the square was not crowded, so Jonathan almost without problems got to the festive fair and bought some Christmas decorations with two giant “Christmas socks”. Glancing at his watch, he hastened to leave the zappy spot, but right at the exit his eyes involuntarily fell on a small hardcover album.

Knowing well whom it could come in handy, the young man bought the music album and hurried to his work.

By eight in the evening, he had already been at home. He hung Christmas socks on a bookshelf, put glittering gifts in them. Then the man turned on the glitzy garland, hung new toys on the Christmas tree, set the sparkling slab. After a sluggish dinner, Jonathan scrolled swiftly all TV channels, but nothing caught his attention. So, he aimlessly sprawled on the sofa with a glossy magazine in hands being plunged in his gloomy thoughts until somebody knocked on the door at quarter past ten.

“Good evening, Jonathan. I hope I didn’t interfere? I understand that you may not be alone, but to me…”

“No, Phil, come in. You didn’t interfere.”

A young John-Lennon-looking guy in small round glasses entered the apartment. He was wearing a short jacket and a funny hat with a pompom. The guy rubbed red frozen palms. Feeling the warmth of the apartment, Phil exhaled joyfully. And although they did not agree to meet today, Jonathan’s intuition hinted that he would have guests today.

They met three months ago, somewhat ridiculously and unexpectedly. Phil played the violin in the subway, trying to make some money. Jonathan was just returning home. When Jonathan heard the sad melody of the violin, he just couldn’t pass by. He stood until the end, feeling that the magic music filled gradually his heart, touching the deepest strings of his soul, and when the guy began to pack up, invited him to drink hot tea in a nearby cafe. Phil suddenly agreed. They had talked in the cafe until it was closed, and then agreed to meet on the weekend having exchanged their numbers. Since then it had turned into the custom – they met on weekends, walked, went to various exhibitions and talked a lot. About everything – from preferences in music to philosophical theories. And when Phil could play on the evening streets, Jonathan always came to listen.

The guy was not an orphan. He had parents and a younger sister. However, they did not approve of his desire to make music and refused to pay for Music College. Therefore, after study the guy worked part-time and sometimes played in passages full of indifferent passers-by. In general, his life was not so bad – he worked like everyone, was praised sometimes, and had some cash in his pocket, however… His favorite saying became the phrase of Mother Theresa, “The most terrible poverty is loneliness…” There was no one who could really understand him. It somehow didn’t work out with all his friends. Then he met Jonathan. And the world began to sparkle with new colors. They seemed to be on the same wavelength…

So, he showed up at his home on Christmas evening without any invitation or warning… He just had no strength to stay at home anymore. It seemed that the atmosphere was strangling him there. However, Jonathan did not seem angry, on the contrary, he smiled and sincerely invited Phil to the table. After a late dinner, they moved into the living room.

“Why are there two socks? Oh, sorry, I don’t want to dig in your personal life…”

“You can look in the second, maybe Santa decided to leave your gift there?” Jonathan smiled slyly.

“Are you kidding with me? Present? For me? Joe, you didn’t have to…”

The guy went to the shelf and took an album out of a sock.

“Damn it… it’s very cool, thank you!” Phil rushed to hug Jonathan. “I also have a present for you, but I was in such a hurry that I forgot it at home. Sorry!”

“Hey, that’s okay. Give it back later. The main thing is that you spend the Christmas evening where you want to be.”

Suddenly, after an unexpected knocking, appeared two female college friends of Jonathan.

“We know that you are alone this Christmas…” The cheery girls smartened up before an antique mirror.

“From Facebook or Instagram?”

“From your unhappy face and former wife,” the girls smiled with squinted eyes. “This Christmas we set ourselves to be spontaneous…”

“And to break my circle of loneliness…You made the right choice…Here is my bottle of whiskey! And where is your bottle of champagne?” Jonathan raised his left eyebrow in a funny way…right as he did in college years.

“Here it is!” The girls yelled hilariously and in a while looked at Phil with suspicion, “Jonathan, you always looked like Paul McCarthy…where did you get this weather-beaten John Lennon?”

“In the passage, right around the corner,” Jonathan took a dusty guitar from a corner. “This Christmas, girls, we`ll remember our college years with a newly formed rock band ‘Four Lonely Hearts’!  This night all Christmas songs will get a new sounding!”

Phil suddenly chuckled, “Personally, I have nothing against Beatles and ready to start our Christmas from their song ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand!‘”

That Christmas they remembered for a lifetime. Yummy yelling and happy hip hoping, mixed with Christmas carols and buddy blues…’Four Lonely Hearts’ turned out not to be so lonely…

They will play over this Christmas next year.


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