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*Inspired by John Green's short story in Let it Snow

*I am going to be posting this on Wattpad and here. Here is chapter one!

If you looked through the dictionary, my story would be right where the word "suck" is. My christmas story is the definition of suck. I have probably had worse weeks but this definitely makes the top 5 list. But, let me back track. My name is Shane, Shane Winters. Christmas is a holiday I wait for all summer, I enjoy it: spending time with my family, binge watching holiday movies, sipping hot chocolate and giving. This Christmas, December 2012 was the worst Christmas I have had in a while. There's a tradition in our family, every December 22nd we spend two days in New York shopping and staying with our realtives. Then, we are home in Philadelphia by the afternoon of Christmas Eve to go to my grandparents house.

This year, we planned ahead. It was December 21st and we were finishing our packing. My mom was helping Karly (my younger sister) zip her suitcase, my dad ran to the bank, and I was in my room, reading; my luggage up against the door. It was too noisy to read, my mom was yelling in excitement with my sister "Horray!" they cheered. I was having the worst headache, it felt like my brain was going to jump out of my head. I wished it woud. I tried everything but the noise was getting to me. Suddenly, I was frustrated and stormed out of my room past my mom who was in the hallway. She stopped me and said, "Shane.. Shane.. Woah, what's wrong?" I looked up at her,"too much noise" I said angrily. Mom laughed. "Noise has never bothered you before" she said, suspiciously examining me head-to-toe. With my eye brows still raised, I responded " I just have a bad headache, I'm going to try to drink something". Mom looked at me again and sighed with an "okay" and I made my way down the stairs.

As I approached the kitchen, I opened the cabinet and grabbed a glass to fill from the refrigerator. I pressed the button for ice and held my cup under and did the same for water. My glass was full and I sat on the couch, popped on the TV to watch ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas. And that's all I remember, I woke up on the couch, aching all over and the TV was turned off. I looked around to see my family no where to be found. I slowly got up from the couch and went upstairs.

I heard voices coming from my parents room and luckily, I found them. My mom looked up towards my direction,

"Hey sweetie, I didn't want to wake you. You were out cold" she said, calmly with a grin. "Oh, thanks. What are you guys watching?" I asked. "Rudolph's Shiny New Year is on, come join us" Dad said as he moved over on the bed to make room.

I hopped onto the bed and watched from the tiny TV. Karly laughed obnoxiously at the semi-funny parts and I just nodded. I was aching and still tired from my nap. And then it happened... I broke out into a coughing fit lasting about a couple of minutes. Everyone was staring at me until it ended.

My mom put her cold hand on my shoulder. "Shane, are you alright?" she asked, sounding concerned.

"Yeah, I just had a tickle. I'm gonna go to bed, I'm still tired" I said as I hopped off the bed.

"Night" I said looking at everyone.

"We're leaving by 9am tomorrow!" Dad informed me,

I nodded and went off to my room. What the hell is wrong with me? I asked myself. I can't get sick, or be sick. It's Christmas. I changed out of my jeans and into my red plaid pajama bottoms and got into bed.

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God, once I woke up on Christmas SO sick! I've never had such trouble moving, but I have to give myself credit for how determined I was. Had to give up once I got to my unles though, collapsed on the couch.

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Chapter Two

December 22, 2012 about five a.m.

Coughing fit. Round 1. I sat up in my bed and my body did the rest. My lungs felt like they were trying to come out. I’m going to stop breathing. I kept thinking. The lights were off and then on as a shadow opened the door. It was Mom, she was half asleep but responsive. “Is that you I hear coughing?” she asked. I nodded and tried to speak, “Sorry” I said. “Don’t be sorry. How long have you been up?” she asked. “Not too long” I said. “Just a tickle?” she asked. I nodded. “Okay, go back to bed” she said and grinned. I put two fingers near my throat Ahh. A pluse.

December 22, 2012 about seven a.m.

I woke up to a loud knock on my door, followed by my mellow phone alarm. I thought my head hurt bad last night, but I was very, very wrong. The pain was excruciating, I tried to rub my temples but really, nothing worked. So, I just lied my head down on my pillow while looking up at the ceiling. I waited about ten minutes to get out of bed. I've never felt like this before, my body still ached from last night and I couldn't stop shivering. I felt utterly terrible, I felt my forehead for a fever and I was burning. I grabbed my fleece gray blanket and went downstairs to find my parents. I managed to get to the kitchen without getting fully light-headed and in the corner of my eye, there they were. They were bundled in puffy jackets, scarves and gloves coming in from the back door. I stood there, blanket around me and Mom jogged towards me. Well this is it, officially I ruin Christmas plans. I thought and then spoke, "Mom.... I think I have a fev-" I began to say as a small coughing fit interrupted me. Mom and Dad made eye contact with each other in unison. It was like they were thinking oh no but not speaking it aloud. Instead, Mom spoke, "What are we doing to do? She asked Dad panicked. Calmly, Dad said "First. Check for a fever. Then, we'll figure something out. Don't worry".

December 22, 2012 about eight thirty a.m.

I’m officially couchridden with a thin white thermometer in my mouth trying my best to hold in some coughs. My eyes keep shutting but, I’m trying so hard to keep them open. Finally, the thermometer is out of my mouth and I can get some answers on my sickness. Mom looks at me, wincing. “Ooh, you poor thing! No wonder you’re in so much pain” she says to me. “What’s it say?” I ask, after several coughs. She looked up at Dad behind the couch, “Dan...Come here”. Now, I’m worrying. She hands him the instrument and he looks at her. “Hmm…Well, good thing I’m a doctor” he responded. I laughed, Mom didn’t. “Dan! Be serious. Doctor serious”. “Lighten up, honey” Dad told her. “He’ll be okay, just a high fever. Nothing we can’t fix” he said relaxed. “Lin, call your Mom. She can come to check on him while we’re gone”. Mom looked at him, shocked. “No, no. I’m not leaving him here, look at him!” I really looked fine, just tired and feverish. “I can call her then” Dad fired back. Dad is always relaxed in situations. He did as he said, picked up the phone and dialed.

December 22, 2012 about nine fourty-five a.m.

Mom hovered over me as they were about to leave. “I’ll call when we get there and every hour. Okay?” “Sure.” I said and she kissed my forehead. “Feel better, sweetie. Grandma will be over by eleven-ish”. Everyone called goodbye as they headed out the front door and locked it. I lied my head back on the couch pillow and turned on ABC Family again. I woke up on the couch again to a phone call. Cody calling. Cody is my best friend, we met in pre-k over the sand table. We made epic castles together and immediately became best buds. I answered, of course.

“Hello?” “Shane! House to yourself I hear?”

“Yes…and where did you hear that?”

“Your mom called my mom. Great acting skills impressive”

“What are you talking about? I asked mid-yawn.

“You never get sick! So, you must be planning something huge!”

“Cody.. I’m not acting.”. I told him.

Suddenly, Cody sounded disappointed. “What do you mean? You’re really sick? Ah, man. I’m sorry”.

Cody is also very loyal and kind. Not a bad bone in his body. Just, a little extreme and oblivious. “It’s alright. So, anything else you need?” I asked, trying to end the call. “Nope! I’ll call ya later. Feel better, dude” he said and hung up. “Ahhh.” I said a loud.

The door unlocked and Grandma slowly entered, looking over the couch. “Ooh! Sorry, wasn’t sure if you were awake. How are you doing?” she said. I just moaned.

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Wow, this is amazing! Really well done! A work of art. I love the characters, their interactions, and especially the main character's internal dialogue and descriptions of his situation. Love this so much.

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