I woke up in my tent the next day, and the first feeling that came to me was happiness: it was Christmas.
The second feeling was sadness: Ben wasn't here to share it with us, and neither was anyone else.
And my third feeling was happy again: at least we had each other to spend it with.
"Sara? Are you awake?" Max's voice came from outside. I smiled.
"Yeah" I said, opening the flap. He immediately took me into a warm hug, burying his face in my hair.
"Merry Christmas" he mumbled.
"Merry Christmas" I smiled back, snuggling into his chest.
"How're you?" he asked, pulling away and turning me to face him.
"I was cold" I said "But I'm warm now. How about you?"
"Happy" he smiled, kissing me softly. "What time is it?"
"It's... half past five" I yawned.
"Oh" Max laughed quietly. "You should go back to sleep"
"I can't. I always wake up at five on Christmas, never to go back to sleep until roughly midnight"
"I bet I can make you fall asleep again" he grinned and shifted so that he was sitting on my sleeping bag, and then moved me so that I was sitting next to him. He laid back against my sleeping bag and I found that I was laying with my head against his chest. I yawned again. "Now, go back to sleep"
"You're a really comfortable pillow" I told him sleepily. He laughed gently as my eyes closed.
"I want to give presents first!" Abbie exclaimed, grinning. We were all sat around in a small triangle. Well, I say sat around but you can't really sit around when it's a triangle.
"Fine" I frowned jokingly.
"Right, this one's for you, Max" she handed him a small package, wrapped in white paper. "And, Sara,this one is for you" she handed me one. "I'm sorry they're the same..."
Max and I opened then at exactly the same time, to reveal shining orbs of light. It glittered from them like crystals, bouncing off every object and making the whole scene look like something out of a fairy tale.
"They're beautiful" I breathed.
"Whoa..." Max muttered.
"I have one, too. If you think of somebody, their one glows brighter. To make them less bright you just close your hands over them for a few seconds"
I tested this and it worked perfectly, Max's and Abbie's glowing even more brightly when I thought of them, and mine dimming to a small light when I cupped in in my hands.
"Thank you" I hugged Abbie tightly, and Max did the same.
"I think Sara should go next" he said.
"Oh, but mine aren't as good as Abbie's. I think you should go next, Max"
"Oh, fine. Sara, this is yours" he handed me a small, plastic box, which I opened. Inside was a love heart, which looked like it was made of ice. But when I picked it up, it was dry and warm.
"It's warm!" I gasped.
He smiled. "I know. It took me a damn long time to work out how to do that. If something bad is happening to me, it'll go cold. And if, for some unfathomable reason, I would not like you as much, it'll start to melt depending on how much I still like you... if that makes sense"
"Not in the world of physics" I grinned. "But what if you like me again?"
"Then it comes back. Do not ask me how I did that, I cannot for the life of me remember"
"Hmm. Thank you" I hugged him and he kept his arm around me.
"This is for you, Abbie" he gave Abbie another small box, and she opened it carefully. She pulled out a chain, which looked like it was made of... nothing, but it was still there.
"Air" Max grinned at the look of shock on her face "It turns to water if I don't like you any more, and fire if I'm in trouble"
"How did you-?"
"Don't even think about it" Max grinned as she hugged him. "But now it's Sara's turn"
"I... OK. Abbie, this is yours" I gave her a small container. "Don't open it" I said. "Yet. You've got to wait."
"What is it?"
"A memory box. It has memories in it, but you've got to wait until you need it otherwise they might be wasted"
"Memories from the past? You, like, got a part of the past and out it in this box?"
"You could say that" I smiled. "I told you about it earlier this year, but you wouldn't remember properly because I had to use my half of the memory"
"Yeah, it is a little hazy. Thank you" she hugged me and I smiled.
"This one's for you... OK, there are two, but you're still not allowed to open them. This one is a memory box, like Abbie's" I handed him a small, brown box. "And this one is a box of promises. Promises I made to you, promises you made to me. Again, I had to use my halves of the memories so you'll only remember them better when you open it - which is only going to be when you need to" I grinned.
"Thank you" he hugged me closely, and then "You know what? I can't take this any longer" and he kissed me right on the lips.
Right in front of Abbie. Who didn't look sad or depressed. Who didn't cry. Who didn't run into her tent.
In fact, she smiled.
"It's a long time since I've seen that happen" she laughed .