Kiro and the Facebook Secret Santa
A Slice-of-Life short with everyone’s fave wild boy!
I get out of the shower and dress. When I go back to the bedroom, Kiro is still snuggled under the covers, all hot and rumpled. And he has that look on his face. “Come here,” he says.
“Are you kidding me? Again?”
He just smiles.
“I have tons to do, including Aleksio’s secret Santa party. Have you gotten your present yet? I’ll tell you who I picked if you tell me who you picked.”
Kiro just frowns, confused.
“Secret Santa. You know? The Dragusha family and friends secret Santa?”
Kiro looks lost. He has no idea what I’m talking about.
“Uh! Kiro! Did you not go on Facebook? Remember I told you to go on Facebook and put your name in for the secret Santa drawing?”
Kiro flops back. “I hate Facebook. I don’t understand it and I don’t like it.”
“Baby,” I say, sitting next to him.
“Can you go on for me and do it?” he asks.
“It’s too late,” I say.
“I got Viktor. You want to help me pick out a gift for Viktor?”
He looks dejected. It’s important to him to participate in things with his brothers. But he’s not into the online thing.
“Come on,” I say. “It’ll be from both of us.”
Sullenly, he gets out of bed. His rich, curly hair is a little bit bed-heady and his eyes are big and sleepy. It’s not fair a guy looks so great just out of bed.
Ten minutes later, we’re bundled up and at the Starbucks on the other side of the park. We grab coffees and pastries and sit at the big window, watching the snow fall. It’s going to be a white Christmas.
Kiro reads the paper. He’s made an amazing adjustment, but he really really doesn’t like the internet and especially Facebook, and it makes him feel left out. I made him a Facebook profile a few weeks ago, but he never uses it.
I fire up my laptop. “Let’s look and see if you have any new Facebook friends, okay?”
“There’s nothing on Facebook for me,” he says. “It means nothing to me.”
“Come on,” I say, signing in as Kiro Dragusha. There’s a photo of him I took, but he still hasn’t chosen a cover photo. “Look, you already have twenty friends,” I say.
“If I can’t see them in real life, they’re not my friends. What the fuck do I need to look at a glowing rectangle for? To find my friends?”
“Well…it’s how people relate now. You’ll get used to it.”
He looks glum. The family where he spent his early childhood didn’t do much with technology, and when he was eight, he ended up out in the wild. So he definitely missed a lot.
“Check out this image of trees. You could put that as your cover.”
He grunts. I put it as his cover.
“Check out Aleksio’s new restaurant page. Should we like it? Should we say something nice about the crab cakes?”
“We already did. In person,” he growls.
Guys. I’m not going to say they’re babies, but sometimes Mira and Tanechka and I get together, and it is kind of funny how the hottest and most dangerous men in Chicago can be brought down by things like wet socks. Still we love them.
I scroll around trying to find something he’d like.
“Look at Tanechka’s photos from seeing Metallica show last night. Is that cool or what?”
He twirls my hair. “I know you want it to mean something to me. But these people, I can see them in person. I hate Facebook.”
I keep scrolling through and showing him what our friends are up to. Kiro wants to feel like he’s part of things. If he could only find a way to connect.
I find a picture of Yuri and Viktor really drunk outside a bar on Division Street. “Look at them! They would never show you a picture of themselves like that.” I grin at Kiro. “They are so going to take that down as soon as they remember they posted it. Take a good look. You can totally tease them about this later! Let’s copy it! And save it!”
He looks bored.
I make a copy anyway, and then I give up and sign in as myself. Kiro grabs another pastry. I scroll through and comment on my friends’ posts while Kiro watches people out the window. A lot of people stare at him. Some of them recognize him—he got a lot of notoriety a while back. But a lot of it is women who can’t believe how hot he is. I’ve stopped being angry about that. I’d stare at him too.
“Hey,” he says, pointing at my screen. “Who’s the asshole keeping those dogs in a little cage?”
I scroll back up to see what he’s talking about. It something a friend of mine shared from the Humane Society. Poor stray dogs. One has a fucked up ear. One has an eye missing. They look sad. And a little scary. “It looks like these dogs were found as strays.” I explain the Humane Society.
“What are the numbers?” he asks.
“The days left,” I say, cringing inwardly. Kiro will definitely hate Facebook after this. “They’re going to euthanize them if they’re not adopted. You know, put them down.”
Kiro’s eyes widen. “Kill them?”
“Yeah. My friend shared it. They’re trying to find homes for them. But it says these dogs were abused, raised as fighting dogs. So families don’t want to adopt them.”
He stands. “We have to save them.”
“Kiro, we can’t save all the dogs.”
“We can save these three.”
I take his hand. “They might be really troubled. Really problems.”
He just glares at me. And I remember who the fuck I’m talking to. Hello. This is a man who joined a pack of wild wolves.
Three hours later we have three giant dogs in our house. They’re beat up and skittish, but really sweet. They definitely listen to Kiro. It’s like he gets on their level somehow. Kiro pretty much bought out the pet store of toys and really meaty food. He’s sitting by the fireplace, growling at one of them. The other two are curled up in the furry beds we bought.
“Not adoptable,” I say. “Guess they were wrong.”
He smiles over at me. The people at the Humane Society loved him. Suddenly he wants to be on Facebook and help find homes for other dogs. He has this connection. This reason to be there.
“This is your version of secret Santa,” I say. “You did secret Santa in a big way.”
The dogs freak out when the doorbell rings. Okay, they have a ways to go.
I already know who it is–Viktor and Aleksio, Kiro’s long-lost brothers.
You can’t keep these guys apart. They work together, they go out and throw footballs around, they shop for stupid guy things together, they drink together.
Aleksio just laughs when he walks in and sees the dogs. “Are you fucking kidding me?”
I raise my hands up in mock surrender. “He promises he’ll care for them.”
“They needed homes,” Kiro says simply. “A family to love them.”
I suddenly want to cry, because it’s all these three brothers really needed. Homes. Someone to love them. And I realize something else—Kiro didn’t need just connection online, he needed to find a way to get involved, a way to make a difference.
“Blyad, they’re beautiful,” Viktor says. “But trouble.”
Kiro laughs. He likes that. “We need to think of names for them.”
He talks his brothers into taking the dogs for a walk and they set off. I stand at the door and watch them go. I never get sick of seeing Kiro and his brothers together. I never will. They waited so long. They’re stupidly happy together, and they deserve it.
As they leave I hear Kiro razzing Viktor. “I saw you and Yuri on Facebook. Wearing those silly hats?”
Viktor groans. “I can’t believe I posted that. I already took it down.”
“Not fast enough,” Kiro says. “Ann made a copy.”
“You’re gonna delete it,” Viktor growls.
“Hell no.” Viktor punches him in the shoulder.
They fake fight in the snow. Snowballs are involved. Aleksio hold the dogs on their leashes. They’re barking like crazy.
Eventually they disappear around the corner, pretty much being pulled by the dogs. And they’ll come back with wet socks and fucked up names for the dogs.
It’s going to be the best Christmas.
All my love to you this holiday!