Today’s offering starts with a question from Karen Tucker…
A Merry Christmas?
Everything starts somewhere, although many physicists disagree. But what do they know? After all, they can’t even find more than half the matter they’re so sure there is out there in the Universe!
If your story is what you tell yourself and others about your life, then my story started when she left. Before that day I was reasonably happy, I suppose. I loved her, she loved me (or so I thought), and life was tootling along fairly OK.
She had to pick Christmas Day to make her dramatic departure of course. Ruined the holiday for me ever since. Can’t stand Christmas now.
‘Bah humbug!’ I’m with Scrooge. What’s to be merry about I should like to know?
With a snarl of anger, I pass by yet another tin-rattling group of carol singers. What a racket! I’d be more likely to pay them to shut up and go away! What makes them think they’re adding anything to people’s lives? Why would anyone give them a penny? But there goes one now, dropping two whole pound coins in the bucket. Sheep, that’s what they are. Oh, is everyone else having a good time and spending lots of cash on people they don’t even like? Then I’d better do it too!
Can’t be doing with it, and they can call me ‘Miser Smith’ all they like. I wouldn’t be out on Christmas Eve anyway, except I need some baccy. Can’t stand it. Thank God all the little sods round my way have learned what they’ll get if they come to my front door with their stupid warbling!
Then, in an instant, the whole world changes. With just one word.
I know that voice! A memory from decades ago dredged up in a split second. Kisses stolen behind the bike shed and maybe something more too.
I whirl around and there she is. Oh she’s changed, of course. So have I! But I’d know that cheeky smile anywhere and the way it brings out a dimple in her chin.
‘It is John, isn’t it?’
‘Yes!’ Despite myself hope floods back into my heart, making it tighten painfully like pins and needles.
She spreads her arms wide. ‘After all these years! Come and give me a hug my love!’ I walk into her embrace and it’s like I’ve never been away.
Turns out she’s widowed so that’s perfect, though of course I’m sorry for her loss. But she’s got used to it. And she’s more than happy to keep an old man company on Christmas Day – and for the rest of our natural lives.
So I’ll be having a wonderful Merry Christmas after all! And that story goes back way further than the miserable one I’ve left behind. Thought she’d ruined my Christmas, eh? We’ll see about that!