A blog exclusive!! This story has been nagging me for years and I’m finally writing it. Comments welcome.
Christmas with Friends
She hadn’t given much thought to Christmas until Jack mentioned it. There were just weeks to go and she hadn’t even picked up one present. Normally, she would have a drawer full of little gifts for friends and
work colleagues picked out. She sighed and ran a hand through her long brown hair.
“Well, what do you think?” Jack’s disembodied voice interrupted her wayward thoughts.
“ I’m really not sure. It’s kind of crept up on me this year.” Her sighs echoed down the phone line. “ I’ve been really busy at work the past few weeks and not even had the chance to do anything.”
“As I said the gang have asked about it, they tried to get hold of you but only got your answering
“I don’t even know what state the house is in I haven’t been there since spring.”
“Wow!” he exclaimed. “You must have been busy this summer. Not even a long week-end down there?”
The house had belonged to her parents, who had lived in it until their deaths in a car accident five years ago, but she had only used it as a weekend retreat since she’d owned it, being unable to bare the memories. Besides, it would have been too far to commute for her job.
“No Jack, and I’m not sure I like being cross-examined by you like this. I will consider Christmas
with the gang at the house and get back to you.” She hung up the phone with a considerable bang and ended the connection. She was more furious with herself for letting him get to her like that.
She thought of the house now as she walked through to her bedroom. She had rushed in tonight after
hearing the phone ring and had not even had the chance to remove her coat. Plus her new high fashion boots that had cost a small fortune were threatening to cut off the blood supply to her feet. She sank down onto the bed with another sigh. Memories she thought long past buried, seemed to swirl around her head.
It was no good, at times like this she needed a long hot bubble bath and a glass of chilled white wine. Maybe a few scented candles too.
Across town, for the longest time Jack stared at his phone. He hated it when she did that. It was
one of her standard trademarks.
He thought of the house, his hand going into his pocket where he had his keys. Hers was still on
there. His fingers sought it out. He could tell which one it was from all the others just by the feel of it. As he sat there thinking about the events of the past a small gem of an idea began to form. Without thinking it out further or of the possible ramifications he reached for the phone.
“Yeah Hi! Its me!” he said softly. “She said yes. It would be great to get the gang together for Christmas and use the house. “ His lie sounded suitably cheerful.
Casey smiled as she heard his voice.
“I was expecting her to put up more of a fight!”
“Well, we both know Beth!”
“She slammed the phone down didn’t she.”
“Just once. But that’s what you expected wasn’t it? That why you made me do the dirty work.”
A masculine laugh could be heard in the background followed by a click as another receiver was picked up.
“Jack you can blame me, I talked Casey into it!”
“Mike, buddy, good to hear your voice. What are you doing round Casey’s?”
“Bumming a bed to save me from another hotel!” Mike said softly, a laugh in his voice.
“Thanks Darling” Casey drawled.
“I take it this means you two are finally together. “
“More than that Jack, we are getting married in the spring. And we have some other news.” Mike said softly.
“Yeah,” Casey began,“Its part of the reason we think it would be a good idea to get together this year because next year everything is going to change.”
“Am I right in what I’m thinking?”
“You are Jack, but we thought we would tell Beth when we were all together.”Casey said. “She hasn’t faced up to what happened. Not really.”
They both heard Jack sigh, at the mention of the traumatic events of the past.
“Is that Dr Casey talking?” he said trying to make light of the topic. He knew that he hadn’t truly dealt with it but was in a better place than Beth.
“No this is a friend of you both. Mike and I know what you went through and we both know Beth. “
To be continued……