Christmas Past

Christmas Past.
By Angharad.

She wept as he held her. “Why d’you have to go?” he asked. She shook her head and cried some more. “Don’t go, please don’t go.”

“I have to. I can’t stay–something has come between us and you won’t or can’t say what it is.”

“But I love you,” four words, they’d just slipped out, simply fell out of his mouth.

“Pity you didn’t say so before.” She kissed him on the cheek, then wiping her eyes she turned away from his arms and walked away. He was desolate. Christmas Eve, what a wonderful thing to happen–the person he loved most in the world had just walked out on him. He couldn’t believe it.

The first time they went back to his room instead of making out, he baked her a cake. She wished she’d left him then, instead of now. It had ruined her Christmas, splitting up like this, but she felt she had little option. If only he’d discussed it with her, she’d have coped–or at least given it a try–but no, he had to do it his way. Pigheaded man–why are they all so bloody obstinate?

She went back to her room and unplugged the phone, switched off her mobile, flicked on the telly and opened a box of chocolates–she’d get fat–but so what?

He went back to his room and threw stuff about, even broke his favourite teddy bear. Nearly broke–nah you don’t want to know. Perhaps he should have told her, but then she’d be walking anyway–usually about two seconds after he confessed. He felt like a criminal–sometimes he wished he were dead, or gay or both. He wasn’t either, he was alive and in love with Clara but she it seemed had stopped loving him.

She sent him a present, asked a friend to deliver it. A parting shot? Perhaps, perhaps not, more a shot in the dark or wide of its mark. What did she care–it was over and it was all his stupid fault–bloody men–nothing but trouble.

He fell asleep on his bed, crashed out only woken by someone ringing his bell–his doorbell. It could be Clara, she’d changed her mind–oh how he wanted that to be true–he’d give almost anything for it to be true. He fumbled with the lock realising as he flung open the door he’d no trousers on. Too late, standing there was Sophie, Clara’s friend.

“Merry Christmas,” she said and he replied in kind.

“What happened to your pants?”

“I was asleep, didn’t have time to get them on.”

“Brought this for you.” She handed him a small parcel.

“Sorry, I haven’t one for you.”

“Oh it’s not from me, it’s from Clara, she like, asked me to deliver it.”

“Oh. I don’t know if I should accept it then–we–um–split up yesterday.”

“Yeah, I know. Gotta go, see ya.” Sophie turned and waved before disappearing up the street.

He stood there transfixed by this event and it was only when someone walking past laughed at his lack of leg covering that he came to and shut the door scampering back to his room. He placed the parcel on the table and stared at it for a long time. Beside it was the one he’d have given her if they’d met up today. He could have asked Sophie to take it for him–too late now.

It was Christmas Day and he felt like shit. His will to live had been seriously damaged. He eventually found the energy to make a cup of coffee and after drinking it found his jeans and pulled them on. He could always go to his parents if he pleaded with his mother–if not–he could scrape enough for a meal, just about. He had a box of porridge and some milk–he wouldn’t starve.

Sitting, drinking his coffee he stared at the package. What had she sent him? He agonised over whether he should open it or not. What if it was something awful to show how angry she was with him. Like what? She wasn’t like that, neither was he. How come he’d fucked up yet again? He always did, if he believed in a god he could have retreated to a Trappist Monastery, but he didn’t, so that was out.

What else could he do? He ummed and ahhed for ages before deciding to open the package. He opened it delicately, undoing the gold ribbon and then the bits of sticky tape, savouring the moment until he opened it and found it was something he hated. What would he do then? Oh, god, why did life throw up these dilemmas?

It was something soft and light and when he finally unfolded the paper, wrapped in soft tissue was the most exquisite bra, panties and camisole, all in a silvery grey. He was astonished, aghast, speechless. He sat down trembling. She knew, she bloody well knew. Why didn’t she say? Why didn’t he say? Oh shit, a thousand times shit. Why couldn’t he have gone with his instincts and trusted her–she was different–damn–she was different and he loved her.

He held the package to him and wept, “Happy flaming Christmas,” he said to no one in particular.

The End.

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