It would soon be Christmas again.
Where the time went I did not know.
The twins were now 13.
But Samantha had not come home to celebrate it.
She had said on at school.
So me, Joseph, James , ruby, Nicole, Gilb and Harvey went out for a meal.
Joseph was sad his sister was not with him on his birthday.
But seeing Emilio would not be there she did not want to come home.
Emilio had been sectioned.
He refused to see anyone.
So i got on and sold the house in London and Gozo on my own.
I had enough money left to pay to keep Samantha in her boarding school, to pay off our solicitors and buy a new house in Cornwall.
And that’s where I was now.
I bought a small three bed house, not far from the sea.
I had imagined the three of us living quietly down here, and Joseph coming to stay, in the school holidays.
But instead it was just me and my puppy Dalmatian, I bought for company.
I got work in a pub on an evening.
No one knew of me and Emilio and all our goings on down here, but if they did, they did not say.
I asked James and ruby not to come and see me, or Nicole and Gilb.
I needed to a just to life again.
It was lonely, but I hoped Emilio would get better and I could look after him.
I rang the hospital most days. But he never wanted to speak to me.
I just had to except it.
I would spend Christmas down here on my own.
James and ruby demanded I come, stay with them, and I said no, but if Joseph wanted to come see me for a few days before he went back to boarding school, I would be grateful.
Samantha said she would go stay with Nicole and Gilb, as she liked Nicole, probably more than me, her own mother.
She blamed me for Emilio going mad, and not wanting to speak to anyone.
I did not argue the case.
I would wake in the morning and take the dog for a long walk down on the beach.
I thought about so much.
I would get home clean up then get ready for work.
Same routine, every day.
But it was good for me.
I had hair again, not much but I was not the weirdo with the cut face anymore.
So I blended into the town, and no one bothered me.
But I did want more.
I got into work at six, and either served at the bar, cleaned up glasses, and dinner plates, or even served food.
The pub I worked in was always busy, so I always had something to do.
But I enjoyed my work.
The landlady, who gave me the job, was called Barbra or Bab’s as she liked to be called.
She was a woman in her late fifties.
She had three grown up sons, who lived and worked abroad.
Her husband died five years back but she kept the pub going.
She lived in the town all her life, and everyone knew her.
She gave me a chance, when others didn’t.
As some small towns, did not take kindly to new comers.
She asked why I had moved down here.
I told her my husband was not well and being cared for up in London, and he was the main bread winner. So we had to down size and I chose down here.
She never asked if I had kids.
So I never brought it up.
I did what work was needed, then went home.
I did chat with people, but mainly to say hello, and have a nice day.
I was working in the pub Christmas day. I had nothing better to do.
I had put money in Sam’s and Joseph’s banks, for Christmas.
It was no good buying present’s, I would never see them open.
I sent Christmas cards, to everyone, but I did not put any decorations up in the house.
There was no point, no one but the dog and me, would see them.
Christmas eve, morning, the dog woke me, early.
She woke me by barking and liking my face.
Ok poppy, ok poppy, I’m getting up what’s wrong.
I walked her early but not this early.
It was still dark outside.
I put the kettle on.
Then I heard the door knock.
Who’s that I thought at this time?
Poppy started barking again.
Shhh poppy, I said.
No one ever knocked this early.
And if anyone ever knocked the door it was only ever the post man.
I opened the door.
Emilio was standing there.
I was so shocked to see him.
He had hair again, short like mine.
He was wearing his long black coat. And carrying the bag I had left with him when he was admitted to the mental hospital.
His face was better, but scared.
He looked at me, then, asked if he could come in as it was cold.
Coming back to my senses, feeling a bit scared, I let him in.
Poppy went up to him, wagging her tail.
He bent down to pat her and he started to lick his face.
I was worried he might get angry but he let her, carry on.
I went into the kitchen and made a pot of tea.
He came in and put his bag down.
Nice place he said.
It needs some work I said pouring us both a cup of tea.
I did not know what to say to him, I had not spoken to him in months, and thoughts of had he escaped, and was he here to kill me filled my head.
Your looking well he said as he sat down at kitchen table, and took the cup of tea, I made him from my hand.
Thanks I said, you too.
So is Samantha here, he asked.
No I replied, she is staying with Nicole and Gilb.
Oh, he said as he sipped his tea.
She blames me for you going away, and not speaking to anyone, I said, wondering if should of gave a different answer.
Emilio never answered, but poppy came up to him again, and he patted her and stroked her back.
Well I am ok now, he finally replied.
Taking a gulp of my tea, I asked him if he really was.
He went over to his case and took something out.
I noticed it was the box that my wedding ring was kept in.
He opened it and took out his wedding ring, and my wedding and engagement ring.
He put his wedding ring on, then, looked at me.
He asked for my hand.
I was not sure if I should give him it.
I looked into his eyes.
His eyes burned me with a passion, I had missed so much.
I gave him my hand.
He kissed it.
Then, placed my rings, back onto my finger.
I smiled, but what was I really feeling.
Then he pulled me into him and we kissed.
Poppy watched as with her tail wagging.
I did not fight to pull away.
I let his warm sweet lips caress mine.
His fingers touched my face, and he ran his fingers through my hair.
I touched his battered face.
I even kissed his scars.
He closed his eyes and let me kiss each one.
Whilst, he held me tight.
He undid my dressing gown cord, and pushed my dressing gown off my shoulders, to the floor.
I was wearing a night dress underneath.
I did wonder if I was dreaming.
It was like when we first met again.
I kissed his neck.
Then he removed my night dress.
And threw it on the kitchen table.
He now kissed my neck, and then moved down my naked body.
He kissed my breasts, and I had to hold in my excitement.
He may of looked different but his love making was just as good.
He lifted me up, holding on to my ass and back.
And he carried me up the stairs, to my bedroom.
He kissed me all the while.
The dog followed.
But we both looked at poppy and she sort of knew not to come in. So she ran back down stairs, wagging her tail.
He laid me on the bed, and removed his clothes.
Then he joined me on the bed.
He climbed on top of me.
Kissing me, all over.
He kissed my arms and legs.
I was so turned on.
It had been a long time since I had sex, with him.
I had imagined having sex with terry, but he made his film, then went back to America.
I even thought about the sex me and James had when we were together, all those years ago.
I had time to think about a lot of things.
Then Emilio started singing, in my ear.
I grabbed tight hold of him, and started to cry.
He then entered me, and we fucked for ages.
He was as gentle as he always was.
I felt so safe with him again.
Like we had never parted and he never had the accident.
When we had both come, we just lay in each other arms.
I was expecting poppy to bark but she never did.
Emilio kissed my back.
I turned to him and stared at his face.
Then I stroked it.
He let me.
We had not spoken the whole time, apart from him singing to me.
I think we were both too frightened to say the wrong thing, so just enjoyed it, without words.
Could we be happy again?