He washed my back, as he sat behind me in the bath.
Poppy sat by the bath.
Emilio blew some bubbles from his hand, and poppy jumped up to eat them.
We both laughed.
We had not had a bath together since the kids were small.
He washed my hair, and I turned around and washed his, being gentle with his face.
Though it was hard, as he kept reaching out to kiss me.
I think in the end there was more water out of the bath then there was in it.
We got out and dried off.
Poppy was waiting to be walked.
Come on then girl, I said putting my hat on.
Are you coming I asked Emilio.
Yeah why not, he said.
He put his coat on and took hold of my hand.
It was still dark and quite cold as we walked along the bay.
There were a few people out walking.
And those who were off to work, on one of the busiest days of the year.
We stopped a few times to look out across the sea.
Emilio said I picked a great place to live.
When we got back to the house I asked him what his plans were.
Getting warm by the fire, he said if it was ok by me, he wanted to stay here with me.
I didn’t want to get my hopes up of ever being happy again, but today I felt happy, and he seemed happy, so I said yeah why not.
He got, up and came over to me, picked me up and span me round.
We both laughed.
And when he put me down he kissed me.
Then I remembered I was working tomorrow.
Emilio I have to work tomorrow I said .
Really? he said still holding me.
Yeah I said.
What on Christmas day, and talking of Christmas day where is your Christmas tree?, he said looking around the room.
I was expecting to be on my own so there was no point in putting one up.
Nonsense he said
We can go and buy one today, and a turkey.
Ok I said,
Oh wait I have to work this evening, I said feeling gutted.
Well then I will go out and get everything then Emilio said.
Laughing again, I said if we hurried around I could come with him.
How I wished Sam could of been with us.
Maybe she might just come down, if I worked quickly.
Emilio did you want to call Sam, I asked him.
He had not spoken to his daughter in a long time.
Yes I do he said.
I rang Nicole and asked how everyone was.
She said fine.
I asked if I could speak with Sam, but wanted to speak to her again after.
She went and got her.
I watched Emilio playing with poppy in the kitchen, while I waited.
Hello, a voice came on the phone.
Hello sweet heart I said.
Hi mum Sam replied.
What you up to, I asked.
Just watching TV, with Nicole, she replied, not really wanting to speak with me.
I looked over to Emilio and ushered him to come to the phone.
Sam there is someone here who wants to speak with you.
I told her hoping I was doing the right thing.
I passed the phone to Emilio.
Hello darling Emilio said.
Sam never said anything.
Emilio looked at me and shrugged his shoulders.
I told him to wait a minute.
Then Sam spoke.
Dad is that you, she said.
Yes darling it’s me, Emilio replied, with his eyes welling up.
I held his hand.
Dad are you ok? Sam asked.
Yes darling I am fine now, and am down here with your mother, he said.
When did you get there dad, she asked choking back tears.
Today, he said.
Are you staying for Christmas? Samantha asked him.
Yes I am, but I need to buy a Christmas tree and put it up, he said.
Oh, Sam replied.
I might need some help to decorate it, but you mum has to work tonight, Emilio said looking at me smiling.
Wish I could help you dad, Sam replied.
Well why don’t you then Emilio said to her.
Could I dad? Sam said all excited.
Yeah if you can get organised, and get on the train or bus, then I can come get you, from the station down here.
Samantha got off the phone and called to Nicole.
Emilio passed the phone back to me.
The next voice I heard was Nicole’s.
Liz is it true, is Emilio home with you, Nicole asked.
Yes, it’s true I said, feeling all aglow.
How wonderful, I will get Sam on a train and text you of what time she will get to Cornwall.
Thanks Nicole, I hope this hasn’t inconvenienced you, I asked wondering if I had wrecked her plans.
Of course not, Nicole replied, Sam needs to be with you both, just promise me you will all have a great time.
We will I replied.
I got off the phone to Nicole and me and Emilio hugged each other.
Then I kissed him.
He held me for ages.
Then poppy jumped up at us.
We had better get a tree and turkey then I said.
So me and Emilio went into town, and went Christmas mad.
We bought a tree, decorations, food, a little drink and we managed to but each other presents, without each other seeing what.
We were not well off like we were before, but we got some good stuff.
Nicole has text me to say Sam would arrive down here at six.
I would be in work by then, but Emilio said he would use my car to go pick her up.
And then he would bring her home, and get the tree up and prepare lunch for tomorrow.
I hoped Bab’s would let me take half the day off at least.
I got to work and asked her straight away if I could work my usual hours, instead of all day.
She asked me why.
I explained my husband had come home, and my daughter had come up to stay as well.
A daughter, you never told me you had kids, she said.
I have twin’s in fact, I told her.
I have a boy as well, but he is with his father at Christmas.
She looked at me funny.
Wait you mean you have twins by different men.
Yeah, I said feeling awkward.
I read about a woman who had that, must be quite a few years back now, she said trying to tell me the story.
She had a boy by that pop star from the eighties, James, vexed, I think, and a girl by a opera singer, who was in a bad accident not long ago.
Going red, and taking a deep breath, I looked her in the eyes.
Oh my, she said.
Clicking on it was me she was talking about.
Liz what a life you have had, she said, wanting to know more.
Well there you go, I said.
You should write a book about your life, she said.
I laughed, you mean what a disaster it’s been.
No, I read some of the newspaper reports, about when you and James got together, and the divorce and then I saw your wedding photos in the magazine.
Then the affairs, oh and didn’t you go off to be a nun, but came back when your husband, became deformed, but he went mad.
Bab’s stopped she knew she had said too much.
It’s ok I said, things happened and were all sorted now, and Emilio is not deformed though his face is badly scared, but he can still sing, and he had a bit of a break down, but he is ok now.
Sorry she said.
I made some mistakes; I said feeling like I had got a weight off my chest.
Me and Emilio are giving it another go, if it works it works, if it does not then we tried.
Bab’s rubbed my shoulder.
I hope it does my dear, she said.
Now you take the whole day off, if you want she said, spend Christmas day with your family.
Are you sure I asked.
Yes of course, she said looking over at a crowd by the bar, who were watching the TV and talking very loud about what the reporter was saying.
Both me and Bab’s stop to hear what had got them talking.
On the news it was reported someone had, until midnight tonight to claim a hundred million on the euro millions, or it would go to charity.
The men were saying they wished they had the winning ticket.
And what they would do with the money.
The ticket was bought months back in London.
Bab’s shouted out, well I would still keep this place going if I won that money.
The pub cheered.
I laughed and got on to collecting glasses.
But I heard someone say to another person, who buys a lottery ticket and forgets to check the numbers.
Then I remembered I had bought a lottery ticket, after wanting a cigarette badly. The night terry turned up.
Don’t be daft I said to myself, I am not that lucky.
I carried on working but, knowing I had a lottery ticket in my bag, was bugging me, so to put my mind at rest I went to check.
I had put it in a small compartment in my bag, forgetting all about it.
I got it out a looked at the numbers.
From what I could remember I did have four of the numbers, the reporter had read out.
I began shaking.
What were the others?
I had to get back to work, the pub was packed.
I just hoped the news report would come back on again before midnight.
It was getting on for closing time.
I was staying to twelve to help tidy up, so would try and catch the eleven o clock news.
I rang Emilio to see if Sam got in ok.
He said she had and the house was ready for when I got home, and to tell me she loved poppy.
I was so happy.
Then I saw the news report.
Holding my breath, I waited for the numbers to be read out again.
I defiantly had the first four numbers.
I needed one more and the lucky star numbers.
They numbers were said.
I looked down at my ticket.
It was mine.
I had the forgotten ticket.
Shaking and not caring about what I was meant to be doing I ran to the phone.
I rang Camelot.
I read out the numbers, and the security code on the ticket.
The man on the end of the phone confirmed I had the winning ticket.
I gave my name and address, and phone number, and explained I was calling from work.
He asked me if I had told anyone else.
I said no.
He said do not tell anyone else till I was contacted again.
But it would be on boxing day, as they were closed tomorrow.
They would put out a press report that the winner had been found but not name me.
But I had to look after the ticket.
I came off the phone.
Took a few deep breaths, put my ticket back in my bag.
Then, went back to work.