N.B. This is a double update but I’d really appreciate it if you could comment on both chapters :) Sorry it took me so long to update but booksie hasn’t let me do it the last few days ;) Indi ♥
“Okay so have we got everything?” my mum asked, frantically rushing around before the arrival of our guests later in the day.
“Yes mum,” I replied absentmindedly.
“In the oven.”
“Veg and bacon and sprouts?”
“In the pan.”
“Just adding the milk and butter.”
“Ahh,” she let out a sigh of relief, wiping her hand across her forehead.
“Go get changed mum, I’ve got it covered.”
Reluctantly, she did as I said.
I finished off the final preparations then went to get changed myself. We were having Nana Sammie, Auntie Laine and Aunt Patricia and her family over for Christmas lunch, then Scott and Lily and their lot were coming over for drinks and presents in the afternoon.
I pulled on a loose red one shouldered dress that belted at the waist with black tights and a pair of red flats, then curled my hair and pulled it through a sparkly barette so that it cascaded down my back. I paired it all with the necklace Scott had given me ages ago and ran back down the stairs just as the doorbell rang.
Mum was already there to greet them. As she took their coats, I realised it was Aunt Patricia and her lot. She was dressed in a Christmas jumper, with a big reindeer on the front, her short hair immaculate as always. As the family entered, I realised that it was what they were all wearing and that they all looked exactly the same. She came up and hugged me, then greeted my mum and dad. Uncle Thomas, dressed in a coordinating red jumper, kissed my cheek, and after him Kylie stomped in, wearing a jumper like her mum, walking straight past me, a phone glued to her ear. Peter high fived me, his own green shirt giant on his body, and his other hand was around Sarah Beth’s, who was constantly grinning and had on a miniature red jumper, a red bow in her hair. The only exception to the rule was Jemima, who came in wearing a black strapless dress with a bow around the top, and a red loose knit cardigan over the top.
“Hey my dear,” she beamed, hugging me. “Merry Christmas! And you look gorgeous, no sign of the baby bump just yet.”
“Ahh thank you, Merry Christmas to you too, you look amazing.”
Aunt Laine and Nana Sammie arrived, big carrier bags in their hands full of presents that they placed under the overflowing tree. We’d decided to wait till this afternoon to open everything, so at the moment you could barely see the bottom half of the tree.
Everyone enjoyed the dinner, complimenting my mum and me, and we had the usual chatter all the way through, which was one thing I love about big family dinners. You couldn’t do this; you couldn’t have this sort of atmosphere, if you were sat in front of the TV or eating dinner on your own in your bedroom. We pulled the crackers afterwards, Uncle Thomas knocking his wine all over Kylie as he pulled one, but we all laughed anyway, except for her. We laughed more at that than at the jokes. I mean, why did they have to put in the same jokes every year- Why did the skeleton not go to the party? Because he had nobody to go with…boom boom chang.
At about 5 o’clock Scott and his family arrived, and once we were all settled with a drink, the doorbell rang again. Lily hugged me tightly when she saw me, wishing me a very merry Christmas, and then went to join the rest. I took a seat by Scott on the floor, and he leaned back into the chair, spreading his legs in front of him, and tried to pull me onto his lap. I tried to stop him and just ended up leaning myself against him instead, which he settled with.
“Merry Christmas,” he whispered.
I blushed slightly, but managed to hide it, and was given the perfect opportunity to do so as it was present opening time.
I got some CDs, books and money off my parents, a gorgeous charm bracelet from Lily, who told me she’d been planning to give me this for ages as she’d bought it two months ago, a lovely bag off Jemima and a gift voucher and watch off Aunt Patricia and the rest of her family. Auntie Laine gave me a pair of absolutely gorgeous gold drop earrings and I loved Nana Sammie’s present; a jewellery box she’d had from when she was young and now wanted me to have. It was somewhat of a family heirloom. The only present left was from Scott. I slowly ripped off the wrapping paper, taking a quick look at the gift tag. There were a few words scribbled across it- Merry Christmas Sophie, I hope you like this, you’ll know what to do when you look inside xx
I found a blue velvet box, obviously from a jewellers, and slowly opened it, looking at the little object that sat nestled in the blue velvet depths; a little silver heart pendant on a thin silver chain. The pendant had a clasp at the side and I realised it was actually a locket. Carefully prising it opened, I looked at the tiny picture on one side and the white space on the other. I had to hold it right up to my eye to see the picture inside, realising it was a shot of me and Scott, taken not too long ago, both of us smiling at the camera, his arm slung carelessly around my shoulder. Surveying the empty space beside it, it was more than obvious what would go there.
Not even caring about the fact we were in front of everyone, I threw my arms around him as a thank you, and thankfully, when I looked round, everybody seemed to be busy talking and opening their own presents instead of staring at me, which I was happy about. I’d gotten Lily a bag which, as I thought, she’d adored and Jemima’s suggestions for the kids worked out really well and they seemed happy, all excepting Kylie. I’d gone for a Christmas decoration theme for the adults, giving one to Aunt Patricia, Uncle Thomas, Nana Sammie, Auntie Laine and my parents. They all thought that it was a sweet idea. To top it off I’d also got some chocolates for Nana Sammie and Auntie Laine as well, and I’d bought my mum and necklace and my dad a new shirt. Jemima was so shocked at the dress and badgered me as to how I’d managed to get it that day without her knowing.
As Scott tore off the paper to his own present from me, I held my breath, hoping he would actually like it, which of course he did. I don’t know what I’d been so worried about, maybe the fact that it was our first Christmas together. He seemed utterly surprised, then amazed, and excited, and I even saw a tear slip down his cheek when he read the inside of the mug and saw the little tiny T-shirt. It was the realisation hitting him, and me, of what was happening, of what was growing inside me, of everything, of us.
The evening passed away in that manner, opening presents, thanking each other, telling stories and jokes, and eating my mum’s homemade Christmas pudding and trifle, which went down like a treat. Auntie Laine remarked that we’d leave there the size of a house.
The party went on into the early hours of the morning and as everyone left, I felt a little sad. I’d been wishing it could go on forever.
I said goodbye to everyone sadly, although I knew I’d see my family again a lot before they left, and the last ones there were Scott and his parents. We had a little break from everything while my parents talked to his, and left the room, heading into the garden.
“I’ve had a lovely time, Sophie,” he told me as we walked around. The night air was chilly and as I didn’t have a jacket, I pulled my arms up into my chest.
“Here,” he told me, being all gentlemanly and wrapping his own jacket around my shoulders. It smelled of him, and I inhaled the smell, sinking into the warm fabric.
“I meant to tell you,” he continued, “that you look absolutely breathtaking today.”
I blushed, and was thankful that he wouldn’t be able to see.
We walked and chatted for a little while, until we heard Scott’s mum call that they were leaving.
Even though I could only see by the moonlight and the few solar lights, I could see that he had a look of disappointment on his face. He said goodnight to me, and kissed my cheek, as any friend would do, which surprised me, because I thought that by now, after everything, we were more than friends.
As he turned to leave, I grabbed hold of his arm, so he was forced to turn back and look down at me. I stared into his eyes, and I realised that there was something else there. It looked like he was worried about something, like his mind was elsewhere, but I didn’t know what was going on. I reached up on tiptoes and pressed my mouth to his, and he kissed me back, slowly, and tenderly, his arms snaking around my back.
Eventually we realised that his parents would be waiting, and we ran back inside, our faces flushed, though we could blame this on the cold, and we said goodnight.
“I’m gonna miss you!” Jemima said, hugging me for the fifth time since we’d arrived at the airport. “But I’ll be back before you know it, and when this one is born.”
“See you soon Jemima, I’ll miss you too,” I replied honestly. We’d grown close since she arrived here, and even closer since Christmas. In between then and now we’d packed in so much stuff, including a New Years Eve party. My cheeks reddened just thinking about that, because at the stroke of midnight, I’d kissed Scott, yet again.
I made a few quick but polite goodbyes to Aunt Patricia and Uncle Thomas, and to Kylie, before picking up Sarah Beth and squeezing her tight. I even got a kind of hug of Peter.
Nana Sammie was upset to leave, especially because of the baby, but Aunt Laine dragged her away, hugging us all and saying she’d be back soon. We waved them all off as they went through security and until they became lost in the mass of people.