Christmas of lies

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
When Christmas comes around you should spend it with loved ones, but what if you can't ??

Submitted: December 26, 2015

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Submitted: December 26, 2015

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I sit in front of my laptop, glass of gin in hand and scroll. Another successful Christmas Day has ended, my children are with their respective fathers and all I'm left with is a messy lounge, a credit card statement hidden in the kitchen drawer and some kind of trashy Christmas show filled with tinny laughter and an idiotic presenter who, like Slade and Wizzard, only comes out for the month of December.

My social media timeline is filled with pictures of children opening presents, families seated around a table overflowing with heaped dinner plates, crackers and inebriated adults. dogs with tinsel collars and lucky ladies flaunting engagement rings that glisten and sparkle against the flash of the camera.

You've been quiet today. I expected the obligatory photos of your children showing off the presents I helped you choose, your wife dressed in a Christmas apron showing off the bracelet I located and ordered for you online.

But we had our Christmas didn't we ? December 22nd when you came to my house for to pick up your gifts and we ended up in bed together. Again. I knew it would happen, and had prepared accordingly. Clean sheets, my body waxed and preened ready for your hands. It didn't happen straight away, of course, you made small talk over a glass of wine, laughed at my Christmas jumper and playfully struggled under the weight of the gifts I'd wrapped for you.

Then you made to leave, you kissed my cheek, hot breath grazing the side of my face and "accidentally" your lips met mine. And that was that. Probing fingers, your hands pulling my hair, kisses beyond the boundaries of just good friends. After it was over, you kissed the tip of my nose, pulled on your discarded clothes and muttered apologies, left my bedroom without a second glance . I changed the bed again, had a hot bath and waited for the text telling me how, again, it was a mistake, how you loved me but you weren't in love with me, you loved her. And, when it arrived 45 minutes later, once again I replied saying it was fine, I knew the score, I didn't want to cause trouble, especially at Christmas.


I pause to drink another slug of gin. I shouldn't drink gin, it makes me cry like a baby, makes me think too much. My messenger pings, my heart leaps then deflates again. Its just Dan, my best friend wishing me and the children Merry Christmas. His pictures were the obligatory ones - I smiled when I saw the youngest , Lily, on her first ever bike, Dan smiling and laughing as he carefully held the back of the seat as he steered her around the path at the park. Dan and I have been friends since we were 19 - never any romance, just a drunken kiss at New Year once where upon we both jumped apart, laughed and hugged. Its never been mentioned since , only when we laugh about ' that' New Year with his wife Bex. She's never had a problem with our friendship, she knows the likelihood of me bedding Dan is as likely as winning the lottery.

I politely converse with Dan, he's slightly pissed. His words jumble and his spelling becomes erratic. I smile to myself, then type back that he needs to go to bed. He agrees and signs out. I put the laptop down and pad to the kitchen. Merlin, my fat, attention seeking cat is led on the kitchen chair, sleeping. I pause to tickle him behind the ears then open the fridge. Amongst the leftover turkey, Christmas pudding and various cheeses I search for a bottle of wine. The gin has gone to my head, that was apparent when I stood up, I need something slightly less conflicting. And if I am hung over in the morning, I realise I don't care. Nothing to get up for, nothing to do until the late afternoon when I visit my father. I sigh. He's not been the same since mum died, mum was the glue that held everyone together, now its a good day if my father changes his clothes and has a shave.

I struggle with the cork on the bottle of white, and I curse. A lot. My messenger pings again and I race back to my laptop. You. You've sent me a message and immediately signed out again. I click on the envelope and your name magnifies on the screen.

" Snowman hugs !! Please take one and pass to 15 of your friends before i melt ! If you get five back you are a good friend, hope you send me one!!!"

I stop, heart pounding. Anger rises inside me, like a volcano about to erupt. I've waited all day for a stupid chain message ? Hot tears burn my eyes and I sink into the sofa wishing it would swallow me whole. A chain message ... you think so much of me that you can't even ask how I am, how my day has been .... I grab the near empty bottle of gin and gulp down another couple of mouthfuls. I splutter and cough as the alcohol slips down. Then the tears cascade down my cheeks. I hastily click on your profile and see that whilst I was away from the laptop you've posted your pictures.... your children laughing and smiling for the camera, your wife posing with her £150 bracelet ... I don't need to see it, I examined that bracelet when it arrived at my house, the diamonds shining out from inside the gift box. She looks ecstatic. Then the photo of the two of you, an obvious self with you kissing her cheek, your eyes half closed, a smile playing on her lips. Rage builds.

I click on her profile. We aren't friends but I can see what you have tagged her in. The photo illuminates from the screen again and I realise that I could wipe that smile of her face in just one simple message. I could. It feels wrong but I click on the message now button. The chat window pops up , her face in the corner. Her profile picture is her dressed as a Christmas elf - her ears stick out from under the hat and her rosy cheeks dominate.

I start to compose

Hi Lisa, you don't know me but I know you. I know all about you. From the perfume you wear to the clothes you struggle to fit into . I know your likes, your dislikes, where you work.... Yet you know nothing about me. So I'll introduce myself. My name is Emma, I'm 28 and for the past 18 months , on and off, I've been sleeping with your husband.

I pause, giggling slightly. Way to wreck someone's Christmas Emma ! I picture her face reading that and I smirk. The alcohol has permeated any last glimpse of rational thinking and i continue to tap away at the keys

I know the way he kisses, I know the noise he makes when he comes inside me, the look on his face when he loses control ... I know everything . Because I've been with him a hundred times, scraping my nails down his back which he passes off as an allergy he just cant help but scratch. Well I'm his itch, Lisa, it's me !

I stop writing and down some more of the alcohol. Courage growing, my finger hovers over the send button .... Then realisation hits. If i press this button I ruin your life. I have that power. Just one click and its all over for you two. But similarly, it would be all over for me too. I'd lose you. Utterly and completely. You'd never run to me. You'd blame me. Your children would lose their father, probably, and your wife would leave you. You'd be alone just as I am right now, downing cheap drink, red eyed and feeling so numb you could quite happily end it all. How do I know this ?

Because for the past 18 months I've known you inside and out. The night we met at a party. You wore black jeans, a red shirt, the tan line from your wedding ring glaring at me from your finger. The way you took me back to yours whilst she was at a hen night, ignoring the wedding pictures that littered the hallway, claiming that I was the first person in a long time who made you feel so alive, so needed. I knew  it then. I knew what I was getting into and I knew exactly who you were and what you were about. And I chose to ignore it.

This wasn't her fault. It wasn't your childrens. It was mine and yours. We made that decision and we both have kept up with the charade and lies for 18 long, passion filled months. I highlight the text in the chat box and press delete. Then I close down the site. I need sleep. I stagger up the stairs and put my phone onto charge. Climbing into bed, my head swims with the effect of the gin, the words I wrote bouncing around my thoughts. I flick off the light and vow that I will never feel like this again. You have to go. I have to stop this. Tomorrow I'm telling you that its over.

As I turn out the light my phone beeps. Its gone 2am by now and I waver about checking it. But I do. And its you.

Sorry I haven't been in touch today, things have been manic. Hope you had a wonderful day sweetheart. I love you

And I reply

Its ok, I knew you were busy. Todays been lovely, I'm just exhausted now. I love you too xx

Then I turn off my phone, switch off the light again and fall into the blackness.

Maybe next Christmas....

 


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