As a treat to me, I'm sharing a small part of the Christmas scene from my novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo, last month. I'll be working on getting this one published, as well, as the one almost ready for publishing. I think 2013 will be a productive year. This novel is called Summer Triangle.
Allison crept into the family room that welcomed her as the cozy lights in the new dark glowed. Her mother slept with her empty tea mug depicting Santa Claus on the stand beside her. Allison looked in shock and wonder at her mother, appearing so young in this subtle light with her blossoming belly. She was beautiful, she had to admit.
She hadn't seen her mother since homecoming weekend in the beginning of October. She came up to help Amber adjust to all this drama. She wanted to string her parents up then for both being incredibly selfish, worse that it was in Amber's senior year of high school. They should be enjoying each other, like the past years. These were supposed to be happy years. Allison wondered where her dad was. It was after five and he should have been home. Maybe he was doing his last minute Christmas shopping. So like a man.
Allison hung her coat up and dropped her bags in her old room. She passed the den and saw the permanent bed her dad set up. What has happened to this family? This was going to be a banged up Christmas. Unless Jesus intervened. Mom could believe that, but Allison didn't. If He had wanted to help, Mom would never had been raped. Grimm would be following her around right now. Amber would be loving her senior year without wondering when Dad would leave the household. He was already living like a separated man.
Allison returned to the family room and got comfortable on the cushy love seat. Maria opened her eyes, “Oh, Allison, I didn't even hear you come in,” she jumped up to hug and kiss her oldest daughter.
“Hey, Mom. You looked so beautiful and peaceful in the Christmas lights. It seemed like a Christmas card. How are you feeling?”
As they conversed they walked into the spotless white and cobalt blue kitchen. Maria turned on the gas stove burner under the tea kettle. Then opened the refrigerator, “You feel like chicken?”
“I made those homemade noodles like Dad's mom and grandma used to make. All I have to do is heat them up.”
“You were busy, huh?”
“Always for my family.”
“Mom, you are the greatest. I can understand why you want to keep the baby.”
“Why, Allison, that is nice, but unusual.”
“You are such a good mom. You should have had more kids. You did so much for us and you still do. I bet you were feeling a little sad about Amber moving on, too, in the spring.”
“Well, I wouldn't have gotten pregnant, if that's what you mean.”
“No, I know you felt you were done, but this unfortunate event has led to something that gives you a glow. I'm sorry Dad is having a hard time accepting it.”
“Well, it is a stranger's baby. I just couldn't get rid of the innocent child. I mean what did he have to do with it? He has no voice, yet. I'm afraid, though, he's going to be from a single parent home. I have a feeling after Christmas and the New Year, your dad will make a decision.”
“Why do you say that?”
“I overheard him asking Larry for a divorce attorney's name. Larry is the family lawyer and he couldn't fight against me.”
“Mom, are going to get a lawyer, too?”
“Not yet. Praying for a Christmas miracle.”
“Me, too,” as the tea kettle screamed.
“Tea? Since I have the water hot.” Maria smiled. She felt such a closeness this evening to Allison that hadn't been there for a long time. Maybe because Allison showed a genuine concern for her mother and didn't show a favoritism toward one parent or the other. She was rooting for the family, which is what Maria was doing also.
The chicken, breaded and on the pan, baked. The noodles would only take a few minutes to heat up in some boiling water. Maria hardly ever used her microwave. She like the way things tasted not cooked in the microwave. Pizza was too soggy. The meat had a metallic taste. She did like hot chocolate with milk and Hershey's syrup in the microwave, if she was just making it for herself, other wise she dragged out a pan and warmed it up on the stove top.
Allison washed the dishes as they went along or put the dishwasher safe ones in the dishwasher.
Brendan still hadn't arrived at the house. “Is this now the normal, Mom?”
“No, he has still been making it home for supper. You know, he'll read the paper before, clean up from being at the mill. I did tell him Amber worked until six and we wouldn't eat until six thirty.”
At six fifteen, Amber strolled in, “Mm. Chicken. Like Grandma's, huh, Mom. Homemade noodles, too?”
“You know it, girl,” Allison hugged her sister, “How was work?”
“Crazed. All those Christmas shoppers and tired, whiny kids. Everyone had their last day of school today. Mom, I'm glad you like to cook.”
“That's encouraging to hear. I may get spoiled with you two girls complimenting me.”
Amber crooked her eyebrow at Allison. Usually by now, Allison has managed to make some argument, from Christmas isn't actually Jesus birthday to all the pagan traditions. She just couldn't leave Mom to her Christmas celebrations. Well, if anyone would ruin Christmas this year, it would be Dad, with his talk of divorce.
He tried to hide it, but Amber read the writing on the wall. Dad was ticked about Mom deciding to keep this baby. Not that she blamed
Dad, but oh, these adults. Up to the kids to keep the Christmas spirit going. Too bad, Allen wasn't coming tomorrow for Christmas Eve. That would so brighten everyone up, especially Mom. She loved Christmas Eve more than Christmas Day.
Brendan arrived right at six thirty. He acted glad to see Allison. He hugged and kissed her. Asked her how her trip was through the West Virginia mountains.
“Not bad. Actually I made good time. I was all packed and left from work, which is just that half hour closer without the rush hour traffic. I could just hop on I-70. No problem.”
“I'm glad, I'm glad,” he glanced at Maria, “You made my mother's dinner.”
“Yes, and your grandmother's”
“She did like to make it the day before Christmas Eve,” Brendan breathed in the fresh smell of baked chicken.
The table was set with the Christmas china. Creamed green beans, the chicken gravy, the homemade noodles and the crispy oven fried chicken arrayed the plates. The pitcher held ice tea. Tall glasses with ice cubes sat at each setting.
“I just wish Barry and Allen were here. Oh, and Amy, too.” Maria flushed.
They sat down and looked at Amber. She bowed her head and prayed for a blessed Christmas season. Brendan engaged the girls in conversation. They joked and laughed. This was the first non silent meal at the table for quite a few months. Maria smiled.