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Christmas Drama

It all started on a perfect Christmas Eve. The lighting is right, the table is beautiful, the wine glasses, the fork, and knife. Everything is perfectly placed. The dining room is like a photo in a magazine. Mother cleaned the house all day long crying. We are all waiting for Dad to come back from the store, last minute shopping he said.

Mother waited for him all day long, she made sure to let him know she wasn’t happy about the shopping. I think there something else, ornaments are flying everywhere and breaking on the bed room wall. Usually Dad don’t talk back to Mother, but not today.

My sister and I went in our room listening to music. There are some things you don’t want to hear as a child, and the fight between Mother and Dad was one of them. Even with the music. The scream and the shouting made their way to our room in the background like back vocal. The normal fights used to last five to ten minutes, but this one never ended. Everything is perfect for a great evening, but I still feel like somebody’s hand choking me. The footsteps in the hallway made our Little Ceramic angels shivers on our desks, the angles stopped clicking at each other as the footsteps stops in front of our door. Mother opened the door.

“Girls, Father has something to tell you tonight at the dinner!” as she slams the door shut.

I’m sure we’re not getting a puppy, that’s for sure. I hop we didn’t do something wrong. My sister’s younger than me, she probably doesn’t understand what’s going on. Me, I think I know, we’re getting a divorce for Christmas. The last time I heard Mother scream like that, it’s when Pappy died two years ago.

It was tragic, he fell off his rooftop trying to put on the Christmas Lights. My grandfather was sick, and he was alone when he tried to put on his Christmas lights. He Lost his balance and fell. Two years ago I was only ten, now I’ve grown I understand things better

Before the tragic death of my pappy, there had been another accident in the family. What I heard is that my dad killed our dog with the car. Mother really loved Thiago a small chihuahua, she kept one of His legs on a key chain, gross. Mother took six months after the incident to forgive Dad. The accident wasn’t his fault, the dog had gone out by the back door, and nobody knew about it. Mother blames Dad for it.

My dad, a good man, a good husband, and a good dad. He’s always there for my sister and me when we need him. He’s not muscular but not too frail. Not a geek, but he knows stuff. Working hard at the office to be where he is now.

Mother is a woman of Power she knows what she wants and when she wants it. My friend sometimes called her, the cold witch. She’s the head of a big company. Mentally stronger than my father and maybe physically too. She might be a witch but I lover anyway.

I don’t know what he did this time but I don’t like it when she scream at him like that, he’s defenseless. It was probably not his fault anyway.

After a while it’s finally getting quiet, so I decided to get out of my room. Slowly, without making noise, I pass in front of their open bedroom door. Mother was crying, and Dad was filling his suitcase, head down, I keep walking all the way to the living room. I sat down in front of the Christmas tree, and drifted away in my taught as I contemplated the gifts under it. We probably won’t like our gifts now, I’m not sure I want to open them now. At least the screams have stopped. The silence after the battle, like the Monday mornings when the teacher ask for the weekend homework. Is the silence better than the shouting and screaming?

***

Mother finally got out of the room. All the makeup had found its way onto her cheeks as she told me to get in the shower and get ready for dinner. Didn’t have to ask if she was okay, I could see she wasn’t.

After my shower the house was filled with guilt and shame, so thick we could cut it with a knife. My sister had put on her red Christmas dress watching the Grinch in the living room. The only thing running through the silent house is the sound from the movie and the snapping sound of the knife on the cutting board. Dad was outside putting his suitcase in the trunks of the station wagon. Mother was in the kitchen making everything for a perfect Christmas dinner.

The turkey, the mashed potatoes, and the gravy everything’s on the store, at least all the cooking made the house smell like Christmas. Dad came back from outside, after a long five minutes of putting his luggage in the car, I guess he didn’t want to come back in, I won’t blame him. I could see he cried too.

“Girls dinner’s ready.”

We took our usual places like every other day, but it wasn’t a normal day, nobody was speaking to each other, even my Little sister normally she can’t stop yapping about everything and nothing. I knew something really bad was about to go down. I’m nervous and anxious for what’s coming next, the feeling I have in my belly is indescribable. Just the thought of being with Mom and Dad in the same room, even worse at the same table.

Mother prepared everything even if it was probably our last meal as a family, before everything changed forever.

Mother and Dad sit in front of each other, my sister’s in front of me. Nobody’s talking, awkward moment. In my short life, I never felt like that before, the feeling someone’ playing with your guts from the inside. I wanted to stand up and Scream my lungs out of my chest. I wanted to take my sister and run, and never look back, go as far as I could. But i couldn’t, I can’t do that to Dad. Instead, I stayed there in the cold chocking atmosphere, and Said nothing not a word. It’s Christmas Eve and we all feel like crying.

“Girls, Father has something to tell you.”

“Oh… you wanna do it like that ?” Said the lost father.

“You tell or I tell them !”

“Okay…okay… !” As he takes a sip of wine for courage. “Girls —”

“Your father has slept with another woman!”

“What it means ?” ask the younger sister.

“Are you going to divorce ?” said the older but anxious daughter.

“No !” says the father.

“Yes !” says the mother. The eyes of the two young girls are flooded with tears.

“Look at what you’ve done, you’re happy now?”

“It’s your fault, you’ve slept with your secretary, not me!” Says the mother just before she gets up and leaves slamming the diner towel into the plate full of food.

“Colleague, she’s my colleague, and I didn’t sleep with her!”

Tonight the turkey tastes a bit bitter, in fact, every food on the table tastes bitter and even sour. After dinner dad came to watch television with us, and explained what Mother thought happened at his Christmas office party.

He said,‘she’s just a friend.’ I don’t know why Mother freaks out like that. He has a French woman coworker. I don’t think Dad’s friend is the big problem here, Dad doesn’t love Mother anymore, that’s the problem and vice versa.

That evening Mother stayed in her room all night until Christmas day, and then she went to see her mother. As soon as she left I notice a change in the house, the atmosphere wasn’t heavy no more, Dad attitude changed instantly.

***

It’s been a few years now since the Eveline incident. The good news, Mom and Dad stayed together. Well if we can say that’s good news, Mom sleeps alone in her room and Dad sleeps in the basement room. Everything had change, birthdays, vacations, Christmas holidays, every day of the week has changer.

Eveline, we see her once in a while, she put a smile back on my father’s face. What about the way Dad looks at her, I know he loves her, even if he denies it. It’s forbidden to say her name in front of Mom. I’m still not sure if something happened between them. Mom keeps saying that something happens for sure at that Christmas party. I never knew how Mom found out. Did she really know or did she assume, my sister and I will probably never know the truth.

My sister thinks they’re getting back together, but I don’t think so.

A divorce, maybe this is what we should of had for Christmas that year. Screw you Christmas dinner.

No wonder why my Christmas spirit is gone for good.

My therapist says, one day I’ll get my love back for Christmas and won’t need to come see him anymore.

The end… or is it ?

December 14, 2023 19:37

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11 comments

Kristi Gott
07:26 Dec 17, 2023

This story has emotional truth in it and shows the shifting, chaotic, undefined nature of the relationship. It feels very genuine and the lack of knowing what exactly happened, whether the father really slept with the woman or not, makes it seem real. We do know the parents fo not trust each other and get along. Well written!

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M.R. Simon
22:20 Dec 17, 2023

Thank you for your words. Never sure if I should post story. Thank you again.

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Tricia Shulist
14:47 Dec 16, 2023

Good job writing about the stress and unease that everyone felt that Christmas Eve, even the younger sister who yaps about “everything and nothing.” It’s a good younger child perspective. One suggestion, though — maybe one last proofread before publishing it to the site? The story was captivating. Thanks for sharing.

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M.R. Simon
22:18 Dec 17, 2023

Thank you for your feedback! Going to be more carefull. Wasn't sure about posting it, thank you again.

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Trudy Jas
06:36 Feb 08, 2024

Hey, M.R. Just sat down and read this. Such a wonderful, heartfelt story. The way the child wonders what really happens, what is going to happen and then the continued misery when dad movs the the basement. Are you taking a break, or just waiting for the right prompt to come along? Hope to hear from you again. Bonne nuit,

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M.R. Simon
04:09 Feb 09, 2024

Thank you Not taking breaks, just waiting for the right prompt for my Maddux's World Volume #02

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Martin Ross
17:03 Jan 04, 2024

Beautiful and profoundly sad story — the holidays can be so traumatic and bring out family issues. This Christmas was probably the last for one of my wife’s nephew’s wives who has cancer, and that will affect how they view the holiday over the next years. You did a wonderful job of conveying that drama and pain. Just a few constructive thoughts — the punctuation and sentence structure need some work, especially how to break up thoughts within a sentence. But your story is well-thought and so powerful. Great work!

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M.R. Simon
18:28 Jan 04, 2024

Thank you for you feedback, english is not my first langage, and only 1 week to work on the story is short. I Will try to ne more carefull. Thank's again

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Martin Ross
18:32 Jan 04, 2024

It’s a wonderful story!👍😊

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Mary Bendickson
00:43 Jan 04, 2024

Good story. I see a few minor mistakes. Midway through change from oldest daughter telling story to a narrator talking about them. Not sure if meant to be that way. Mistakes may be because the MC is so young. Thanks for honoring me with a follow.

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M.R. Simon
03:56 Jan 04, 2024

Thank you for your feedback, probably a point of view mistake sometimes it's hard to keep the same point of view. Thank you again

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