Hanna sipped her water and sighed. “I, for one, am looking forward to 2021. Have you made your new year’s resolution yet?”
The room glowed brighter as music filled the air. I could feel the excitement growing in the room from the music, our being together and knowing that it was Christmas Eve, the night when the real angels sang out the news for the very first time. I could hardly breathe.
Choir of Angels: Part III It was just as well when the pretty angel rebuffed my attempt at small talk. Ernst and I had gotten out of the habit of conversation. And when was the last time I talked to a girl? For that matter, this was the very first time I’d ever even imagined…
“Why, little lamb, you’re right. There’s a giant tree right there, covered in bows and balls and lights.”
“What you looking at, nutcracker?” Addressing me was a smaller snowman, this one in a top hat with a carrot for a nose, poor fellow. I do admit I was staring. He had impossibly pink cheeks that made him look so merry. But as happy as the other snowman was, he was miserable.
I race up to her and follow her into the kitchen. “What are we having?”
“This.” She pulls on my t-shirt and I wrap my arms around her and lean in for a kiss. Sweet as the chocolate chip cookies packed in a plastic bag on the table. Warm as the summer sun. Necessary as air.
I pulled him close, took off his mask—brazen woman that I am. And kissed him.
And I’ll do it again. I’m sure of it. I sit beside him as his gaze takes me in inch by inch. He’s studied my hair, badly in need of a cut, and he’s gone over every inch of my face and my body. On a normal day, I’d feel self-conscious. But today, it’s wonderful to be the center of attention.
The news this morning has been breathless as the world awaits the first American space launch since before Lori was born. I’ve kept it on the television all morning, delighted to listen to good news for a change.
Today, the newscasters report in flowery prose, as they talk about the mission and the astronauts and the new space ship.
“C’mon, Rex.” Like I have to prod him to hurry after Monster.
We race around the corner where a woman wearing an Old Bay mask is picking up the little creature.
It’s Jessica. My heart gets a workout like nothing it’s experienced before. It pounds out a tune before rising with joy when she looks up at me and smiles.
“Look what I found. This little kitten ran right into my arms.”
Smart cat. Exactly what I wish I could do. I stop about ten feet away. I don’t know if I should get any closer to the woman who isn’t speaking to me.
What Hanna says next is something I do not expect. “Wake up, Jess. You’ve got a good thing in that man.”
She’s got that little wrinkle between her brows. It’s her signal that she’s saying something difficult and she knows it. But she means it, too.