Watching out of the window, she couldn’t pronounce “Christmas”… Having slept merely a couple of hours, still having the night before’s conversation with Mother across the throat, yet another reality too hard to stomach for a holiday morning…
She wanted to raise a white flag. But when she looked outside, her sight blurred. With tears first, then, once she momentarely dried herself on the sleeve of her pajama, she was blinded by the snow swirling in the street before the house. Why even bother? No one would even see it.
She wanted to pretend, wanted to make even herself believe. She thought of it like a marathon of entertainment, still having a stretch or two of smiling to do before being releived from her “go happy” duty in front of the family and friends.
But her smile had cracked a couple of time, and at key moments for that. And the more she looked at the windy snow swirls, the more she felt invited, in the cold, dark arms of Winter. Invited once more, and invited for good.
So many times now, she had bitten the bullet. She knew all she needed were a couple of words, nothing fancy. Just sincere. Just…
Looking at her white flag again, considering it once more… Of course there would be hands held out if she waved it high and clear. Even in the glacial winds, even in the sleet. But she was done asking. Asking always felt like begging in the end.
She retreated to her room, and closed the door behind her before anyone noticed she had woken in the middle of the night. If only she could make it through the day, maybe pretending to sleep it all away? But no chance for that, not on Christmas day…
She had to dress up, get ready and defy all the jolly glitter, and sparkle seeking looks from family and friends. Laughing at jokes that didn’t deserve a laugh, over turkey-filled plates looking for a little gravy….
“Are you sure you’re fine? You look a little…”
“Tired, I’m just a bit tired. You know?”
“Yeah… You really should take it easy, it’s no good to wear yourself out like that… At least, this year, you could join us for the party!”
“I guess”, she thought, wondering who was supposed to be the lucky one in this situation?
She had been lucky, a number of times. Luck didn’t have anything to do with her emptiness. Nor money. Nor much for that matter.
She lay back in bed, pulling the white covers over her head. Reminding her of her white flag again… Hoping for a little Christmas miracle. Hoping all the best when her eyes would open again…