Part 10 in Thurmount Holiday (see the category “Thurmount Holiday” for the other entries).
If it seems like there’s a lot of singing around Thurmount, there is. It probably stems from our Appalachian roots which require that we have fiddles, banjos, and guitars always in reach. How Will got to be as musical as the rest of us since his family came to Thurmount from Sweden via Minnesota is kind of a conundrum.
The Watsons have been hosting a caroling party for as long as I can remember. Knowing that we would be walking along snowy, cold Pendleton Street, I didn’t give a lot of thought to what I’d wear because comfort trumps looks to me when it’s freezing, but notice that Luanne, having no such qualms, has dressed in a miniskirt and short boots showing off her legs. I am going to have to up my game. Seriously.
Around 25 of us walk along singing, our breaths rising white in the dark evening. I hear Will a good distance behind me, his baritone pure and deep. Blake walks next to me and tries to engage in small talk when there’s a break in the music.
“I’m sorry,” Blake says.
I glance at him and then behind me. “Are you talking to me?”
“Look, Mom read me the riot act. She says I’ve been acting like a real dick. My word not hers.”
“You needed her to tell you that?” I ask. “When some of these nasty things have been coming out of your mouth, you never just stopped and thought: well, that’s not nice?”
“Maybe. Accept my apology.”
He grabs my arm and pulls me away from the other carolers. “Kayla, I am sorry. Breaking up with you was a huge mistake. I’m never going to find someone as smart and funny and as pretty as you.”
“That’s from your Mom too, right?”
He smiles. “Kind of.”
“At this rate I would be dating your Mom.”
“Ha. Funny. I’d like for us to give it another try.”
My eyes follow the carolers. Will is looking at us, but his arm is linked with blonde bombshell Luanne’s and she’s looking at him like he’s the best thing since whip on coffee. I raise my chin. I am not going down without a fight. I angle to kiss Blake on the cheek, but he moves his head so that my lips land on his instead. Then there’s tongue. Then there’s me thinking: yuck. I press my hands against his chest and push back.
“I’ll think about it, but I’m really thinking it’s not likely to work,” I say. I don’t add that that kiss pretty much decided the issue. See, I can be nice.
“Think about it, Kayla. All I want for Christmas is you,” Blake says. I guess I should be glad he didn’t just start singing it.
I look back at Will. He, Megan, and Luanne have stopped and are just staring at me with their mouths hanging open.