E is for Eggnog introduces my story “Angels,” which does not want to be the 600 words that you are (or are not 😉 ) about to read. “Angels” wants to be longer and took me there last night, which is why I didn’t get a story online last night; I wrote and wrote without an end in sight. “Angels” wants to be a novella and I may just pay attention and write it. However, in the meantime, you get a 600 word version. If you like it and would like to see a longer, fully fleshed out version, please let me know.
Oh, Granny, what did you stick in this eggnog because I am most certainly hallucinating or I made a wish that I told myself I wouldn’t do so that I wouldn’t get visited by Don Cheadle or Clarence or Cary Grant, one of those well-meaning angels that turns your life upside down.
Luke is here on Christmas Eve laughing with Dad. Laughing with Dad?
I walk backwards into the kitchen and then lean against the counter. “Gran, what did you stick in this eggnog? I’m suffering from delirium tremens, and I’ve only had three sips.
Gran laughs. “I highly doubt it. Is it because of Luke?”
I whip around to face her. “You see him too? Laughing with Dad?”
“Of course, he’s best friends with Kelly’s fiancé and he had no where to go this Christmas. Voila, he’s here.”
“That doesn’t explain Dad laughing with him. Maybe he doesn’t recognize him,” I say before taking another sip of eggnog now that I know it’s not the culprit. It’s smooth, so smooth. Kudos to Granny.
“Not recognize the boy he kicked out of the house and told never to return? I highly doubt that,” Gran says as she removes a sheet of spanakopita from the oven. “It’s the season of goodwill, Janie.”
I slowly nudge the door open but then get smacked in the face as it opens in on me. I grab at my nose, certain that it’s now protruding from the back of my head. Tears squirt from my eyes as I slide to the floor.
“Janie? Man, I’m sorry.”
Holding my nose between my steepled fingers, I glance up at the love of my life. Suddenly he’s kneeling next to me trying to move my hands, his green eyes filled with concern. And then Dad the doctor is there, glaring at Luke.
“What did you do to her?” And that’s the Dad who decided his eighteen year old daughter should never date a musician much less consider a future with him.
“It was my fault. I was being nosey. Literally,” I say, sounding like Daffy Duck with my fingers pressed against my nose.
Dad gently pushes at my nose, which feels like it’s grown into a banana. “Doesn’t feel broken.”
“Says you,” I say, swiping at my accidental tears.
Fortunately, dinner passes without mishap. In fact, it’s a better Christmas Eve dinner than any combination of angels could have provided. Sitting next to Luke is like old times. We find our rhythm, laugh at stupid jokes, and grin into each other’s eyes. The chemistry is still there, better even. What if, keeps popping into my head despite my brain telling me to be careful.
I feel Dad watching us and when I glance at him, he just smiles in an enigmatic way that has my brow furrowing. In fact, it seems like everyone is watching us with bemused expressions. I tell myself I don’t want to know what’s up because I’m happy right now and maybe, after everything that’s happened in the past year, I deserve it.
As the evening winds down, I walk Luke to the door.
“See you tomorrow?” I ask, my heart throbbing in my throat because suddenly I feel like there’s too much at stake. I’ve seen what life could be like—mind you, without an angel—and I want it.
“Couldn’t keep me away,” he says and then leans down and brushes his lips against mine before venturing into the cold, snowy night.
I press my fingers against my lips, feeling the promise of more. As I turn around, I see that angels did have a hand in this as each member of my family grins gleefully at me. Maybe it’s a trick of light or my glasses, but a halo seems to appear above each of their heads. Oh, my family, my dear, dear family.