~ A Christmas Story ~
by Estillore


This story, its characters and setting are all mine. If this resembles the life of anyone you know, it's just your imagination. This is a story that involves two women in love. With each other. So if you don't like that you may leave (through the window since it's much faster).


This is dedicated to the one I regret letting go.

The morning sun gently pries my eyes open, its warm rays shaking me from sleep. I slowly blink the residue of last night's tears away, my eyes feeling gritty and sore. I turn my head as the sound of laughter and children's voices reach me through the open window of my bedroom. I wonder for a second why they are so cheerful. Then it hits me. It's Christmas again.

The bed feels cold. And the side you normally take up is empty, barren. I close my eyes as I try to catch your scent from your pillow. But it's just not there anymore.

I feel my back protest as I get up. I sit for a minute, trying to let the dizziness pass. I get like this every morning now. The floor is like ice, but I like it. I slowly walk to the bathroom to do my morning ablutions.

Sometimes I wonder what the point to all this is. Why do I still get up in the morning, brush my teeth and comb my hair? Why do I still see the people who visit me every now and then? Why do I still go to that church you dragged me to that summer almost thirty years ago?

My body reminds me that it hasn't eaten in almost twenty hours. I still miss meals. That used to drive you crazy. You always told me to take better care of myself. I told you I didn't need to. You were there. And I remember you smiled that smile meant just for me. Then you kissed me and we spent the rest of the day making love, forgetting about dinner.

The stairs creak as I make my way down to the kitchen. I forgot to set the coffeemaker last night. I think I won't bother with it today. I could never make it the way you did, anyway. I asked you once what you put into it that made it taste so good. Then you said you put a little bit of your love into every cup you make me. You made me fall in love with you all over again.

I stop at the counter and place my hands on the freezing marble top. I feel something warm hit the back of my hand. I look down and realize I'm crying. Damn leaky faucet. I swipe at my cheeks and rummage through the fridge for something that catches my attention. Nothing there interests me. Perhaps some scrambled eggs, cooked just the way you liked it.

I put the eggs on the counter, catching one as it rolled to the edge. I remember those mornings after a long stressful night from work when you'd find me on my knees cleaning up the gooey mess that I tried to hide from you. It always made you smile. Then you'd tease me mercilessly the whole morning. One time, you actually stuck a note on the counter top telling me to be more vigilant about catching runaway eggs. When you asked why I didn't just set the eggs in a bowl so they wouldn't roll away, I asked you how else could I make you smile in the morning. I can still recall the look you gave me after I said that, all the seriousness in your eyes when you said, "Just waking up next to you is enough to make me smile."

I smile now as I think about that. I taste the salty tears on my lips. I don't bother to wipe them away anymore. They'd just flow down again anyway.

I sit and eat my breakfast without tasting anything save for the salt in my tears. And no amount of candy cane or eggnog could wash that taste away.

You used to love Christmas. From the first of December until new year's eve, you'd be jumping around like a caged critter, your eyes would shine and the smile would never leave your face. You made me love Christmas. You even made me like Christmas shopping.

I look at the tree in the living room. It's the same tree you bought eleven years ago before we went to the hospital to have your yearly physical. That was the first time you bought a plastic tree. A week later we found out you had stage four leukemia.

I sit on the couch then slowly lower myself down, laying the way you used to. The times we'd lay here, cuddled and cozy flash through my mind. I haven't been warm or cozy since the day I pressed that one last kiss on your cold lips.

I miss you. Every day I miss you. I died the day you stopped breathing. My heart stopped when yours did. I have been an empty shell since you've been gone. I look at your picture now, the one your ma took of us the Christmas we went to visit her. The lights were shining in your blue eyes, your smile was a mile wide and your arms were wrapped tightly around me. I can still recall the feelings I felt at that exact moment; your breath close to my ear, your breasts pressed against my back as your arms grazed the underside of my breasts. I can still hear you whisper "I love you" as your mother clicked the shutter. Every time I think about that, I feel the same surge of love for you as I felt then.

I close my eyes, the tears are falling like a summer storm now. And I swear I feel you wrap your arms around me. "I love you, Jen," I hear you say, feeling your breath in my ear. You feel so real that I turn my head and look straight into you blue eyes. More tears spring to mine.

"Rachel. Oh, Rachel, how I've missed you," I say. I turn and wrap my arms around you, feeling your warm body so solid against mine. "I love you, my Rachel." My heart is overflowing with love and happiness. I am afraid to let you go, knowing that you would disappear if I do. Like you always do in my dreams.

But you slowly get up from the couch and stand before me, resplendent in your beauty. You look exactly like you did when we first met. I get up faster than I ever could in the past decade, my body feeling decidedly younger.

You smile and take my hand in yours. "It's time to go home, Jen. I've come to take you home."

I look up to your face, falling into your eyes again like I did the first time I stared into them. I smile. You always made me smile. You still do. "Yes, my love. Take me home."


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