I continue my Christmas story today with the third part. A story of loss and love with a pinch of Christmas spirit and magic at the end. Or So I hope. Have you read the first parts as well. Here an here.
A Christmas life! Third part.
The mind is running around like crazy coming up with something to ask. Finally standing behind this beautiful lady and talking , sort of, and I am lost for words. All that came from my lips was a silly question, “Are both of these pastries for you?”.
She looks down to her little box and her tone changes a little sad, “Not really but you know…”
“How about you sugar can I get you anything?” The bakery wife’s is looking in my direction over the shoulder of Claire. Interrupting her sentence as if intentional.
“I am sorry, one triple chocolate cupcake please”
-“I am sorry Tom, I need to go” Never in all these days did I forget that face. Her smile and sparkle taken in that single moment I had to ask that question. But I could not let it go, could not let you go. I could only think of you.
Sue told me not to get into it to much while wrapping up my cupcake and the bells of the door only have the echo of you leaving in a rush. It bothered me that I made you sad. After you made my heart sip multiple beats or had me standing with a hot flush creeping over me. The last time I felt that was when I fell in love with my late wife. I stayed up that night picking crumbs from the cupcake and sipping beer. ‘How was I to make up or would I even see you again’. ‘What did the bakery’s wife mean?’
Dinner stood cold in the microwave and my eyes had bags so big that very morning. Not an idea how to apologize other than just saying sorry. I got of work early that day not feeling all to well. Not so much sick but more with a knot in my stomach and my mind wondering away. A heart hoping to see you and a body with chills of feeling stupid. I waited that day near the bakery and watched you walking down the street. Bright as ever, if yesterday never happened. or maybe you chose to forget. I know I didn’t.
“Hey Tom, who are you waiting for?” That voice full of joy and happiness, filling me with warmth of a homely hearth and embrace.
-“For you to be honest, I could not help but feel bad about yesterday so I wanted to say sorry.”
She started smiling, “You know that it is the first time you did not stutter.”
-“Is it, I… I did not know that” The embarrassment had me blush and stutter al over again, diverting my eyes away from her bright sparkle. “C-can, Could I, y-you know. Kind of offer you a cup of coffee”
“You are doing it again” her fist knocked me against my shoulder. “Do not worry about it, it is okay. I am over it”
-“I know, no I don’t. I hear it in your voice, but I… well”
“ooh come on” yanking me on my arm she pulls me into the bakery. Her giggle infections to make me smile but not sure what to say. I was just happy enough to have her pulling my arm, and smiling at me with such grace. “Would you get me the usual and a triple chocolate cupcake for this here gentleman.”
-“What… How… but”
“Hey stutter Tom relax, you are buying me a cup of coffee right.”
-“This is for you Claire, and you sir. I see she is pulling your strings today. Been awhile since I seen this happening, there is a different glow.” the words of Sue seem mischievous with that wink thrown at Claire.
“Coffee. Right, I did ask you. But when, where?” I am flustered once again unwary of what is going on. “I am doing it again aren’t I?”
-“Haha, Thank you Sue. Come On stutter Tom.” We wave Sue goodbye and outside. Not sure where Claire is pulling me towards, but right now I could not care less. Her hand is warm and soft and making me just feel happy and floating. It is okay to be called stutter Tom, I do love seeing her smile, who wouldn’t.
Not a care in the world have me forge time and the distance we walked till we end up in a park on a wooden bench. Surrounded by red and white roses. Her fists bounces of my shoulder again. “hey weren’t you suppose to buy me coffee? That cart over there has the best, so why not buy me one.”