They were driving slow, the sounds had drowned out now, there was no words being spoken. The radio was the only thing the two of them chose to hear. looked out of her window; he was slipping out of her fingers. She looked at him in the driver’s seat beside her. The wind blew soft in her hair.
wanted him to slow down. Her heart had stopped though, nothing more was left for him. She couldn’t take it anymore. A silent tear rolled down her cheek. All that was left was goodbye. Daniel slowed down as the traffic light turned to red. She didn’t want to stop; it seemed harder for her to carry on that way. Daniel sighed blatantly bored. It was the same routing they’d got into, and both of them had had their fair share of thoughts.
The weekend had been their worst decision yet. It had done neither of them any good. wanted a relaxing evening of nothingness. She wanted to curl up and watch a movie, she wanted to pretend nothing had happened and everything was going to be okay.
Her heart sank as Daniel got out the car to walk her to the door. It wasn’t as though she didn’t appreciate him bothering, it was the thought of saying goodbye.
“So I guess this is it then?” She didn’t want to show any weakness in her eyes.
“Only if you want it to be ,” Daniel told her softly. He’d hurt her, there was nothing more left to say. He didn’t care about her as much as she though. Everyday was the same routine, she didn’t want to talk to him about it, he wouldn’t understand. Daniel didn’t want to listen. She looked down at the pavement, her heart felt heavy. So many times she’d walked the path to goodbye; had hoped it wouldn’t have been the same with him.
“You didn’t want to know Dan, I’m sorry, but I got to do it,” she pushed the words out of her mouth. She hated it, but knew she couldn’t bear the tears if she did stay with him, and couldn’t bear them if she didn’t. Either way it was a ‘lose lose’ situation. “So you don’t want to talk?” He pushed her for an answer.
“No Dan, we just went all the way down that avenue without talking and you didn’t say a word.”
“Neither did you .” She shook her head in a sense of dismissive behaviour. She wanted to disappear.
“I gotta go Dan, I’ll see you around.” He kissed her forehead and she opened the door to let herself in. He gave her a wave and walked off; had he listened to what she just said? rolled her eyes trying to make a joke of it all, it had failed miserably as she closed the door and tears began to fall. She knew that he’d ask her to hold on, but she only saw sunset in his eyes.
Her answer machine beeped as she passed to hang up her coat. The flashing red light caught her attention as she shuffled by. Her reluctant fingers touched the cold metal and the voices surrounded her.
“Hey , here, call me back when you can.” She sighed in a mixture of emotions. The second rang out. It was Gina telling her had been looking for her. She smiled to herself, at least he cared. Suddenly began to regret her thoughts, she didn’t know what wanted yet, why did she jump to such a sudden conclusion. Instead of doing anything, she crept up to bed, not wanting to disturb the atmosphere around her. The phone beside her also repeated the same messages. Thinking there was nothing left to lose; dialled ’s number back.“Hey is that you?” His voice seemed muffled.
“Yeah, sorry I missed you earlier.”
“I was just calling to see if you were okay and if you’d like to go out for a round of drinks later? What’d you say? For old time’s sake?” He insisted. She grinned, they’d been friends for a while now, and nothing seemed to be tearing them.
“I just got into bed...” dragged.
“Well get out, it can’t be much harder can it?” She smiled through her tears.
“I’m not really in the mood today , what about tomorrow?”
“Why what’s the matter hun?” His words were soft.
“Nothing, I’m just not in the mood,” responded unconvincingly.
thought best not to push it, and said goodbye, leaving her to rest.
Daniel had left various messages on her phone waiting for a call back. ignored them; she didn’t want to talk to him. She’d spent most of the day in bed having not slept for most of the night. It was about four o’clock and was rummaging about for her mobile to take yet another call. Daniel again, she sighed pressing the cancel button. almost felt bad for not talking to him, she knew it was the right thing to do, but he didn’t understand her. Instead she rang and they arranged a time to meet up later.
There was a knot in her stomach already. Thinking it was hunger, she checked the fridge, no milk, no bread. Getting her bag, she sauntered her way down to the shop. It was five o’clock already by the time she had returned home. Her stairs seemed a long way from the top floor, mounted them none the less to go and get ready. Still she wasn’t in the mood, but at least would keep her mind off things for a while. What were a few drinks going to hurt? kept asking herself the same question as a tear rolled down her cheek. She slipped on a short black dress before applying her make-up. She wiped the running mascara for the third time before she turned to leave. glanced at her reflection, she looked defeated. Turning quickly not to dwell on her thoughts she made her way down the street and into the pub, Carlton’s.
was already there, he greeted her with a hug sensing something was wrong. He still didn’t ask. They found a couple of seats at the bar and got her the usual. thanked him as he placed the drink before her.
“How’ve you been lately ?” He asked her.
“Good thanks you?”
“I’ve been okay, working the usual. How’s Daniel?” No response followed. This opened to suggestion, “I thought you went with him for a weekend somewhere or something?”
“Yeah, got back yesterday,” she was avoiding eye contact with him.
“Did it not go to plan then?”
“We were sitting ready to eat and someone else came in. They like were with him. Sorry,” she apologised for her tears.
“Is it over then?” She nodded slowly. “Sorry to hear that hun.” She took a sip of her drink.
“I thought we were stronger than that . I couldn’t take it any longer.” He sat listening to her understandingly. Anger was building up inside of him, how could Daniel have hurt her so badly?
“I just wanted to slow down,” whispered softly. was finding her hard to understand. “It’s not your fault ,” told her. “There are parts some people want to leave behind, just let it go.” She nodded.
“Sorry , I didn’t mean to ruin the night.”
“Nah babe don’t be silly. How’d the job interview go?” had had an interview a few days prior to their weekend away, she had been terrified. “It was okay, I think I’ll get some feedback tomorrow. Well I hope I will.” He saw the twinkle in her eye and smiled to himself. could feel herself slipping into the moment and could have sworn she was burning up.
She felt at ease with , it was different. He was such a good friend and had stood by her for a longer than she could have asked. “So how’s work going?” She asked stirring her straw into her drink.
“Good, we might have a contract sooner or later,” he said raising his eyebrows. She loved it when he did that. Her eyes twinkled.
“Hehe, that’ll be good, I’ll have to come watch you again. It was fun last time.” She giggled. Maybe it really was Daniel’s loss, she thought to herself. A passerby gave her a wave, she returned the favour. “Do you know him?”
“One of Daniels friends I think, so no not anymore.”
“How about another round of drinks?” offered.
“What and get wasted again tonight??” pretended to take it offensively. “Sounds good,” she added at the end. He laughed and ordered another round. The rest of the night was fun; they danced for a while on the dance floor letting loose some steam.
When she went home it ended quickly as she received missed calls from practically every number she could have thought of. Some were from a number she didn’t recognise, she didn’t think much of it and stopped herself from responding to any of them. She felt like the victim this time, Daniel had done her no favours and had hurt her. found her way to the fridge and made herself a cup of tea. That’s all she seemed to do these days. Her thoughts drifted back to and what he’d told her. He’d said that it wasn’t her loss and the usual break up support system, but then he went onto say “ you’re worth so much more than that, if only you’d told me before, maybe I could have done something?” It was in his questioning voice so she hadn’t thought much of it at the time. But now come to think of it, that was a nice thing wasn’t it? Perhaps she was just getting the wrong idea.
One thing she didn’t want to do was live a lie, and maybe was right in that sense, maybe it was better. She didn’t seem to think like that. wanted the type to get her heartbroken, or cry and show weakness to anyone. But tonight it had been different, she’d let see her upset and she hadn’t restrained herself. Why was that? She pushed the thoughts out of her head, she hated dwelling on things too much, and they just caused her more pain.
“ , maybe it’s better if you do go down, it is your friend as well as his.” had been trying to convince to go see her friend Katie for her birthday, the only thing holding her back was Daniel was going to be there.
“Yeah I know I should, but I can’t face him again. And like I don’t want Katie to think badly of me in any way for not going, I just don’t feel up to it anymore. Daniel’s probably going to bring his girl and I’m just going to be stranded looking like a rabbit in the headlights. I’m not prepared for Daniel to see me like that, not again anyway.”“I’m surprised you managed to say all that in one breath,” remarked. She gave him a growl and returned to her typing. He’d come to visit her at work as she’d emailed him regarding the situation.
“Thanks for coming by though you did sort of cheer me up.” She gave him a half smile pretending to be angry at him. It didn’t last long as they burst into a fit of laughter. glanced about her living room; the Christmas tree had been discarded to one side of the room, still waiting to be put up. “ are you aware the 25th is like next week, and you still haven’t put up your tree?” observed.“Yes, but,” rose from her seat disappearing into another room; he was left staring behind her. She returned a few minutes after rummaging around, “look how pretty my wrapping looks!” was in a strange way proud of her creation.
“I do have to say that’s good for you, seeing as you are hopeless at wrapping!” told her. She grinned, it was true. handed it to him.
“It’s for you,” she nudged.
“Aww thanks , that’s sweet of you, you didn’t have to.”
“Don’t give me that crap; you know you’d have held it against me for the rest of my life if I didn’t get you one.” He too grinned and nodded in agreement. “Let’s get your tree up.” He said out of the blue. placed down the mug of tea.
“What? Now? Are you joking?” Her fluffy slippers were a distraction for him.
“Yeah come on,” he didn’t take no for an answer and began taking off the packaging. It was a plastic tree, she could never be bothered to get another real one. “Are you okay getting to Katie’s?” He asked her softly from the floor.
“Yeah thanks, Gina said that she’d pick me up on the way. Thanks for the alleged offer though.”
“You’re most welcome. I think you should go get changed though, knowing you that’ll take 2 hours anyway.”
“Are you okay to finish up in here then?” He nodded silently looking up into her eyes. They locked into each other’s, she tried to hold on but she tore away smiling.
“Thanks ,” she whispered and withdrew her glance to walk away. Something was holding her back. “See you in a minute,” she said.
“We’ll see how long you can stretch a minute shall we?” She giggled and sauntered off for a shower. The warm water washed over her body letting her relax. opened her cupboard and sighed, she didn’t want to look too overdressed but not too casual either. The phone began ringing; she wrapped a towel around her body and walked back into the kitchen. was making himself a drink. She stepped in front of him to answer.
“Hello,” her voice almost was suspicious of who could be ringing at this moment in time.
He looked at her from the corner of his eye. Water dripped down from her hair, she still looked lovely. “ ,” he shouted making her jump. “Do you want some coffee?” He spoke through laughter; she nodded gratefully then gave him a playful hit. “No mum, it’s just , he’s being stupid. Alright I’ll call you tomorrow.” She grinned and hung up.
“Don’t scare me like that!” She exclaimed. “How cold is it outside?”
“Why don’t you stick your head out the window and see...?”
“Cause I’ll know you’ll push me.”
“You know me too well,” he responded handing her a mug. “Thanks,” she smiled. The mug was warm against her cold hands. scampered off again into her room. watched and admired her body and quickly pushed the thoughts to the back of his mind. ‘What’s wrong with you?’ He questioned himself. He began to select decorations from the discarded cardboard box and hung them on the tree. The silver ones sparkled in the light coming from the window. It was already getting dark outside. He took a step back to gaze at his master piece.
“Wow, it looks beautiful !” ’s voice made him jump slightly.
“Thanks,” he turned around to face her. Her hair was done up. A few strands fell onto her face allowing a soft touch. Her neck line was bare apart from a single diamond hanging on her collar bone. A black dress clung to her body dropping down to her lower thigh. “You, you look lovely .” He was almost lost for words. She grinned. “Glad you like it,” they paused for a moment.
Stepping out from her trance, told him Gina had called and would be here any minute. “What are you going to do? You’re welcome to stay here if you want to…?” Her voice trailed off.
“I’m not so sure, I might go get something. I’m not planning on doing anything in particular. Do you want me to do anything?”
“Nah, I’m alright thanks though.” What she really wanted to say was. ‘Yeah, will you wait up for me?’ She bit her lip before she said something stupid.
“I might hang around till you get back, is that okay? I think I need to talk to you about something. Nothing special, just the Christmas party organisations, is that alright?”“Perfect,” responded her face was glowing.
“Alright then, I’ll see you when you get back.” She walked towards the door but returned to place a soft kiss on his cheek.
“That was for doing the tree,” she grinned and walked through the door without a second glance.
“You look like you’re on cloud nine,” Gina said as they began walking. Their heels were tapping lightly on the ground. had been smiling all the way. Nothing compared to what she was feeling, but she was slightly confused. “Oh shit, I forgot Daniel’s going to be there!” exclaimed.
“We’ll get to that to in a minute, why are you so happy? Why were you so happy?” Gina corrected herself.
“Nothing, I for once was having a good day, that’s all.”
“So it had nothing to do with the fact ’s car was outside your drive?”
“Gina!” They laughed. She was supporting a gold dress which looked beautiful.
“What am I supposed to do with Daniel tonight?”
“Don’t say anything to him, let him do the talking first, I think you deserve that much. Just hear what he’s got to say then walk away.” Gina looked pleased with herself after thinking up so good advice. smiled as Katie welcomed them through the door.
“You guys look lovely,” she told them closing the door behind them. She introduced the two of them to a few of her friends; there were quite a few people present.
Gina and seated themselves on a sofa. “What was the idea behind this party again?” nudged Gina as a few more people she recognised entered.
“I don’t know, I think she’s getting engaged, that was the news you told me?!” Both looked at each other with confused faces.
“Let’s get something to eat,” stood up. Feeling someone brush against her shoulder she turned around. “Daniel?” He was too close for comfort. She took a step back. “Can we talk?” He said stroking her arm.
“No thank you, I’ll take a pass.” Gina stood up to support her friend. She had begun to walk away when he stopped her taking her wrist.
“What’s got into you?” He whispered.
“Get off of me Daniel; I don’t want anymore to do with you.” She sounded almost desperate; he had sensed that in his voice.
“We were perfectly fine before the holiday, are you not telling me something that you should be?” He laughed at his own joke. What was it that got involved with guys like this? He was never like this, ever!
“You can talk, at least have some self-respect.” She turned to walk away.
“I’m not done yet,” he beckoned her to one side.
“What more is there to say?” She looked into his eyes for the first time.
“Is there something you should be telling me?” He patted her stomach.
“Er, let me think about this… NO!” She told him. Her ears were burning. She felt embarrassed and uncomfortable, none of which she was happy about. He was still looking at her. “Do you want to try?”
He asked softly. She was scared, something had changed in him. withdrew her phone.
“No thanks Daniel, not with you.” She walked into a nearby bathroom and dialled a number.
Tears were streaming from her eyes, how could he have done that to her?!
“ is that you?” She asked.
“Yeah, are you okay?”
“I’m really sorry to put you out, but can you pick me up?”
“I’ll leave in the next five minutes.” His voice reassured her as he hung up. She said thank you to the dead line and dried her eyes.
Daniel was waiting for her outside. “ I’ve got a question to ask you.”
“Whatever it is, I don’t want to know. I don’t love you anymore; you think you can just be forgiven after what you did to me? I think not. And you want to know something else? I don’t think I ever loved you in the first place.” Words tumbled from her mouth. She stood firm. She was running out of patience for him.
walked over to Gina, “ ’s picking me up soon, sorry to desert you Gina, and I can’t stay here anymore.”
“Alright hun, don’t worry. It’ll be okay, just ignore him.” She nodded and made her way over to the door breathing slow. She closed her eyes and counted to ten. She felt hotter than hell. realised she had just meant everything she’d told Daniel. A doorbell rang out; Daniel made his way over to her. “ , I really think we need to try again.”
“You’re not even sorry Daniel.” She told him. He took a step forward. Anger was in his eyes. She wasn’t having it. Inside of her fear was growing. Someone stood in front of her.
“Don’t touch her.” ’s voice came sharp. Daniel took a step back.
“Got more than you bargained for ?” Daniel spat in her direction. took her hand and they took the exit. “What was that about?” He asked.
“That was Daniel, the guy I was telling you about.”
“The one you liked and cheated on you?” He sounded surprised. Her taste had gone down hill if that was correct.
“Yeah, but that was then. I don’t think I actually loved him though, if you get what I mean.”
“Yeah I got you.” He responded understandingly. They’d been holding hands all the way, and both of them were aware. Something began falling softly onto their shoulders.
“ , it’s snowing!” He laughed as she put her hand out to catch a snowflake. “Thanks for picking me up.” She told him gratefully.
“House was empty anyway,” he swung their arms.
“I can’t believe him, he’s changed so much. Can’t believe I ever thought I loved him!” She was shocked with herself. hadn’t realised the one true love had been standing in front of her all along.
They seated themselves in his car and he sped off into the distance with haste. “What’s the hurry ?”
“Well let me think about it.” He grinned and turned the corner stopping at her home. stopped at the door. She wasn’t sure if he felt the same way as she did. What did she feel? felt confused but knew she hated Daniel and loved , what could be clearer? They were standing over the threshold.
“Yeah,” he whispered back.
“I think something’s happened.”
“Like what?” He moved a piece of hair from her face then ran his fingers through his hair. His eyes locked into hers. She could hear her heartbeat and was almost sure could hear it too.
“Mistletoe…?” looked up as she said this. He put his hand on her neck. “Sure?” He smiled as he doubted her intelligence.
“Positive,” he edged a few inches towards her and kissed her tenderly. closed her eyes and took it in. As she drew back she grinned. None of them regretted it. He led her through the door.
“I think , something’s happened to me too.”
“Really, like what?” She said smiling.
“You know they say that once in your life people step into your life just to give you good things. Some call them angels.” He paused for a minute; didn’t quite know where he was going with this. “You’re my Christmas Angel and I think I love you.”Her eyes twinkled; he moved closer till his lips were touching hers.