A Writer's Journey

December 25, 2015

I’ll Be Home For Christmas

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 pm
Tags: , ,

He had never missed Christmas. Not since he he had met her, not since he married and not since they had their three beautiful children. And he wasn’t going to let some snow storm ruin his perfect record. He was getting home come hell or high water.

Of course, a snow storm did prove a daunting obstacle.

Chris Anderson sat in the airport, watching his flight get pushed back more and more. At the rate they were going, it was likely that his plane wasn’t going to take off until after Christmas.

His darling Lucy had been very understanding when he had called. “Don’t put yourself at risk,” she told him. “If it’s too dangerous to travel, don’t. We can always celebrate Christmas another day.”

But Christmas was important to them. They had met at Christmas and he hadn’t spent one not at her side since that fateful tree lighting where they had both been roped into being Santa’s elves. He had thought she was beautiful even in the polyester green and red elf dress and silly hat.

So he needed to be home for Christmas. Home with Lucy and their children, sitting around the tree while the children tried to subtly inch closer and closer to their presents. Lucy always let them get within inches of the wrapped boxes before calling them on it. They would groan but troop to bed so that Santa could come. Once Lucy and he put out the remaining presents, they would curl up by the fire and just hold each other.

Which sounded more appealing than this airport, he thought with a sigh.

“Is this seat taken?”

Chris looked up to find a woman about his Lucy’s age staring down at him. She had layered blonde hair and shining green eyes. Her bright pink carry on rested at her feet.

He glanced down at the seat next to him and shook his head. She sighed as she plopped down, her carryon landing at her feet. “Oh thank goodness. My flight was delayed four times and then canceled. I just booked a ticket for this one and I hope it can get out.”

“I don’t know. We’ve been delayed three hours so far.”

She groaned. “Brilliant. Do you know if there’s a hotel nearby?”

“Yeah, I think there’s one attached to the airport or something. They’ve said that if they cancel the flight, the airline has rooms they can put us up in there.”

“I’d rather be home,” she replied before holding out her hand. “Allison.”

“Chris.” He shook it. “So is New York home or another destination?”

She smiled. “New York. You?”

“Same.”

“What brought you so far from home so close to Christmas?” she asked. “Unless you don’t want to make small talk while we wait for them to make a decision about our flight. Then you can tell me to shut up.”

Chris chuckled. “Small talk sounds good. And I was on an unavoidable business trip, according to my boss. You?”

“School,” she replied. “I’m in graduate school and had a late final.”

“They wouldn’t let you move it up to go home?”

She shook her head. “My professor was a hard-ass.”

“I can tell,” Chris said with a laugh. “Do you think you passed?”

“I know I passed. If he even tries to fail me, I’ll be back in the office so fast they’ll think I teleported there.”

Chris let out another laugh and she joined him. She then glanced down at his hand. “Wedding ring. Trying to get back to the wife and kids? Or is it a husband and kids?”

“Wife and kids.” Chris pulled out his phone. “Would you like to see them?”

“Sure,” she said, leaning closer.

He tilted the screen to show Lucy surrounded by their two girls and son. It had been taken when the family went pumpkin picking, so each child held a small pumpkin in their hands as they beamed for the camera.

Allison smiled. “They look beautiful. You’re a lucky man.”

“How about you? Any lucky guy? Or girl?”

“No, I’m single right now. But I have great friends and time. No need to rush.”

Chris nodded. “Sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders.”

“You sound like such a dad.”

“I’ve had lots of practice.” He waved his phone.

She laughed. “You remind me of my dad. He’d like you.”

“You heading home to him?”

“Yep,” she said. “And to my mom and my two annoying brothers. I love them, though.”

The staff person at the gate came over the loudspeaker and everyone held their breaths. “Ladies and gentlemen, we will begin boarding in ten minutes. We ask for your cooperation as the quicker we get through the boarding process, the more likely we are to get in the air ahead of this storm.”

Everyone cheered. Chris stood, gathering his things and turned to Allison. “Do you need any help?”

“No, I got it. Thanks.” She held out her hand. “Have a Merry Christmas.”

He shook it. “You too. Enjoy the time with your family. Even your brothers.”

Allison laughed. “I’m sure I will. And you go home and give those beautiful children a big hug.”

Three hours later and a twenty minute cab ride later, Chris let himself into his house. He climbed the stairs and peeked into each child’s room, giving them kisses as they slept on.

By the time he got to his bedroom, Lucy was up and waiting for him with a big smile. “You made it back.”

“I wouldn’t miss Christmas.” He kissed her. “Not for anything. Merry Christmas, love.”

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