“Calm down,” I hear David trying to bring a sense of serenity to Christmas morning, knowing he was regretting downing the left-for-Santa sherry after all the Guinness he’d drunk last night. I heard him sigh; the children were in frenzy of excitement by the time they were allowed downstairs to see what Santa Claus had brought them. I could hear the squeals as they ripped open the brightly wrapped parcels, ignoring the bows and tags wishing them a Merry Christmas. The initial outburst was soon followed by their bright high-pitched voices expressing thanks for their gifts and demands to David to open packaging. I bring two cups of hot tea into the room and pass one to David before I flop onto the sofa.
“You Mummy,” Jessie grabs a small parcel with her chubby hands and thrusts it in my face. “Thank you,” I say, then kiss her lightly on her forehead inhaling her baby scent. The small box is wrapped in a beautiful duck egg blue paper which has tiny shimmering snowflakes printed on it. I discard the paper and open a velvet covered jewellery box. “Wow, thanks David,” I lean over to kiss him “You’ve must have gone over budget though,” I say admiring the plush diamond earrings, they sparkle creating a rainbow of colours as the flashing Christmas tree lights catch them. “I didn’t get you those,” he looks confused as he peers into the box. “Who did then?” I pick up the discarded wrap trying to find the label, smiling to myself and thinking he’s bought an extra gift and he’s having me on. I pick up the label.
“Laura, I’ve never forgotten about you and never stopped loving you. Lets try again?” My stomach lurches as I look up at David’s ashen face, we both know who is about to come crashing back into our lives.