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  • Writer's pictureDominika

Gingerbread - a short story

Updated: Jan 12, 2020

- …that reminds me of the Christmas when Mark -

- Here we go… Enough mom, don't start with those stories of yours again. Jeez!, it's always the same with you when you have a few glasses of wine too many.

- But… I just wanted to tell everybody -

- I know what you wanted to tell...

- No… it wasn't that story -

- Yeah right, you have done so every Christmas for the past twenty years. Look, everyone knows it by heart now. In any case, what can I get you auntie? Another glass of wine? Here uncle, your whiskey. Dad, that is your glass. No more for you, mom.

- Mom… shhh, lower your voice, Nina could hear you, and don't eat those gingerbread cookies. Nini and Elisa spent two days baking and decorating them.

- Why waste so much time baking if nobody's gonna eat them?

- It is not a waste of time Livia, Nini and I like spending time baking stuff together.

- Of course you do my love, don´t listen to her. Mom let it go, just don't eat the damn cookies.

- I´m just saying, if you don´t want people to eat them then just hang those plastic bulbs like everyone else does. And also, don´t fill the girl's head with those silly tales of Santa Claus and how he comes down the chimney… blah blah blah.

- She's only four years old, at her age everyone believes in Santa Claus.

- Not you, you didn't. We always told you things just as they were, no reindeer or letters to Santa. Dad and I worked very hard to get you Christmas presents. Isn't it true Mike? Those were not easy times, I had to plan very well how we spent each dime.

- Mhmm, yes, magical Christmas.

- Come on, they were.

- Anyway, we already told her that we must return home right after the midnight mass and see if we can still catch Santa. Don't make that face, THAT is the plan.

- OK, OK, got it.

- Is Robert coming? Did you make sure he has the costume and knows what time we won't be home?

- Yes, how many more times will you ask me?

- I ask because I know him. He couldn't care less. Had it been for me I wouldn't have even invited him. But you insisted so much, 'He is doing so well, he has cleaned up his act', 'He really wants to spend the Holidays with the family'.

- Well, he is and he does. And leave Robby alone, he has gone through so much lately. Do you think the divorce has been easy on him? ¿Hah? If you called him, went to see him, you would know, but you never do. It wouldn't hurt for you to be more supportive. And how can you even think about not inviting your own brother for Christmas.

- More supportive? He is THE only one to blame for the divorce. Poor Ana. And after all those things he has pulled on me… and, might I just add… on you all, I just don't see the point of calling him. You either don't see it, or don´t want to see it mom. You cover up for him, you always have, ever since we were kids.

- Oh, stop it. And yes, he will come, I already told you so. He promised me.

- I hope so, for Nini's sake.

- See Maria, you can't tell him anything, he's so sensitive.

- Leave auntie Maria out of this. Why don't you tell some ´Robby´ stories for a change now? Hah?

- Sweety, shhhh, take off your shoes. Now, wait for daddy to open the door.

- Daddy!

- Shhhhhh

- Daddyyy, the lights are on. Does that mean Santa is here?

- What the hell happened to the tree? Where are the cookies?! All these crumbs! And these bottles!

- Elisa don't shout, you are scaring the kid.

- Wasn't that the whole point of baking the cookies? For them to be eaten? If not, why didn't you just hang the plastic bulbs?

- Mom! Not now!

- I'm just saying…

- Look mommy, look daddy, there is a suitcase here. Is it my gifts -

- Nini, no! …Wait… I don't think it is your-

- Oh my Lord! Is he breathing? Mark! Mike! Quick, lift him up. Slowly, slowly, SLOWLY!, I said. Take off that hat and that beard, they are soaking wet.

- Granny, did Santa get sick?

- Noooo, my little princess. Ohhh nooo…. come here, don´t cry, it's not Santa, it's just your uncle Robert. Santa Claus does not exist.

- MOM!

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