Isn’t it always the case? It never fails. As soon as you have your heart set on what you want to do-- nay, what you have to do!--something always gets in the way of you doing it. For Violet it was several somethings that prevented her from finally—at long last!—telling Victor exactly how she felt about him, how inexcusably stupid she had been all this time, how very much she regretted hurting him and how desperately she wanted him to take her back, and marry her so she can be part of his family and they could live happily ever after. Yes, just like in your average, ordinary fairytale!
How this declaration would be received by Victor was another matter entirely and not one she cared to ponder at the moment. Not that she would get the chance…
As it turned out, Violet wouldn’t have the time for any of that for another eternity. Most of the somethings that got in her way, although alternately cute, funny, sweet and comical, she really couldn’t help feeling a dread settle around the pit of her stomach every time she spotted Victor talking and laughing with someone other than herself. She could only think of him slipping further away with every minute she delayed speaking with him.
Would she ever get the chance again with Victor? Did he care about her anymore or would something else get in the way…something—or someone-- permanent perhaps? Oh, who knew!
Anyway, Violet on her chocolate high was in a much more amiable mood than when she first appeared at the party and she suffered through the small talk with little irritation. As a matter of fact, she rather enjoyed the little hands—those of adorable five year old Carmencita-- dragging her to see a fascinating something or other hanging on one of the many Christmas trees in Victor’s house and seven year old Billy who Violet found under the tree earnestly trying to count all the presents under the tree for everybody, insisting it was good practice for math and memorization. Well, she couldn’t argue with that!
She also tried her best to soothe Peter’s concern about an extremely important matter having to do with old St. Nick.
“I toll Santa at the mall dat I wanted a fire truck but then I got one from Grampa’s friend in Forda. He sent it in da mail, but Santa doesn’t know dat! And I don’t want Santa to bring me anudder fire truck so I gotta tell him I aweddy got one!” Peter whined.
“I’m sure Santa knows all about that, Peter. Really, you don’t have to worry because Santa knows everything, okay?” Violet said.
“Are ya sure he knows?” Peter said.
“I am and tell you what. If Santa forgets and you get another fire truck we can take it to the store and trade it in for another toy.”
Peter’s eyes grew three times bigger than usual. “You can do dat?” he asked.
Violet laughed and nodded. “It’s one of the most favorite things to do after Christmas,” she said, which seemed to pacify him.
Violet was introduced and spoke at surprising length with various people whom she never had know previously and she wondered how Victor knew them. Then there were those she knew far longer than she cared to admit and never suspected Victor was acquainted with them either. How did he do it?
“That guy sure gets around,” Richard mumbled, hovering by the ceiling next to the Christmas tree where he and his ghostly pal Heidi had an excellent view of the entire room. “I mean…how the hell does he know Mac and Glady? Doubt he goes fly-fishing with Mac or visits Glady’s quilt and craft supply shop very often.”
“Catalpa Valley living, of course,” Heidi said.
“What’s that mean?” he asked.
“Everybody knows everybody in a small town, Richard. You should know that more than anyone,” she said. “Look at all the people who made it to your funeral, practically the entire town.”
“That doesn’t count,” he grumbled. “It was just an excuse to get outta work and school.”
Heidi stifled a giggle, knowing all too well how uncomfortable Richard was about his hero status in town and his desire to squelch it every chance he got.
“Be that as it may, my Victor is a friendly sort so he goes out of his way to know his neighbors,” she said, proudly. “And for your information, Glady needed advice on incorporating her business.”
“Who’s the guy talking with Freddy? He can’t be from town…never saw him before,” Richard said.
“Odd…I was going to ask you!” Heidi said. “He came with Morris, didn’t he?”
“No idea,” he said.
Violet had been wondering the same thing and just when she was about to approach her brother to find the answer she spotted Julian huddled in the corner of the large overstuffed armchair he favored for reading. He was unusually alone and quiet with all the noise and bustle all around him which sounded her motherly alarm.
She sat beside him and placed a hand on his arm. “Merry Christmas Julian. Are you feeling all right?” she said quietly.
He shook his head but didn’t even glance her way.
“What’s wrong, Honey?”
“He’s not coming,” he pouted.
“Who?” Violet asked. Surely it wasn’t another Kris Kringle Krisis!
“Reggie,” he said.
“Um…” she said, wondering who that was. “Is he a friend of yours?”
Julian shook his head. “No, he’s our bogical father, ‘member?” he said looking at her with sad eyes.
“Bogical? Oh, you mean biological,” she said.
“Dat’s what I said,” he replied, now sounding rather annoyed. “He said he’d come, but he’s not gonna.”
“Oh, well, I’m sure he felt a bit funny coming to a party where he didn’t know anybody,” she said, making up the first excuse she could think of. “He’ll come some other time when…”
Julian shook his head. “He said he can’t ever see us again cuz his wife got mad at him when he told her ‘bout us. He said she was gonna divorce him if he ever saw us again,” he said, wiping at his watery eyes.
“Oh my…and you really want to see him?” she asked, stupidly.
He nodded. “He’s real nice and he gave us presents and he was gonna tell ua stories about Mommy and he said we had anudder gramma and grampa and that they’d wanna see us, too, but now they won’t,” he said and he started to cry.
“Oh…oh, Julian, I’m sorry,” Violet said, wrapping him in a hug.
“It’s not fair, Violet. We can’t ever see our udder gramma and grampa,” Julian said, with a sniff. “We only have one gramma and one grampa but Mikey Wilson has three grammas and four grampas and he sees them all for Christmas.”
Violet wondered for a moment how any one person could have more than the usual two sets of grandparents. At last she decided it must happen with enough divorces and remarriages and such.
“Well, Julian, you’re lucky to have the grandparents you do have and Victor makes a wonderful father. Remember, you didn’t have any of that before Victor adopted you. None of the Angel kids have any grandparents, no family at all in fact. You must learn to be grateful for what you have and not worry so much about what you don’t have,” she said.
“We don’t gotta mommy either,” he said, glaring at her for a second, but he quickly skipped over that galling point and went on with his initial complaint.” Reggie said he’d come and that we could visit our gramma and grampa and now he signed some papers for Daddy and said he can’t come no more.”
“Papers? Oh my…” she said understanding that to be very good thing. “Well, maybe he could call you some time.”
Julian shrugged. “Reggie said that too, but it’s not the same.”
“No, maybe not, but…you know, maybe things will change after a while,” she said.
“Well, I’m sure Reggie’s wife was in a state of shock when she discovered her husband had a whole other family, and she may just need some time to accept it and understand that it has nothing to do with how he feels for her and…after all, it’s something that she can’t change and she needs to …to just get over it and then…”
“What’s stata shock?” Julian asked.
“It’s like a big surprise that doesn’t make you very happy. I’m certain Reggie’s secret was a totally unhappy shock to her,” she said, knowing exactly how devastated the poor lady must feel to learn her husband had three children with someone else and not told her about it BEFORE getting married. “You never know, Julian, but she might, some day, not be so mad anymore and then she’ll be okay with Reggie coming to see you. Miracles happen all the time, remember?”
He made a grumpy face. “So it’ll take a great big miracle?”
She kissed the top of his head to keep from laughing. “Just a little one will do most times. We just have to be patient, but in a few weeks or months…you never know,” she said. “We never know what might happen.”
Just then her eyes landed on Victor and she knew she was talking herself into this miracle more than she was Julian.
©2017 Glory Lennon All Rights Reserved