In response to Linda G Hill’s stream of consciousness socks
And merry Christmas to you all
She brushed her cascading curls, casting one quick glance behind her every once in a while. Not that anything would have changed in the bedroom. She wasn’t sure why she did that. Maybe fear that her clothes would disappear. That was a recurring nightmare after all; but no her dress was still there, as well as the coat and everything else. She parted her hair and braided a part of it, before she gathered it at the nape of her neck in what they called a sock-bun. She’d learned how to do that just for tonight. The occasion was momentous; hence the fear of her clothes disappearing by magic.
She’d hesitated wearing dress pants, regular socks and boots; it was winter after all. But she’d been convinced that socks at this time of the year, were meant to be hooked by the chimney, something she obviously didn’t have in her apartment. It was forbidden in the city, understandably so. She had never really put socks by the fireplace – inexistent as it was – nor on the mantlepiece or attacked to one of her bookshelves. It wasn’t a tradition her parents had followed. Of course, she was no longer home. She’d moved to another country barely two years after her life changed. She might have to pick up some of the habits of the place. Still, it had felt somewhat weird to see it hang on the shelf near her Christmas tree.
She couldn’t have said why she felt compelled to buy a tree this year. She never really cared for Christmas. Her parents died on their way to the midnight mass when she was in college and since then she’d hated that particular holiday. Why would she celebrate it this year? Still her hands moved and make-up was applied on her face. She put her mother’s pearl necklace and earrings. She slipped into lacy underwear, something she’d never have bought before and then into the backless emerald dress that she still wondered at having purchased. It matched the colour of her eyes. That was true, but still. She put on her the heeled silver shoes, grabbed the fake fur and wrapped it about her shoulders. The clutch matched the nacre of her pearls and she crossed to the living room.
Her eyes wandered to the tree and the sock beside it. What present could fit in this beyond candies and other sugar cane? Surely nothing she could ever want as a Christmas gift could fit in a sock. If she ever wanted anything for Christmas. The only thing she could think of was having her parents back. And she’d known for almost 10 years that wish would never come true. Tears threatened but she couldn’t cry.
She shivered as someone knocked on the door. A quick glance at the clock. She was ready on time. She wouldn’t have dared not to. She opened the door; Felix stood there in a smart grey suit, his eyes catching hers as swiftly and surely as if he’d known exactly where she’d be once she’d let him in. Not surprising; a door was a door after all.
She nodded. Still he took a peek inside and smiled.
“Good; you put the tree and sock.” She shrugged. “My parents will love it when they come for New Year. They might wonder why there isn’t a second one for me though.”
She blinked. And smiled.
“I thought it might be too much of a statement. We aren’t married after all.”
“Smart girl. Shall we?”
He offered his arm and she took it. She closed the door behind her casting one last glance to the tree and sock. That was why she’d purchased it. For him. But tonight, it was about meeting his very rich parents at a stupid fundraising event – who organizes fundraiser on Christmas eve? – and convincing them that she wasn’t in that relationship for the money. What a great way to spend Christmas!
“I love you.” He whispered.
It was worth it. It would be. And maybe one day, she’d actually feel comfortable at Christmas. And they would have not one, not two but maybe four or five socks hanging beside the Christmas tree on an actual fireplace in a house. Though that wasn’t a deal breaker.