Good morning and Happy December! Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. Also, hopefully, you’ve begun your Christmas shopping!
Today, I hope you’ll “come around” to the Christmas spirit with a selection from writer Mackenzie Littledale’s short story titled “Fences and Firewalls, Sand or Stone.” You can read the full story on Mackenzie’s blog.
I love this particular selection. Michelle has gone to breakfast with her ex, Shawn, and his new wife Rebecca. There are a lot of layers to peel away here from the effect that the relationship with Rebecca has on Shawn (or does it?) to Michelle’s introspection:
“You know,” Rebecca said abruptly, “Shawn put up the tree and lights outside. I’ve been getting him into the holiday spirit.”
“Who are we talking about?” Michelle’s eyes widened and she pointed at him. “This guy?”
He shrugged, dark eyes squarely on his plate of food, pretending marriage had no influence on him. Michelle thought back to their romantic entanglement that spanned a matter of months crossing the holiday season of 2012 into 2013. She’d taken him to Thanksgiving dinner at Felicia’s, to a work-sponsored holiday party, lavished him with reader’s gifts, and spent New Year’s on the beach in Pompano. He’d sulked and brooded, even though the gifts he gave her were special in every way. Shawn gave her everything she’d asked for, plus a designer handbag in black with gold-tone accents. He’d complained of being cold on the beach, so immediately after the fireworks, she relented and they went back to his place for the night. He made Valentine’s especially romantic with a handwritten card, professing his love for her, that he sealed with wax, only to break up with her a few weeks later.
Michelle steeled herself. Revealing the unsettling emotions coursing through her body wouldn’t be, couldn’t possibly be a good idea. She saw no trace of malice in Rebecca’s face, but her eyes were sharp and fierce like a bird of prey.
She was no longer sure what she hoped to gain from having breakfast in Rebecca’s company. Her own history with Shawn was convoluted with detours through hell, but she’d forgiven him. She’d forgiven herself for all the shortcomings of her bipolar depression, but the emotional wounds felt fresh, bleeding sadness, guilt, and longing for a relationship that could have been her lasting love but had slipped through her fingers.
“I’m trying,” Rebecca said. “He’s coming around.”
Okay, that’s all for now. Be sure to check out Mackenzie’s blog and other great short stories. Have a wonder-filled day, everyone!