The Days of Amelia Rose

The first time I saw Amelia Rose, it was in the cafeteria. I had looked up to give George a sarcastic stare and she was there just behind her. She wore a black top, loose grey jogging bottoms and her hair tied up in a knot on the top of her head.

She didn’t wear any makeup and she carried very little on her tray. She glanced around the room and then made her way to an empty table. She put her tray down carefully and dumped her grey duffle bag on the seat next to her and pulled out a battered book and opened it.  She read with one hand and ate an apple with another. I watched for a few minutes, marvelling at how she could turn the page with one hand.

George waved her hand in front of my face. She had been speaking to me and I had been ignoring her.  Not ignoring. I didn’t know she was speaking. I turned my face away from Amelia and forced myself to regain the conversation with George.

The second time I saw her, I didn’t see her. She bumped into me and we both dropped our books. I scrambled to the floor to pick them up, I handed her a book that wasn’t mine and she thanked me. She was wearing the same jogging bottoms but this time a loose fitted t-shirt with the words “Made in 1993”.

“I’m Jack,” I said. “Holden.”

“Amelia Rose,” she replied. Her voice did not match her face. It was quite deep and husky like she was a smoker, I knew from later she had never smoked a cigarette in her life, she valued her body and throat.  Her face was sweet, like a Sindy doll, with large eyes and small rosebud lips, but with less of a forehead. I thought she was beautiful.

I offered to walk her to her class and she accepted. Her class was in the Art Department, Dance Studio. Her clothes made sense she was a dancer.

On the third day I learned she wore tights under her jogging bottoms and a leotard under her t-shirt.  I would later learn she fell asleep on her right side and slept on her left side, she wore her makeup only when she was on stage or on a date. She had eighteen freckles spattered on her nose and cheeks, thirty on her shoulders and back. She was ticklish on her left foot and both of her sides.  Her toes all but crippled from the amount of time she spent on them.

The fourth time I saw her she needed help with finding a book in the library, I offered to help her. We ended up talking about books for three hours, and I walked her to class again and plucked up the courage to ask her out. She smiled shyly and agreed.  I had a free period so she asked if I wanted to stay. I watched her dance. It was like she was on a cloud, her feet barely touched the ground. She moved with air and grace.

The fifth day was the first time I saw her with make-up, I told her she looked beautiful. I thought she had looked beautiful the first time I saw her, but my pride wouldn’t allow me to say that yet.  She was wearing a floaty yellow dress that contrasted well with her chestnut hair. She smiled and took my arm. We walked to the restaurant and spoke well into the night.

Those first five days were the beginning of our relationship, her father would later comment that we were like a fine wine, getting better with age. Amelia Rose was a kind person, who wasn’t popular but wasn’t unpopular. She was a recluse, but pleasantly so. She spoke to those who spoke to her and a very chosen few were classed as her friends. She was beautiful without make-up, inside and out, her children were just as beautiful. I was thankful for those five days with her.


Our First Christmas

Do you guys know how long I’ve been wanted to write a Christmas story?! Since last January that’s when!!

Here we go…

Snow was falling. It was the first snowfall of the year. It was late this year. But Sophie smiled all the same. She knew what this meant. She looked at the clock on her computer. Four more hours until she could finish work and skip merrily to home to Gregg.

How she managed the four hours she had no idea, but she did. She smiled pleasantly at awkward customers, spoke calmly on the phone when people were shouting. All because she was one step closer to Christmas. It was Christmas Eve, and was going to be Gregg and Sophie’s first as a couple living in sin.

Sophie had already planned the day. Morning at her parents for breakfast and gifts while the dinner was cooking. Back to theirs for dinner and their gifts to each other, then round to his parents for the Christmas Tea Buffet and their gifts. Everything was planned with precision timing. But of course something would go wrong, Sophie knew and accepted that fact.

She walked out of the front doors and in the car park was Gregg’s silver Ford. She smiled as she saw his Christmas hat and jumper and the goofy grin on his face. She all but ran over to the car, got in and gave him a quick kiss before he handed her a hat and jumper. She grinned and put them on.

“Are you ready?” He smiled. They had done this last year after the first snowfall and promised to do it again, every year. He cranked up the radio which was pouring out the Christmas tunes and they set off singing as loudly as they could.

They drove around the town looking at all the Christmas decorations that people had put up and took pictures of the busiest ones to remember. Sophie’s mother never put the decorations outside for people to gawp at, she always said Christmas was a family affair and should be shared with family. Not strangers.

The sun had long since set when Sophie’s legs began to itch. She told Gregg she was ready for the next bit if he was. And so they drove to the next stop on their snowfall tour. The town high-street.

They pulled up into the car park and got out, wrapping their coats and scarves around them. Linking hands, they walked to the café, open late for Christmas Shoppers and ordered two speciality Hot Chocolates and sat down.

The two of them couldn’t be more suited. They both looked equally as mad sat in a café with Santa Hats perched on their heads and moustaches of squirty cream on their upper lips, hands wrapped around Santa mugs. Gregg reached over and tenderly wiped the cream off her nose and lip, making Sophie’s heart flutter. The two spoke about their days and memories of Christmases’ past. They drained their mugs and wrapped their coats around them.

Sophie took Gregg’s hand as they walked down the high-street and into the park. The council had put Christmas Lights in the trees to light the way through the park, it was so quaint and lovely and Sophie’s favourite thing about Christmas. It just so happened as they were walking along that they stopped for Sophie to rearrange her scarf.

Gregg offered to do it for her, wrapping it twice around her neck and tying it in front. Ad she had always done. When he tucked the ends into her coat, he tugged the lapel gently to pull her close to him and kissed her gently, softly, lovingly. Sophie pulled away and he gestured upwards with his eyes. They had stopped under Mistletoe.

Snow had begun to fall again as the two walked back to their car. Sophie glanced at her phone. 00.01.

“Merry Christmas,” she whispered as she sat in the car. Shd leaned over and kissed his cheek.

“Merry Christmas to you too,” he smiled. “I guess it’s officially a white one.”