Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Is it Christmas?

Halie and Gage

They'd had a falling out. Long before the travel date from Bristol. But Jonah had the tickets, so Halie came anyway, as if that might be therapeutic, to be at Josie's house for a real American Christmas.

Jonah had a lapse of some sort. He did not want to be touched. It didn't seem possible. He'd finally got that graphic novel published that Jules and he had worked on... for so long. That was all he thought about these days. He needed to think about what came next. Not about her nor anything else, evidently, so it made her awful blue.

She'd told Josie a little about it, but Josie seemed preoccupied, too.

"Then we should just get wasted." Wasn't that what people did during the holidays? Who cared if Josie might be on the outs with Dean. But then he showed up, all smiles with this friend of his. Gage.

Suddenly, it was as if they were a couple again on Christmas eve. Dean and Josie. Pressies and all. Halie felt like an outsider. She should be with her brother Jules and Willow, but they were at her parents, and Halie didn't want to have to witness moody Jonah.

She did her best to act all right. Gage smiled at her. He kept her company while the love birds made up. She supposed. They were all cuddly with Josie's infant sister Carrie.

Honestly, Halie would have nothing to do with babies. She just couldn't. So she kept smiling at Gage who seemed smitten with her voice. From time to time he'd laugh and say, he didn't know what she'd said in her British accent.

"But I don't care. Just say something. Say anything." His eyes were so bright, and they were for her. It kept her smiling. And when he showed up way after midnight..well...Halie certainly felt as if she were on a Christmas adventure.

fine day for a modern wedding

Really, Ian wasn't sure to laugh or cry when his brother Eric with his family, and his Dad and Step-Mom showed up for the wedding. 

He soon knew it was all of Liz's doing. He was certain he'd be in debt to her. After all, she was calling the shots at the pub wedding.

"Just friends having a celebration." She told him sweetly. He supposed she was right. And Eric was there to be his best man. He really hadn't thought of anyone. It was all just a blur. 

Eric and his Dad showed up that morning. And his step-mom kept hugging him tight with twenty questions all about Jema.

"Well, of course, you know her..but.." He could see in her eyes that she was nervous about this. After all, his Dad married a hometown girl once and that didn't last, even if he'd divorced her and then gone back to her, his Dad was with Eric's mother. He was beginning to think the men in his family were just crazy when it came to relationships.

"Look, I know what I'm doing." He'd thought on this long and hard. "We are friends, really good friends. I know her ..and..and I love her." He knew it. Maybe even when he was a kid. Of course, he looked older than she did now. Maybe it was because she was so short.

But of course, his step-mom told him she wanted him to come home. There was no way he could tell her he was already home.

Thankfully, the ceremony went along peacefully. Rufus was all in black and he really was good with his little monologues about marriage. Ian wanted to say to him, "I think you've missed your calling." But then to think the fellow from pest control as your local Reverend was a bit of a laugh.

Of course, Jema looked lovely, even if she didn't wear white. Afterwards, it was a great pot luck. Everyone brought food, and there was dancing later even with a chill in the air and Christmas time. Honestly, it felt like their day. Even better, his dad gave them a ticket to fly to Spain for a honeymoon, but at least there were a few days to get ready, and Ian could spend some time with Eric.

Jules and his half siblings

Jules thought he saw Jonah with a cigarette, early on Christmas morn. Long before the rest of the bunch was up.

Something was just off. No Halie about. He thought for sure his sister Halie would want to see him.

"What's gotten into you?" He snatched the cigarette away from Jonah who looked like an old man of some kind, there out in the snow on the front lawn.

Jonah hadn't said much since he got there. Jules barely saw Halie at the airport. She was off to Josie's house. It was all so depressing. Here he'd been looking forward to seeing them both, and then they'd gone their separate ways.

"I'm just trying to cope." He was more sour than usual. 

"What? Is it Gilly and Fiona?" Jules shivered in the cold. He got Jonah back in and he went to make coffee. 

Jonah shook his head, no. He still liked sharing a house with the two and their little family in London.

That's when he told Jules about Archie and Halie. Archie was Jules' half brother that he'd only met once. Now his little sister had really gotten to know a sibling even if Jules was the only link between the two.

"Are you shite'n me?" Jules asked with disgust as he went to get out the butter. He might as well start breakfast. He felt like egg sandwiches until Jules told him about Halie making out with Archie. How could she?

"He swears he was drunk and it was only an accident." But by the way Jonah looked at him, Jules was certain Jonah could never look the same at Halie, again. "Its all her fault. She doesn't like Magz."

"Magz? What's she got against her?" Jules winced as he put butter in a skillet and bacon in another to start a fry. He watched the butter slowly melt and the bacon begin to pop ever so tender.

Magz was such a delicate bird that Archie did his science studies with. 

"Says she's boring." Jonah festered a frown.

"I'd take boring over Halie's tricks any day." Jules shook his head. "I'm beginning to think she's a real nutter. Did you, discuss this with Liz, at all?" Jules supposed he should call her Mum, but since Rufus, his absent father,  came in to the picture..he couldn't make himself call him.. Dad.

Jonah shook his head, no. Jules went to pour him some coffee. He got out the milk for Jonah.

"Look, might be as well, you don't have anything to do with her." Jules wanted to be on Halie's side, but he couldn't.

Jules' cell went off with a Johnny Rotten tune. He looked to see it was Josie.

"Is Halie there?" She asked

"I thought she was with you?" Jules squinted hard.

"Her phone's here, but she's not." Josie sighed.

Jules felt as if he'd breathed in poison. This was the last thing he wanted to hear.


deb said...

Halie really knows how to stir up a holiday.

ivy said...

What bad things are gonna happen this Christmas???