ho-ho-ho part 2

August 20, 2010

     

“Was that Desiree Blackwood I saw you talking to at church this morning?” Marie clambers around in my refrigerator trying to find something edible to create a fast and easy lunch. Every other day of the week, I get a great deal of pleasure from cooking, but Sunday is my day of rest. Sunday lunches usually consist of leftovers or some version of microwavable burritos that are quietly warmed, while Cyrus enjoys his after-church nap.

“Hey, grab me a can of diet Mtn. Dew while you’re in there.” Aww… yes. This bubbley substance is my life-water and beloved addiction. “Yep, Desiree. The one and only.’

“What has she been up to?” Marie calls out from the second shelf.

“Oh, just the usual seducing of Father Christmas,” I snort.

“It wouldn’t be hard to do in that microscopic dress,” my Ace strolls up behind me and pecs my head with a kiss.

Marie’s baffled face pops out of the refrigerator causing a tousled mound of red ringlets to dance across her porcelain shoulders. Confusion folds across her brow, and her brilliant, blue eyes blink incessantly. “What, on earth, are you two talking about?!” I motion for her to contain herself and not wake the slumbering one-year-old in the next room.

“Celest didn’t tell you?” Ace looks genuinely happy that he is the first to horrify Marie. Grabbing some leftover pizza, he smiles. “Desiree is about to take on a new life in the North Pole.” Marie looks to me for a more expanatory answer. I grimace as I hold out a copy of the picture I had first seen this morning.

“Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!” Marie snatches the picture out of my hand. “That’s not Santa Clause; that’s his grandpa!”

“Be nice,” I don’t know why I feel the need to defend this relationship. “Desiree did seem to be happy, and we’ve never even met… Frederick.”

“It’s an old guy’s name!” Marie declares absolutely aghast.

“I just think we should give him a chance, before we write him off completely.”

” Or we could just write him a list,” Ace retorts with a gleem  in his eyes.

I don’t know. They may be right. Frederick could be yet another Santa-pedifilist, but he and Desiree deserve the chance to succeed. When Jake and I had first announced our engagement, the entire town of Willowmoss had celebrated. We couldn’t go anywhere without congratulatory smiles and greetings being thrown our way. Unfortunately, one night of unrestrained passion five months into the engagement changed all that. Until after the wedding four months later, we decided to keep our pregnancy quiet, except to our parents and pastors. When our “predicament” leaked out into the public’s knowledge, our marriage was condemned to failure. At the time, I hadn’t understood why starting a family early was so dreadful. I still don’t, really. As repentant as we were, though, only time would heal the severed trust between our little family and the townsfolk. While we waited, I purposed in my heart to try not to judge another person in the same way we had been judged. After all, that was God’s job right? Seeing Desiree and Frederick’s portrait lying on my kitchen table, I knew that, as weird as it was, I had to give them a chance.

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