Wednesday, 14 June 2017


                   Janet  bent to pick up a shimmering bauble and hang it on the Christmas tree, when her phone rang. Dropping the bauble back into the box, she hurried to take the call.  It had to be Eric, she thought with a smile, as she put the instrument to her ear. But, when she heard the voice of her aunt Laura, her smile vanished.  She spoke with her aunt - the usual pleasantries she exchanged once in a while - and  dropped the phone back on the table.

               Disheartened,  she turned around to get back to decorating her tree, when she realised how quiet her apartment felt, in spite of the music player playing her favourite Christmas song, 'Silent night' . The night really felt so silent. All the merry-making happening in her neighbourhood seemed so far away. Not a sound entered her apartment. The deafening silence gave her a sudden jolt.  She reached for the nearest chair and collapsed into it.

   "Oh, god, mum! Why did you have to leave me like that? This is not what  I meant when I said I needed my space! I want you with me, I want you both here, with me. This is so horribly lonely! Oh, god!" the tears came unbidden. How long she had held them back, stayed strong. But, tonight, something happened; something, that her quiet apartment seemed to  make distinctly obvious.

         She had left home to pursue her dream of working and living independently. Wanting to have a space of her own, she had moved into this tiny apartment, tried  to build a life for herself,  met Eric along the way. Things had been pretty good, smooth sailing, actually. But, her parents' death had left her shattered. And, guilt-ridden. All of a sudden, everything seemed to be spiralling downward; the emptiness,  the fight with Eric.
       Wonder what else is in store for me, mum,  she sniffed, as she wiped her tears. Oh! How she yearned for Eric! Wish he could just forget all about their silly misunderstanding, and come, meet her. It was Christmas, after all; a time to spread love and share in the happiness. That's what mum would always say. How  she craved for happiness to return to her life, once again.

       She was lost in her thoughts, the decoration left mid-way, when the doorbell rang. She got up and moved towards the door, mechanically. She really was in no mood for meeting anyone right now, not in the present state of mind. Whoever it was, she would shoo them off, she said to herself. But as she opened the door, there stood Eric, with the widest smile ever!

      "Merry Christmas, sweetheart!"  he grinned, as he took in the surprised look on Janet's face. "I guess, a heartfelt apology is the need of the hour, yeah? So very sorry, babe. I was an idiot.  Let's forgive and forget, hmm? And, now that we are standing under the mistletoe, may I kiss you?" he smiled his dimpled smile, and swept her off her feet.

      It sure was a truly, lovely Xmasy night!




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