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by Daisy Banks
Description: Gilly, recently divorced, can't seem to get her ex off of her mind--until a wish made on the Christmas tree results in a date with a traffic cop she met after a minor fender bender. Adam is nothing like her ex, and everything she needs in a man. Rating: SWEET/SENSUAL
eBook Publisher: New Concepts Publishing, 2007
eBookwise Release Date: March 2009
6 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [56 KB]
Reading time: 34-47 min.
Gilly wiped her eyes as she hunted through the cupboard. Even the simplest task could reduce her to tears these days. She dumped stuff on the floor behind her, stuff she hadn't even bothered to unpack since the move here three weeks ago. The large brown box she searched for, was of course, right at the bottom of the pile. She hauled the box out and shoved the other stuff back.
"I don't know why I'm bothering," she murmured as she carried the box into the small lounge. The décor in here managed to revolt her anew each time she entered the room. The mixture of reds and orange enough to turn her stomach, but this was a rented flat, and she didn't intend to stay too long.
For a moment, more tears welled, and she simply stood to try and blink them away. This had become a habit in the past six months, and she knew if she blinked hard enough and thought about what a real selfish swine James was, they would go. She was certain some of the people she worked with thought she had a serious eye complaint. There was nothing wrong with her eyes, the problem lay in her heart still.
Six months passed, and her heart was as frozen as it had been the day she found out. Her sense of betrayal had not diminished from that day to this, she did not think it ever would. Yet still she thought about him all the time. To know he had been seeing someone else for so long before telling her still made her feel the biggest fool on the planet. A shudder passed through her, for a moment she saw his eyes again as he had said their marriage was over. Any sane person would have guessed months before, but no, not her. Age did not always gift wisdom, and for her it had been no guarantee against folly. To be thirty-four and feel such a fool was bitter indeed.
Taking a deep breath, she put the box next to the tree. What had possessed her to buy such a large tree she had no idea. But the pine smelled sweet, and, if she had nothing else this Christmas, she would have that scent to give her memories of what Christmas could be like.
She turned the radio on, but the sentimentality of the first song took her mind back to where she did not want to go. The memory of Christmas shopping that first year with James was too much tonight. All the thoughts of him were too much. Turning the radio off, she poured herself a large glass of wine. This was rapidly becoming her cure all. If she drank enough of it, the memories disappeared into a nice foggy place. Gilly took a large swig, she gritted her teeth to put the decorations on the tree, it would be stupid not to do so after buying the thing.
She opened the box and unwrapped the first decoration, she sighed, it would be this one wouldn't it. The golden little heart that James gave her that first Christmas they were together. The thing lay in her palm, and somehow the first instinct to crush it dissolved as tears slid once more down her face. He had loved her then, of that, she was certain. Eight years was not such a very long time, how could things have changed so much that he didn't love her now? Steeling herself, because if she did this with every one of the baubles she would be here all night, she slid the little heart back into the box. There was no way she could live with that hung on the tree. After some more wine, she unwrapped four or five decorations and hung them up. To do it in bulk and not think back on the memories that any of them brought into the open was easier. Perhaps she should just have binned the lot and bought new.
Her third glassful was empty by the time Gilly got to the last thing in the box. She smiled at it, suddenly glad she hadn't binned the box. This was the fairy, her fairy, all hers from home. She had brought this with her when she and James first moved in together. Carefully, she unwrapped her. The old girl was still as beautiful as ever, even if her silver trimmed, pink gown was a bit tired looking now. The lovely crystal wings, she dusted them off carefully, yes they still shone. The little face was so very realistic with its pouting pink lips. She had always thought this fairy was simply perfect. For a brief moment, everything else slid away, and she was a little girl again, with the real magic of Christmas just within reach.
Gilly attached the fairy to the tree and straightened her up. The old girl always looked as though she had been out on the tiles, it was almost a daily job over the Christmas holidays to keep her straight on the tree. One year she and James hadn't bothered, and the old girl had drooped so much she nearly fell off. She stood back to admire the tree, yes very pretty, seasonal, and now she'd had enough. Enough wine to make her sleepy, enough memories to make the pain bite sharp. Taking a last large swig of wine, she curled up on the sofa and closed her eyes.