The best thing about this Christmas is I’ll have a home, the only gift I cared about was Declan being released from the hospital, and when you get right down to it, you can decide who’s your family.
“Dinner!” Declan’s dad announces, holding a platter so big and heavy I don’t know why he doesn’t topple face-first into it. Aunt Sophia rushes to grab the outside edge and ease it to the table. “Christmas goose.”
I’ve never had goose and it sounds kind of creepy, but like Declan tells me, it’s his dad’s tradition, and I know better than to try to change his menu plans. I’ve had too much eggnog already along with the candied nuts to feel much like eating. The tree is still standing, even though the dogs have beat it with their tails and almost taken it out again. And if they do, we’ll just laugh.
Declan struggles out of the couch to make it on his own to the table. I want to help him to his chair and push it in, but he’s not having any of that. Instead, I sit first. He leans on the back of my chair, and I scoot it in more. He takes the seat next to me, and his fingers entwine in mine under the table.
The table is gorgeous. It’s everything that is Christmas—the glow from the candles sparkling on the silver and crystal. And there’s so much of it! Holly leaves studded with red berries encircle the candles, the serving trays, and there’s even a sprig at each place setting. So different from the paper plates and takeout Christmas dinner from Boston Market we usually have.
Almost too perfect, it makes me a little afraid. Afraid, every time the phone rings that it will be bad news. Afraid someone will have too much to drink and say something hurtful. Afraid that I don’t deserve to be this happy, and it just doesn’t happen this way in my life.
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