To kick start the Christmas shenanigans on my blog, I’ve wrote a short story. Abby and Stephen are two characters who I’ve recently discovered and I absolutely love diving head first into their lives. If all goes to plan, they’ll be the main characters in a future novel.
A Christmas Gift
Abby and Stephen opened the last window together and out popped the final piece of chocolate. It wasn’t one of those cheap advent calendars you find in the pound shops, it was an expensive one. After all, this was their first Christmas as a married couple.
Today was their job to host. Their families were due to arrive any minute now. Hugs would be handed out and presents would be unwrapped all before the big turkey bird came out of the oven at half past one.
The doorbell rang, it had just gone midday. The first set of guests had arrived – Abby’s parents. She raced to the door and pulled it open with an almighty tug; the cold air had made it a little stiff. They’d been meaning to get it fixed, but they kept forgetting…
“Mum! Dad!” She threw her arms around her parents like she hadn’t seen them in years, when in actual fact, they were round yesterday for a brew. “I’m so glad you could make it. Come in, come in.” The snow was inches thick yet Abby’s parents only had to walk down the road. Being close to her parents was important, especially now. Stephen popped his head round the kitchen door, fully embracing his new navy blue jumper from Burtons.
“Matthew! Karen! How wonderful to see you both!” Stephen kissed Karen on each cheek, knowing she wouldn’t say no to more, before he politely shook Matthew’s hand. Stephen clasped his own hands together and rubbed them. “Now, how about a glass of champagne? We have a lot to celebrate.”
Abby gave her husband a stern glare. He bowed his head before he returned to the kitchen. Thankfully, Matthew nor Karen seemed to be aware of what had happened. They followed Stephen into the kitchen where he popped the bottle cork off and they all ducked for cover as it hit the ceiling and landed somewhere on the floor.
Abby headed upstairs whilst the champagne was being opened, to finish getting ready. She’d chosen a red scarlet dress, black tights and a small pair of heels, but instead, she opted for her slippers which were much more comfortable. Once she applied two layers of mascara and some deep red lipstick, she smacked her lips and was ready to go. Her jewellery was new, a present from Stephen earlier this morning.
The doorbell rang once more. Abby called out to her husband and parents,
“I’ll get it!” She ran back down the stairs, being careful in her slippers and pulled the door open once more to see her sister, Rose and Stephen’s brother, Nicholas standing hand in hand. Their announcement of their engagement came as no surprise last weekend as Abby and Stephen had been secretly betting on when the news would break. Rose and Nicholas walked into the warm home and handed their coats to Abby who flung them over the stair banister.
“Is Mum here?” Rose asked. Abby nodded.
“In the kitchen, drinking champagne, probably chatting Stephen up.”
Karen had always said that Stephen was easy on the eye, yet she’d never taken much notice of Nicholas, despite the brothers being twins. Rose kicked her black boots off and pulled her own slippers out of a Marks and Spencer bag. Nicholas looked at his fiancée’s feet and then at Abby’s. He let out a soft chuckle as he broke into a smile.
“Bad as one another,” he muttered before walking into the kitchen.
“Nick!” Stephen cried out. The twin brothers embraced in a hug as Rose greeted her parents. Last year, they’d all been at Rose and Nicholas’ home for Christmas, but it was now the turn of Abby and Stephen. Their first Christmas of being married wasn’t exactly going to be quiet, nor would it be romantic but neither seemed to mind. They were over the moon…
The doorbell rang for the third time in the space of half an hour. Abby cried out,
“I’ll get it,” before she muttered, “again!”
She pulled the door open to reveal Stephen’s parents, Susan and Keith.
“Abby, darling, have you seen the weather? Awful, absolutely awful.” Susan threw her arms around Abby as they embraced in a hug. Weather was always the number one topic when Susan was around. Susan brushed past Abby and into the warmth of the house. Keith shrugged his shoulders and closed the porch door behind him. Abby released a smile. Everyone was here under one roof. She followed her in-laws into the kitchen where she was able to sneak a kiss from Stephen before her mother whisked him away to stir the gravy which didn’t even need stirring…
“You okay?” Rose asked Abby as he handed her a glass of champagne. Abby took it out of her sister’s grasp and waited until she was out of sight before swapping it with Stephen’s empty glass.
One big turkey, several chicken breasts, slices of honey glazed gammon, sage and onion stuffing, roast potatoes, creamy mash, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, pigs in blankets, apple sauce, cranberry sauce, Yorkshire puddings and saucepans filled with gravy. Abby’s feast was complete. Stephen was on dessert duty and they were all keeping cool in their conservatory which was a heck of a lot colder than the fridge and freezer!
They were all sat around the large oak table; Abby, Stephen and Karen on one side, Rose, Nicholas and Susan on the other whilst Keith and Matthew sat at either head where they could discuss football over everyone else. Stephen rose to cut the turkey before he placed the knife back down on the table.
“Stephen,” Karen’s hand immediately found home on his arm, “whatever’s the matter? Is it undercooked? Oh Abby, did you undercook the turkey? I told you, we don’t mind having Christmas at ours. Come on, let’s pack up…” Karen rose but Stephen’s hand was placed firmly on her shoulder as he gently pushed her back down into her seat.
“I’d like to make a toast, if that’s okay?” Everyone nodded. Abby gazed up at her husband, knowing exactly what was coming. “I always knew that Abby and I would one day marry and spend a life time together, but never in my wildest dreams did I think, that on Christmas morning, she would give me the greatest gift of all time.”
Abby’s eyes began to fill up with tears. Stephen glanced down at his wife. He placed his hand on her cheek, wiping away a fallen tear. He looked deep into her eyes.
“We’re going to be parents.” Abby whispered. Their lips met as their families took in the wonderful, Christmas afternoon news.