Emma

The next morning was like any other. I wanted to talk to Antonio about what happened last night, but I was busy sending Kristen off, and when she had left, Antonio was already gone.
I sighed as I sat down with my cup of peppermint coffee and looked out the window. It had snowed for the first time last night and there was a thin layer of snow on the ground.
Before Camilla left for school I listened to constant chatter about what she and her friends were going to do with the snow. I could have told her that it was impossible to build a huge fort with the sprinkling of snow we had gotten, but I didn't want to damper her good mood.
Now it was just Loretta and I, all alone with nothing to do. I already had rearranged the rooms in the house and last night I had tidied everything up in the kitchen and living room.
I sat with my omelette and peppermint coffee and thought of how to spend this cozy day.
It was only the first of December, but already I was coming up with holiday plans. I took a notebook off of the bookshelf and a pen out of the 'junk drawer' and began a list of things to do in the holiday season.
Christmas to-do list
Get out decorations
Buy a decoration ( to add a little me to the decor)
Decorate the house
Christmas tree shopping
Decorating the Christmas tree
Bake Christmas cookies
Help girls with letters to Santa
Make peppermint bark
Record Christmas movies
Christmas shopping
I finished the list and smiled at all the times I had written a variation of decorate.
I knew that Antonio and Camilla would want to do the tree and help a little with the decorating and they definitely would want to go Christmas shopping.
"Okay Etta," I said, taking her hand.
"To the garage we go!"
She sat on the garage floor, all bundled up in her pink fluffy coat while I lugged tote after tote of Christmas decorations up into the house.
When they were all inside, I put a cartoon on for Etta so I could start decorating. First I hung a wreath on the door, then there were things to hang up all around. Snowmen holding signs that said 'let it snow', smiling elves, Pictures of Santa at his workshop, there were red bows and Christmas themed throw blankets for the couch. There were coverings for the chairs that were white with snowmen all over them for the island and the table. And then there were little trinkets to sent on windowsills, end tables and counters. They definitely weren't the upscale ritzy decorations I was expecting, but they were nice and reminded me of home.
I walked to the living room where I found Etta with the remote trying to change channels.
"Change it." She said, crossing her arms.
"No, we're going to turn the tv off for now and go run some errands."
She pouted but followed me to put on her coat and hat.
I buckled her into the carseat and we drove to the store.
I went to store after store, but couldn't find anything that I felt represented me anywhere. Finally, I went to the Thrift store and browsed.
While I was in one aisle looking at scattered shelf of decorations, I felt a tap on my shoulder.
A kind looking old man with a snowy white beard, red rosy cheeks and rectangle glasses stood behind me. His blue name tag read, 'Christopher'
"Maybe this is something you would like." He said, handing me a snowglobe with a lovely scene. There was a small cottage with golden light coming from the windows. The house was near a blue frozen lake. There were three children having a snowball fight, and a mother standing at the door of the cottage with a baby on her hip and plate of cookies in her hand. Through the window you could see the father reading the newspaper.
"It's perfect" I breathed. "How much?" I asked, flipping it over and looking for a price tag.
The man smiled.
"Free of charge. I can see it makes
you happy. It is quite perfect for your own special decoration amidst all of his." He said.
"How did you-" I began, turning to face him. But he was gone.

That night when Antonio got home I had a lasagna ready and a pumpkin pie baked.
"Well what's the occasion?" He asked with a smile as I laid out plates for the pie.
"Tonight, the girls get to stay up, because we are going to watch a special movie."
"And whak mobie wo sat ve?" Antonio said with a mouth full of pie.
He swallowed and tried again.
"I meant, 'and what movie would that be?'"
I grinned. "It's a Wonderful Life."
He made a face.
"What?" I said, and I imagine I looked quite hurt.
"Oh," he said hesitantly, "I've heard of that movie. I'm just not so sure I want to watch it."
I rolled my eyes playfully.
"You'll like it. I promise. If you don't, I'll give you five dollars." I said.
He scratched his chin thoughtfully.
"But-" I added, "If you do like it, you owe me five dollars."
He smiled and extended his hand.
"It's a deal!" He said and we shook hands heartily.
That night we watched an hour of "It's a Wonderful Life". Antonio sat with Etta on his lap and an arm wrapped around Camilla. I gathered courage and half an hour through, I scooted closer to him. He didn't seem to notice.
When we turned it off for the night I asked Antonio, "So do you like it so far?"
"Eh," he said holding out his hand and moving it in a fashion that meant 'so,so'
"Oh, come on. You loved it and you know you did." I said, narrowing my eyes.
"Well, I'll just have to see the whole thing and then decide."
"Whateves." I said with a fake roll-of-the-eyes.
"I'm sorry, I didn't know I had a teenage daughter too." He teased.
"Well I never..." I said, and punched his arm.
He grabbed my wrist and I felt the warmth of his hand against mine. We stared at each other for a few seconds and then he released my arm.
"I better get the girls to bed." He said, turning and heading down the hall.
I let out a disappointed sigh, but as soon as u realized that I was feeling disappointment, I reminded myself that our kiss the other night had been a mistake. Hadn't it?