ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS
All I Want for Christmas is filled with tear-jerking, treasured, and laugh-inducing stories. Like Sonia Johnston’s, “Home for Christmas,” a ripped-from-the-headlines story of one woman willing to risk everything to have her husband home by Christmas morning….or Stacie Lee’s amazing story about second chances in “Two Wise Men”….Then there’s Cryssy Dee’s “Red Heartstrings,” which explores a hopeful journey from shattered dreams to peace and joy…and Yvette Danielle’s “The Beat of My Drum,” which tests a single mom’s faith as she tries to fulfill the wish of her son… or Joyce Brown’s “The Piece of Me That Slipped Away,” a tale about a not-so- picture perfect family gathering … And “Sister Grinch,” by Venita Alderman Sadler about a women who is set on making everyone’s Christmas miserable…and many more….all of which are bound to fill your heart with of all the joy, wonder, and magic of the season.
With one eye open, I glared at my iPad. My husband was calling via FaceTime. He was a determined fart. I wished he was that determined to bring his behind home. I stomped over to the iPad and swiped across the screen.
“What?” I asked as soon as his face popped up.
“I can explain,” he said.
“Shove it, Malcolm,” I said, rolling my eyes.
“Simone, Come on now. One of the conveyors went down. I have to get it straight before I leave. You know it has to be something big if I’m not home.”
I hated Malcolm’s line of work, but he loved it. He’d been a tinkerer all of his life, so the fact that he landed his dream job as a materials engineer at a semiconductor plant actually made him happier than a geek at Comic-Con.
“I think you like being at work more than you like being at home.”
He raised an eyebrow. “Really, Simone?”
I knew what I said wasn’t true. I just wanted to make him feel bad. “You promised.”
“I know. Trust me, I don’t want to be here either,” he said, looking away
“Well, how long is it going to take?” I asked, this time taking a gulp of sangria.
He didn’t answer right away. I knew that meant it was going to be bad. I plopped down on the edge of the bed and braced for the blow.
“It could take all night. They’re flying the part in from the Texas plant,” he said, pausing. “It’s got to be up and running before I can leave.”
I flung myself backward onto the heap of pillows at the top of the bed. There was no telling when Malcolm would make it home.
It was our first Christmas in our new house. We were so excited that we planned a huge Christmas Eve dinner with both of our families. But because of Malcolm and his job, I ended up hosting it alone. I was upset, but I didn’t complain. I didn’t even complain when his grinch of a mother decided to invite herself to stay in our guest house for the rest of the week. Malcolm owed me big time. The least he could do was make it home for Christmas.
“I know you’re disappointed.”
“You got that right,” I said, climbing from underneath the pillows.”
He didn’t even try to respond. He knew how much Christmas meant to me.
SINGLE MAMA DATING DRAMA
Hundred Dollar Money by Sonia Johnston
With one hand keeping her six kids in line and the other hand trying to keep it all together, Tasha Jones thinks she is the modern day equivalent to the Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe. She’s so convinced that she is undatable, she bets her sister $100.00 that her blind date will run for the hills, never to invite her out again. Will the right man and a silly bet give Tasha reason to hope?
It was a Saturday night in December and my house was lit like a Christmas tree. I’m not talking electrical either. I’m talking all-six-of-my-kids-acting-like–they-had-lost-their-minds lit.
My date was ten minutes late and I had just popped a Xanax and two of my kids’ behinds. They weren’t phased though, because not even five minutes later, my three-year-old twins, Jack and Daniel, were hopping across the furniture like they were on a volcano expedition, yelling, “Don’t jump in the lava.”
I watched through squinted eyes as Amina whizzed past me on her brother’s hoverboard. The same one I had just told her not to ride in the house. The same one that would start a war if her brother knew she was on it. My oldest two, Rashad and Rashida, had already been sent to their rooms for arguing over whose turn it was to clean the kitchen. My other child, Aisha, the only one with any amount of chill in the house, was curled beside me on the sofa with her headphones and a book. We clung to each other in the sea of madness like Rose and Jack on the Titanic.
I shifted the phone from one ear to another. “Five more minutes and you owe me a hundred dollars by default,” I said to my sister, Chante, who had been complaining about the madness in the background.
“Not,” she snapped. “For a hundred dollars, you’re going to have to give him a full thirty minutes.”
“It doesn’t take thirty minutes to get anywhere in Richmond. He’s not coming. You owe me a hundred dollars.”
What a complete waste of time.
I bent down to unzip my beige Michael Kors boots. It had taken half the day to shop for the perfect sweater to match. And don’t even mention the wasted two hours it took to transform from the old lady who lived in a shoe to someone who looked presentable enough for a Saturday night date.
A lock of freshly curled hair fell into my face as I sank between the cushions. I watched my twins pile up in the middle of the floor. They had switched to wrestling each other over the Batman car as if there weren’t at least three other cars within arm’s reach. Somewhere the ghosts’ of Bebe and her kids were laughing at me. I could feel it.
“I should’ve known better,” I said.
Earlier in the day, I had bet Chante a hundred dollars that Eric, my date, wasn’t coming. I’d finally told him that I had six kids. Normally a deal breaker, I was shocked he still confirmed our time at seven. I was convinced he just didn’t have the guts to break it off on the phone.
“Get it together, Tasha. Eric’s not that type of guy. He’s coming.”
“If you think so much of him, why aren’t you going on a date with him?”
“Because, Grinch,” she paused for dramatic effect, “he didn’t ask for my number. He asked for yours.”
“Um hmm,” I hummed, stalking his Facebook page for clues to his whereabouts. “He is kind of cute.”
“He is. Don’t make me change my mind.”
Just as I was about to reiterate how he was probably at AT&T changing his number at that very moment, there was a knock at the door. I jumped up and peeked out the peephole. I backed up in shock.
“He’s here,” I whispered into the phone. As if he could hear me through the front door.