Christmas With Family

Chirstmas With Family
Sequel to Flight To Paradise
By Sarah
Chapter 7

        "On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me three French hens, two turtle doves, and a pantry in a pear seed!"
        "Brian!  The words are ‘partridge in a pear tree’, don’t you know that by now?"  Sarah asked him, laughing at his rendition of the carol as she cooked at the stove.
        "Indeed, but I like ‘pantry in a pear seed’ better," Brian said, smiling as he walked over to her and wrapped his arms around her from behind.  Sarah smiled as she felt him kiss her softly on the back of her neck and work his way forward.
        "Brian, I thought we talked about this yesterday, we can’t do this here," Sarah said quietly, trying to concentrate on mixing the ingredients correctly.
        "Hmm, I don’t recall any conversation of the sort," Brian mumbled, turning her head to face him and kissing her softly.
        Sarah dropped the mixing spoon she was holding and reached up, pulling Brian’s head closer to hers.  ‘Even after all these years, he still makes me feel like I’m the most important person in the world,’ she thought.
        "Daddy!  Mommy!  Look, I drew you a picture!"
        Sarah broke away from Brian as their son came running in the room.  She turned back to the stove and picked up the mixing spoon, going back to what she was doing.
        "It looks great, Brian, go show Uncle AJ, ok?  Mommy and Daddy need to talk," Brian said gently, squatting down to his son’s level.  Sarah heard Brian run out of the room and sighed, adding ingredients to the sauce as she stirred it.
        "Brian, this just goes to prove my point.  We’re too busy, there’re too many people in this house, and we have no alone time.  We can’t do this, as much as I want to, we can’t," Sarah said, reiterating what she’d said the day before.
        "Sarah," Brian started.  He grabbed her arm and turned her to face him slowly.  "Sarah, you know I love you, I love you in a way that defies description, but we can’t do this to ourselves.  We need to be alone together, without Brian running into the room to show us another picture, or people dropping by to say hello, or Katie waking up hungry, or the phone ringing.  We have too many interruptions and not enough down time," he said quietly, stroking her cheek gently with his thumb.
        "But we can’t be alone, that’s the point.  We can’t get around this, its always there, we have a responsibility to our family and we can’t just put it on hold to be together, life just doesn’t work that way," Sarah said, feeling tears coming to her eyes.  Brian’s eyes were so full of love, but they had a certain sadness in them, he missed her as much as she did him.
        "Yes we can.  If we can’t get around life, we have to work with it, right?"  Brian asked.
Sarah looked at him warily, the mischievous smile that appeared on his face when he was planning something appeared and she started getting nervous.  "Brian, forget it.  Whatever you plan was, forget it, cancel the arrangements you made, we can’t do it.  Its not just life that’s in our way, it’s the people in this house too.  We have a responsibility to them, we can’t just pick up and leave."
        Brian shook his head and put his finger to her lips, shushing her.  "Stop right there, quiet.  I’m going to show you tonight just what some fancy talking can get you, ok?  So, after you’re done here, go upstairs, take a shower, get dressed in the nicest dress you own, and then come downstairs and the evening will begin, all right?"
Sarah bit her lip, skeptical.  "Brian, are you sure this will work?  I mean, so much has been happening, its not like we can just forget about it all for the night…"
        "We are going to forget about it, we are more important than anyone else tonight.  Six-thirty, you better be downstairs, ready to go," Brian said, shaking his finger at her.  He gave her a quick kiss before exiting the room, leaving her speechless.
        ‘Oh, God, Brian, what did you plan?’  She asked him in her mind as she finished making the spaghetti sauce for the night’s dinner.  ‘Brian, you know I love you, but something always happens to ruin the moment, this night is going to be ruined,’ she thought as she cleaned up the counter.  She turned the stove on very low, letting the sauce start to cook, then washed the ladle she was using and the measuring spoons.
        Sarah walked upstairs and to the bathroom, taking a long shower, then going into her room and getting ready at a slow pace.  She was surprised to see that Katie was outside with AJ, Brian, Nick, Maggie, and Brian, all playing in the backyard.  Sarah watched them all play from the window, then noticed Brian walk inside and disappear from view.  A few minutes later, she heard the downstairs shower turn on and she smiled, already wishing she hadn’t taken her shower so quickly.  She pulled on a long black dress she’d gotten from her sister for Christmas, velvet with short sleeves that covered only the tops of her shoulders, barely passing for sleeves.  The dress hung perfectly on her, having a slit up the left side to her mid-thigh.  It was definitely the nicest dress she owned, also the most daring she’d ever worn besides the dress Brian had gotten her when they first got married and decided to go dancing one night.
        ‘That was so much fun, dancing the night away in the backyard, the only sound being the crickets and the portable CD player.  Although we never got to the club, we still had fun,’ she thought.  She smiled as she remembered exactly what the dress looked like, short, dark blue shimmery fabric with spaghetti straps holding up the sparkling bodice of silver and blue cloth.
        ‘Where Brian got his sense of style from, I’ll never know, but I do know that he chose well, that dress was beautiful,’ Sarah thought as she selected a pair of earrings from her jewelry box.  They were droplet diamonds, a wedding gift from AJ and his then-girlfriend, Darcy.
        ‘Then again, it wasn’t like Darcy couldn’t afford to get them, she had four pairs and still insisted that AJ get her another…thank God he finally dumped her and discovered Andrea…if you can even say that,’ Sarah thought.  Andrea had been AJ’s friend since he was about seven, they’d lived a few blocks away from each other their whole lives.  The funny thing was, Andrea used to despise AJ for being so confident around women, especially her.  ‘But that was what eventually won her over, she fell for the arrogant man and got this sweet, gentle, caring guy that we all knew was inside.’  Sarah knew that Andrea and AJ couldn’t be happier, and with two children and a third on the way, who was to blame them?
        Sarah glanced at the clock and sighed, six-fifteen, it was almost time.  She checked herself over once more, making sure every strand of hair that had been meticulously placed over the last two hours was still where it was suppose to be and that she didn’t look too tired, unlike how she felt.  She’d stayed up late the night before, trying to talk to Nick, but not really succeeding in getting anywhere but dragging him on a long walk around Lexington’s suburbs.
        "Aunt Sarah, how come you look so beautiful?"
        Sarah looked over at the door and saw Courtney standing in the doorway, hanging on the doorknob and sticking her head in the room. Sarah smiled.  "Because Uncle Brian is going to take me out tonight and he told me to dress up, so I did," she said, pulling Courtney onto her lap as she walked over.
        "Will you teach me to look as beautiful as you?"  Courtney asked, playing with one of the tendrils of hair that was lying on Sarah’s bare shoulder.
        Sarah smiled and gave Courtney a hug.  "Sure, honey, your Mommy and I will give you a whole lesson one day on how to look like you’re the most beautiful girl in the world."
        Courtney smiled and looked up at Sarah.  "But if you’re the most beautiful girl in the world, wouldn’t that be mean of me to take it away?"  She asked.
        Sarah shook her head and watched as Courtney stood up.  "No, because to someone, you’ll be the most beautiful girl in the world."
        Courtney’s face lit up with understanding.  "Just like Mommy is the most beautiful girl to Daddy?"
        Sarah nodded.  "That’s right, the same way."
        Courtney laughed and took Sarah’s hand.  "Come on, Aunt Sarah, Uncle Brian’s waiting for you," she said, giggling as she led Sarah downstairs.  As she reached the bottom step, Sarah heard a soft gasp and looked up.  Standing in front of her was the man of her dreams.

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