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A Christmas Wish (standard:romance, 1408 words)
Author: SareAdded: Dec 01 2001Views/Reads: 2653/1854Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A family's hopes to be reunited at Christmas.

Anne knew he would call at 10:30.  At half-past seven she tucked the
baby into her infant seat and went to the back door to call the 
children.  It was still snowing lightly, but the wind seemed finally to 
have died down. 

The children came in laughing, stamping the snow off of their boots and
crowding into the kitchen.  The girls shook their heads to dislodge the 
snowflakes from their long curls, and the boys tossed their wet socks 
and mittens in the general direction of the sink. 

Anne hovered over them, helping with buttons, zippers, straps.  She
kissed each of the children on the cheek and sent them upstairs to get 
ready for bed.  She collected the baby and followed them up the stairs, 
smiling as she heard the girls whispering to each other. 

The boys burst into their room, John ducking just in time as Taylor’s
sweater flew over his head.  The girls entered their room more quietly, 
and Anne came in behind them.  She laid the baby on Alexandra’s bed and 
helped both Alex and Samantha out of their overalls and into their 
nightgowns.  Then she picked up the baby again and brought all five 
children downstairs for cocoa and cookies before bringing them back up 
to brush their teeth and go to bed.  It was December 23rd. 

The girls get tucked in first.  Letting Alex hold the baby, Anne lifted
Samantha into the top bunk and tucked the covers around her, snuggling 
her securely into bed.  Leaning down, she pressed her lips to Alex’s 
forehead and tucker her in, too, holding the baby with one arm. 

Then into the boys’ room.  Laughing, Anne pulled John out of Taylor’s
bed and pushed him to his own.  She bent to kiss Taylor and then to 
kiss John.  Holding the baby securely under her left arm, she went 
through the house checking the locks on the windows and doors and 
turning out the lights.  She set the baby down only briefly, while she 
hung the children’s coats and snowpants in the closet, and set their 
mittens on the rack to dry.  The baby cooed at her from her infant 

Finally, at nearly nine o’clock, Anne made her way up the stairs, baby
in her arms.  She went into her room and lit her favourite lamp, the 
one Robert had given her as a moving-in present.  She’d laughed when he 
gave it to her: he was moving in, too, why had be brought her a 
present?  He’d only smiled.  This light is a symbol of my love for you, 
he’d told her.  It will never fail to ignite, it will always shine for 
you.  Every month he had changed the bulb, faithfully, without fail.  
These last six months, she’d changed the bulb religiously, on the first 
of every month.  The light always shone when she was in her bedroom. 

Sitting down in the rocking chair, Anne brought the baby to her breast. 
Putting her head back, she relaxed for a few minutes.  She looked down 
at the baby, singing softly to her.  “Are you almost finished, 
Colette?” she whispered to her.  “Have you had enough, angel?”  The 
three-month-old was fast asleep.  Anne gently laid her down in the 
cradle next to the bed and went in to have a bath. 

It was a quarter past ten when she came back into the bedroom, rubbing
her short hair with a towel and checking the time.  She finished 
combing her hair and rubbing lotion on her legs and went around 
checking on the children before climbing into bed, propped against the 
head of the bed by several pillows.  Colette whimpered slightly in her 
sleep, and Anne looked over at her to make sure she was asleep.  At 
10:29 she held the telephone in her lap and waited for it to ring. 

When it did, she lifted it from its cradle almost before the first ring
had begun.  “Hello.” 

“Annie.... God it’s so nice to hear your voice.”  She immediately
dismissed the funny crackle that accompanied his voice.  She’d gotten 
used to it by now. 

“Rob... I miss you so much.” 

“How are the children?” he asked. 

“They’re fine.  They’ve built snowmen in the backyard and had me take
photos to show you.  They borrowed your old school scarves and my 

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