Short Story Preview: The Spanish Christmas – Josie Arden
It was the 23rd of December again. In two days it would be the fourth Anniversary.
Laura was sitting quietly remembering that fateful Christmas back in 1992; the year her husband had died. Any minute now, they would all be back from the shop laughing, joking, and the silence would be broken. The first thing they ever did before they even took their coats off, was to make a beeline for the stereo and slip in a CD. But then, she mused, philosophically, they are young. Life has not really touched them yet.
She had relived that 1992 Christmas over and over again, and the day and night vigil beside his bed. He had been ill, off and on, for many years and invariably, he had taken a turn for the worse in Christmas week and she’d had to call the ambulance. The family still came, of course, all fifteen of them. Rob insisted on it. Some of them lived alone and others travelled far. ‘You simply can’t put them off!’ he would say. And when the hospital allowed him home for Christmas Day, he would have his lunch in bed while they all made merry downstairs.
The difference, of course, in 1992 was that Rob had died on the 25th of December. And every Christmas, now, since his death, the guilty feeling returned that the house should not be festive but in mourning.