December 21st

When I wake the next morning she’s gone, but it’s too early in the week—I know she’ll return.

I spend a lazy day on my own: reading, wrapping presents, working on the annual Christmas puzzle, eating too many baked goods. My house is calm and quiet. I light a fire, make tea. I wait for her return, constantly glancing out the window as I flip pages of a novel. And for once it happens just as I imagine: she comes strolling down the street with a parcel between her cheek and jowl, arriving right on time like Christmas morn.

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