Two days to go!
And, at his urging, mine is a continuation of what I wrote on Sunday.
Kat and I are off to Osoyoos this morning, so I'll see you when we get back on Sunday. Hopefully the scheduled posts will go up properly and keep you company in my stead, should you have a chance to drop by during this very busy time of year.
I wrapped my red scarf around my neck and struggled into my white winter jacket as the end of my shift drew near. The instant the clock’s electronic display changed from 7:59 to 8:00 I locked the front door, slung my purse over my right shoulder, and let the tension drain from my forehead. After checking to make sure the safe had been properly secured (the lock could be a bit tricky and I’d been called out by my boss for leaving it unlocked twice already, even though I thought I had) I switched off the main lights and moved to the back of the shop.
Placing my light pink toque over my short blonde hair and wriggling my fingers into my red wool mittens, I took a moment to ready myself for the cold outside. I could hear the wind howling on the other side of the door and struggled to stop myself from shivering before I even left the heat of the flower shop behind. On a sudden whim I decided to treat myself to an early Christmas present and take a cab home instead of waiting around for the bus.
Sucking in a lungful of warm air, I pushed the door open and stepped out into the white night. Once I heard the door click shut behind me I lowered my head and forced my legs through the knee-high snow in the alley. As I reached the sidewalk I saw husbands and wives struggling under the burden of too many gifts in too few bags and couldn’t stop the sneer that sprung to my face.
Ah, the joys of being single and not being on speaking terms with your family – no need for all that nonsense.
Without much hope I looked up and down the street, searching for an unoccupied, on duty cab, and was surprised to find one heading my way on the heavily salted asphalt. I waved my arm and, to my even greater surprise, it actually pulled to a stop.
“Corner of Sage and Timber Avenue, please,” I said as I crawled into the back seat.
“Sure thing, honey,” the cabbie called over his shoulder before bringing us away from the curb.
Oh great, another man who thinks with the wrong head.
But, to my deep pleasure, that was the only comment he made as we wove through the crowded streets. He had his radio set to a jazz station and it was a sweet relief from all the Christmas carols I had been inundated with in recent weeks. When we came to my street I reached for my purse almost reluctantly.
“How much?” I asked as I fumbled for my wallet.
“Oh, don’t worry about it,” he said with a warm smile that actually seemed genuine. “I was heading this way anyway.”
“Are you sure?”
“Absolutely. Have a merry Christmas.”
I nodded my thanks, too stunned to find the proper words, and stepped from the car hardly believing what had just happened. I stood in the blowing snow and watched him drive away until his tail lights faded into the night. Then I turned to walk down my street and, right in the middle of my bleakest winter, a real, honest to goodness smile came to my lips.