*Please be aware that this is a sad story, so if you’re feeling fragile maybe come back and read it later*
Of all the houses we looked at when we first decided to live together, this one had been the least like what we thought we wanted. I’d wanted an old doer upper, you’d wanted something newly built, but as soon as we cast our sceptical eyes on this place we knew it was the right one. It isn’t old, nor is it new. Kind of like our love.
I love this room. It’s warm in here. You were right when you said the log burning stove would still heat the place long after it burned out. And I was right when I said a wide, tall Christmas tree would look special in the bay window.
Ever since that first Christmas when you delighted me by trimming the tree while I was out wreath shopping with your sister, you’ve tried to outdo yourself. Tried to think of something that will make me smile wider than I ever have before. Gingerbread people, woodland creatures, candy…every year brings me something new and spectacular.
This time the theme is snow. White glittery flakes hang beside silver icicles, carrot-nosed snow-families framed by strings of tiny iridescent snowballs. You couldn’t bring yourself to use the cold white lights, though. Despite your frosty theme, you’ve gone for the warm white, and I love you all the more for it.
As I cast my gaze over the dancing penguins on the mantlepiece and the crystal polar bears by the TV, guilt almost overtakes me. Another of our Christmas traditions is in full swing. Once again, we’ve had our Christmas Eve row. It’s the same every year. We fight, you walk out. You come back, we go to bed, and then once we come back downstairs and have a few drinks too many the row picks up again and then it’s my turn to leave.
I wince as I recall what you said to me last year when I picked up my car keys and told you I was driving to my mothers. You’d looked at me with slightly unfocused eyes and in your most venomous tone you hissed, “If I never see you again it’ll be too soon. Go now and don’t bother coming back.”
A sob catches in my throat, but then the front door opens. You close it softly and after I listen to you shed your coat, I see you. You have your back to me, one hand on a spindle on the staircase to help you keep your balance as you kick your soaking wet boots off. A few unmelted snowflakes rest between the unruly spikes of your hair, and you’re shivering.
After what feels like an agonising wait you turn around, and when you look in my direction dawn breaks on your face. The reflections of fairy lights make your eyes sparkle, and the smile you have for me isn’t sheepish this year, it’s so wide I can see all of your pearly white teeth.
“Hi,” I say softly, and your smile broadens.
Before you answer our cat, Jasper, leaps to the floor from his perch beside me and your eyes follow him. He stretches then runs straight to you for pets. He’s always been your baby, probably because you’ve always allowed him to monopolise your attention no matter who is in the room with you.
A few strokes later, he pads off to go lick his paws. You glance my way one more time. I hope you’ll say something, but you don’t. You just lower your gaze and rub your thigh, and when I finally tear my adoring stare from your face and follow your hand, I realise that you’re stroking your hard cock through your jeans.
Bells jingle as you skim the bannister garland with your fingertips on your race to the bedroom. I only hesitate for a moment. This year I’m determined to do something different, to change this awful cycle of fight, make up, fight again that we’ve allowed ourselves to fall into, but this part…the part where hot flesh comes together in a chilly room…this part should remain. It must.
I don’t take the stairs as quickly as you did. No, I don’t want to rush. I walk in slow, measured steps, making sure my fingertips don’t touch the garland like yours had. If they did the bells would jingle and you’d know I was coming. On my way up, I notice things that hadn’t been there before. A new painting on the wall, curtains that look like they’ve just been hung. The glass vase that I always fill with a festive bouquet isn’t new to me, but the metal stand it’s on top of is. When did you have time to slip in all of these not so subtle changes?
When I reach the bedroom you’re already naked and lying on top of an unfamiliar Christmassy quilt. I stand in the doorway, watching the tendons in your forearm shift, your gorgeously defined abs flex and release with each unhurried stroke you give your cock. I remember how it feels to have it inside of me. How I feel when you lay your body along the length of mine, giving me all your weight, grinding so deep, so slowly, making sure you’ve squeezed every ounce of pleasure from me before you let go.
That’s what I want from you. I want your breath mingling with mine, your sweat running down my body, your tongue in my mouth, hands in my hair, cock in my cunt. But you’re not looking at me. Not inviting me to climb on top of you and ride you until we both collapse from exhaustion.
So I slowly remove my clothes, draping them over a new white chair by a new white dresser. Then I gingerly lie down beside you, breathing in your spicy scent, feeling the warmth coming from your body easing the bumps that the cold air brought to the surface of my skin.
Still, you say nothing. All you do is turn onto your side and keep stroking. So I stroke with you, my gaze flitting from your mouth to your chest to your thick cock and then all the way back up again. Your cheeks are so rosy, and I smile when I think of all the fun I’m going to have when this gentle, joint apology is over, and I rib you about the sprinkling of grey hairs that seem to have appeared at your temples overnight.
My fingers are moving between my lips with ease now because watching you touch yourself has me soaked. I’m warm down there, and so welcoming. I just wish I was brave enough to extend the invitation. But I’m not, so I just open my thighs a little wider and squeeze my nipple, feeling tension building low in my stomach. I can’t stop myself from panting. Can’t not move a little closer until I can feel the soft shifting of air caused by the quickening pace of your arm.
I know that ‘V’ between your eyes. You’re about to come. The knowledge that, when you do, it’s going to shoot over me and land on my wet cunt has me rubbing faster, staring right at your face so I can let go of this tension right at the same moment as you do.
Not long now…almost there…so, so close…
My body shakes with pleasure and, with an almost agonised breath, you whisper my name as you come. I feel it splashing my thigh, trickling over my fingers, mixing with my juices before dripping onto the bed.
With an ache in my heart, I open my mouth to ask you why your lashes are laden with tears, but before I can get the words past the lump in my throat the front door opens and you leap from the bed, dashing into the little en suite we both adore.
About five seconds after you emerge wearing a pair of loose lounge pants a woman I don’t recognise enters the room. I scream, scrambling to cover myself, but neither of you spares me a second glance. Why don’t you look surprised to see her, I wonder, sickened by such a gross invasion of privacy.
I watch in horror as you envelop this snow coated stranger in your warm embrace, feeling tears slide down my cheeks as you kiss her with a passion that is supposed to be mine.
“You’re home early,” you say, grinning like she’s the greatest thing you’ve seen today.
She’s looking at you the same way and the confusion and hurt is killing me. “I wanted to surprise you,” she smiles.
As your lips meet for the second time, I’m momentarily blinded by the swath of light that crosses the room. Headlights. A car must have passed by outside. I blink and cry, saying your name over and over, yelping when the almighty crunch of metal hitting metal shatters the terrible tranquillity of the bedroom. Why do neither of you care? About me? About the accident that must have happened right outside of this house?
The word ‘accident’ brings me up short. Like a dropped glass bauble, my heart shatters. Because I know why neither of you have looked at me. It’s the same reason you didn’t speak to me when you came home and found me waiting for you. That smile that shone brighter than the tree? It wasn’t for me, was it? It was for Jasper.
A vision of an icy road flashes in my mind. A blind bend, surrounded by trees, the flash of emergency lights, blaring of sirens, and cold…so much cold…and then nothing.
Yes, I remember now, but you remembered all along didn’t you?
I’m not really here. I’m not yours anymore. What I am to you, is the ghost of Christmas past, brought to you on Christmas Eve because that’s when you think of me the hardest. You’re not mine. The tears on your lashes when you said my name, though. They are. I know that now. You shed those tears for me.
And this woman, who is laughing in your arms, in the bedroom we used to share in what was once our home? She’s your Christmas present. I watch you help her shed her coat and I see something that makes me as happy for you as it makes me broken hearted for myself. A slight bulge between her hips. Oh, my love. I can see your Christmas future, and it’s beautiful.