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Where It Belongs
In walks the man, long bearded, loud footed, decked out in his plaid red and black flannel outfit finishing with his brown country boots. The faint smell of his late mother’s famous homemade chocolate chip and chocolate kissed peanut butter cookies permeates the air. The Christmas tree lit with colorful blue, red, green, pink, and orange lights stood next to the red stockings, decorated with reindeers and penguins with each of their names on them, hanging on the tv stand.
“It’s time to decorate the tree, Country Boy, are you ready?” the woman with the curly hair asks hesitantly, rolling her eyes. She is aggravated. Not because of the tree but because of work and finances and lack of communication.
¨You know today isn't the right day for me to be doing that.” He huffs away, heavy feet stomping across the wood floor.
“S***,” The woman mumbles to herself as she remembers today marks the five year anniversary of his mom's passing. The picture of his mom glistens on the tv stand over the Christmas stockings.
When he returns from changing out of those pungent brown country boots, the smell is gone, but the thought of his mother lingered, mixing with the aroma of her cookies.
The woman whispers ¨I'm sorry for my obliviousness. I didn’t forget...it just…”
“Slipped your mind?” He remarked, with mixture of scolding and sadness.
Coming together, they make up with a few short kisses in an act of forced sweetness. From across the room the woman goes up to the tote of ornaments , plucking at their annual from their first year of marriage--it was a couple with a Mr. and Mrs. cake colored with the maroon of their wedding, engraved with their names, Thomas and Gia.
Ornament by ornament, they continue to decorate the tall, chubby, pine tree, forgetting what happened in the moments prior. But the forgetting quickly turned to remembering when the man, ready to put the most meaningful ornament from his mom, an angel she had given him the year before she passed, noticed its absence.
¨Where the hell did you put my mother’s ornament?” quickly accusing her, as she's the only one who puts the christmas decorations away.
In the furious moment as if the couple were combusting spontaneously, suddenly arguing over the missing angel ornament. In explosions of sparks of swears and flames of anger and smoke of fury. In the midst of the chaos, the woman comes to the realization of how much the ornament truly means to him--it has been a piece he has kept close ever since his mom passed.
They sit in awkward silence.
¨I believe we need to start working on things,” the woman finally speaks softly.
¨I agree. I love you, I really do,¨ he replies with a tear forming at the thought of losing her, losing this.
In their silence, a slight jingle sound comes from underneath the couch.
¨Baby!¨ screams the girl in a exciting voice eyes lit up.
¨What what could you possibly want right now?¨ remarks the husband with a extremely pissed off voice, rolling his eyes up and around at her.
The woman points to underneath the couch where the angel ornament had rolled out into the middle of the wooden floor. With a gentle thud of relief, she half jumps, half shouts ¨OH THANK GOD!¨
The couple comes together for a long kiss, and with a smile and chuckle, they hang the angel on the tree, right near the top where it belongs.