Welcome to day eight of my writingmas challenge. If you’re new to this challenge then the idea is I’m attempting to write a short Christmas story posting daily updates up until, and including, Christmas day. If you’ve missed the previous days you can find them here. I hope you enjoy.
The big day had finally arrived, Sadie was off to high school. All of the family was awake ready to see her off, just as they had when she first started school. She came downstairs in her pyjamas and dressing gown and was greeted by her parents stood by the kitchen dining table. “How long have you been waiting here?” Sadie laughed.
“When we heard you getting out of bed.” Thomas smiled. Sadie rolled her eyes as she took a seat. “We wanted to treat you to a big breakfast for your first day at big school.”
“Ugh, will you stop calling it ‘big school’.” Sadie said.
Leanne carried a plate of pancakes from the kitchen worktop to the table. “Eat up Sadie.”
Sadie looked wide eyed at the stack in front of her. “I can’t eat all this Mum.”
“I know, but just get what you want.” Leanne opened a cupboard and pulled out a bottle before placing it on the table next to the pancakes. “Syrup.” Leanne placed her hands on Sadie’s shoulders and kissed the top of her head.
“Thanks Mum.” She whispered to Leanne. She looked up at Thomas, “Thanks Dad.”
He smiled in return. “What do you want to drink?”
“Just an orange juice thanks.”
After Sadie had eaten as much as she could she was left feeling like her body was now made up of 90% pancakes and syrup. She had gotten changed into her new uniform and was now on her way downstairs again. As she walked into the lounge her parents looked at her both with teary eyes. “Mum! Have you seen my notebook?” Sadie was looking in the lounge for the notebook she had been doodling and writing in all over summer. Her mother didn’t reply. “Mum?” She asked looking behind her and seeing her parents both stood looking at her. “Guys.”
“You look so grown up.” Leanne stated. “We need to get a picture of you before you go.”
“Yeah well I won’t be going anywhere if I can’t find my notebook.” Sadie mumbled.
Thomas stood looking at his daughter and wondered where the past 11 years had gone. He remembered the first time he held her at just minutes old. He remembered how he would sing her to sleep. How on her first day of school she had wanted him to take her and now she was finding her own way to school. “Dad, you okay?” Sadie snapped her father out of his daydream state. He quickly wiped his eyes.
“Yeah, yeah.” He smiled. Sadie didn’t look convinced. “Are you sure you don’t want a lift to school?”
Sadie sighed, “I’m sure. I’m fine walking with Luna.”
“Well, I could take the both of you.”
“Dad. I’ll be fine. I’m not a little kid anymore.” Sadie smiled before returning to searching for her notebook. Hearing Sadie say that pained Thomas. “Found it!” Sadie called out. “Right then, I think I’m all ready.” She grinned excitedly.
“Pictures.” Leanne called. Sadie rolled her eyes before walking over to her mother. “Come on Thomas, get in.” Thomas joined his daughter, putting his arm around her and smiling to the camera. Leanne took a few pictures before extending her arm, camera in hand, to Thomas. “Swap places.” Thomas took Leanne’s place as she stood next to Sadie. Leanne was hugging Sadie and kissing her whilst Thomas was taking the pictures.
“Mum!” Sadie laughed as she tried to escape her mothers hold. “Stop it!”
Leanne gave Sadie one final kiss before letting her go. “Have you got everything?”
“I think so.” Sadie replied. She looked up at the clock. “I best get going. Don’t want to be late.”
Leanne and Thomas gave her one final hug before she left. After Sadie left the house she met up with Luna, who was waiting outside her house. The two greeted each other and began walking down the road, off to start a new adventure in high school.
Sadie seemed to be settling into high school well. She doesn’t really speak much about it when she comes home. Her birthday was coming up and she just wanted to do something fun with a few friends and get something to eat which Thomas and Leanne agreed to. It meant there wasn’t any pressure on them to deliver a spectacular event, but it was also sad that she didn’t want to just have friends over anymore. Sadie and her friends wanted to go ice skating and that’s what they did. The small group of 6 met up at a nearby ice rink, Thomas and Leanne went to pay for the girls and then waited in the car for them to finish and then met up with them again afterwards to get something to eat. Sadie had begged them not to sit with her so they sat a few tables away. The girls all seemed to be having a good time, but when looking over Thomas couldn’t help but notice that Sadie didn’t exactly seem like herself. He knew she was growing up, but she never usually pushed them away like she did today. Thomas almost picked up on how quiet she seemed around the others. Leanne saw Thomas staring at Sadie.
“You’ll embarrass her.” Leanne joked.
“Does she seem okay to you?” Thomas asked, still looking at Sadie.
“Who? Sadie?” Thomas nodded and looked back at Leanne. “She seems fine. Why?”
“Nothing.” He mumbled.
Once everyone had finished their food, parents started to arrive to pick up their daughters. Soon it was just Sadie and Luna left. Thomas and Leanne walked over to the girls.
“You ready?” Leanne asked. The girls nodded as Leanne led the way to the car. Thomas hung back, following just a few steps behind. He knew something was up with Sadie but he didn’t want to say anything in front of Luna. He’d have to wait until they were back home to say something. A short car ride later and they pulled up outside Thomas and Leanne’s house.
“Thank you for a great day and thanks for the lift home.” Luna said as she got out of the car.
“You’re welcome Luna.”
“Well, I’ll see you again soon. Goodnight Mr and Mrs O’Neill.”
“Goodnight Luna.” Leanne replied as she and Thomas headed inside.
Luna began walking across the yard to her house. “I’ll be in in a sec.” Sadie called to her parents. Thomas stopped in his tracks and watched as Sadie and Luna walked over to Luna’s house.
When Sadie returned she headed straight upstairs. Thomas had tried to follow her but Leanne stopped him, telling him to give her some space. Thomas waited as long as he could before heading upstairs to try and talk to his daughter. As he stood outside of her bedroom he hesitated before knocking on her door. When she didn’t answer he knocked again and slowly opened the door slightly. “Sadie?” As he opened the door further he saw that Sadie was curled up on her bed cuddling a teddy. Thomas entered her room, closing the door behind him. He sat down on the edge of her bed. He didn’t speak, but neither did Sadie. He knew that if she wanted to speak to him she would. Maybe all Sadie needed was to know her father was there for her. The two sat in silence for a while before Sadie sat up and looked at her father. Her eyes were red and tired looking. Thomas opened out his arms and Sadie clung on to him, burying her head in his chest. Thomas held her whilst she gently sobbed. He felt his eyes begin to sting. He’d had a feeling something was up with her for a while now, but just thought it was a growing up thing. He felt like he had failed his daughter, his only child.
Thomas and Sadie hasn’t spoken a single word to each other since he came into her room. Sadie was now laying on the bed resting her head on her father’s lap as he ran his fingers through her hair. She had stopped crying a while ago but still didn’t want to speak, and Thomas didn’t want to force her to. As he looked down at his daughter, he saw that she was still cuddling her teddy. He remembered buying her that teddy for her 4th birthday. It was Sadie’s favourite teddy. The one she always snuggled when she was upset. Sadie eventually fell asleep so Thomas carefully lifted her up, pulled back the duvet on her bed and gently placed her down before pulling the covers over her. Sadie wriggled a little to get comfy but didn’t open her eyes. Thomas stood in the doorway looking back at his precious daughter. “Goodnight my Princess.” he mumbled as he left her room.
There was more I wanted to put in this part, but seeing as it was already so long I decided to leave it as it is and put the part I wanted to get in, in the next part. I don’t know when the next few parts will be up because I have a few family things coming up so won’t have much time to write, and I’m not a foreward planner/forward post writer, I write as I go along. Anyway they will be up whenever I can get them up. I’d love to hear your thoughts, don’t be afraid to comment below.