Writingmas: Day Nine

After a jam packed evening and following day of seeing family, I am back with the next part of my writingmas challenge. I am technically still a day behind, but I promise to be all caught up and posting the final part on Christmas morning as always stated. 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.

*

Since the events that followed on Sadie’s birthday, she has been more open with her father. Thomas feels like he’s got his little girl back again in some senses. She no longer pushed him away. Christmas was coming up and the family were in the midst of putting decorations up. Most of the decorations had been put up, the main thing that was left was the tree.

Sadie couldn’t wait to put it up and decorate it. Her tree decorating skills had somewhat improved since she was younger. The tree sat in the corner of the lounge with all of the decorations and lights on the floor in front of it. Christmas songs were playing via a speaker. Sadie had already begun sorting out the decorations she wanted to put up. Thomas started by untangling the lights and carefully putting them around the tree, making sure that the lights were spread out evenly between the branches. Once the lights were switched on Sadie began placing decorations on the tree and Leanne went through the box of decorations and chose out others to put on. Once all of the decorations had been placed on the tree, all that was missing was the star. Thomas picked Sadie up to allow her to put the star on the tree. As he put her back down the family looked at the tree and smiled. Another Christmas tree success.

*

For Christmas this year they had invited Steven and Luna over, as Sadie and Luna’s friendship was growing my the day, and Thomas’ father, sister and niece. Leanne was in the kitchen getting the dinner ready as Thomas, Steven and Kevin sat watching the TV, and Sadie and Luna were upstairs playing with the toys they had each gotten that morning. The doorbell rang. None of the men moved, probably not even hearing. Leanne came out of the kitchen and went to open the door.
“I’ll get it them shall I?” Still no reply from any of the men. “Hey. Merry Christmas!” Leanne beamed as she opened the door.
“Merry Christmas.” Anna said holding a tray. “Sorry we’re late. This one didn’t know what to wear.” She pointed at her daughter, Grace who was glued to her phone.
Leanne laughed. “No worries. Come on in.” Leanne stepped aside to let them in. “Sadie! Your Auntie Anna’s here!” She called upstairs. Moments later footsteps came running downstairs.
“Auntie Anna!” Sadie called out as she ran to her Aunt.
“Careful honey.” Anna laughed as she tried to put the tray to one side.
“Here I’ll take that off you.” Leanne took the tray and put it in the kitchen.
“Thanks. Do you need a hand in the kitchen?”
“If you don’t mind. They aren’t much help.” Leanne said as she pointed at the men sat on the sofa.
Anna laughed as she took off her coat and placed it on the pegs by the door. Grace did the same.
“Come on Grace. Come and meet Luna.” Sadie pulled at her cousin’s arm. Grace rolled her eyes and began following Sadie upstairs.

Sadie was trying to show Grace what she got for Christmas, but she wasn’t paying attention. She was too busy on her phone. Sadie felt slightly disheartened that Grace wasn’t interested in her anymore. The two had always been close, Anna frequently came round to visit bringing Grace along as well. When they were younger they’d play games out in the garden. Grace was like an older sister to Sadie. Over the past few years they hadn’t seen much of each other. Grace preferred to go out with friends whenever Anna would go to see Thomas and Leanne.

*

“Girls! Dinner’s almost ready!” Leanne shouted upstairs. Thomas, Steven and Kevin were still sat in the lounge, having barely moved since Anna and Grace arrived hours ago. “When you lot are ready, do you want to join us?” Leanne asked sarcastically. Thomas looked at her and smiled. Sadie and Luna came running downstairs and headed straight for the dining room. “Hands, please.” She pointed at the sink. As the two ran over to wash their hands Grace sauntered downstairs with her head still buried in her phone.
“Any chance of you actually being social with the people in this house today?” Anna asked bluntly.
“What?” Grace spoke finally looking up from her phone.
“So your eyes aren’t actually glued to the screen then?”
“Whatever.” Grace sighed as she headed to wash her hands. Anna stopped her.
“Phone.” She held out her hand.
“Seriously?” Grace asked. Anna nodded and moved her hand closer to Grace. “Whatever.” Grace whispered as she handed her phone over.
Anna placed the phone in her handbag before ushering everyone into the dining room.

*

With dinner over everyone was stuffed. “Who’s on washing up duty?” Kevin laughed.
“Grace.” Anna said looking over at her. She shot her mother a look. “You don’t mind do you?” Anna stared at her.
“I guess not.” Grace spoke quietly.
“I’ll help!” Sadie volunteered with a smile.
“That’s the spirit. Maybe you can share some of that cheer with your cousin.” Anna noted Sadie’s enthusiasm. Grace rolled her eyes in response.
“Well then, I say we go to the lounge and watch TV.” Thomas said standing up.
“Oh no you don’t. This is a day for spending time with family and friends. We’re not watching TV all night.” Leanne asserted herself. “We’ll play some good old fashioned games.” She smiled at Thomas. He knew he had been defeated.
“Sounds great.” He spoke. He knew better than to argue with Leanne.
“Come on then. Let’s get out of the girls way.” Anna said whilst standing up. The adults all stood up to leave but Luna remained seated. “Come on Luna honey. They’ve got this. And anyway, you’re a guest.” Anna put her hand on Luna’s shoulder.
“I’m a guest.” Grace protested.
“You’re family. Not a guest.” Anna spoke before walking out of the dining room.
It was just Grace and Sadie. Grace was busy sulking in her chair. “Sooooo.” Sadie began. “You want to wash or dry?”
Grace looked up at her. “I dry. You wash.” She stated.
“Sounds good.” Sadie grinned.

The two gathered the dirty plates and carried them to the kitchen. Sadie ran hot water into the bowl in the sink and added the washing up liquid. “You put way too much in there.” Grace commented as she waited for the first dish to dry.
“When you’re on washing up duty, you decide how many bubbles you want.” Sadie shot her cousin a smile. Sadie began scrubbing the plates and carefully placing them in the drainer. “So how are you?” Sadie asked. Grace looked at her confused. “We haven’t really spoken much recently. I just wondered how you were.”
“I’ve been good.” Grace replied before placing the dried plate on the kitchen table. The two remained silent for a few minutes. “You started high school in September right? How’s that going?” Sadie was surprised Grace had asked her a question and initiated conversation.
“Yeah. It’s alright. You know how it is.” Sadie shrugged.
“Yeah I do.” Grace smiled.
“Please tell me it gets better.”
Grace took a moment to think. “Define better.” The two laughed.
“I’ve missed you.” Sadie said as she placed another plate in the drainer.
Grace was taken aback by the comment. “I’ve missed you too.” She sounded like she genuinely meant it.
“Really? Because you’ve kinda been avoiding me.”
“Yeah. I know. I’m sorry.” Grace reached for another plate to dry. “I’ve just had a lot on.”
“I get it.” Sadie smiled. “You’re a cool 16 year old now. You don’t have time to play games with your little cousin anymore.”
Grace’s face softened. “That isn’t true.” She stacked the plate on top of the other. “I guess I just get carried away with my phone. I’d do anything to have things go back to how they were between us.”
“Me too.” Sadie smiled. “But we can’t go back. We can only go forward. Make changes for the future.”
Grace looked at her little cousin in amazement. “When did you get so wise?”
“I dunno.” She shrugged. “Anyway, going back in time and changing things can have disastrous consequences on the future.” They both laughed and carried on washing the dishes.
Anna was hiding behind the kitchen door listening in on the pair. She smiled to herself before joining the rest of her family playing games in the lounge.

*

From struggling to make this part 700 words, I’ve ended up with double that. I think it’s nice to explore Sadie’s relationships with other family members, it gives you more of a sense of her character. If anyone has any thoughts on this part (or any part so far) or any comments I’d love to hear them. Don’t be afraid to comment below.

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