MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!! We have finally reached the end 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 then you’re in look because you can find all of them here. I hope you enjoy!
The internship was going great, Sadie was loving every single second of it. She was learning so much and meeting so many great people. Just as Thomas predicted, Sadie’s internship had been extended for another 2 months until September. She would still be able to get home for her birthday and Christmas, just as she always wanted to. She was still living with Luna, but the pair were now looking at bigger apartments to move into as it was getting pretty cramped. Sadie made sure to keep in regular contact with her parents to make sure they were okay. Thomas seemed to be doing better than he was. Seeing her father more like his old usual self filled Sadie with a happiness that couldn’t be explained.
It was a Friday night and Sadie was relaxing after a long day at work. Luna came home with takeaway and a lazy Friday night in was ready to begin. The pair changed into their pyjamas and planned out which films to watch.
Whilst Luna got the food ready, Sadie was flicking through Netflix. “Seen it. Seen it. Seen it. Seen it. Seen it.”
“Is there anything you haven’t seen?” Luna shouted from the kitchen.
“There’s probably something somewhere in a corner of Netflix I have yet to discover.” Sadie laughed. “What do you fancy watching?”
“I honestly do not care.” Luna replied.
Sadie’s phone rang. It was her boss. “Hello?” Sadie asked as she answered her phone.
“Sadie, great news!” Her boss began. “An opportunity has come up and I think you’d be perfect for it.”
“Really? What is it?” Sadie exclaimed.
“It’s a lead writers position for a travel segment. It’s an initial 10 week trial but I just know they’ll keep you on.”
“Sounds amazing!” Sadie grinned.
“There’s just one thing—” Her boss began. “It’s based out in New York.”
“Oh.” Sadie’s smile quickly vanished at the thought of moving even further away from her family.
“They want someone young to travel the US and report on the best places to go.” Sadie stayed quiet, she didn’t know what to say. “This is what you’ve always wanted, isn’t it?”
“Yeah.” Sadie sighed. “It’s just — I don’t know if the timing is right.”
“Sadie if we all waited for the right time nobody would do anything. I know things have been difficult for your family recently, but this is a once in a lifetime job offer.”
“How long have I got to think about it?” Sadie questioned.
“At most, until the end of next week.”
“I’ll have to think about it.”
“Okay. But Sadie promise me something. Don’t let your family hold you back. You need to live your own dream, because if you don’t someone else will.” The phone line cut out. Sadie sighed and put her phone down beside her.
“What was that about?” Luna asked as she walked in with the food.
“A job. My dream job. But in New York.” Sadie replied.
“What did you say?”
“That I’d think about it.”
“You’ll think about it? Sadie are you crazy? This is your dream.”
“I know. But my family is more important.”
Luna looked at Sadie and shook her head. “That’s not what it is.”
“What do you mean?” Sadie asked.
“I’ve known you a long time. You don’t just give up on your dream.” Sadie clenched her jaw. “You’re scared.”
“No I’m not.” Sadie protested.
“Yes you are. Your career is taking off, your life is starting to take shape and you’re scared.”
“Well I have a week to make a decision.”
“Fine. Just make sure you make the right one.” Luna mumbled.
Sadie had spoken to her parents about the New York offer and voiced her concerns. Both her parents encouraged her to go for it. Sadie wasn’t so sure because it would be cutting it fine for getting home for Christmas. When she mentioned this to her parents they told her not to worry and that it didn’t matter if she couldn’t make it. She knew her father would be devastated though. His first Christmas without his father and his daughter, she wasn’t sure how he’d cope or if he’d cope at all. Leanne ended up begging Sadie to take the job because it had been her dream for so long. Sadie caved in and ended up ringing her boss back and accepting the offer. Sadie was off to New York and she didn’t know how to feel about it.
Once her internship in London was over, Sadie found herself packing for New York. She and Luna ended up staying in the small flat since Sadie was leaving. The two were gathering together anything else that Sadie might need on her trip. “I am so proud of you.” Luna said.
“Stop it, you sound like my parents.”
“My best friend is moving to New York.” Luna smiled at the thought.
“Only for a few months.”
“Still, I’m so jealous. I’d love to go to New York. All of the galleries.” Luna dreamed of all the places she’d go.
“You’ll have to come out for a break.” Sadie offered.
“Don’t tempt me.” Luna laughed. Sadie zipped up her suitcase and backpack. “Got everything?”
“Think so.” Sadie looked at her best friend. “I’m going to miss you.”
Luna pulled a sad face. “No you won’t. You’ll be too busy with all your fancy New York friends. You’ll forget all about little old me.”
“As if.” Sadie smiled. “I’ll bring you back an awesome present.”
“I’m counting on it.” Luna laughed. “Oh come here.” Luna pulled Sadie in for a hug. The two had been almost inseparable whilst living next door to each other, and when Sadie went to university they still tried to speak as much as possible.
“We best get going. I don’t want to miss my flight.” Sadie said as she pulled out of the hug.
“Yeah, don’t want to have to get on another flight sitting in economy.” Luna smiled.
“It wasn’t my choice to sit first class. Work arranged the flight.” Sadie hit her friend’s arm.
“Sure.” Luna put her coat on and grabbed her keys. “Taxi for Miss O’Neill.” Luna joked. “Hey do you reckon there’ll be some random guy stood at arrivals with a sign saying your name?”
“I doubt it.” Sadie laughed.
The two got in Luna’s car and headed for the airport. Luna pulled up in a drop off point. “This is it.” she said.
“Yup.” Sadie whispered. “Thank you.”
“No worries.” Luna smiled.
“Not just for the lift, but for letting me stay for so long.”
“That’s what best friends are for.” Sadie smiled at Luna. “You’ll let me know when you get all settled in won’t you?”
“Once my US phone is all set up you’re the first person I’m calling. Well, after my parents.” Sadie laughed. “See you at Christmas?”
“See you at Christmas. Have fun.”
Sadie got out of the car and got her suitcase out of the boot. She said one final goodbye to Luna before heading into the airport and preparing for the journey of a lifetime.
New York was beyond incredible. Sadie was having the time of her life. Every day she woke up it felt like she was still dreaming. She couldn’t believe this was her life. She had to keep pinching herself. She was just over halfway through her trial and along the way she’d created a long list of great places to visit in New York and surrounding areas. If she was fortunate enough to be kept on, she could be spending the next year travelling the US and getting paid to write about her experiences. Sadie had built up her own little family of friends who all worked at the magazine as well. Flying out she was all alone and questioning whether or not she’d be able to make it out here so far away from home, but now she flourishing and had a solid support system around her. She felt more than blessed. The run up to Christmas in New York was something that Sadie had only ever seen in movies. It truly was magical. She found herself ice skating at the Rockefeller Centre, something she only ever dreamed of doing. She almost didn’t want the whole experience to end.
With only a week left of her trial, Sadie began thinking about home. She hoped that she’d be home the week before Christmas but she had no flight booked because her boss hasn’t confirmed a finish date. She kept thinking about her parents putting up the decorations without her. Would they do the tree up themselves or would they leave it bare in the corner waiting for her return just like they had whilst she was at university? As Sadie headed up to her office to finish off an article her boss came over. “You made any plans for going home yet?” Her boss asked.
“Not yet. Why?” Sadie looked up at her.
“I was wondering if you’d mind staying on a bit longer. Just a few days.”
“Will I still be able to make it home for Christmas?” Sadie asked.
“You should.” Sadie smiled. “But I can’t guarantee that.”
Sadie’s face dropped. “What do you mean? I thought the office closed over Christmas and New Year?”
“It does. But we still need someone managing things. As a lead writer, you’d be expected to keep things running with the travel department.”
“Can’t I work from home?” Sadie pleaded with her boss.
“You might be needed here to attend events.” Her boss explained. Sadie sighed. “Sorry kid.”
Sadie managed to keep it together until her boss left the office, and then she broke down. She was looking forward to going home and seeing her family after being away for so long. She barely saw them whilst she was in London because she was always working. Sadie really didn’t want to have to tell her parents the bad news but she knew she had to. She decided to make the call from the office.
“Hello?” Leanne asked. Sadie relaxed at hearing a familiar voice but tensed up because of what she’d rang for.
“Hi Mum it’s me. I’m ringing from work.” Sadie explained.
“Hey Sadie. How’s it going? Is New York great? When will you be home for Christmas?” Leanne asked.
“That’s the thing.” Sadie began. “I don’t know if I will make it home.”
“Oh.” Leanne’s voice broke.
“I might have to work.” Sadie felt herself about to cry but she had to stop herself.
“I understand sweetie.” Leanne put on a brave voice for her daughter. “Don’t worry, I’ll tell your father.”
Sadie’s heart broke just thinking about her father’s reaction. “I am so sorry Mum.”
“Can’t be helped can it. How’s it going anyway?” Leanne asked desperately wanting to change the subject.
“It’s good. In fact it’s better than good. It’s amazing. Incredible. It really is like a dream.” Sadie couldn’t help but smile talking about it.
“I’m glad you’re having fun.” Leanne spoke. “I’ll let you get back too it. I don’t want to keep you. I know how import—”
“Mum.” Sadie cut her mother off. “I really am sorry. If I could change it I would, but I can’t.” Leanne sighed. “I love you.”
“I love you too.” Leanne said. “Goodbye sweetie.”
“Bye Mum.” Sadie hung up. Tears began streaming down her face again. She felt like a terrible daughter.
There was a week until Christmas and the magazine was getting ready to shut down for the holidays. Sadie found herself back in her office working away at yet another article. Everyone else was having fun, playing games and laughing together but she really wasn’t feeling the Christmas spirit right now. Her boss knocked on her door. “Can I come in?” she asked.
“Sure.” Sadie replied still typing away on her computer.
“I know I said that you might not be able to go home for Christmas, but I have a surprise for you.”
“Is it plane tickets for my family to come out here?” Sadie asked.
“No —” her boss began.
“Well then I’m not interested.” Sadie was still busy typing.
“Sadie look at me.” Her boss spoke softly. Sadie stopped typing and looked up at her. She held out an envelope. “Take it.” She said.
Sadie took the envelope, opened it and pulled out it’s contents. One single plane ticket. With her name on. “Wait, what?” Sadie looked at her boss in confusion.
“It’s for you to go home. For Christmas.”
“Seriously?! I thought I’d have to work?” Sadie asked.
“We decided it wasn’t fair to force a few people to keep working when everyone else gets time off.” Her boss explained.
“Thank you.” Sadie said.
Her boss smiled. “Pack your bags. You leave tomorrow afternoon.” Her boss said as she began to leave the office.
“Really?” Sadie exclaimed looking over the ticket.
“Really.” Her boss smiled. “Merry Christmas Sadie.”
“Merry Christmas.” Sadie replied. As soon as her boss was out of the office Sadie screamed with excitement.
She quickly finished the article and scheduled it for the next day. She ran all the way to her apartment and began packing her suitcase. She tried ringing Luna but she didn’t answer. She kept trying until she eventually answered.
“Finally!” Sadie laughed. “I need your help.”
“What with?” Luna asked.
“Are you going to your dad’s this Christmas?”
“Do you mind if I tag along? Only I’ll go to my parents house.”
“What? I thought Leanne told me you were staying in New York for Christmas?”
“I was. But then my boss bought me a plane ticket home. I fly back tomorrow.”
“Do your parents know?”
“No. I kinda wanted to surprise them.” Sadie said with a big smile on her face. “Can I crash at yours again until you go back home?”
“Of course. My flat is yours.”
“One more thing. Don’t say anything to anyone about me coming home. I know what you’re like.”
“I am offended you don’t think I can keep a secret.”
“Yeah because you literally can’t.” Sadie laughed. “But I need you to keep this secret Lu.”
“I promise I won’t say a word. You need me to pick you up from the airport?”
“If you don’t mind. I’ll message you the flight details later on.”
“Okay. Have a safe journey. I can’t wait to see you.”
“I will. Me neither. See you soon. I need to finish packing.” Sadie hung up. She was actually going home for Christmas.
Sadie arrived back in London and Luna greeted her at arrivals with a sign reading ‘Sadie E O’Neill’. Sadie laughed when she saw it before running into her best friends arms.
“I missed you so much.” Sadie said.
“I missed you too.” Luna said.
The two headed to the car park and made their way back to Luna’s flat. Luna had promised that she hadn’t said a word to anyone about her coming home. Sadie couldn’t wait to surprise her family.
The day had finally arrived, Luna and Sadie were both headed home for Christmas. The girls were minutes away from their houses and the nerves were really setting in for Sadie. She couldn’t wait to see her parents again, she just didn’t know how they’d react.
“You okay?” Luna sensed her nerves.
“Yeah, just a bit nervous.” Sadie admitted.
“Understandable. It’ll be the best Christmas present ever for them.”
Sadie smiled at the thought of her being the best present her parents receive.
“Here we are.” Luna said as she pulled up in her driveway. “You ready?”
“As I’ll ever be.” Sadie sighed.
“You want me to come with you?” Luna asked.
“No, I’ve got it from here. Thanks for everything.” Sadie said.
“No problem. Glad I could help.”
The two girls got out of the car and grabbed their cases from the boot. They said goodbye before heading to their houses. Sadie stood on her parents driveway and looked at the house. She didn’t realise just how much she missed it until now. She walked to the front door as quietly as she could. When she reached the door she took a deep breath. She looked over to Luna’s house and saw her watching from her porch. Sadie pressed the bell and turned around to face the houses opposite. She heard the door open.
“Can I help you?” the voice spoke.
Sadie smiled. “I hope so.” She said as she turned around, revealing herself to her mother.
“Sadie?!” Her mother exclaimed. She grabbed her daughter and pulled her in close. “Oh Sadie. I thought you were in New York?”
“Plans change.” Sadie smiled.
“What’s all this noise?” Thomas asked as he came to the door to see what the commotion was.
“Hi Dad.” Sadie looked up at her father after Leanne had let her go.
Thomas’ face read complete shock. “Sadie?!” She smiled. Her father put both of his arms around her and began crying. “I didn’t think you’d make it.”
“Neither did I.” Leanne joined the hug and the family of three stood on the front hugging for a good few minutes. “Any chance I can come in? It’s quite cold out here.” Sadie laughed.
“Of course. Come in.” Leanne ushered her inside.
“I’ll get your bag.” Thomas beamed grabbing her case and backpack and bringing them inside. Sadie was home for Christmas and she couldn’t be happier.
Thomas and Leanne had opened their house to the family again for Christmas dinner, thinking that Sadie wouldn’t be there. They had both kept her arrival quiet so Sadie got to surprise the entire family as they arrived. They all wanted to hear all about her trip so gathered in the lounge whilst she shared stories. Once dinner was served, the entire family made their way to the dining room. Sadie and her cousins got to sit at the grown up table at last, which had to be extended to make room for everyone. Sadie was sat in between Grace and Josh. The three of them were close, Josh being only a year older than Sadie. They sat talking and laughing whilst trying to eat at the same time. Thomas looked around the table and looked at his family. Yes one person was missing, but he was glad it was only one empty seat and not two. He looked over at Sadie as she laughed with her cousins. Thomas couldn’t help but smile whenever she did, her smile was just infectious. Sadie looked up and saw her father looking at her. She smiled at him as he smiled back. And in that moment, Thomas saw his baby girl sat the grown up table and was content with how life was. Knowing that she might not be home for every Christmas was something he’d always struggle to cope with, but it made him appreciate the one’s she was home for more.
I really didn’t intend for this part to be so long, I just kept having ideas to put in so I did. I’ve had so much fun writing this story and whilst I know it’s no great masterpiece, I am proud of myself for achieveing what I set out to achieve. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my story, if anyone has any thoughts on this part (or any part) or any other comments I’d love to hear them. Don’t be afraid to comment below.
All that’s left for me to say is I hope you all have magical Christmas’ filled with happiness and love.