Thursday, 19 December 2013

A Christmas Story - Jingle Bells


Jingle Bells 

The bells were ringing and as they passed by the church Lizzie stopped to peer at the bride.  She looked just like a princess in her big white dress and was glowing with happiness. Aged 15, Lizzie was caught up in the romance of it all, a million emotions ran through her head, her mind wandered as she dreamed it was her standing there holding the bouquet, marrying Jake the love of her life. Of course he didn't know this yet.. it was only the first date and they had only just started to hold hands. Noticing Lizzie's eyes were closed, Jake seized the opportunity and planted a kiss on Lizzie's lips, as his tongue tried to prise open her mouth Lizzie's eyes shot open and she felt her cheeks redden. This was her first kiss and now everyone knew she had done it. It must be written all over her face. At least that was what it felt like as they walked home arm in arm and in silence.

Lizzie and Jake's big love lasted a year. Jake was the heartthrob at school but Lizzie wasn't anyone's fool and so the day she caught him kissing another girl was the day she told him to get lost and out of her life. She cried of course, her future plans with Jake in ruin. All those sweet words they had shared had obviously meant absolutely nothing to him. The git.

Heartbroken Lizzie ploughed all her energy into her studies and headed to Uni to study Journalism. She had relationships whilst there of course, very few students didn't. But in the back of her mind Jake still loomed, trying to shake him off..she yelled at her mirror "WHY!!" and fell sobbing onto her bed. Was Jake the one that got away. It sure felt like it.

Twenty years later and with a failed marriage behind her, she logged onto Facebook one day and nearly fell off her chair. There in black and white was a friend request from non other than Jake! What the devil does he want Lizzie muttered.. and set about reading his profile.. Dr Jake no less and he was single. Oh what the hell she thought as she accepted the request. No sooner had she done this then a message popped up.

"Hey, how are you?!"

Is that it, Jake? Really? 20 years and all you can say is that? Lizzie thought.

What she actually replied was "Hey, I am good thanks"

And for the next three months they chatted incessantly over Facebook. They sat late into the night  with hundreds of words passing between them, Jake made her laugh, made her feel alive once again. All the memories came flooding back. Jake loved reminding her of that year they had spent together, regaling tales in such minute detail of things that even she had long forgotten.

Could she be falling in love all over again? Lizzie refused to believe it, didn't want to be a fool again. Her heart had hardened, her cynical side reminding her that leopards don't change their spots. She shook her head, once again looking into the mirror and saying "Don't be silly Lizzie, he hasn't even asked to see you again!"

Logging onto Facebook a week later a message was waiting for her.

"I know this is crazy but I need to see you, meet me? "

Suddenly Lizzie felt shy, Jake remembers a girl of 15 not this grown woman of 35. Sure she scrubbed up OK but what if that attraction wasn't there, she just couldn't be let down again. It hurt too much.

"Mmmm, maybe" she typed. Managing to stall him for another two months. She went back to the gym, she visited the hairdressers and banished those tell tale roots. She finally felt ready to meet him again, which was just as well as Jake was beginning to wonder whether he should have bothered to get in touch, she seemed to be avoiding him.

"Meet me at Big Ben at 11.30pm on Christmas Eve"

"Seriously? Are you sure"

"Be there!"

Lizzie spotted him before he saw her, Dr Jake was looking good, very good. A long dark woollen coat, a stripey scarf wrapped around his neck. Those same piercing blue eyes, the dark floppy hair, they were still there. Thank goodness she had stalled him. Her heart missed a beat as he looked right at her and smiled. His arms pulled her close and they stood there just hugging for what seemed like ages. He smelt good, his strong arms felt safe. This is where she belonged.

Out of nowhere a choir appeared and began to sing Christmas Carols, a man handed them some mulled wine to take the chill from the cold, winter air. The festivities far from dampening down were gaining momentum.

As Big Ben struck midnight Jake reached into into his pocket and brought out a tiny box. Going down on bended knee, he looked nervous. Lizzie's legs wobbled and she felt faint.

"Lizzie, I never forgot you and I never, ever, forgot our very first kiss as the wedding bells rang. I was an idiot, I am sorry. The next bells I want you to hear ringing are those at our wedding. Will you marry me?"

Tears fell down Lizzie's face, she could barely contain her joy. Her heart was fit to burst. She thumped him playfully on the chest and sobbed "Yes! You fool, you are all I have ever wanted!"

Merry Christmas x

*An original work of fiction, all rights reserved.

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