The Christmas Tree
Alex knocked on the door just in case. As expected there was no answer. Also expected, the door was unlocked and he pushed it open to the mostly empty apartment. The woman had her old sofa and had acquired a ‘flea market’ coffee table and had moved her TV and tiny stand into the room. He went back to his pickup and retrieved the easy chair he’d found on CraigsMarket. It wasn’t that heavy and only a little awkward to maneuver into the room. He closed the door behind him and took a short walk through the place. The contents of her fridge were minimal, no surprise, there but her cupboards seemed adequately filled. He briefly checked the bathroom; still moist with wet towels hanging on a wall rod and a washcloth, rumpled in the corner of the tub. She had the usual collection of personal care products, toiletries, feminine fragrances, and makeup. Next up was the bedroom. Two of her few possessions were there. Her queen bed and a chest of drawers. Upon opening her closet, he was rewarded with a good selection of skirts, blouses, tees, pants and jeans, and pullovers. There were several pairs of shoes, boots, flip-flops, and slippers.
He went to her dresser and started opening drawers. There were more sweaters and tops; tank tops, halter tops, and camisoles. Another drawer revealed shorts of all colors and designs. There was a drawer devoted entirely to socks. Two drawers held bras in one and panties in another. He couldn’t resist picking up a few to indulge himself in their feminine fragrance. Her scent. He put them back where they belonged and closed the drawers. Returning to the kitchen he found a pen and paper and left her a note.
I hope you had a good shopping trip and lunch with your friends KI walked around a little when I dropped off the chair. I hope you like it. Anyway, your place is kind of small, like you said, but it’s cozy and I know you’ll put your special touch on the place. I look forward to spending time with you here. Catch you later.
“Let’s stop in here for some rolls and coffee.”
Silvie shrugged in agreement. She’d only had a piece of toast before showering. Then she got dressed in jeans and a plaid, long-sleeved shirt. It wasn’t sexy in any way she could imagine, but she didn’t care. At this point in her life, the only thing that mattered was finding a job.
The three friends found a small table near the windows looking out into the mall. When the server arrived to take their order, Lauren ordered a baguette, Trish a croissant, and Silvie a cranberry muffin. They all requested lattes.
“Are you settling in at your new place?”
“I’m getting there. It’s hard with no money.”
Lauren reached over and patted her hand.
“I know honey, I know. You said Alex is helping you out, didn’t you?”
“Yeah, he found a decent chair for the living room. He’s going to drop it off sometime today.”
“How’s it going with him? Anything new you’d like to tell us?”
“There’s nothing going on there. We’re just friends. Besides, a new relationship is the last thing on my mind right now. So, give it up.”
“Okay, but you’ve been ‘just friends’ for years, ever since middle school. I think he wants more than that. I can see it in his eyes.”
Yeah, Alex with the curly dark hair, warm brown eyes, and a body that belonged to a Greek god, wanted a skinny, short blonde who’s completely worthless.
“I don’t think so. Yeah, okay, he’s cute but we do normal things like hanging out now and then, we visit and talk. We’re close but that’s it. Nothing’s going to happen there, or anywhere for that matter. At least not until I find a job.”
Trish stepped in to offer sympathy. Trish, as well as Lauren, had been coworkers at Bosch Technologies, an automotive control systems factory.
“What they did to you was totally wrong. I mean there we were almost the holiday season and they lay you off? Don’t those people realize how much we count on paychecks? No, all they care about is making a profit. You’ll find something Silvie, I know you will, you’re a hard worker and dependable.”
“Thanks, Trish, I know I will too. It’s just so hard, and I get evicted too? Sometimes I could just scream.”
“Well, come on. Let’s finish this and find some happy!”
Whenever anyone in their group needed an escape they either found happiness in shopping or having drinks at one of their favorite watering holes. That or getting a manicure. That worked too.
They finished their coffees and headed out to the courtyard again, searching for the lost happiness. Each of them found clothing that they liked and Silvie found a particularly comfortable-looking fleece hoodie she liked. She couldn’t afford it but Lauren insisted on buying it for her. At the end of the day, they all had bags of clothes or presents to wrap. Silvie only had one bag but she was smiling at least. Out in the parking lot, Silvie opened the door to her Nissan coupe. The door gave its usual noisy protest. She tossed the bag in the passenger seat, started the engine, and pulled out of the lot.
She opened the door to her apartment and walked in. The first thing she saw was the chair Alex had dropped off. It looked large enough to hold her entire body. It had a tough covering and the cushions and arms were thick. She wandered into the kitchen, opened up the freezer, and picked out a tray of mac and cheese; plopped it in the microwave, and heated it up. Then she saw the note he’d left on her counter. She dropped her purse and keys on the counter and read it. She smiled at the thought of him coming over. Then she padded into the bedroom to change into more comfortable clothes. Off went the jeans and shirt, replaced with a pair of shorts and her new hoody. She heard the beeps of the microwave went into the kitchen, grabbed her food and a fork, and plopped down on the sofa to watch TV.
She started flipping through the channels trying to make up her mind about what to watch. She decided on Friends. It was around nine o’clock when Alex called her cell. Neither of them had any plans and they were both a little bored so she invited him over. When I got there he had a bottle of Zinfandel. He raised it up and she smiled.
“Thank you Alex, I’ll get us a couple of glasses.”
She went to the kitchen and came back a moment later with two short tumblers.
“Sorry, but it’s the best I could do.”
She set a box of crackers on the table along with a small block of Colby Jack and a knife.
“Wow, that’s perfect Sil!”
They both sat on the sofa and began watching TV. He turned to her, touched her face. When she looked back at him, he recognized the look on her face. It was a look of worry, nervousness, and innocence, a look that he loved to see. It was both adorable and vulnerable.
“Listen,” he said. “I know Lauren and Tish are putting pressure on you to join in for Christmas. I’m guilty too, so I’ve decided to let you off the hook. I won’t bring it up again. The only thing I’ll do is bring you a small tree and some decorations. I won’t even help decorate it. I’ll bring it over on the day of Christmas eve and then I’ll leave it for you and go to the party. That’s it. If I’m not too drunk afterward, I’ll come back to check on you. That’s all. Okay?”
“You don’t have to do that. I’m not feeling festive these days. I’ll be fine.”
“No, I insist on doing at least that for you. Just let me do that.”
She grinned at him and wrapped her arm around him.
“You’re sweet. Thank you.”
At that moment she experienced something she’d never felt before. She could actually feel emotions about him, a feeling of curiosity and more than simple friendship. She berated herself and pulled away.
“Thank you. I’ll try. Let’s just watch TV.”
They settled back into the sofa, leaned against each other, sipped the wine, shared the crackers and cheese, and just relaxed. Alex however couldn’t stop stealing glimpses of her long silky legs curled beneath her, or the hoody she wore that fell loosely over her body, doing little to hide the enticing curves of her chest. Minutes ticked away and by midnight, she’d fallen asleep. He tucked a blanket around her and quietly left.
It was just a couple of days before Christmas. The four friends had brief visits together, shared a few laughs, and Silvie had helped her friends wrap presents and decorate their places. She enjoyed helping with the baking of goodies too, but she resisted all attempts at having even small celebrations together. Each time, she’d find an excuse to escape. She’d have to submit a job application or meet her mom somewhere. Anything to avoid letting her hair down.
The day of Christmas eve finally arrived. Silvie had dressed for the day and puttered around her tiny apartment listening to the radio. She could only stand a few hours of Christmas songs so she found old movies on TV; reruns of thrillers and horror movies. Late in the afternoon, she heard a knock on her door. She knew it was Alex. She opened the door and there he stood, a small tree in one hand and a tree stand in the other.
“As I promised,” he said and walked in.
He laid the tree and stand down, and made room in a corner. Then he went back out the door, returning with a box full of decorations.
“My mom and dad had these extra ornaments and stuff, so I borrowed them. It’s up to you to do the trimming.”
Silvie was speechless and silently watched as Alex put the tree in the stand and tightened the screws that would hold it in place. He stood back, looked at it from different angles and smiled at his work.
“There you go.”
She gave him a forced smile.
“Thank you, but you didn’t have to do that.”
“Well, that was the easy part. You’ll have to do the rest. But listen, as I promised, I’m going to leave now, no pressure. Just have fun and have a relaxing night. I’m heading out and if I’m not too drunk I’ll come back and just check on you. All right?”
“Sure, sure. Thank you. Have fun.” She hesitated. “Merry Christmas.”
He looked at her, grinned, and leaned close.
“Merry Christmas.” He gave her a gentle kiss on the lips, turned, and walked out.
When she saw him leave she felt a tug in her stomach, and she suddenly felt very alone. She looked at the tree and box of decorations, shrugged, and sat back down on the sofa. After a while, she looked at herself, still dressed in her wrinkled clothes, and reflected on her mood. In spite of her recent stubbornness, she knew she had to do something to change her mood. Perhaps a hot shower would help that. In the shower, with hot water tumbling down her body she did indeed begin to feel better. She lathered shampoo through her hair, scrubbing it clean, then rubbed conditioner in it deep. Then she rubbed body wash over her skin and let her mind drift. She thought of her friends, all trying so hard to alter her mood. She thought of Alex, and all he’d done to try and make her feel better, how he left her alone as promised. While her mind drifted she unconsciously rubbed her body, caressed her curves and valleys, the curls of her delicate hair below, and the folds of her skin. She let out soft moans as her mind continued to drift. She shook her head to clear her mind. She rinsed the conditioner out of her hair, rinsed off her body and stepped out of the shower.
She grabbed a thick towel and began drying herself off. ‘What was that?’ she wondered. Going into her bedroom she rummaged through her clothing and picked out a pair of black leggings to pull over her thong and a comfortable loose-knit, vee neck sweater. It was white with angular stripes of gray and red. She looked at herself in the mirror and satisfied she pulled on a pair of thick woolen socks. She padded back out to the living room, glanced at the box on the floor, shrugged, and sighed. She began wrapping a red ribbon around the tree and then hanging ornaments, bows, and draping strands of tinsel from its unopened package. Finished after an hour, she stepped back and admired her work. She sat down on the sofa again, sipping wine. She started to watch a romantic comedy, another attempt to alter her mood.
Alex didn’t know why he left the party so soon. He was having a good time with all his friends, appreciated the attention he got from the sexy women there and the humorous banter amongst his buddies but something was missing. He missed Silvie. They’d never spent Christmas alone before. Never without each other. That’s why he left early. He wanted to spend it with her. That’s why he was speeding down the road towards her house. He hoped she’d be in a better mood by now, if not, then this would be his worst Christmas ever.
He arrived after several miles of driving, walked up, and knocked on her door.
“Alex! What are you doing here?”
“I told you I’d come to check on you.”
“You didn’t have to do that.” She smiled though.
“How was the party? Didn’t you have fun?”
“Yeah, but without you there, it wasn’t the same.”
“Oh, that’s sweet. Come on in.”
Alex stepped inside and they hugged. After briefly checking Silvie out, he glanced at her tree.
“Wow, you did an incredible job. Even without lights!”
“Thank you. After I showered, I felt a little better and just went at it.”
“Come on, let’s sit. I’ve got some wine; I’ll get another glass.”
Alex made himself comfortable while Silvie went to get a clean glass. She returned, filled both of their glasses and they toasted each other. He leaned back and let her lean back into his extended arm. The minute she relaxed; a new feeling washed over her. It wasn’t a feeling of friendship, but something more than that. It was a sense of belonging. Alex looked at her from head to toe.
“You look great tonight Sil. You’re even wearing a little bit of holiday color.”
“Thanks. I didn’t think about that, it’s just comfortable.”
“Well, it looks good,” He let his eyes drift down to her exposed cleavage; “sexy even.”
She blushed. Alex looked back to her face, into her beautiful blue eyes. He reached up and stroked her hair.
“You know, I meant what I said earlier. Christmas isn’t the same without you. I was at that party and I kept thinking about you and I just had to leave. I wanted to be with you.”
He started leaning closer and her heart began to throb inside of her. She sucked in a breath before he brushed a kiss on her lips. Then he took more and her lips parted, letting his tongue wrap with her own. An indescribable sense of desire arose within her. She wrapped her arms around his waist and pulled. The next minute he used his body to push her down onto the cushions. One leg dropped to the floor and he was leaning down on her, positioned between her thighs. Their kisses were hot and needy. He moved down along her jaw, and down her neck, kissing all along. His hand roamed over her body, her fleshy firm mounds, fumbling with her sweater, pushing the soft material out of the way and she felt his mouth on her now stiffened peaks, his teeth nibbling and his mouth suckling, and her body began to writhe against him.
Soon, she was struggling with his pullover, trying to pull it off over his head.
He sat up straight and let her take it off of him. But that wasn’t enough. He reached for the top of her leggings, she lifted her waist and he pulled them down, pulled them off of her long legs. He stared at her for a moment and removed her thong. Her soft curls beckoned to him.
“Silvie, get naked for me.”
She complied and he stared at her beautiful, firm flesh. Still shocked that she’d not worn a bra. He bent down and began feathering kisses on her skin, her firm tummy and lower until he was teasing those tight curls, teasing the folds of her sex. He used his tongue on her, felt her moisten with desire, her body writhing against his hungry mouth. She gripped his head moaned with want and need.
“Alex, I want you. Please, Alex.”
He lifted himself up, grabbed her waist, and lifted her hips high. Then her body was shaking, being rocked by his hard invasion. Her head lolled from side to side, the room around her became a blur and all she felt was him rocking her world. Time drifted away and after what seemed like hours, her mind exploded in ecstasy and she came crashing down, her body shaking with aftershocks.
He looked into her warm, moist blue eyes and gave her a contented smile.
“Merry Christmas Silvie. I love you.”
“I love you too Alex. I need you too, I know that now. Merry Christmas my love.”
D R Bordua
Today, we share entries to our 2019 Valentine's Day Writing Contest based off of either of these two images! Anonymously shared by us. Voting to take place on Twitter and Facebook!
Using as many words from this cloud as possible, and as few filler words as necessary, create your own unique verse.
Using this image as inspiration, write us something in any style you choose that makes us want to read more from you.
Create your own unique verse by blacking out the words you do not want, leaving the words you do to redact the text. This week's prompt comes from none other than The Great Gatsby.