I have been frustrated with my writing lately, not liking anything I write. So I have stepped away from both poetry and my novel, but I still want to write, so I cleared my mind and decided to write a story with the characters from my wip and put them into a Christmas setting.
Once again, this will be broken into parts because it would be far too long of a post otherwise.
This helps me get to know my characters better, and I also really enjoy putting them in different situations that may or may not make it into the book.
I hope you enjoy reading!
It had been nine months since Jessica had stepped foot in her Aunt Tammy’s bed and breakfast, simply known as The Vermont Inn. Jessica was instantly taken back to her memories with Kevin as soon as she stepped over the threshold.
Aunt Tammy ran to Jessica, wrapped her arms around her niece, and peppered kisses all over her cheeks.
“How’s my girl?” She asked.
“I’m okay, Aunt Tammy.” Jessica’s eyes darted around the room, her gaze was distant.
“You never were all that good at lying.”
Jessica chuckled and hung her head as she dropped her bags and closed the door. “It’s funny, ya know?” She paused to gather her thoughts. “I spent countless childhood days here, it’s where I learned how to make your famous orange cardamom cookies, and where I helped dad and Uncle Marcus build that window seat for your birthday.” She paused again, her eyes still darting around the room, but all I can think of right now as I look around is my time spent here with Kevin.”
“Oh, honey.” Aunt Tammy rubbed her shoulder.
“It’s amazing how someone can walk into our lives and change everything.” A tear slipped past her eye.
“I didn’t realize how much you loved him” She hugged her niece. “Why did you let him go?”
“Because I love him.”
Aunt Tammy nodded.”Come on, sweet girl, let’s get you settled in the White Christmas room.”
“My favorite!” Jessica wrapped an arm around her aunt’s waist as they made their way down the hall.
Jessica sat in the wicker rocking chair, resting her arms against the Italian marble window frame that was as cold as the tapestry of snow that blanketed the Green Mountains in her view.
She sighed before resting her head on her arms and allowing herself to ugly cry over the man whose heart she was still invested in.
Later that same evening, after she had no more tears left to cry, Jessica changed into her favorite pair of buffalo plaid pajamas and decided to join her aunt in the kitchen.
The ladies maneuvered around the room and each other, participating in a baking waltz.
Meanwhile, Uncle Marcus sat at the table, cutting out shapes for his sand tarts, a tradition passed down for generations in his family, but the two ladies in the kitchen would steal his eye from time to time. It always amazed him how at home they seemed to be when both of them were cooking together, no matter how much time had passed, they moved and worked together in a choreographed fashion, and he always found it fascinating.
“I thought maybe you could help me decorate the tree tomorrow, Grace.”
Jessica chucked at the nickname Uncle Marcus had given her for her lack of grace, she was always stumbling or falling over something.
”I would love to Uncle Marcus.” She looked up from her ball of cookie dough to smile at him.
“How is Kevin?” Aunt Tammy asked, “Do you two still keep in touch?”
Jessica sighed, “Yeah, every once in a while, things are just different between us now, perhaps we were always better as friends.”
“I didn’t mean to touch on a sore subject.”
“No, it’s okay, Aunt Tammy,” she paused as she pressed the dough onto the counter with the heel of her hand. “I don’t mind talking about him.”
“He hasn’t been back to the bed and breakfast since you two were stuck here during the quarantine.”
“Oh, well, he’s been busy dating.” She couldn’t hide the passive-aggressive tone that escaped past her lips, and she cringed at herself.
“Yeah,” she replied, still working at her dough. “The last I heard he was dating this woman named Sara and I think they really connected. I haven’t heard from him in a couple of weeks, so I guess he’s happy.”
She grabbed the snowflake cookie cutter and began cutting her dough.
“Well, enough about Kevin, my dear, what about you?” “Are you seeing anyone?”
“Ha!” “I’ve been on a couple of dates, but they weren’t interested in conversation, and I just can’t date someone who isn’t willing to get real with me, you know?”
“MMM,” Aunt Tammy grunted as she popped a chocolate chip in her mouth. “You and I are a lot alike in that way.”
“Yeah, your aunt always did love me for my vast vocabulary and my conversational skills.” Uncle Marcus said as he slid behind Aunt Tammy, placing the sand tarts in the oven, and spinning in his socked feet, wrapping his arms around his wife, kissing her cheek.
Jessica smiled at the gesture. “I blame you two, ya know?” She pointed her cookie-cutter between the two of them.
“For what?” Uncle Marcus asked.
“For your ideal relationship that’s impossible to live up to.”
Marcus walked over and wrapped his arm around Jessica’s shoulders. “When you find the one, it just comes easy.” He kissed her cheek and pulled her close. “Don’t give up hope, my child, he’s out there.”
“I’m sure he is, married with children.”
He kissed the top of her head before letting her go. “Excuse me, ladies, I gotta go make a phone call to a man about a tree.”
“Not before ten, dear,” Aunt Tammy called out to him. “I’m sure Jessica would like to sleep in, in the morning.”
“Duly noted,” he replied as he climbed the stairs to their bedroom.
Unbeknownst to Jessica, in a sleepy seaside town in Connecticut, Kevin was perusing Instagram when he came across a picture of snowflake-shaped cookies in a kitchen that he would recognize anywhere, for it was in that kitchen where he first fell in love with his best friend.
He leaned his head back against the wall and closed his eyes, remembering their first encounter in that kitchen. He knew what he had to do.
Stay tuned for part two!
Love & life lessons,