I loved the play of light and color transforming the shadows of pine needles on the wall. Christmas was all about the smells, the cookies, peppermint. It is the small things that grow indelible on a child’s soul. Even the bad things.
That Christmas I wore the plaid skirt with the big red bow changed everything. If I had never giggled with girlish delight when I begged mommy to buy this for me, donned it proudly for my most favorite night in the world, would have things changed? Would you not have asked me to sit on your lap a little longer, Daddy, under your hot whiskey breath? Would Mommy not need to shed her guilt with tears behind closed doors?
Christmas became about pain and tears. Unwanted presents. And it did not stop, year after year.
Well, fuck you very much, Dad. I hope you have a nice Christmas this year when you find me wrapped in ribbons under the Christmas tree, just how you like it. And the smile on my face is because I finally got what I wanted this Christmas.
Freedom from you.