she had been invited to a cookie exchange party the week of christmas but tonight she just wasn't in the mood for celebrating. holidays had never been easy for her because they were cause to remember unpleasant things and nothing, no matter how much she wanted it to be, was quite right or quite enough... perhaps it was simple and boiled down to the lifelong expectation that something wonderful was about to happen but never ever did.
she had tried several times to describe this feeling to her mate but his perception of life was so completely different that it didn't allow him to understand just how much she struggled with the cheer that surrounded this time of year. in turn, she had also tried many times to see holidays through his eyes but, as much as she wanted it to be the way he said it was, she never could make it so. never could believe in wishes and dreams, because in her lifetime wishes and dreams never came true. even when they were promised.
that very point was being discussed as she readied herself to leave and in frustration the last thing she said to him as she walked out the door was; "with any luck at all, i won't even be here next year" and the last thing she heard him mumble was a very distinguishable; "whatever."
the december snows were sloshed onto the roads and twilight was beginning to fall as she made a quick stop at a small market to pick up last minute items. but, as always, nothing was exactly right and each item she picked from the shelf only served to create an argument of validity within her. a mere two items and much time later she headed for the checkout counter. ahead of her on the floor lay a penny. 'find a penny, pick it up and all that day you will have good luck' repeated in her head and she looked down at it thinking; head up is a good omen, head down is not - and this one was head down. chuckling at how ridiculous all of this was she picked up the penny and shoved it into her coat pocket. she then payed for her items, pulled on her gloves and headed out the door. on the way to her car she marveled at just how fast twilight is swallowed by darkness in the winter months and wondered whether she should have left a bit earlier. she started her now chilly car and pulled from the parking lot and then turned onto the road and headed away from the city lights.
the radio softly played christmas melodies, the car smelled of freshly baked gingerbread, and homes here and there where adorned with twinkling christmas lights. she smiled, maybe for the first time since she'd left her house, knowing within minutes she would reach her destination and be greeted with smiles and coffee.
and whatever else had been going on in her head would quickly fade away....