Sandy Vanilla Memoirs

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1. Butterscotch

                Humid and spicy, the air from the kitchen was carried into the living room by the constant flow of tipsy guests. Followed by laughter and jokes made in bad taste, guests swarmed through the house holding eggnog and ham hors d'oeuvres. I passed from person to person and shared a single exchange about the food and continued to relish in the festivity. My piano was coming to life; Steve and Larry accompanied it with their low baritone voices, tripping over the words and stopping. I stopped in the living room to laugh with Caroline about the melody.

 

                I returned to the dining room and finished setting the table with small wrapped up pieces of silverware. The shiny forks matched the pewter candlesticks placed in the center of the table and smaller sets placed in other rooms emitting a golden glow. Tucked behind the candlesticks were baskets of slightly under cooked bread and condiments. I slipped a few more branches of holly into the mix and returned to the living room.

 

                Entering the living room, I was greeted by a set of pearly white teeth and pointed nose. “Is dinner ready?”

 

                “Oh, Olivia! I thought you couldn’t make it!” I responded, pleasantly surprised

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                “I managed to skip out of work early…just don’t tell my boss!” she stopped to laugh and continued, “I wouldn’t miss spending Christmas with you for the world.”

 

                Before I could say anything, I was tugged back into the dining room with a tentative arm. I turned around and Truman was rubbing his hands together, looking at the floor through his tortoise shell spectacles, “Dinner is ready…I don’t want it to get cold.”

 

                I slapped him on the arm, “Got it.”

 

                I returned to the jaunty playing of the piano and rung the dinner bell, “Take your seats everyone, dinner is ready!”

 

                Everyone slowly moved to the living room and took their seats at the long table. Twelve people sat at the dinner table and three children remained in a different room, with plates at a coffee table. I proudly stood at the head of the table about to begin my speech on recent success when I heard a quiet knock from the other room. I paused and held up a finger to the table. I told them to talk amongst themselves while I headed into the other room.

 

                “Did you need something? You can just walk into the dining room if you-“

 

                A child sitting at the coffee table pointed towards the hallway leading to the front door, “I think someone’s hear for you. Maybe it’s Santa!”

 

                I smiled at them and continued to where they pointed. The light outside the front door was still broken and I was unable to see who was knocking. I opened the door a little bit and a blast of cold rushed into my face. I opened my eyes and saw a ghost like face waiting at me.

 

                His skin was the color of the snow trying to flow in through the crack of the door and his clothes were the shade of the dirt beneath it. He had a sickening bruise swelling the left side of his face. His hair was matted to his head under a Sunoco gas station cap. His shirt also presented a Sunoco logo and his shorts were the same color blue. His shirt and shorts were made for summer and his socks hardly qualified for shoes. The snow had stuck to his bare neck and his eyes were sunken. He gave a lopsided smile and breathed, “Can you help me?” and I remembered the first day I met him.

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