"Wake up, asshole."
"It's Saturday, Alex."
"And it's Christmas."
I leapt up from my single bed and hit my head on my creamy shelf. Unsurprisingly, Alex burst into immediate laughter causing me to groan.
"Idiot."he chuckled. Alex was my twin brother. That means, we share a birthday and apparently the same eyes.
"Where's mum?"I whispered realising she wasn't stood at the door behind him.
"She, uh, didn't get in last night."Alex said emotionlessly. My dimmed room fell silent for a second until crashes downstairs broke the silence.
"Mum?"I called out with caution following my half naked brother down the stairs.
"Look, it's probably just the wind or something, Tiff."
"Shut up, go and see what it is!"I hissed lowering my voice to a whisper.
"Mum?" Alex's clear call echoed through the walls. As we edged closer, the blinking Christmas lights reflected on the wall.
"Did I wake you?"yawned a crouched figure holding a christmas wrapped box. As they turned around, I recognised it as our mum.
"Merry Christmas, guys."she mumbled sleepily.
"What are you doing up? When did you get-"
"Tiffany, please. I got in late because I felt guilty."she groaned over pronouncing her vowel sounds, slurring ever so slightly.
"Guilty about what? Being late in? Being away from home for 1 week straight. Making us eat takeout or ready made meals for 7 days running? Missing Christmas Eve?"burst out a frustrated Alex clenching his fists.
"Look, guys, I'm sorry, I really am-"
"Just, let's please enjoy Christmas together. It's probably not even too late to grab some extra supplies and make a small dinner or-"I forced a chirpy voice and smiled.
"I'm so sorry, you two, but I've gotta work over Christmas."
"Oh, for fuc-"
"Alex, it's not like I want this to happen, they really need my help urgently."
"So you're missing Christmas?"
"I'll make it up to you. I've sent someone to pick up Milo."sighed Mum rubbing her temples.
"Just go already."Alex snapped angrily storming up the stairs, Christmas cards falling on the floor.
"Tiff, can you at least help me pack-"
She was always missing things because of her fashion work. We'd be eating a home cooked meal and as soon as her phone rings, she's on the next plane to the Carribbean or something.
"Nope."I interrupted her mid sentence.
"Piss off, Tiff. I'm not in the mood."
"Good riddance."he huffed angrily.
"You don't mean that-"
"Have you any idea how much she misses because of her stupid job? She missed my first match, she missed my exams, she misses school stuff, she misses my....our birthday and now Christmas."
"You don't think this is hard for me too?"I fired back almost in tears. "Look, just say goodbye and we can get Charlotte, Jack, Ethan, George and Sophie over to actually celebrate."
Alex agreed miserably and plodded downstairs to wave off Mum.
"Don't forget, Milo is on his way after his checkup and Jerry is dropping him off in about 10 minutes. Enjoy."she sighed again blowing us kissed shutting the car door behind her driving off.
"Merry Christmas, idiots!"laughed Charlotte shoving Jack into the house both holding piles of presents.
"Merry Christmas!"greeted Sophie and George behind them also carrying presents. Ethan had arrived about 6 minutes sooner tackling food, and Milo on a lead.
"What's up with this place. Why is it so...deadbeat?"smirked Sophie dropping the presents under the tree neatly. I was helping Ethan out with the food and Alex was looking around for the Tv Remote.
"Let's get the fire on then, children."giggled Charlotte gesturing to our large cozy fireplace as Alex turned a smooth Christmas film on.
"Ethan, can I leave you in charge of food? Nathan is on his way."
"Yeah whatever."shrugged Ethan laying out the food on the table.
"Milo, stop eating my toe!"squirmed George playfully tugging on Milo's chew toy getting bundled on.
The doorbell went and I welcomed Nathan with a hug.
"Merry Christmas, Tiff."
"Merry Christmassss!"I sing-songed taking the presents over to the tree. I re positioned the holly on the door and turned the lights on brighter.
Soon enough, it was the cosiest mood ever. George was wrestling Milo for his toy, Ethan was patiently cooking with Isabelle's help minutes after she arrived behind Nathan. Sophie was cuddling up to Alex flirting watching Love Actually, Nathan was re-igniting the fire, and Charlotte and I were busy messing around with presents.
"Milo! Get off the presents!"yelled George annoyed at Milo's smart attempt to chew on the nearest present to him.
"Ethan! The bloody roast potatoes are burning, you pleb!"I shrieked preventing a fire by leaping across Sophie and Alex accidentally elbowing her in the eye.
"The fire is out again."Nathan moaned flatly.
"Then put it back on, smart ass."
"Not that simple, Charlotte. Milo is running about with the present."
"Somebody catch that damn dog!"
"Ow my eye! My eye!"squealed Sophie clutching her eye in pain.
"Ohmygosh, Soph, I'm so sorry- Ouch, Milo! That was my leg you scratched."
"The potatoes are on fire!"shouted Ethan suddenly prancing about waving a hot saucepan about.
"Milo, come back- no no, not the tree."urged Charlotte on her hands and knees trying to get Milo. But sadly, the four legged puppy ran right into the tree knocking it over on top of Alex, Sophie and George.
"I've got a pine in my eye."
"Then close your eye."