THE PROMISE OF DECEMBER
Copyright 2016 K.L.Jessop
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, establishments, organisations, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously to give a sense of authenticity. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
“Tamzin, sweetheart what’s wrong?” Gran called in concern.
I ran in through the door and up the stairs on a cold afternoon in late November, heartbroken at how mean the girls from school had been. I was never one of the popular kids. They often looked and treated me differently being raised by ‘older’ folk rather than the parents that stood in the playground talking about what holiday abroad they were going on next. Made fun of me because I’d never been on a plane or didn’t even know where the Caribbean was. I don’t know what other parts of the world look like at that age. London was my home and that’s all I knew. My grandparents were never ones to travel abroad. We just had to make the best in the holidays we could afford down by the coast. Every year we explored a different part of Cornwall to try and find whiter sand than the last. I loved my life. My grandparents didn’t have to raise me but they did, and I wouldn’t have changed it for the world. They’d taught me the respect I needed to give others as well as the rights and wrongs on how you portray yourself in the world. Just because they were older in their years to the other kid’s parents didn’t jeopardise my upbringing anymore than it would the younger couple next door.
But Lucy Marshall was a nasty girl. Always had been. And the words she had spoken to me in the playground broke my heart in many ways.
“Tamzin, honey, what’s wrong?” My grans sweet voice hit my ears as I cried into the pillow. Hot and sweaty as the tears streaked my face, I sat up to face my gran who’s sat in her floral dress and red apron. The house smelled of crumble and pastries.
My childlike voice was feeble as I choked out my hurt. “Lucy said that he wasn’t real.”
“Who, sweetheart?” Her voice was always soothing and pretty.
“Santa. She said that none of it was true and that it’s your mum and dad that bought you presents and that I won’t get any anymore because I don’t have parents.” I sobbed, feeling confused. My grandparents made no secret of the fact my mother had died but Santa always brought me presents at Christmas.
“Tamzin, look at me.” I wiped my tears with the sleeve of my green school jumper and looked up at her, her eyes twinkling in the light, her short blonde hair rolled back in curls from where her hair rollers had been placed. “I think it’s very unkind for Lucy to say those things. Take no notice.” She paused, looking into my grey eyes as if she was contemplating her next words. “Let me tell you something. Christmas isn’t just about Santa and presents. It doesn’t matter who brings them, how they get here or how many you receive. It’s more than that. Christmas is about the magic and the belief. It’s about spending that special time with those you love and care for, and helping out those who are unfortunate to be alone. It’s about the build up to the special day, believing in what you have and holding onto that forever.” She placed her hand on my chest. “It’s about what’s in your heart. The love that you share and what you feel. You just have to believe.” She stroked my long blonde hair and smiled. “Do you believe in the magic of Christmas, Tamzin?”
I sniffed back my tears and nodded with a weak voice. “Yeah.”
“Then that’s all the matters.” She opened her arms out for a hug and I entered her warm embrace, knowing that my grandmother was a wiser woman than what Lucy Marshall would ever turn out to be. “You just have to believe, Tamzin. Always believe in the true magic of Christmas.” She kissed my head and held me tight as she rocked us. “Always believe.”
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