Tales from the Finchbottom Vale – (36) The Insomniac Muse (Part 07)
Once they got into December he was no longer disappointed as he saw her every single day.
It began on the 1st of the month when she helped him to put up the Christmas decorations and as they were hanging the last of the garlands she said
“I love Christmas decorations”
“Me too” he said “I’ll help you put yours up when we’re done here”
“No thanks” Gloria replied
“Why not?” he asked
“I never put decorations up at home” she said
“Why ever not?”
“I don’t know really” she mused “it makes me feel sad I suppose, it reminds me of a happier time and I suppose it’s that which makes me sad”
“But you love decorations?” Alex said
“Oh yes, very much”
“And you love these decorations?” he asked
“Do they make you feel sad?” he asked her
“No not at all”
“Because I wasn’t a child in this cottage I suppose” she replied
“That’s nuts” he said
“I know” Gloria said “what can I say I’m nuts”
Gloria visited him at the cottage every day after that to enjoy the decorations, watch classic Christmas movies and eat his stew, bolognaise, Chilli, shepherd pie or hot pot whatever was on the menu.
But she had made most of her visits during normal hours until Christmas Eve.
He was burning the midnight oil because he was stuck on a tricky chapter the first of three chapters which needed to be submitted to his publishers by New Year’s Day.
It was partly Gloria’s fault he had gotten behind but she was such a pleasant distraction he didn’t want to deter her from visiting.
But if he was perfectly honest she had become more of a distraction when she wasn’t there.
So it was just after eleven o’clock on Christmas Eve and he was rewriting the same troublesome section for the umpteenth time when Gloria knocked on the door.
He could tell it was her even before he opened the door by her unique knock.
“Hey” he said
“Hi, do you mind me popping in on Christmas Eve? I don’t want to upset your artistic flow” she said
“No flow to interrupt at the moment I’m afraid, this chapter is giving me a lot of trouble” he replied
“What is it, writers block?” Gloria asked
“No I’m not blocked, I’m writing ok, it’s just not very good” he said and laughed
“I could really use a break” he lied
They sat on the sofa watching an old movie that they found on cable, they chose it because it was a James Stewart classic, “The Philadelphia Story”.
About half an hour into it she yawned and rested her head on his shoulder and Alex assumed it must be one of her infamous cat naps but half an hour later she was still sleeping and he could tell by her breathing, even though he couldn’t see her, that she was properly asleep.
So he placed a cushion on his lap and gently lowered her head onto it.
Her legs were already on the sofa as she had been sitting in that side saddle fashion that only girls can achieve.
Alex then dragged the edge of the throw from the back of the sofa and draped it over her slender body.