It was my day off yesterday. Once I had cleaned the vomit from my living room floor, I ran a bath and sat in it until it grew cold. Then I went to bed and slept until mid-afternoon.
I didn’t leave the house. I didn’t see anyone. I didn’t speak to anyone. I didn’t even want to risk hearing anyone, so I blocked out the world with earplugs.
I needed time to think.
At five o’clock this morning I washed, dressed and immediately went to the Advent House.
Of course, there was no one there. I didn’t expect there to be. But I stood right in front of the Advent House anyway. And I waited.
Villagers started to arrive around half past six. I just stared straight ahead. I wasn’t going to open my mouth, not for any one of them.
And no one said a word to me. I think the sight of me at the Advent House so early and so close to the front was enough to make them wary of what I might do.
William arrived a little later than usual. As he stood next to the Advent House, I made sure to stare straight at him. I wanted to get his attention.
As I watched him, I willed him to say something to me. An offhand remark. Anything. But he didn’t. Like everyone else, my behaviour was too out of sorts for him. He couldn’t handle it.
I had so much adrenaline pumping through my body that I was quivering. I desperately wanted the door to be something awful, like the lake or the elves. I wouldn’t even blink about any of that today. I wouldn’t simper or whine this time. Never again.
But I didn’t get my chance. William opened the door to reveal a painting of a grave covered in snow.
I wanted to scream. I spat on the ground in anger, feeling a coppery taste on my tongue as I realised I had bitten the inside of my cheek.
At twenty past seven, we were at the church. William told us to lie on the graves of the dead, look up at the stars and think of the loved ones we wouldn’t be able to spend Christmas with.
I lay on the grave of my mother, Aislinn Trellers. But I didn’t think of her. There is no longer any room in my head for sentimentalities.
Read yesterday’s The Festivities of Morkwood.