Here’s pt 6 of the story – you know the routine by now sit back, take a deep breath and relax.
…..I now knew Jim was ready to go home. I gave him a hundred dollar bill and wished him a Merry Christmas and watched as he left the store. I prayed he would turn left and not right to the bar for a drink. He left the front door and turned right. I looked on in disappointment but then he headed over to a guy who was collecting for the Salvation Army and put the Money into the Charity box. He then turned around picked up a Newspaper and headed for home.
As Jim approached the home he had known so well he felt his heart begin to pound. His breaths grew laboured and his steps heavy. It was clear what he should do, he must go home, but.. But what if Karen didn’t understand? Alley is a child with her there was no complication she had lost her Daddy and she wanted him back. But Karen, She’s bound to be hurt, humiliated, angry. What if she turned him away rejected him. His fear was rising but thinking of my words and the happy endings in the stories Jim took a deep breath and put his key into the door lock. The sound of the key entering the lock was familiar, Jim paused he felt a feeling of comfort below the welling fear. Jim wasn’t the only one to hear that familiar sound. Through the frosted glass of the door Jim saw a familiar figure flash into view, hurrying towards the door but then stopping. Karen froze staring back through the door in disbelief, could it be? He has the key, it must be.. Jim took the initiative lead by instinct rather than reason he turned the key, flung open the door and threw his arms around Karen. Husband and wife reunited cried out with joy tears bursting forth from both.
Karen managed to clear the sobs from her throat first.
“Jim thank God, I’m so happy you’ve come home, we’ve missed you so much, believe me everything will work out. Alley is in bed she is so excited. She went to bed early with a smile on her face and when I asked her what she wanted for Christmas she just giggled and said wait and see mommy. She knew, how did she know you were coming home?”
Choking back the sobs and wiping the tears from his face Jim responded “I know what she wants for Christmas; I’ve been working in a Department Store as Santa”
The sobs were turning to laughter and Karen found the thought of Jim as Santa pretty amusing.
“A Mall Santa? You!!!!!!” Karen teased
Jim looked a little embarrassed.
“Well, I couldn’t get any other work,” now both of them were laughing
They hugged each other closer again enjoying the comfort for a moment before continuing.
“I was terrible, I think I scared the Kids. They sacked me and give me a job as a janitor, I really hit rock bottom. If it hadn’t been for Nick”
“Who’s Nick?” Karen sounded confused.
“This old guy who thinks he’s Santa he took over from me. Anyway Nick took ill and I stood in for him. Alley came in to see Santa with her school and I was Santa: she didn’t recognise me so she sat on my lap and her teacher told her to tell Santa what she wanted for Christmas. You know what she said? – She said she wanted her Daddy to come Home for Christmas. Darling it hurt me so much to think she still loved me, after all I have done I’ve been so stupid.” Jim’s eyes had welled with tears again as he looked to Karen for comfort.
“I guess everybody is entitled to get a little crazy now and then, I love you, I’m just so pleased you’ve come home Jim”.
“Karen Please forgive me, I couldn’t cope.”
“Jim you are the best Christmas Present I could ever have. I can’t wait to see Alley’s face when she sees you in the morning.
The couple fell silent, just enjoying the moment, they stood smiling, looking into each others eyes. Then Karen’s expression turned to one of puzzlement.
“So where is this Nick now?”
Jim looked concerned.
“I hope he’s got somewhere to go this Christmas he’s such a nice guy, he’s kind of child like, he believes he’s Santa, I hope he’s not alone.,..
To be continued – watch this space