For Blogmas I am writing a four part Christmas story. Although this is the first part, I have written two other parts to Freddy and Amanda's story that you can read HERE and HERE! You are welcome to read my most recent Blogmas post HERE!
It's December 12th and Freddy is sat in a coffee shop, drifting into a gaze that would hold its focus on the starry Christmas tree outside of the window for a fair while.
Not much longer than half a year before Freddy had the best five hours of his life. Followed by the worst moment of his life. Followed by six months and twenty five days worth of regret.
It was the middle of May. A Saturday, Eight o'clock.
He stared at the front door that smiled before him and he tried to calm himself. He was nervous. Freddy was about to go on a date with Amanda. Amanda who shone under any lighting and whose eyes felt like a sunny afternoon when they looked at Freddy.
Freddy spent so much of the day worrying about making the night perfect that he hadn't considered how he should react when Amanda stood in front of him. Dressed in tights, a navy blue skirt and a white, flowery top, Amanda grinned at him, her auburn hair sparkling, her eyes twinkling like stars. "Hello," he managed.
The night was the kind of night you picture in films.
Since that evening, Freddy feared he would forget any detail. But he didn't. Then again, he didn't forget the five hours after going on a date with the girl he knew he would fall in love with.
If he was given the chance.
Freddy was very aware of Amanda beside him and how close their hands were and how she kept looking at him, trying to hold his eye contact. When he found it in him to catch her eyes, he found it difficult to keep them. His heart told him to stay, but it also told him to go. Nerves created the melody pumping round Freddy's body.
They spent two hours at an Italian restaurant. They fell easily into talking about university and summer. Amanda offered amusing stories about her family and her best friend, Nancy.
As they walked out of the restaurant, something inside of Freddy made his hand reach for Amanda's. At the feel of her fingers fitting into his, he sighed and with all of the nerves in him, locked eyes with Amanda and returned her smile.
It may sound like just a pleasant evening in words but the easy way they could talk allowed for Freddy to muster as they reached Amanda's door, "Do you fancy an ice cream?"
Amanda said yes.
Freddy knew a place that was open at ten o'clock. A small cafe with unique and bright bunting and decorations hanging from the ceiling. After ordering their dessert, Freddy and Amanda wandered down to the nearby beach, sitting on a hill overlooking the sea. Freddy enjoyed the juicy raspberry sauce mixing with the creamy ice cream, the warm night, and the magic transferring from Amanda's shoulder to his.
"You don't seem so sure about university," Amanda said, immediately seeming embarrassed. Freddy feared she thought she had overstepped the boundaries. Quickly he smiled easily with a nod. She relaxed.
Freddy tried hard to not give anything away. "It's just not my thing."
Amanda nodded, seeming to understand something. Although he wasn't sure what.
Freddy relaxed more and more as the night went on, and when a few more hours passed and they realised they were talking well into the early hours of the morning, Freddy's heart sunk at the thought of returning home and not laughing and joking with Amanda for a while longer.
Their hands had found each other some way through their talking and he rubbed his thumb over hers . Something intensified in the most wonderful way and Freddy turned. Amanda's eyes smiled back at his and he brought his hand to her cheek. She grinned a little and a small nod she nodded caused Freddy to experience something beautiful in his stomach; something that told him he was facing a girl he would adore to get to know even more; a girl he'd love to fall in love with. Slowly, keeping his eyes on hers, Freddy moved a little closer. As she closed her eyes, Freddy closed his and felt her lips reach his.
Now, as he heard children dream of a white Christmas, Freddy dreaded his Christmas. Him and his mother doing everything to ignore the festivity.
Very quickly Freddy remembered the horrifying moment five hours after Freddy picked up Amanda that May evening.
As Freddy walked Amanda home, a tranquil quiet fell upon them.
Only, it didn't last for long.
A piercing scream attacked the air and a chill shot through Freddy's body.
Before he could even think, Freddy ran, following the continuing scream.
Up against a wall Freddy saw what he dreaded: his mother, head in her hands, bruised arms exposed.
"Mum," he shouted, completely unaware of Amanda behind him. "Mum, what has he done?"
Snowmen & Songs,
The Girl in the Moonlight.