I'll Be Home for Christmas

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by AHeartlessNobody, Dec 18, 2015.

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  1. Name:
    Samantha Garretson


    Samantha's parents were always very kind to her. She remembered fun traditions, bright lights and decorations, and all the love she could ever ask for. Christmas was always a magical time for her, one she looked forward to year around. But, that wonder and fun ended abruptly when she was seven years old. She and her parents were driving on Christmas Eve to Tennessee to spend Christmas together in the family's cabin, when another car skidded on ice, right through a red light, hitting their car head on. Both of her parents died that day and she spent Christmas in the hospital, mourning the loss of her parents. After she got out of the hospital, Samantha was sent into foster care, going through childhood depression. Because of this, most foster parents were unwilling to keep the anti-social girl for long and she was passed from home to home every month or so, never giving her time to adjust or settle down. This usually ended with her in a new place for the holidays every year with not so happy experiences. It was when she turned 18 and graduated high school that she left the foster care system and moved into a small home by herself. Her father had been a casual businessman, owning a few different businesses from toy stores, grocery stores, clothes, and even wedding shops. There were 15 locations in all. This left her enough money to buy her house in full and still keep up with many of her father's businesses. She has other people run most of the shops, but the two she deals with. It was when she turned 18 and graduated high school that she left the foster care system and moved into a small home by herself. Her father had been a casual businessman, owning a few different businesses from toy stores, grocery stores, clothes, and even wedding shops. There were 15 locations in all. This left her enough money to buy her house in full and still keep up with many of her father's businesses. She has other people run most of the shops, but the two she deals with first hand is a toy shop up the street from her home and a wedding shop across town. She actually runs the toy store by herself as if it a smaller store, and she often visits the wedding shop to help and sometimes even takes up the task of doing photography for couples in her free time. She keeps herself busy with all of this so she doesn't have to think about her past or her dead parents.

    She loves the toy store and it always makes her so happy to see children light up at the many toys she has laying around.​

    It was really amazing how busy things got around the Christmas season. It left Samantha so busy between all of the snowy weddings and all of the parents and kids coming to the old Garretson Toy Shop to buy presents and such that she found herself not really having any spare time for herself until she closed the toy store at seven. But, she didn't mind. It kept her busy and it kept her from thinking about things she didn't like to think about, especially during this time of year when those memories were more prominent. Smiling and humming to herself, she walked into the other of her father's shops she had direct contact with, Dillion's Wedding Boutique, and went around the back, picking up her camera when the manager, a young man named James, spoke to her, a grin on his face, "Out to take more wedding photos Sammy?"

    Sam smiled and laughed, putting the strap around her neck and grabbing a couple of other things that went with the camera, pulling them into the camera bag she had, "Yeah. You know how people always wait until this time of year to get married. People just love Christmas time weddings." Putting the camera bag on, the one strap going across her shoulder like a messenger bag would, she shrugged, "I have to go get ready. Hopefully this won't last long so I can relieve Tony at the toy store."

    "Don't you think you're staying a little too busy? I mean I never see you just take a breather. You're always going, going, gone." The man, looked a her, raising an eyebrow, "Why don't you go out. Have some fun. Meet a guy--"

    Sam crossed her arms and smirked at him, cutting him off, "Just because I don't have a boyfriend like you do doesn't mean I'm not having fun."

    "Hey, hey, now. Don't hate. A boyfriend is a great thing. In fact, my Henry knows this guy who--"

    "James." Samantha groaned in annoyance, rolling her eyes, "You and your boyfriend stay out of my personal life. I am perfectly fine without you two trying to set me up with someone, okay?"

    Raising his hands in surrender, he chuckled, "Okay, okay. Go run off and shoot your photos. Who knows, maybe being around all those weddings might change your mind."

    "I'll see you later James." Was her answer to his comment as she walked out of the store with her camera, before heading back to her car. She took a quick side trip to her home to get dressed into a more professional dress as well as put her hair up into an up-do before heading back into her car and to a rather old church that was decorated for the main wedding. It was really beautiful and she enjoyed being there, snapping pictures. But...at the same time, being there, watching how happy the couple looked as they said their vows, and how when they went reception the two laughed with joy as they danced their first dance, she felt like maybe something James had said about finding someone was true.

    Slowly lowering her camera after taking a few pictures, she watched the dance with a soft gaze that had a little bit of longing to it, but the look lasted just a few seconds before she shook her head, going back to snapping pictures. Now was not the time to be day dreaming abut something that probably never happen. She sighed and took a few more pictures of the smiling people as the hours went on and at around three in the after noon the wedding ended and she was allowed to go, rushing off because she around a half hour late to relieve the man working at the toy shop. She came rushing into the shop, setting her camera bag behind the counter, "Hey Tony. Sorry I'm late. The wedding went over the time it was supposed to end."

    "Its no problem. We weren't really that busy anyway." The man who was probably in his mid forties grabbed his keys from under the counter, looking back at her, "Where's your work shirt?"

    "My--" She looked down to realize she was still in the clothes she had worn to the wedding and sighed heavily, "I didn't have time to change. It's okay. I'll just deal with it until closing. You can go now. I'm sure you have places you have to be."

    "Okay, if you're sure. I'll see you tomorrow Samantha."

    She watched as her worker let and shook her head, walking over to put a few dolls on the shelves, smiling slightly to herself to find she could actually reach the shelves with her heels on. At least that was one good thing about forgetting to change. She continued to put things on the shelves and such, a small smile on her face as she tried to wait out until closing time.
    #1 AHeartlessNobody, Dec 18, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 3, 2016
  2. For as long as he could remember, life had a tendency to go the way Joshua Ward wanted it. When he'd married his high school sweetheart nearly ten years ago, his head had been full of big dreams and lofty goals, a thousand ideas about how to have a happy marriage. It hadn't seemed that hard—Allison was a wonderful woman, so caring and attentive, funny, smart and after knowing her since grade school, Josh thought he had her all figured out. There was a darker side to the woman he'd fallen for, though, something that sent her spiraling into a world of depression and self-medication, an indulgent side that had her neglecting their daughter and everything that wasn't pills. Sometimes, Josh still didn't know how things had gotten so bad.

    When Allison left abruptly in the middle of one spring night, Josh still hadn't given up. He spent the next several months looking for her, following whatever trail of gossip he could, and even appealed to her parents, but everyone seemed to be at a loss. Eventually, time forced his hand and money had become so tight that selling their dream home was the only thing Josh could do to stay afloat. The process left him gutted, angry and bitter, but with a child to support, he was forced to put on a brave face. Delilah was the only thing that kept him going anymore.

    With Stonehaven a hundred miles behind them, Josh found it easier to settle into a new small town. It was quaint and clearly close-knit, all decorated for the upcoming Christmas season and just in need of a fresh dusting of snow. Deep down, Josh had a good feeling about the place and only hoped that Delilah would continue to grow and be happy, and that the sudden loss of her mother wouldn't do too much damage in the long run. After all, she was only five and explaining where Allison had gone, and why she left was too much for a child to take in. So far, he had been getting by with white lies.

    On a cold December evening, Josh found himself walking along Main Street with Delilah's mitten-covered hand grasped in his own. They had been in town for about a week and he had finally managed to unpack and set up the new house. It paled in comparison to the one in Stonehaven; just a modest ranch with two bedrooms, a living room that became a dining room and a boxy kitchen. The only plus was the backyard, big enough for a swing set if Josh could find the money. Currently, funds were being deployed to a Christmas tree, something that Delilah had been worrying over since their departure.

    And Santa will be able to find us?” the small blonde asked from behind her pink scarf, blue eyes expectant and shining.

    The winter apparel she was dressed in was probably a bit of overkill and Josh noticed that she couldn't even put her arm down due to the many layers beneath her coat. He smiled to himself, laughing lightly as he nodded at her question. “Of course he will,” he promised, “Santa could find us even if we were under a rock.”

    Giggling and seemingly satisfied with the answer, Delilah's walk turned into a skip that slowed their pace, but Josh didn't mind. He was happy to spend time with her again after so much of his own had been devoted to finding Allison, but he was sure that the guilt from neglect would never leave him. There were plenty of days when he felt like a bad father, just some guy doing the bare minimum for his kid. He hoped that would change soon.

    The tree lot wasn't that far, and Josh could see the lights and signs just a block ahead. He had half a mind to pick Delilah up just to get out of the cold sooner when the little girl stopped her skipping and gasped. Immediately, Josh turned to her, thinking something was wrong, that she'd slipped on a patch of ice, that she was hurt, but with her face pressed against the glass of a toy store, he immediately calmed.

    Look!” she gasped, pointing with her mittens to the display in the window. “Can we go in? Please, please, please?”

    A large doll house filled the window, decorated for Christmas and frosted with bits of glitter masquerading as snow. It sparkled in the soft light from every angle and the dolls that were gathered in various holiday activities were bound to drawn in any child. Josh hesitated to think of how much the entire set cost, but he was mostly powerless to say no to Delilah. With any luck, he could get her something small to go along with the presents he'd already bought. Not having to buy for Allison left a little more money for the girl, but not much.

    Fine, but we have to be quick,” he agreed and lead her through the door.

    The inside of the shop was warm and cozy, the perfect contrast to the bitter cold of the approaching night. It was quiet as well, so quiet that Josh didn't think there was anyone working. He gave a look around as Delilah wandered off, fascinated by just about everything she saw.

    Hello?” he asked, looking around once he got to the counter.
  3. "Just another hour." Samantha stated, sighing to herself a she shifted from one leg to another. She was starving, having not eaten since that morning. That and her heels were killing her by now. She just couldn't wait to get out of them. Walking over to one of the displays sitting in the middle of one of the aisles, she began to stack up some of the teddy bears and a moment later heard the sound of a person call out. She blinked in surprise, not having heard anyone come in. She really needed to get a bell or something for the door.

    Setting the last bear on the display she walked out fo the isle, even more surprised that the person that had called out was a man she had never seen before. That was pretty strange to her, as here in their small town in the middle of Alaska there weren't many new faces and everyone usually knew everyone. But then again, hadn't she heard about someone new moving to town? She faintly recalled it, so this must have been them. Either way, she smiled and nodded in greeting, walking over to the counter, "Hi, welcome to Garretson's. Feel free to look around." That was the way she always said hello to the customers and it was the same way her father had when he was alive.

    Thinking about her father made her smile slightly. This toy store held so many memories of she and her father and it was why she had chosen to run the store herself. The toy store was the very first store her father had ever bought and he himself had run it all by himself as well, where as his other stores he had other people run. After school he would bring her to the store and let her help set thing up, play with toys, and sell to the costumers. It was a really great childhood and it meant she always had great toys, new and old. Most importantly though, it had been a great way for her to bond with her father and spend time with him. It was memories she would always cherish.

    "You two must be the new people in town that I've heard a little bit about?" She questioned though was pretty sure she was right. Then she went on to explain why she thought that so hopefully she wouldn't confuse them as to how she would have heard about them moving in, "News travels fast in a small town like this." Standing there, she looked down to the adorable little girl beside him and she smiled at her as well, kneeling down tot he girl's level, "Hi there. I'm Samantha. What's your name?"
  4. The toy shop was just as quaint as the rest of the town. It looked like something out of a picture book and the atmosphere inside was welcoming, comfortable, calm enough that Josh could stay relaxed. He didn't mind that Delilah might try and convince him to buy the entire store, and the excited look on her face was more than enough as she bounced around from one display to the next. Thinking on it, Josh couldn't remember the last time Delilah had been so excited, and that realization only added to the guilt that was already weighing him down. Even if it took the rest of his life, he wanted to make it up to her somehow.

    When a woman greeted them in return, Josh raised his eyebrows and returned her smile. She was dressed nicely, probably a little too done up to be working in a toy store, but Josh wasn't one to judge. Since Allison's voluntary departure from his life, it had been nearly a year since he had really looked at another woman, and in many ways, Josh was still too heartbroken to entertain any kind of relationship. Now that he was left to support Delilah on his own, his emotional needs had become less and less of a priority over everything that was required to keep a child happy.

    In a small town, it was no wonder that news, no matter how mundane, traveled fast. Josh had been there several times over, and he knew the drill. Nodding, still polite as ever, he confirmed her theory. “We just moved up here from Stonehaven,” he said, noting that it was quite the way away from Alaska. Some people suffered a break up and didn't move very far at all, but Josh craved the distance and Alaska was about as far as a person could get.

    Finally, Delilah came back to his side, one mitten now off and bunched in her other hand as her small fingers found his. Normally, she wasn't a very shy girl, but ever since Allison had left, her personality had become slightly more introverted. It worried Josh and made him want to force the idea of old times on her. When Samantha questioned her, Delilah hid her face, pressing her nose against the bulky sleeve of Josh's coat. “Tell her your name, hun,” he encouraged, giving her hand a light squeeze.

    She giggled, looking from her father and back to Samantha. “Delilah,” she uttered, still playing shy. “I like your dolls,” she said a moment later, pointing to the window display that had originally brought them in.
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