The Christmas Event

by Karen J Mossman

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Christmas Eve. Table was set. Turkey cooking. Presents wrapped. I drank wine to celebrate.
 
Then I stopped mid flow. Oh my God! What had I done? Or rather what had I not done!
I grabbed my coat, then ran back and grabbed my phone. Ordered Uber. Shoved my feet into my shoes, purse and phone were shoved in a shopping bag. I ran outside. Didn’t get far as coat was trapped in door. Reopen door, released coat, locked up. Uber rolls up.
 
“Where to?” he asked.
 
“Trafford Centre?”
 
“You sure?”
 
Trafford Centre – Christmas Eve? Maybe not. “The Mall, then.” Noddingm he and off.
Thanking him, I climb out and rush inside. The Mall was full of odd-balls. A four-foot tall man who walks with his right arm outstretched, a woman with the doll in a push chair. Loopy folks.
 
People poured around me. Last minute shoppers. Like me. “Where’re am I going?” I spoke out loud and a man looks me oddly. I turned and collide with a mobility scooter.
 
“Ow! Sorry!” The owner scowls. I limped into a gift shop, dabbing blood on my knee with tissue at the same time. What was he driving? A spiked chariot!!
 
The tannoy bursts into life. “The Mall will be closing in 10 minutes. Please make your way towards the nearest till.” Groan.
 
Marching to the counter my eyes sweept left and righ of the measly goodies left. “I’ll have one of those, one of those, that and this, please,” I said.
 
“Do you want them gift wrapped?”
 
“Yes!” She wraped. I waited, trying not to drum my fingers. Anxiously I looked at the door.
 
“Thank you so much.” Giving her a big smile, I wish her Merry Christmas and left.
 
Outside, I open the app. Uber. 5 minutes away. Your driver is Sharif. I waited, and waited.
 
Check phoned again. Glared at screen. Driver is going in opposite direction. I rung him and directed him back. He’s full of apologies. “I’m new,” he explains.
 
“Don’t you track me? I was tracking you?”
 
“I was driving,” he said as he rolled his eyes.
 
I arrived home, the Christmas lights are on flashing merrily meaning hubby is back from work. “Hello darling,”he said as I fell head long through door, literally. Parcels scattered.
 
“One too many?” His eyes brows raised.
Presents under the Christmas tree. One smiling husband. Glass of red in hand. Sigh.
 
“Have we got everything now?” he asked.
 
“Yes,” I replied. It was his present I forgot. I won’t tell him. At least not yet.
 

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