Stories

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 a 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. Reopened door, released coat, locked up as the Uber rolled up.
“Where to?” he asked.
“Trafford Centre?”
“You sure?”
Trafford Centre – Christmas Eve? Maybe not. “The Mall, then.” Nodding, he drove off.
Five minutes later, I thanked him, climbed out and rushed inside. The Mall was full of odd-balls. A four-foot man who walked with his right arm outstretched, a woman with the doll in a push chair. Y’know, loopy folks.
People poured around me. Last minute shoppers, like me. “Where’re am I going?” I spoke out loud and a man looked at me oddly. I turned sharply and collided with a mobility scooter.
“Ow! Sorry!”
The owner scowled at me. I limped into a gift shop, dabbing the blood on my knee with tissue at the same time. What was he driving? A spiked chariot!!
 The tannoy burst into life. “The Mall will be closing in 10 minutes. Please make your way towards the nearest till.” I groaned.
Marching to the counter my eyes swept left and right at 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, please.” I watched as she wrapped them. I waited, trying not to drum my fingers. Anxiously I looked at the door.
“Thank you so much.” Giving her a big smile, I wished her Merry Christmas and left.
Outside, I opened the app to look where Uber I ordered was. Five minutes away, it said. Your driver is Sharif.
I waited – and I waited.
Checking my phone again, I glared at screen. Driver was going in opposite direction. I rang him and directed him back. He was full of apologies. “I’m new,” he explained.
“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 were on and flashing merrily. That meant hubby was back from work. “Hello darling,”he said as I fell head long through door, literally. My parcels scattered across the floor.
“One too many?” His eyes brows raised.
With the presents under the Christmas tree, one smiling husband and a glass of red in my hand.
I sighed, content at last.
“Have we got everything now?” hubby asked.
“Yes,” I replied. It was his present I forgot. I won’t tell him. At least not yet.
 

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