Winter’s Bliss: Chapter Two

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After slipping into a comfortable pair of sweatpants and a tee shirt, Christine sat on her floor that was covered by a black rug, placing her hot cocoa down carefully next to her. Lifting up her royal purple comforter she fished out a shoe box from under her bed and pulled it toward her. It had been years since the last time she even thought about opening this shoe box and the fact that she was about to was significant to her. She took a deep breath, closed her eyes, and opened the lid. Peeking just a little, Christine found herself laughing at how silly she was being. There was no reason she should be frightened of her past, especially since she was about to relive it. The first object that caught her attention was an old picture her mom had taken when she was about five or six. Taking the picture from the box, Christine stared at her former self. A little girl, brown hair in pig tales, purple overalls, and braces, smiled happily back at her. No one would be able to guess that this shy little girl would turn out the way she did. Instead of playing with Barbie dolls, Christine now enjoyed playing with boys, and not in an innocent playground way. The only reason Christine could find that would explain how she changed so drastically would be her father leaving. Once he walked out, Christine’s mother, Mrs. Raymond, turned to her new found friend, Jack Daniels.

Christine shook her head. She refused to think of her mother as an alcoholic, even when it looked her right in the face. She didn’t want to blame her mother’s alcoholism for her risqué ways, so she refused to believe it existed and blamed it on herself. Her thoughts moved quickly from her to the little boy, who hardly changed, standing with his arm wrapped around her neck. Jon’s face, crinkled up into a forced smile, had changed dramatically from his boyhood days. His face was thinner, his cheeks less rosy, and his eyes did not have the shine in them they once had. Christine noticed on more than one occasion how sad he looked, but couldn’t do anything about it. She had an image to keep up, and if she was caught talking to a nerd her without any purpose her image would be tainted.

Their friendship took a dive for the worse when Mrs. Raymond began hanging around with Jack on a daily bases. Jon had lost his mother from cancer at a very young age. After that Mrs. Raymond took him in as her own child because his dad was a workaholic. That changed when Mr. Wilson came home to a son with a bruised and shaken son. Christine shuddered as she thought of that day, which was later labeled as the day their friendship officially ended. Mrs. Raymond had been hanging with Jack for a few hours before Jon had come over and had requested not to be disturbed. Christine remembered that it was the anniversary of the day his mother passed and Jon was upset. Christine had tried to cheer him up but he started to cry. All he wanted to do was talk to Mrs. Raymond, but Christine told him she didn’t want to see anyone. Ignoring her, he went to her room and went in. Christine had followed but stayed in the doorway, not wanting to disobey her mother. She listened as Jon cried to her mother’s limp form on the bed. Suddenly, Mrs. Raymond was sitting up, clutching Jon by the shoulders. She shook him violently and demanded he stop crying, that he grow up, that he be a man. After she let him go, Jon rushed out of the house as fast as his little legs could carry him. Mrs. Raymond clutched him so tightly it left marks on his arms that his father spied later that night. Christine was punished twice that day, once for disobeying her mother, and again when Mr. Wilson came over and told her Jon was no longer allowed over. The only thing she could be thankful for is that Mr. Wilson didn’t press charges, or take Christine away from her mother. Even though Christine knew her life would be completely different if she lived with a different family, she loved her mother too much to leave her.

Christine couldn’t contain herself. She curled up in a ball, almost knocking over her hot cocoa, and cried. She didn’t know why, her and Jon hadn’t spoken to each other since that day. Since then Christine learned how to take care of herself the only way she knew how. All she wanted was someone to love her, and although she knew that her risqué ways were not the answer, she didn’t know where else to turn. The fact that she wanted to bring Jon back into her world at all was surprising to her. She told herself from the beginning that she would not go there, that she would never invite Jon into her life again because it would bring back the horrible memory of him leaving. She didn’t know if she could take leaving him again after they were together after so many years. Sitting up, Christine wiped her face with her tee shirt. Determined that she would not become emotionally attached to Jon again, she decided to use Jon quickly.

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