Kelly sighed and looked around her living room, hours before it had been spotless and everything in place, now wrapping paper, cardboard and toys were scattered around. In front of the Christmas tree her two toddler boys were sat filling their faces with chocolate. Normally, she wouldn’t have let them near the stuff, but this year everything had been different.
She glanced at the TV, which was only on for background noise really, a music channel was counting down the top a hundred Christmas songs and tunes that had been playing in the shops for the last month drifted around the room. In addition, were the sounds of her boys eating, laughing and talking in their still baby like voices. Kelly turned away from it all and to the wall.
The cream coloured wall paper was lined with framed photos, though dark patches stated that some were now missing. She felt tears prick her eyes and she quickly wiped a hand over her face and hair. Still, she felt a bubble in her throat and before she could stop her train of thoughts, her mind had cast back to last year. How different that day had been!
Last Christmas they had been a family and everything had been perfect. The boys had been angels and grateful for their presents as a two year old and four year old could be. Kelly had been heavily pregnant, due at the end of January with a girl, and sat on the sofa watching all the joy. Her boyfriend, Adam, of ten years and the most wonderful father, had been sat on the floor with the boys setting up the wooden train track. This is my perfect moment, Kelly had thought and then it had all gone to Hell as her waters broke and they had rushed into hospital.
Her perfect moment had become her year of disaster and even now she was still picking up the pieces.
She turned and saw her youngest standing before her, chocolate covering his hands and face. He was holding a book and trying to show her a picture inside the pages. Rolling her eyes, she picked him up, placing him into her lap and helping him with the book.
‘What is it?’ she asked.
‘Look,’ he said, turning the pages and pointing at the first image of The Grinch.
‘Shall we read it?’
He nodded and held the book open for her with sticky hands. His brother came to join them and as they cuddled on the sofa, reading the book aloud, Kelly decided she would make a fresh start for herself and the kids in the New Year.