Mrs P’s Lullaby
A Christmas Tale
Songs I Like Series
Text copyright © 2017 Mia Soto
All Rights Reserved
12 Drummers Drumming
She fell through space and time in a blur. Her hair whipped around her and her clothing tore away until she hit the hard wooden floor of her attic with a resounding thump. Grimacing, she rubbed her back. The pain of hypothermia was gone.
She was once again in her jeans and sweater, in her attic in the dark middle of night. Out of the corner of her eye she noticed the music box and she scrambled over to it, flung it open and fished out her ring. Without hesitation, she slipped it on fighting back the tears. The attic door pulled down in haste and Serge scrambled up with wide eyes.
“Natalie!” He cried out thumping his head on the low overhang. “Oh, my Natalie.”
His reaction broke her and she sobbed, stumbling into his arms. There was so much to say, so much. Instead, he clasped her face and draped her mouth in a consuming kiss which she returned without hesitation. The words could wait.
First she molded her body to his the way she had once long ago and his hands roamed her body. They tore at their clothes like young lovers. It was sweet and slow familiar and easy flooded with passion that had long been gone. She rested in contentment on him after.
“So much,” she said. Where to begin with such a story? “Tomorrow. I’ll try to tell you tomorrow.” She kissed his chest and rested her head down. “Right now, though, take me to our bed.”
The kids rushed into their room the next morning without formality.
“Mommy’s home. Mommy’s home,” Louisa sang jumping on the bed. Isa started crying when Serge brought her from the nursery. Jonah watched it all with a teenager’s eyes from the door.
“Mom, who kidnapped you?”
“I had something I had to do before Christmas.” She smiled at him and saw the relief cross his face. Their family was whole again and he knew it.
Christmas morning was a blur of consumerism and family warmth. They would go to church at Santo Stefano for the midday service. She wandered down the road to lock the gate knowing no one would be by that day. As she slid the metal pole into its anchor a small, expensive sports car pulled up. Bob rolled down his window looking devastating.
“Well I’m on my way to Rome.” He looked her over wistfully. “Charlize, you broke my heart.”
“How’s that?” She leaned against the gate.
“You turned out to be a good girl after all.” He rolled his eyes.
She laughed. “I’ll see you next time…Bob.”
He laughed and said, “Natalie, call me Rafa.” Then he rolled up his window and drove away oblivious to look on her face.
Back in the house the kids were complaining that they were hungry. Having woken the house at an ungodly time they were still in the breakfast hour.
“I’ll make breakfast.” Serge kissed Natalie’s nose and shifted her legs off his lap. She gave him a dubious grimace. “I can make eggs, Natalie.” He seemed affronted by her look.
The kids followed Serge and clanging from the kitchen sounded moments later. She smiled at the large window remembering it from another time. She wandered over thinking stained glass, maybe some curtains, would help temper its effect through the seasons. She would investigate that on Monday. As she stared out the window a light snow was falling leaving a fresh coat on the pristine white Christmas they were already having.
A child, boy, dressed as they might, oh, two hundred years ago she fathomed, ran into view. He was soon tackled by another and then another. Much less agilely a girl with blond hair and brown eyes toddled into view and fell to be swooped into the sure arms of her father. Her mother a blond beauty took the father’s hand who pulled her into a kiss.
Soon the girl struggled to be free of her father’s protective arms to join her brothers in their snowy play. The parents watched until the man turned with an exacting stare into the window meeting Natalie’s eyes with intent. He smiled and she smiled.
And then like a foggy mist he and his family faded from view leaving the barren wintry scene outside the window. She had chosen this life and it turned out it was exactly the life she wanted. As she walked away from the window she heard Louisa call from the back of the house.
“Mom! Come quick! The kitchen’s on fire.”
The song that sparked the idea: