Christmas is just five days away, and it just wouldn’t be appropriate to not include my first Christmas romance, All I Want for Christmas…Is Big Blue Eyes.
Perhaps a walk would tire him out. If nothing else, strolling past the decorated houses might help him get in touch with the holiday spirit. Amanda’s mother’s house was just down the street. He’d walk there and back. Two summers after his father passed, Lucas sent him a card telling him Mrs. Henders had passed away. Cancer had finally gotten the best of her. It would be interesting to see who lived in Amanda’s old house now.
Bullshit, Josh. You want to see her.
Had they repainted it? Did they ever cut down the old oak that got hit by lightning and split in half? Maybe another teenage girl now lived in the window near the elm’s thick branch, and he’d catch her sneaking out to meet the boy she was presently grounded from seeing. Or, maybe he’d find another boy like himself sneaking out the window, off to convince said girl out of her house because without her, Friday night was boring.
Particularly when he didn’t have football games and couldn’t see her cheering on the sidelines in that dangerously short skirt that revealed a little too much for his eighteen-year-old hormones when she kicked her foot to her ear.
Damn, they’d all had some good times here.
Lost in thought, he wandered down the sidewalk, walking through the few fond memories Lexington held for him. He saw grade school games of tag behind the thick-trunked, old trees; days of riding bikes up and down South Street, terrorizing Mr. Johnson by finding every rock they could and dumping them into his Koi pond; summer evenings staring up at the stars with her.
The rumble of a car’s engine brought his head up, and he slowed his pace as the silver Honda Accord touched its brakes thirty or so feet in front of him. With a crunch, it rolled over the banked snow on the curb and pulled into Amanda’s mother’s driveway.
Josh gave in to a fond smile. He’d get a first hand glimpse of who lived here now. Maybe a young couple, just starting out life, still caught up in newlywed bliss, not yet exposed to the reality of how faithless love was. They’d learn. But for a while, they’d feel like they had everything, that the whole world lay in their naive hands.
Like he’d believed until his mother shattered that innocence.
He kept walking, approaching the driveway casually, his curiosity piqued.
The driver’s door opened. A woman climbed out, toting a plastic grocery sack in one hand. Her honey-blond hair brushed the top of her shoulders, and as she walked in front of the car, the automatic headlights gave it a soft sheen.
Josh’s heart skidded to a stop at the same time his feet did. It couldn’t be.
“Amanda?” he called out, quietly.
She stopped, turning around with a puzzled expression. “Yes?” She started back toward the car’s rear end.
He hurried forward, meeting her halfway. As those blue eyes focused on him, and recognition settled into their dark depths, Josh couldn’t breathe.
Oh, God. Amanda.
Everything inside him screamed to reach out, touch her, hold her in his arms, and go back. Go back where everything was normal. Where she was so in love with him, she made him believe dreams were possible.
“Josh,” she whispered.
Nodding, he swallowed and searched for a smile. He found it, but it faltered with his nerves. Though he’d hoped, he hadn’t expected to find her here. Lucas hadn’t said anything. “Hi,” he managed.
“Hi.” She worried her free hand through her short hair, and in the streetlight, a diamond glittered on her left ring finger.
His gut turned over, clamping down tight. Someone had, indeed, been smarter and braver than he.
“I didn’t know you took over Mom’s house.”
Holding his gaze, she nodded. “It was all I had.”
Fighting down the urge to wince, he ignored the flash of hurt that passed behind her eyes. When she blinked, it was gone. But lurking there instead was something that took his breath away again. Emotion. The same kind that haunted his memories when he dared to think back on her.
The kind that went hand in hand with the words, Josh, you’re everything to me.
Come back Monday for a chance to win All I Want for Christmas…Is Big Blue Eyes