So Jack wandered into the spotless kitchen. And looked concerned when he didn’t find a turkey in the oven or the dining room table set for a holiday meal or anything. Rachel was showing me a mother of pearl necklace that her boyfriend had gotten her when Jack came out and eyed an opened bottle of wine and looked at Rachel who shrugged and told us that it was opened when she got there. Jack’s smile vanished and he looked worried. I felt so sorry for him. The whole way to her house he talked about his mother’s great cooking.
Finally Liz came floating into the room with a long black velvet skirt and cashmere sweater smelling like cigarettes and chanel #5. She kissed us all on the cheek and poured herself another glass of wine before sitting next to Rachel and said “Lets get this party started.” Poor Jack bless his heart, dutifully began distributing all the gifts in front of the recipents. Rachel and Liz loved their gold crosses and Jack had snuck and bought me one too. We all had to stop and put them on and he helped each one of us with the clasp and then sat smiling as we admired each other’s.
Rachel and Liz loved the Bibles. I’d snuck and gotten one for Jack with his name on it too that he seemed to love. Then I fished out the gift I’d been saving. He thought I’d just gotten him the Bible but I’d also put a digital gold watch he’d eyed at Zales on layaway one of the times we’d been looking for rings. I even had it engraved with “forever K” He was so surprised, I thought he was going to cry for a minute but he said he loved it and put it on and then made everyone admire it. Then he began piling presents around me after that. I was so embarrassed. He’d bought me an Elna Sewing machine and cross country skiis and his mom bought me a beautiful camel colored coat with a fur collar. And said “You can wear it tonight because I am taking you all to Perinos!”
Wben I heard Rachel say… “Mom I thought that the plan was, that you were cooking?” I was so grateful that she took the lead on that one because I just know Liz would have been on the defense if Jack had asked the same question. But she just lit another cigarette and explained, “Oh no! I want to treat you all to a REAL Christmas Dinner.” And looked at me and said “Keri honey, you wanna hand me that little bottle of merlot sweetie?” I just smiled and poured her some more as Jack looked miserable and Rachel asked, “What time are reservations?” Liz lit another cigarette and told her six thirty. Jack looked at his new watch and said “it’s almost six now.” So we all begain getting up and getting our coats on. Liz saw Jack’s coat and asked him if he was going to wear THAT and pointed to it as if it were a rag. I saw Jack’s face turn red as he took the keys from his mom’s hand and said “I’ll drive.” As we all walked out the door.