Memories are like jewels in a box. Take them out. Let them glisten through your fingertips. Watch as the sunlight or candlelight shoots sparks of color. Every event in your life is a memory to savor and protect. Each one of us is a collection of our memories or the memories we are of others.
In my Christmas novella, Waking Up For Christmas, Chase will do anything to bring his wife back from her coma, even reliving every memory of their life together; the good ones and the bad ones. Chase reminds Darcy of when they first kissed as he was tutoring her during their college days.
Smiling, a smug feeling filled him at the thought of her spending time with him instead of football players and fraternity presidents. Until he was brought back to Earth with her questions about cost accounting and realized she only wanted him for his brains. It didn’t matter, he told himself. He was in this to get a new laptop, not a new girlfriend.
Time passed in a rush as he taught and she listened, asking questions to anything she didn’t understand. As they moved through the lessons her questions came less and less and her excitement for discussing the work grew. By the time they reached the end of the lesson, Darcy had him questioning everything he knew about accounting as her ideas outpaced his own at how to run a business. Why not? The Bennett Foundation had to be light years away from Thanos Furniture.
“I think you’re ready for a practice test,” he announced, tearing off a page from his notebook.
The pencil snapped in her hand, the jagged edge poking her palm. The pieces fell to the table at her cry of pain. He came around the table and grabbed her hand. A line slashed across her hand, filling up with bright, red blood.
She yanked her hand back and reached into her bag, pulling out a dingy shirt. He pulled it away from her. “We have to at least clean it first.”
He walked over to the librarian’s counter and moved to the other side. Squatting down, he came up with a white case with a red cross on the lid
Darcy laughed. “It’s just a scratch. I’m not bleeding to death.”
“Humor me,” he insisted. “It’s a lead pencil. We’ll clean it up and put a bandage. You can sit still long enough for that, can’t you?”
She huffed and slammed into the seat. “Fine, Doctor Thanos. Fix me.” Her voice turned low and sultry.
Darcy placed her hand, palm up, on the table, leaning in with her breasts resting on the table inches from her hand.
Chase swallowed and then swallowed again. He stared as her dark eyes glittered with mischief. She knew exactly what she was doing. He placed the first-aid kit on the table and squatted in front of her. He pulled a brown bottle out and opened it.
“This is going to hurt.”
Other than a small hiss she sat perfectly still. “It hurt a lot more when the doctor fixed my dislocated shoulder after I skied into a tree in Vail. It was almost worth it to see the look on Jillian’s face when it snapped back into place.”
“Who’s Jillian?” he asked, winding gauze around her hand and tying it off on the back of her hand.
“Jillian Michele. She always goes to Vail with us.”
He gulped air and starting coughing at her casual use of the name of the last president’s daughter. As if he needed a reminder that Darcy moved in a whole other world than he did. His job was to tutor her. Nothing more.
Moving the first-aid kit to the side, he handed her another pencil. Her fingers shook as she took it into her own hand.
“You aren’t afraid of a test, are you?”
The color drained from her face. He silently chastised himself. Lots of people hated tests. Some even feared them. If Darcy’s face was any indication, some people were terrified.
“I did fine in high school,” she stammered out. “College is just so much harder than I thought it would be.” A shaky laugh escaped her. “I thought I would breeze through. I mean, come on, my family owns the college.
“I did great until the first test. I froze. I couldn’t even remember the little I’d studied that week. It’s only getting worse. If I fail one more test I’m out of here. My parents are going to be so embarrassed.”
He put his hand over hers. “We’ll do this. We’ll practice until you get like me and like to take tests.”
She stared at him as if to say he’d lost his mind. He shrugged. He was used to that look anytime he mentioned his love of tests. “It’s as if the studying is the hard part. The test is the proof that the studying worked. I wish we didn’t have homework, either you do it or not. But the test. The test is the proof you get it and you get to show that you get it.”
Nodding her head, Darcy pulled the paper toward her. “I want that.”
Soon the floor around their table was littered with crumpled balls of paper but Darcy handed him the latest test with a smile on her face. His heart raced like a horse bursting from the gate. He’d do anything to have that smile directed at him instead of at the thought of doing well on a test. He took his pen and ticked off the correct answers against the key in the back of the book. He returned her smile.
“You only missed one.”
Her smile fell. “What do you mean, I missed one?”
He laughed. “You transposed two numbers on the last one and didn’t move the decimal point enough spaces. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t cost over a million dollars to make one teddy bear.”
“It seemed like a lot but I’ve seen them cost hundreds of thousands, so I thought, why not?”
He sat there dumbfounded at the thought of a priceless teddy bear. The one percent truly lived in a whole other world. Writing a minus one at the top of the page, he circled it and handed it to Darcy.
“I can do this,” she whispered, kissing the paper.
“You can,” he managed before she ran around the table and grabbed him. Yanking him to his feet, she smiled up at him and planted her soft, warm lips on his.
Her kiss deepened. Chase tried to pull back, but her arms wrapped around his neck and pulled him in close. Her soft fingers threaded through his hair sending shivers down his spine. Her tongue slid along his closed lips and he groaned. She took it as permission and her tongue slid along his. She tasted of oranges and cinnamon. Moving closer, he felt every inch of her firm, athletic body. Her breasts pressed into his chest. His breath caught and his heart raced. He’d wanted to do this since the moment she’d fallen into his lap.
My Main Street is called Brentwood Boulevard. LOL When we used to go through this town when I was a kid it didn’t even have traffic lights. Just one stop sign at the main intersection. I think there was maybe 10,000 people out here back then.