Title: Those Christmas Lights Keep Shinin' On
Description: Tag: A knight in shining armor? (open)
Devin Moran - December 24, 2011 04:12 AM (GMT)
Saturday, December 24th, 2011 @ 6:00ish PM
Bundled up in layers and jackets, through the snow mother and son trudged like some modern day Mary and Baby looking for room at an inn or some safe haven. They should have been home, sitting at a table lovingly prepared with laughter filling the house. The only thing that filled that little house on Green Street these days was a quiet loneliness that today became a roaring wave crashing down. Connor’s first Christmas and there was no one to share it with. How many times had she said it was okay? That they were okay? How many people in the last days, weeks, months, had she lied to? It wasn’t okay. Her husband was gone, abandoning his infant son and pregnant wife at the time of year that families should be together. His stocking hung by the chimney with care, but Devin knew that St. Nick wasn’t going to deliver what she wanted most that Christmas.
The cold wind whipped at her face turning her nose red as she walked down the side walk to stare and look at lights. She pointed out elves and reindeer to her son. Hand dropped to her belly and felt the rhythm of tiny feet pushing and bumping against her skin. It could be any day now or any week. Connor came at this time, thirty-four weeks. She hadn’t signed on to be a single parent and lately that’s all she felt like she was. Her marriage was being chipped and pulled away that she wasn’t sure if she could make it another day with this distance. If only she could be as selfish as everyone else. Instead she put on a smile and made her home look as if everything was okay, that every day her heart wasn’t breaking just a bit more.
“Next year you’ll have to help your sister open her presents, Connor. And we’ll all be together.” It was a pipe dream at this point. Devin couldn’t see beyond the next week let alone into the next year. All that she knew was in the morning she’d wake up with her little boy next to her and not her husband and convince herself that Christmas morning was normal that way. Even a phone call or web cam chat wouldn’t make up for what they were missing; being together.
Connor looked wide eyed at all the lights on the street. Devin was glad for the cold because it froze any tears before they could fall. The stores were closed and the restaurants too. Just one place setting at the table and a plastic one for Connor who was learning how to be a big boy. She wished she could have her favorite time of year be as magical and innocent as it was to her son. This had always been her favorite time of year; the lights, the music, the general good will and love. The last Christmas had been a disaster, a tragedy. This year proved to be no different. This wasn’t Christmas; not for her. “C’mon buddy, we should start heading home,” she told her son with eyes closed and a deep breath, one had on the stroller handle and the other on her stomach. She had to walk on for them even when every bit of her wanted to sit down in the snow bank nearby and give up.
Bailey Weathersby - December 24, 2011 05:59 AM (GMT)
It was already Christmas Eve. As Bailey took a long sip of hot chocolate from the mug that she carried, a sigh escaped her pink lips. Time seemed to be flying impossibly fast in Evergreen, even fast than it had in Charlotte. She had been a Weathersby for nearly a month now, which meant that she’d taken up a permanent residence in the little town almost two months ago. Sawyer seemed to be growing like a bad weed and Tamsin got prettier each and every day (much to her daddy’s distress). Her momma had always told her that time went by quicker the older that you got. Bailey had simply laughed when her mother had said such a thing, and instantly retorted, ‘Momma it’s already flying, it can’t go any faster.’ She’d certainly been mistaken, however, because she was already twenty seven years old. She had a four year old son and a step daughter that was steadily approaching ten. Nate, her childhood best friend, was now her husband and she had discovered only a few days prior that she was expecting their first child together (news that she had somehow managed to hold off until Christmas, miraculously).
The day had started out perfectly. Sawyer had slept in (something that also qualified as some sort of Christmas miracle) and that meant that Bay had also gotten the chance to sleep in. Curled comfortably around Nate, she had cherished the relaxing moments as she slowly awoke. Would he be excited for this baby? The pair had talked about adding on to their family, about having children together. They hadn’t, however, set a time frame for such a thing. Birth control had never been discussed and pregnancy had become rather inevitable (as the positive pregnancy test had clearly shown her). Knowing Nate, he would be over joyed. Much like her pregnancy with Sawyer, she would be pregnant throughout the summer. Though rough when the heat rolled in, there were certainly worse things in the world. The four of them had settled down on the couch to watch Christmas movies, clad in pajamas with un-combed hair. While the kids played, she and Nate had finished the last of the gift wrapping. The tree was up and their little home was decorated, complete with stockings hanging from the window sill. It was only as the gifts were slid under the tree that Bay realized that she had managed to forget a couple small stocking stuffers. With Nate settled at home keeping a careful eye on the kids and the dog (who she was practically convinced counted as another child) Bay had slipped into town to run into the local Walmart, which appeared to be the only open store.
It hadn’t taken long to pick up the final touches for their first Christmas together. She’d been on her way back home, without plans on making any other stops until she noticed that the local coffee shop was still open for a few more moments. Though the mere scent of coffee had her stomach turning (as it always did when pregnancy hit) a hot chocolate sounded too appealing to pass up. Another sip of hot chocolate slid down her throat as she walked down the sidewalk. Her eyes caught on a woman pushing a stroller containing a bundled up infant. Blue eyes naturally migrated from the child to the pregnant stomach that was evident through the layers of fabric. There was no possibly way that the boy was that old, less than a year she was willing to guess. When the womans hand moved to her stomach, the other guiding the stroller Bay got the urge to offer assistance. The continuous good Samaritan, she had been prepared to swallow the urge when she caught a glimpse of the womans face.
“Devin… Devin Taylor?” she questioned, pausing mid-step. Indeed it was Devin Taylor, a face that she hadn’t since her high school says. As Nate had possessed Bay as a confidant, Noah had taken a liking to Devin Taylor. The girl had also been from old money, similar to the Weathersbys and the Callahans. Vaguely she remembered Nate mentioning that the woman was in town and married, but he had failed to mention children or anything else about her husband. “Bailey Callahan,” she said, a small smile creeping upon her face as she attempted to remind the woman of who exactly this now strange blonde was before her. She had met the other girl at the Weathersby household thanks to the twins, back when they had gotten along better than they did now (though the relationship seemed to be improving). Devin had been a year younger than Bay, though she had always liked the brunette and the way that she managed to put Noah in his place (which he needed, frequently). “Nate mentioned that you were here,” she explained, clutching the hot chocolate, “but he didn’t tell me much else, beyond the fact you’re married.” Leave it to Bay to greet someone on the sidewalk in the middle of winter on Christmas Eve that would turn out to be a high school friend.
Devin Moran - December 29, 2011 03:56 AM (GMT)
Looking down, Devin was sure Connor was asleep. Some people might have thought her crazy for going on a walk in the middle of winter with her 10 month old baby, but Devin couldn’t spend another hour in that house alone. It was filled with pictures of Shane and happier times. Once again there was no picture for the Christmas cards. Being there alone was just another reminder that there wasn’t going to be, and she couldn’t help but wonder if there ever was. They had been through so much together and after a year and a half it seemed that his family and this time apart was what was going to put their marriage in a coffin. Was it his fault? Shane could have said no, should have said no. Instead he left his pregnant wife and infant son. What would happen if she went into labor? He’d never make it in time. Then there was the small voice in her head that sounded so much like her father telling her that he wasn’t coming back. She wanted to believe what Shane told her last May, what he told her almost every day, and what she knew was true deep down in her heart. Still, that little voice poked and prodded and told her that she’d be the ex-Mrs. Moran and her children would grow up without their father.
She thought about reaching into her bag and pulling out her phone just to hear his voice. Sure Autumn was coming over for Christmas dinner and Devin had extended an invitation to an old friend of hers as well, but it wasn’t going to be the same. It wasn’t going to be her family. Pondering stopping into the shop for a little something warm to journey home with, Devin’s attention was turned away from the inward to the outward. It was as if the world was giving her a giant “fuck you”. Bad enough that she was alone at Christmas without her husband and ready for this pregnancy to be over with, but now life had thrown a curve ball of someone she had grown up with right there in her face. Not that she had hard feelings towards Bailey, it was just that place in general. She was beginning to think she didn’t belong anywhere and the world presenting her with the first place that rejected her just further proved her mental point.
Bailey and her had been around the same age. Devin was sure the girl whom she knew mostly through social gatherings and the Weathersbys knew the rumors of why Devin was no longer part of the social elite of North Carolina. Of course, there was the coming out of Shane and their marriage to anyone who was anyone. Still Bay reminded Devin of a time and a mindset she didn’t need to be in right now. The last thing she needed to be reminded of was being seventeen, pregnant, and alone. Little did she know that Bailey was now married to one of the boys who could have helped her but hadn’t. It had been seven months since anyone had called her by that name. Over a year and half she had been a Moran and if it wasn’t for the woman being right there, Devin might have ignored her on accident.
“It was. It’s Moran now,” Devin tried to smile but found it a little lacking in the warmth department. At least she could blame it on the cold outside instead of the cold that was inside. “Nate? He didn’t say you were in town. But I haven’t seen him for a bit… or Noah.” That last encounter with the boy she had been close to hadn’t gone so well. Maybe it was mutual embarrassment that kept her and Nate apart, but Noah was a different matter. Preston was the only one from that lifetime she still saw but even he was busy and away with his wife. That left her the only one once more. “What’s it been now? Ten, eleven years?” She was sure Bailey’s life had been a bit more interesting than hers. The woman was probably living in the ritzier part of town given her family’s money.
Bailey Weathersby - December 29, 2011 04:59 PM (GMT)
The smile that partially met the other womans lip looked entirely fake, and Bay offered a small sincere smile in her direction. Of course Devin wouldn’t be overly thrilled to have this blast from the past before her, intruding on the new life that she had crafted away from home and all of the money and memories that it held. “Moran,” Bay said, the new last name delicate leaving her lips before she took another sip of hot chocolate. Of course she had heard, of Devin Taylor being pregnant and unwed and the uproar that it had caused in the community. Though she hadn’t been a teenager when Troy had gotten her pregnant, she now knew the stares and the rumors that came with such a thing. The child in the stroller was far too young to be the baby that had been conceived so many years prior, but Bailey made no question regarding the matter. Unlike her parents or her siblings, she had no interest in the happenings of the others in their ‘social circle’. After Troy had struck her, the words that had spread like wildfire had been less than kind. In the end, however, her parents had chosen to remain close to Troys own family and Bailey had politely stopped caring.
‘Nate? He didn’t say you were in town. But I haven’t seen him for a bit… or Noah.’ How to explain this entire situation? There wasn’t a simplistic way to describe it, and the blonde simply gave up on trying. “Well, I’m in town permanently. Nate and I got married,” Bay explained, the slight lack of delicacy an attempt to avoid sugar coating the situation. “It’s been about a month,” the blonde explained, eyes briefly drifting down to the ring that remained on her finger. A small smile crossed her lips as a shrug moved through her body, shifting her weight to her back leg. Devin knew Troy, mainly due to the similar social circles they all ran. The woman had left, however, which led her to believe that word of his alcoholic tendencies and abuse and their son had failed to reach her ears. Bailey wouldn’t mention that either, not unless the other woman asked (since Troy, Nate and herself had been quite close in high school – which only succeeded in making the current situation appear all the more awkward).
Bay contemplated the length of time that had passed since she had last seen Devin. “At least,” the woman agreed, offering another smile as she crouched down to admire the little boy in the stroller. “And this must be your son?” she asked, seeking a bit of confirmation on the matter. “He’s quite handsome,” the blonde complimented, admiring his features. She remembered the days when Sawyer had been that small, and she fought the urge to place a hand to her stomach. Part of Nates Christmas gift would be the knowledge that they were expecting (a gift Bay had only discovered a few days prior at work). Soon they would have a child at this age once more, one filled with new opportunities. “And another on the way,” Bay added, smiling at the swell of Devins stomach. “You must be pretty excited, you look really wonderful,” she added politely. Bailey had picked up a genuine sincerity along the way, something that had certainly not been passed down from her parents. Devin and her husband had to be anticipating a second little one, another addition to their family. Since the moment that she had taken the pregnancy test, Bay had been filled with thoughts of their little family growing to five and the anticipation that such a knowledge brought.
“I’m sorry,” Bay said, straightening. “I didn’t mean to keep you, on Christmas Eve at that. I was just really surprised to see you, even if this town isn’t very big at all.” Her hand motioned around to the only street in Evergreen that really contained any businesses.