Advent Day 21
Jim was just putting the finishing touches on his present for Mommy when his brother came slamming into the house.
Sam was dressed in a heavy coat and scarf with a knit hat on his head. There was a light dusting of snow on him too.
“What are you doing?” Sam asked.
“Working on my Christmas present for Mommy. It’s a necklace with my hand print.”
His brother stood there silently for a moment or two and then he shook his head. “She’s not coming home for Christmas, Jimmy.”
“Sure, she is,” Jim said, matter-of-factly. He stuck out his tongue in concentration as he put glue on the bale of the necklace.
“No.” Sam paused. “She isn’t.”
Jim looked up at his brother. He had a flicker of a doubt but he quickly dismissed it. “She said she was. She promised.”
“Well she’s breaking that promise. You might as well learn now that adults break their promises all the time.”
Sam sighed. “She sent a message earlier today. She can’t make it off that rock she’s working on in time to make it. I’m sorry, Jimmy. But she won’t be home from Christmas.”
Jim stared down at the necklace he clutched in his hands. He felt the tremble in his bottom lip even as Sam turned away and stomped upstairs in his snow boots.
A minute later, Jim stood up from the table, scooped up all the stuff he had for the necklace and threw it in the trash.
Jim smiled faintly as he looked up at the tall blue Christmas tree with white lights. It was in the so-called city square on Yorktown. Jim was dressed casually, having ditched his uniform a short while ago. It was the “evening” on Yorktown complete with atmospheric coolness piped in for the time of year.
“You seem sad.”
Jim glanced at Spock, who had just appeared beside him. “I was thinking of blue Christmas.”
“The song actually. But yeah the tree reminded me of it.”
Spock tilted his head. “And why is it a blue Christmas?”
“Not today really. It’s just…when I was a kid, pretty young, I was expecting Mom to come home, only she couldn’t make it, her work wouldn’t let her get away. I was absolutely beside myself over it. Threw away the present I was making for her and cried for hours.” He shook his head. “I didn’t understand adult obligations then. I just knew she had disappointed me again. After that, for the longest time, I wanted nothing to do with holidays. It just meant disappointment to me and so I stopped even thinking about them let alone celebrating them.”
“Understandable,” Spock spoke quietly. “And now?”
Jim turned to face Spock and smiled, holding out his two fingers as Spock had taught him. Spock met them and, as usual, Jim felt the slightest of zings.
“Now, I couldn’t be happier, and I say, welcome Christmas. But when we get back to the room? I need to video conference Peter. It’s not nearly enough. But I’m close enough to his location to reach him. Mom wasn’t and it was something I really resented for a long time. I should have cut her some slack.”
“You were just a disappointed child,” Spock pointed out, falling into step next to him.
“I know. But I don’t want Peter experiencing any Blue Christmases.” Jim reached for and received Spock’s hand, as they walked back to their room surrounded by twinkling lights.