The Ghosts Of Christmas Past

It starts. 24th December 1987. Neither of them are where they are supposed to be. They know and feel the wrong in it, but can do nothing about it. The busy and merry day has given way to a hinterland of desolation. Others, more enlightened, are either where they are supposed to be or making their way there. The shops have closed, the pubs are emptying. Eventually even they have to give in to the inevitability of it. It’s High Wycombe station, under the clock. There’s a ‘Brief Encounter’ joke; a ‘speak after the break’ entreaty, they embrace for a moment too long, they kiss for a moment even longer, he turns to go and says ‘Merry Christmas’ then adds ‘I Love You’. He hadn’t meant to say it, it just came out because it was the truth. He looks at her to see what her reaction will be. Should he apologise? Explain he ‘hadn’t meant it’. She looks at him, she says nothing but doesn’t have to. She doesn’t need to say it back. It’s in her eyes, the eyes they say ‘I know you have to go, but don’t go’. The train is approaching. He turns to go. He knows she is watching him all the way onto the platform. He turns and she is still looking at him. He waves and gets onto the train. He knows she is still staring at it until it pulls out of sight. They’ve reached a point and there is no going back. Ever.

29th July 2018. It ends. But it won’t really ever end.

For anyone who is searching this Christmas Eve.

(Below are the lyrics to Gwen Stefani’s ‘Christmas Eve’ which was Day 24 on the Advent Calendar)

I can’t see in this darkness
So in need of forgiveness
Before all of my faith dies
Show me the way like a northern light
Come find me ’cause I can’t find myself

I’m looking for you on Christmas Eve
All over the world, the angels see
But I’m feeling lost, can you save me
I’m looking for you on Christmas Eve
I’m looking for you on Christmas Eve
Don’t know how I got where I am
Hurting so much, I need healing
All I have is what I can pray
Send me your mercy I need your grace
I’m looking for you on Christmas Eve
All over the world, the angels see
But I’m feeling lost, can you save me
I’m looking for you on Christmas Eve

Christmas 2005

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