Ah I’m so excited for this! I think this is going to be a great project and I can’t wait to share it with you. So, welcome! This is the first Jags Is Coming To Town and it’s a romance story about a girl called Bridget and her boyfriend Mikey. I hope you enjoy!
A cinnamon and vanilla scent lingers as I sit in the kitchen licking a bowl of batter. They’re for mums cinnamon buns which she makes every year for Christmas. We repeatedly seem to polish them all off by the end of the day. A candle burns next to me as mum slides a tray out the oven and sets it on the counter. She grabs a teaspoon of cinnamon and sprinkles it over the sugary delights.
I instantly make a grab for one but she swats my hand aside and begins to lecture me.
‘Not yet, missy! Wait until dessert, you can eat all you want then.’
I sigh and droop my head dramatically. The phone rings and mum’s attention is drawn from the buns and to the caller on the other end.
‘Hello?’ she asks, her back turned to me.
Sneakily, I take a smaller bun on the side and rearrange them so she won’t notice. I stuff a bit in my mouth, pocketing the rest for later. As I’m chewing she becomes more and more excited by the call.
‘A Christmas Eve party? Sounds wonderful! When is it? Oh okay. Yes. I think we should be able to come. I’ll go ask George right now. George! Could we go to a Christmas party at the Jenkins later? Steve and John will be there!’
‘Sure thing, dear,’ dad calls back to her.
‘Yes we’ll be there, Annie. Thanks. I’ll talk to you soon. Bye. Sure. Goodbye.’
‘What was that?’ I ask, finishing my mouthful.
‘Annie is having a Christmas party at her house and we’re going this evening. Maybe we could bring some cinnamon buns!’
‘Will Mikey be there?’ I question.
‘I assume so. I didn’t ask.’
She turns and looks at me.
‘Hey! What’s that on your mouth?’
She grabs my chin and looks down at the tray where eleven buns remain.
‘Bridget! That’s it, none for you tonight.’
‘But, mum!’ I begin to protest.
She break into a smile and comes in for a hug.
‘Oh I’m just joking, darling. How could anyone ever be angry at someone on Christmas? Now, unstack the dishwasher would you? We need to prepare for tonight. Should I make another batch? I think I’ll make another batch.’
I walk to the car boot and haul a plate mum has piled with desserts out of the car. Dad takes another and mum takes two extra.
‘Do you think we genuinely need this many, Joyce?’ dad asks mum.
‘Of course! The little ones will get hungry and we should make sure we’re prepared.’
‘You need to stop worrying so much,’ dad mutters as he pecks her on the cheek.
As we walk in I immediately begin searching for Mikey. Old people chatting, adults drinking, teenagers milling by the food table and children running in Santa hats. But Mikey is nowhere to be found. I go upstairs to check in his room but it’s completely empty. I head outside to the garden where there’s a drink bar and grab a lemonade. As I pass Mikey’s mum I ask if she knows where he is.
‘I think I saw him go to the back of the house. If you find him, give him this. Thanks, dear.’
She hands me a diet coke and I nod, making for the back of the house. When I turn the corner I spot Mikey facing the wall at the other end of the garden. But he’s not alone. As I get closer I realise that he’s with a girl. And they’re making out. She’s pinned against the wall by him as he sucks her face off in a violent kiss that I know I would have aborted by now. I want to scream. I want to cry. But I can’t seem to form any words or noises. The one thing I can do is stand there. But then I drop the glass diet coke bottle and it goes smashing against the pavement. Mikey and the girl pull apart and look at me. When Mikey realizes who it is, his face drops. He steps back from the girl, who looks utterly confused and embarrassed, and raises his hands in a surrender.
‘Babe. Bridget. It’s nothing, this means nothing.’
Now the girl looks offended. Understandably. He’s screwed over two girls in one night. Before I know what I’m doing, I march over to him, plant my feet, and slap him all the way to Wednesday. He obviously wasn’t expecting it because he stumbles and brings up his hand to touch his face. His cheek is turning red and an imprint of my hand is becoming visible. Mikey looks at me with such astonishment that I almost laugh at his surprise.
‘You bitch,’ he whispers.
‘Yeah well, fuck you,’ I tell him, giving him the finger, turning and storming off into the crowd gathered behind us.
Mikey keeps his distance for the remainder of the evening. I don’t see him interacting with the girl either so I’m assuming she ditched him as well. Its nighttime and everyone is either crowded inside or lounging on the porch. A giant pavlova piled with blueberries, strawberries and whipped cream is beside me on the table. I’ve had two slices and I am starting to feel a bit ill. Music is playing and people are dancing in the living room, tinsel hanging from their necks and Santa hats on. Mum comes over and sticks out her hand to help me up.
‘Come on, sweetie. Dance with me!’
I shake my head and usher her away. Glancing out the window, I notice the empty back garden. Standing, I look to see if anyone’s watching then unlock the back door and slip into the cool night. Its silent besides fluttering insects, the audible music through the walls and muted conversation. Wandering over to the pool, the water glistens in the moonlight. The moon above me is big and bright like a penny and the stars cover the sky. It’s a perfect night. I sit down and take my shoes off, dipping my feet into the cool water. I hear the door open and turn to see a guy with messy black hair sneaking into the garden. Caden. He smiles at me and comes over, sitting down next to me and taking his own shoes off. We sit there in silence for a minute with our feet in the water, splishing and splashing.
‘I heard about Mikey,’ Caden says finally.
I grunt in response, not wishing to ruin the moment and talk about him.
‘I’m glad you’re not with him anymore,’ he whispers.
I turn and look at him questioningly.
‘Because now I can have you.’
He leans in, taking my face in his hands, and kisses me gently. A cheer erupts from the house as the clock strikes twelve and someone switches on All I Want For Christmas Is You. We break apart and smile at each other. I lean against his chest and begin humming the tune to the song. He joins in. And then we’re both yelling the lyrics at the top of our lungs, standing up to create a dance rendition along the pool edge. While I’m halfway through a twirl he lunges at me and we both go tumbling into the pool. But I don’t care. Nothing matters anymore. Not as long as I’m with him.
‘Merry Christmas,’ he whispers before we lunge back into another kiss.
And that concludes our first Christmas special! I’m going to be away Friday, Saturday and Sunday so I’ll have to schedule those in and I apologise profusely if they malfunction and don’t go up.
24 DAYS TILL CHRISTMAS!