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With all the Trimmings

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Mary Shaw hesitated at the door, listening to the obscenities coming from the other side. It didn’t sound like Frankie Drake was in trouble per se, mainly because Mary believed there was no trouble Frankie could ever get her way out of.

But still she hesitated, afraid to knock. She waited another minute, until a particularly belligerent “damn it!” forced her hand. She burst through the door, ready to save the day- politely, as befitting a morality officer. “Sorry to intrude Frankie, but are you alright?”

“Hmm?” Frankie looked up, confused. She was sitting on her couch, with a small stack of parcels and packages in front of her. A roll of wrapping paper had fallen off the coffee table, and Frankie was holding a pair of scissors like a weapon. “Oh, sorry Mary. I’m trying to get my wrapping done, but it’s proving trickier than I had anticipated.”

Mary smiled, taking a few small steps into the room. “I could help you, if you’d like.” Frankie looked at her and she continued nervously. “I help my mother with her Christmas wrapping every year, and I’ve learned a few things. Big family, you know. I’m just trying to be helpful, of course, not to bother you or anything-“

“Mary!” Frankie laughed, interrupting her rambling. “Yes, please, I’d really appreciate the help.”

Quickly shedding her coat and hat, Mary joined Frankie on the couch and picked up the wrapping paper. Frankie sat back and watched in surprise, which turned into admiration as Mary worked her efficient way through the stack, her nimble fingers carefully folding every corner into place.

“I need your hand,” Mary said, shaking Frankie from her daydream.

She nodded brightly. “Any particular place?”

Mary blushed. “Just your finger. On the box here. For the ribbon.” She held out the neatly wrapped gift, the red ribbon hanging loosely around. Frankie dutifully held it in place as Mary finished tying.

“I hope you didn’t look too closely at that one,” she said.

“Why not?”

“It’s for you,” Frankie explained, taking the box and handing it back to Mary.