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Christmas Ships

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“Daddy look at the lights on that ship! There flashing ‘Merry Christmas’!”


Peter and Olivia gave a chuckle at the duo of Walter and Etta pointing at the ships on the river. The pair sat huddled on a park bench in Waterfront Park. Walter and Etta were standing up against the guardrail of the West bank. The seawall just 50 feet below them. Olivia gazed into Peter’s eyes and gave him a perfect smile.


“I can’t remember the last time I had a Christmas as nice as this one. I have my family here with me. Our perfect little soul. Walter is so good with her I honestly never thought my life would take this path. Happiness has never really been apart of my life. But now that I have it, I’m never letting it go.”


Peter laughed a little more as Etta stuck her tongue out and tried catching the snow with it.


“Etta-bear, look at you! Catching snowflakes on your tongue.”


By now Walter was doing it too. He’d picked her up in his arms and was spinning her around, both catching snowflakes on their tongues.


“Grampa! Put me down!”


Walter stopped spinning Etta around in his arms and put her safely down on the grass next to the bench her parents were seated on. Etta ran up to Peter and Olivia and smiled.


“Look momma! It’s snowing!”


It was moments like these that Olivia and Peter cherished spending with their perfect little soul, their little girl Etta. Olivia had dressed her in a bright red silk dress with white stockings and black Mary-Jane shoes. She had a tiny matching red pea coat with a red beret to go with it. She scooped Etta up into her arms and inhaled her scent of baby powder. Sticking her tongue out, she caught snowflakes with Etta and laughing. Peter joined in and caught snowflakes on his tongue. He noticed Etta shiver.


“Ok Etta-bear I think it’s time we get you home. It’s almost time for bed.”


Etta shook her head no and continued letting snowflakes melt on her tongue.


“No daddy. I wanna play in the snow.”


Peter chuckled some more and kissed his daughter’s forehead. By the time they’d got back to their vacation house, Etta was fighting off sleep under Olivia’s coat. Her eyes lit up when she saw the Christmas tree in the living room. They had a 7 foot tall Douglas Fir they’d cut up themselves in the mountains on a tree farm. Etta had been ecstatic a couple of weeks prior when they’d gone to the local tree farm. It was about the third tree she’d picked out. The first one had been small and scraggly looking, hardly any branches and pine needles. The second one wasn’t much better, but the pine needles were dried out. But then she’d found it. The majestic Douglas Fir towering above her tiny form. Peter and Olivia had smiled. Now the fir stood in the corner of the living room decorated with glass horse ornaments on the top, and purple paper butterflies towards the bottom, with a macaroni necklace wrapped around the tree mixing in with the strings of lights adorning it.


“Momma, look lights.”


Olivia had placed Etta down on the floor and she went over to the tree and fingered the purple paper butterfly on the bottom branch.


“I know baby girl. But right now its time for bed, and when you wake up in the morning the presents you asked for, Santa will have left them for you.”


Walter had holed himself up in his room singing Christmas carols and listening to Christmas records. Peter wrapped his arms around Olivia’s waist from behind. She smiled as he kissed behind her ear. They stared at the bright Christmas tree. Etta had been asleep for a few minutes now.


“You know what Etta asked me for Christmas Peter?”


Olivia could feel Peter’s warm breath against her neck.




Her face blushed a little and she turned her head upwards.

“A little sister.”

This was just about the perfect Christmas Olivia Dunham and Peter Bishop could ever remember having. Out the window the two watched as the Christmas ships went up and down the river with their lights laying majestic patterns across the surface of the water. The snow made it even more magical.


The End