• Student Stories: Mistletoe Surprise
“Left a bit more.”
“No it was fine there.”
“It still needed a bit more slack.”
“No it didn’t.”
“Will you two make up your minds? I’m standing on a chair in high heels here!” Charlotte snapped indeed teetering in three inch high shoes upon a chair in the kitchen, holding blue tac in one hand and silver tinsel in the other.
“Oh sorry, just leave it there, that’ll do.”
“Yeah, it’s near enough perfect.” Paul teased Emily as both sat on the kitchen table and admired the tinsel which was wrapped around every cupboard handle; criss-crossed the ceiling and now bordered the windows. “This place is looking good.”
“Good but we still have more to do. Amy is in her room making lots of paper snow flakes to go on the windows.”
“You can do them this time Emily, I’ve had enough of standing on chairs.”
“I did tell you to take them off.”
“Well I didn’t know I was going to be that long up there.” She complained rubbing her lower toes where the straps have dug into the skin leaving a matching red mark.
“That’s fine with me. Oh Paul, has Jack got the food in yet? We’ve all given him money haven’t we?”
“Oh yeah, he has it all. It’s just a question of when he can finish his summative on time. He’s had four weeks to do and only remembered it yesterday.”
“That will explain the ‘don’t enter’ sign on his door then.”
“Silly boy doesn’t he know about preparation and deadlines?” Charlotte criticized limping to the table and taking a long look round with a proud smile on her face. “Well this place finally looks christmasy. I don’t know why we didn’t think to do this earlier; Michelle’s flat had their decorations up weeks ago.”
“Perhaps, but it’s done and better late than never is what I always say. I think this Christmas dinner is going to be a good idea after all.”
“Yeah all we need is the Christmas tree but we’re all picking that on Saturday from Wilko’s.”
“Are we going to have an angel or a star on top of our tree?” Charlotte asked innocently.
“A star of course.” Paul instantly answered.
“No we need an angel or a fairy. They guard the presents.”
“Nah we’re having a star.”
“Well I think we should have a fairy.”
As Paul and Emily got into another big debate Charlotte shook her head with a sigh and limped away from the kitchen eager to see how Amy was getting on. Excitement now bubbled inside her with the thought of next Wednesdays Slade B, flat one Christmas dinner.
“I propose a toast. To us and our flat.”
“Yeah, cheers!” All agreed raising their plastic glasses filled with coco cola across the table.
“You’ve all been a great bunch to live with.”
“You too Amy.”
“Although I think we can all agree that Jack sometimes plays his music to loud.”
“Hey I can’t help it if I fall asleep.”
“Yeah but how are we meant to sleep through that noise?”
“Okay, okay, but I don’t do it as much anymore do I?”
“Yes that’s true. And we’re all glad for it.” Charlotte added with a smirk.
“Anyway I suggest another toast to you girls for not giving us food poisoning, just yet.” Paul added standing up at the opposite end of the table which was laden with now empty bowls, plates and bottles. The three boys raised their glasses to the girls who all grinned proudly back.
“Well you boys managed to help decorate and carry stuff in. So you deserve a toast too.” The girls did as Emily suggested.
“I’m glad we all enjoyed it. Now, who wants desert?” Amy announced already taking out two boxes from the fridge and cupboards.
“Oh I do.” Jack announced.
“Me too.” Charlotte added. “What is there?”
“We have either chocolate Christmas log or mince pies?”
“I’ll have some chocolate log please.”
“I’d like some too.” Mike added along with Jack.
“Well whilst I serve up desert would a few of you mind just clearing up the table a bit?”
“I will.” Chorused Emily and Paul together getting up and gathering cutlery and dirty plates.
“Would anyone else like some more cola?” Mike offered, pouring the remainder of the two liter bottle into his plastic glass.
“Yes please.” Charlotte answered simply holding out her cup towards him.
Emily and Paul scraped the left overs into the nearly full bin and then left the plates and cutlery in the sink in quite a messy pile at the far end of the kitchen. It was just as she tried to rejoin everyone at the table that Paul stopped in her way with a very large and mischievous grin.
“Ah, ah, you can’t leave. You’re under the mistletoe.” Indicating with raised eyebrows the fake sprig he held above the pair.
“Oooooh Paul’s going to kiss Emily.” Charlotte cooed in a rather childish manner.
Emily felt her stomach sink with nerves and tighten in such an awkward situation.
“All I ask is a kiss. Then you can have desert.” Paul muttered quietly placing himself more in front of her to hide her from the views of the others. “Please?”
The sensitivity in his voice somehow unlocked all Emily’s reluctance to play this game. So she gave him what he asked. For both it turned out to last a little bit longer than either had expected or hoped for. When the moment was over sparkles of excitement and shyness twinkled in their eyes.
“Oooooooooooh.” The others called together at the scene before them.
But Paul and Emily honestly couldn’t care and simply played it off with laughter and apparent disregard for what did happen. Though both couldn’t help giving the other shy glances throughout the rest of the night.
“I guess this is goodbye then.”
“Only for a few weeks. Then we’ll all be back here eager to show off our presents. Speaking of which, here’s yours.” Paul gave Emily a nicely wrapped box complete with pink ribbon tied around it and finishing off with a bow.
“Awww thanks. Here is yours.” She handed him a triangular prism shaped box wrapped up in silver paper. “I hope you like it.”
“I’m sure I will.”
“Paul? Are you coming? We’re all ready to go.” A woman’s voice cried outside the kitchen window which was steamed up with the boiling pasta Emily was cooking.
“I had better go before Mum comes storming in.”
“Ok, well promise to let me know when you’re at home and I will call you over the weekend.”
“Will do, I’ll speak to you soon.” With a sigh they hugged each other close and gave her a pleasant kiss before Emily walked with him to the flat entrance door. “You let me know when you’re home tomorrow.”
“I promise as long as you do the same.”
“I will don’t worry. I’ll speak to you in a day or so. We’ll see if we can meet up once I know what hours I’m doing at work.”
“Great, I look forward to it.”
“Me too, bye Emily, take care and have a happy Christmas!”
“You too Paul.” She cried out watching him walk away wrapped up in coat, scarf and gloves to his car before slowly driving away with a wave.
Leaving Emily to return to her tea feeling quite alone now that everyone else had gone but she smiled knowing that it wouldn’t be this way for long. Christmas always comes and goes so fast that before she knows it she will be back here, with her friends and her new boyfriend. University really was turning out to be a whole new start in life.