December 19, 2014

I’ve got a full day of shopping ahead, so you guys get the goods early… Also, more Christmas-themed than my usual. Hope y’all enjoy:

The damn thing caught the light, sending sparkles all over the grey felt fabric ceiling of the car. She looked at it ruefully.

‘How could it not catch the light?’ she thought.

The damn thing was huge. It seemed to occupy its’ own dimension in time and space instead of merely resting on her wrist.

She should, she thought, probably stop referring to it as ‘the damn thing.’ Eventually, it would slip out in conversation and she could imagine the heartbroken expression on his face when it did.

It had been hard enough to pretend to like the damn thing when she’d unwrapped and opened the jewelry box in the first place. Thick, yellow golden links. Not even regular gold, but an extra-shiny, extra-yellow gold that seemed to glow with a faint radioactivity. And an enormous, heavy golden brick of heart dangled from the bracelet chain. If someone’s actual heart were that size, she though unkindly, she’d have taken them to the hospital for cardiomegaly.

Ok, so maybe that one had been a bit of an exaggeration, but the damn thing was huge. She could feel it weighing her hand down as she drove. She didn’t even wear gold. She only ever wore silver. But he’d been sooo proud of himself for picking it out, thought it was so pretty. He’d looked at her with all the hope of a newly-adopted puppy shining in his face.

How could she have said, looking at that face, that she didn’t like it?

With a heavy sigh, she reached over to turn on the radio, hoping to take her mind off of it.

“Tell him!!!” the radio squawked loudly in a female voice and she nearly jumped out of her skin.

“Girl!” the voice continued. “You gotta tell him if that baby ain’t his.”

Ah. Ok. That was it, she’d just left the radio on the talk station and now it was some silly call-in show. That was it. The radio wasn’t telling her to tell her boyfriend how much she hated his present, because why would it do that? She wasn’t crazy.

And it was their first Christmas together. It seemed like a bad idea to tell him she hated his very first Christmas gift. With a decisive nod, she changed the channel.

“No, no, no, no, Baby, no, no, no, don’t lieee,” the voice sang. “No, no, no, no, yeah, you know, know know, know, you gotta try.”

“What you gonna do when it all comes out?

When I really see you, what you’re all about?”

She let her breath puff out in a rush, fluffing up her bangs. It was a fluke, right? Just a dumb song on the radio. She tolerated about thirty more seconds of song before she found herself grinding her teeth to it and changed the channel again.

“Baby don’t, baby don’t, baby don’t lie,

I don’t wanna cry no longer,

Baby don’t, baby don’t, baby don’t lie,

I’mma need a love that’s stronger”

Jeeez. How many times was this going to happen? She glared at the radio as she switched the channel yet again.

“Don’t lie, I want ‘em to know,

Dial up, three rings and return him his gold,

It’s the last time running through the snow,

Where the vaults are full and the fire is bold.”

“Shit,” she said, slamming on the brakes and glaring at the radio. It was a good thing it was the day after Christmas and the streets were still fairly empty.

“Fine,” she said. “I’ll tell him. Happy?”

“Urrgh.” She made the noise as she carefully made a u-turn and turned back towards his place.

He was still sitting on the couch, surrounded by the jolly clutter of opened boxes and ripped wrapping paper, when she knocked on the door. Standing at the door, jiggling her leg in nervousness, she could hear him mute the TV and slipper-shuffle up to the door.

“Hey, Babe,” he said. “Did you forget something?”

“I just wanted to …. Ummm… ask you something,” she said.

“Yeah? Shoot.”

“Did you keep the receipt for the, um, bracelet?” she asked.

“Of course,” he said. “I wasn’t sure you’d like it.”

He grinned a little sheepishly.

“My Mom helped me pick it out,” he admitted. “And I thought it was pretty, but I, um, wasn’t sure if it was exactly your taste.”

“Oh,” she said. “Well, I like it… of course, I like it. I mean, you gave it to me and how could I not like a gift from you?”

She was babbling, she knew. She should get to the point. She took a deep breath and let it out.

“I like it,” she said. “But you’re right…. It’s not really my style. I think maybe it’d be better if we could exchange it for something that’s a little more… me? And that way, you know, I’d wear it more often.”

She looked nervously up at him, still afraid of seeing that hurt look in his eyes. But he just smiled.

“Of course,” he said. “We can hit the jewelry store and exchange it Monday after work, if you want.”

She felt a weight lift off of her chest, not to mention her wrist.

“Thank you,” she said, with a big, relieved smile.

“No problem.”

And it was with that same lightened wrist and lightened spirit that she sat back down in the car a few minutes later. She glared at the radio.

“Are you happy now?” she asked it. Not that she was expecting a response. She wasn’t quite that crazy…

With hesitant fingers, she turned on the radio once more.

“I’m walkin’ on sunshine, Woooaah!”

She grinned against her will. At least someone was happy.

Writing Prompt: Radio Honesty Turn

Prompt Courtesy of:

http://shortstoryideas.herb.me.uk/random.htm

Image Courtesy of: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/

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