Little Things Like Christmas Trees



Scene Title Little Things Like Christmas Trees
Synopsis It's what keeps some people going through bad times. Melissa's no exception.
Date December 8, 2010

Westview Apartments: Melissa's Apartment

Before picking up Junko from the babysitter's, Melissa makes a stop. It takes about an hour, and it leaves her trunk and pretty much all the free space in her car taken, but hopefully it'll be good. Hopefully it'll cheer her up after the conversation with Odessa. Hopefully.

The baby's picked up without incident, and carried into the apartment. She's set in her bouncy chair, and she immediately starts jumping happily. The TVs turned on, and cartoons are set to entertain the child while Mel slips out to unload the car. No way she can do that while carrying a baby. Not happening. And soon the living room of the small apartment is full of boxes.

“Okay, Junie-bear. We're gonna have a Christmas, even if it kills me. It's gonna be cheery and happy and dammit you're gonna enjoy your first Christmas, though I know you won't remember it,” she mumbles as she starts to put together the artificial tree she bought. It takes some time, since she's never done it before and is a perfectionist, but soon there's a tree set up in the corner.

She goes to pick up the baby, more comfortable with her now than she was a month ago when she first brought Junie home with her. There's no more holding her at arm's length or worrying about breaking her with the slightest bump. Instead she sits the girl down on the floor, well away from the boxes and bags, and one of the latter is dug in until she finds some plain sugar cookies. One is taken from the package and given to the baby, who immediately starts gnawing on it happily. It's something to rub against her gums, and teething makes that a good thing for baby and adult.

“Now you just sit there and enjoy your cookie, and I'm gonna put the lights on. Try not to laugh at Auntie Mel if she gets tangled up, okay? This is the first time I've ever put up a tree, so I'm bound to get it wrong. And no, like, climbing it either, okay? I don't do well with messes. You know that,” she says, keeping up a string of one-sided dialogue as she pulls the lights out and starts meticulously stringing them around the tree. She nearly pulls the tree over a couple of times, and trips over the lights once, which does set Junko to laughing. “Yeah, yeah. Stow it, short stuff. Let's see you doing any better?”

It takes very nearly forty-five minutes before the lights are on the tree and plugged in. She steps back, head tilting as she examines her work. But Junko's even more interested. Pretty lights! Pretty colors! The cookie is long gone, and she starts crawling at high speed towards the tree, and before Melissa can stop her, she's reaching for one of the lights. A chubby little fist closes around it and yank!

Too late Mel cries, “Junie, no!” But she manages to leap forward in time to keep the tree from completely landing on the baby. It's righted, and she scoops up Junie, shaking her head. “No pulling the tree down. Didn't we…no, crap. I just said no climbing it. Well, no pulling it down either. Noooooooo,” she says, rubbing her nose with Junie's. Then she blinks and jerks her head back, shocked at what she just did.

Melissa Pierce, owner of the baby phobia, just gave nose kisses to a baby. The world must truly be ending.

She quickly puts the baby down on the other side of the room, giving her another cookie. “Right, so. You just stay here. It's time for Auntie Mel to put up the ornaments. And guess what! I was smart and got plastic ornaments!” Most are sets of ornaments, but there's one small box that holds just one ornament. She pulls it out, crouching down in front of the baby to show her.

It's a ball ornament, purple and black, with silver lettering, and Junie immediately reaches for it. “This is a special ornament, just for you. See, it says baby's first Christmas. That means you. This one is all you. So be extra careful not to break this one, okay?” She rises, leaving the baby making grabby hands, and starts the decorating. The ornaments take twice as long as the lights, mostly because she's also having to keep baby off the tree. Who knew babies could crawl so damn fast? Not Melissa!

Finally though, it's done. Lights, check. Ornaments, check. Garlands, check. Star on the top, check. The boxes are cleaned up immediately, then Mel picks up Junko and brings her closer to the tree. “There. Our very first tree. It's not so bad, huh? I think we did a good job. And soon there's gonna be lots of presents under there. And you know what? They're all gonna have your name on 'em. Won't that be fun? Lots of stuff for you to shake around and lots of paper to rip before Christmas morning. It'll be loads of fun, honey. I promise. I'll make it fun even if I have to kill people for you. But let's keep that between us, hmm?”

Junie yawns and rests her head on Mel's shoulder, sticking her fist in her mouth. “Aww…you're tired, aren't you? C'mon. Off to bed. Want goth Disney, or Auntie Mel's favorite skull PJs? Let's go with the skulls hmm?” And humming Christmas carols softly, she carries Junko into the other room, to change her and put her to bed. She pauses at the hallway, glancing back. The lights are turned off, and she can't help but smile.

Life may be hell, the city may be shit, but there are still simple things left in life. Things to appreciate and smile at. Little things like Christmas trees.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License