www.whyville.net Dec 5, 2010 Weekly Issue

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The Final Christmas: Introduction

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December 19th, 2010

I breathed out heavily and rang the doorbell. I could hear it ringing faintly inside the house I was about to call home. My heart started to beat quicker when I saw Dad open the door. He was wearing an unfamiliar sweater and a newly grown beard. It was weird seeing him look so different. It had only been two years since I had last seen him.

"Evie! I've missed you!" His voice was low and gravely, just as I remembered. I flinched as he called me my childhood nickname. I hadn't been called Evie since before the divorce. I was Gen now, or just plain Genevieve. Memories flooded into my mind from back when Dad was a part of my life. As he grinned from ear to ear I tried to force a smile upon my face, but nothing but a scowl could appear. I wanted to run into Daddy's arms, but I couldn't. He had ruined my life and Mom's.

Thinking of Mom, I looked back towards her Grand Prix. I saw her face in the fogged up windshield and felt a pang in my heart. I knew how hard it was for her to give me up for Christmas. To tell you the truth, I didn't want to come here either. It was Dad's pleas and the court that decided that I would stay with him this Christmas. Mom got full custody, but that was only because Dad had decided to move seven hours away after the bitter divorce. It was all his fault anyways. He had cheated on Mom, and once she found out the marriage was over. I hadn't seen him since he'd moved out. I didn't realize until now how much I resented him for that.

I walked into his house and gazed about. The walls were a cranberry color, and black-leather furniture was everywhere. The house was very fancy. I wanted to ask him if that's how he'd been using the leftover money that hadn't been put towards child support. I didn't, though; I'm not a nasty person.

"So Evie, how have you been? We have so much to catch up on! You're in high school now; wow! I remember when-"

I cut him off.

"It's Genevieve," I replied hotly.

I saw his smile crumble slightly, but that didn't stop his cheerful mood. "Okay, Genevieve works. I always did love that name. When your mother told me she liked it too, I instantly knew it would be the perfect name."

I wanted to slap him for daring to bring up Mom. My cheeks began to burn. I felt as if I didn't even know this man anymore. I remembered the quiet business man who was surrounded by his work; this perky socializer was a complete stranger.

He led me to the spare bedroom. He had bought a red and purple comforter set for the bed. They had been my favorite colors for many years. It was strange that he had remembered that silly, little fact, but had not remembered to ever call me.

Dad showed me through the rest of the house. The home was lovely; it was much better than the hole-in-the-wall apartment Mom had gotten for us. I didn't tell him that, though.

A few hours had passed, and all my things were settled in the spare room. Dad was in the living room watching TV, and I was left with nothing to occupy my time. I awkwardly exited my room and stood in the hallway. I didn't know what to do. Should I talk to him? Does he want to talk to me? Do I want to talk to him?

As if reading my mind, Dad called to me, "Genevieve, come look at this on the TV. It looks like a huge storm is going to be rolling in."

I walked into the living room and sat down on the seat furthest from him. (I think he might have noticed.)

"Nine to twelve inches, can you believe it?" His face was lit with excitement. I tried to mimic his joy, but was finding it hard to show any positive emotion. This was going to be a difficult two weeks.


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