A Christmas Surprise
"Honey B!" I exclaim upon opening the door to my brother's apartment. "This is a surprise!"
She grins that wonderful familiar grin. "Hello you."
We stare at each other for a moment, and then hug warmly. I usher her in, and take her woolly coat and scarf. Gizmo looks up at her with all the playful curiosity the cat can muster, and gives a light miaow. B peels off her gloves and kneels down to tickle Gizmo under his chin. "So, this is the famous Gizmo," she says.
"The one and only original," I say, putting her things away. "Come, let's sit down."
"Okay, but only for a minute." As we make our way into the living room, she eyes the Christmas tree decked to its wide halls with gold and red decorations, and quizzically raises an eyebrow in imitation of me. "A tree, so early?"
I laugh. "My brother loves Christmas trees. He made me put this up in the middle of November."
B knows me very well, so it is a statement, not a question; I nod my head in agreement. Although I made do with what was at hand, I would prefer my living Christmas tree, dressed with simple traditional white fairy lights and some authentic gold bells laden with real holly and ivy. "So, what brings you to England?"
"Your recent blog posts made me want to fly over."
"Stop teasing me, Missy. I thought you wouldn't grace these shores again for some time? How is Cyprus?"
"As good as can be expected," she replies giving a quick laugh, before cutting it short. "Did you hear that Mr X passed away?"
"No. I haven't been in touch with any one in Cyprus for a while. When did he die?"
B instinctively lowers her voice; I suspect out of respect for the dead. "Late last week. It was his pipe-smoking that did him in the end. He went quietly though. In his sleep."
"And how is his daughter?"
"She got married finally! Anyway, enough of that for now!" A mischievous glint lights back up in B's eyes. "And you thought there'd be no more Letters to B - at least for a while."
I smile at her, as we sit down. "And just how do you know this will be one of those blog moments?"
The Christmas Tree (Carol: "In the Bleak Midwinter" © The Choirboys)
She looks at me with a look that I can't fathom, or maybe I just don't want to, "I know you far too well."
"Well, we can always call it a one-off Christmas special, seeing as we're both in England. How long are you here for?"
"Questions! Questions! A little bit of role reversal is very appropriate mister! This time it's my turn to be the mysterious one!"
I smile again enjoying the friendly banter all the more, for its sudden appearance made me realise how sorely it had been missed. "As you like," I say, getting up. "What can I make you to drink?"
"Not necessary. I'm taking you out to dinner in about fifteen minutes." She shakes her head when I try to protest. "The table's already booked. Just throw a jacket on and let's go."
"Just where is it you're taking me, Missy?"
"Ask no more questions," she cried jumping up. "Let the plot thicken, and our waists! Well mine anyway, you stick insect you! Get your coat on and let's go."
I give a quick sigh, and go to get my jacket, resigned to the knowledge the wind that is B will blow, and we must just go along with it.
B is B, after all.