Alone For The Holidays

Here it is the afternoon of Christmas Eve and I am
sitting all alone at my kitchen table with a bottle of
Jim Beam and my gun. I’m not a big drinking man but I
did get the Jim Beam whiskey to build up my courage to
do what I’m about to do. You see, this is the first
Christmas I would be spending by myself in my sixty-
four years of life. My wife of forty-two years died
three months ago leaving me alone.

Not everyone has Happy Holidays. I can see that now.
It’s not that my marriage was all that good. We had
some really good times and then those really bad times.

I’m just sitting here reminiscing. I remember when I
first met my wife Sophie. She and her younger sister
Helen were at the malt shop when I walked in. I was
just a cocky guy who liked to meet young ladies and
give them my spiel. I walked up to Sophie and gave her
just about every pickup line I ever learned. She looked
at me and said, “George, you’re so full of shit I can’t
believe it,” as she smiled.

“Does that mean you’ll go out with me then?” I asked.

She just smiled and said she would think about it.
That’s how we first met. On our first real date we went
to the drive-in movie. I did my best work at the drive-
in. We kissed and played around a little and then I
started falling for her big time. About a year later we
got married. I remember her sister Helen came up to me
at the reception and said. “George, I have to tell you
something. When you first came up to me and Sophie at
the malt shop we both liked you. Then Sophie looked at
me and said, ‘I’m going to marry that man some day,’
just like that George. She knew what she wanted and
went after it.”

It surprised me that both girls liked me and that
Sophie was so sure about us. But that’s the way she
always was. She really was a special woman.

Our sex life was fantastic when we first got married.
We were like two rabbits making love all the time. It
was special. It wasn’t just love or just sex. It’s hard
to explain but it was loving fun. We did it most
anytime, anyplace, and everywhere. We would always try
new places to make love. The kitchen table, from behind
at the kitchen sink. One of Sophie’s favorites was on
the washing machine while it was agitating. I had to
stand on a stool just to get high enough to insert my
dick, but the vibrations were awesome. Sophie’s climax
was pretty good too.

I remember us buying a book on 101 sexual positions.’
We started on page one and started having fun. You
would have had to been a contortionist from the circus
for some of those positions. That’s what I mean, we
always had fun while having sex. We tried oral a few
times but Sophie said it wasn’t her thing. For her to
get pleasure she wanted it in her. We even tried anal
one time. I got her sort of high on screwdrivers and
was taking her from behind. My dick was really wet from
dipping it in her pussy. So I pulled it out and slid it
up to her arse.

I barely pushed the head in when she screamed out, “It
hurts George.” I got about two more inches in when she
told me, “That’s enough George, no more.” It was tight,
I mean really tight. Her arse was actually squeezing my
dick so hard it hurt. I finally shot a load up her
arse. She looked at me and said, “George, I hope you
really like that because it’s never going to happen
again.” Then believe it or not she kissed me, just to
let me know she wasn’t mad.

We ended up having two kids: a boy and a girl. Sophie
was a great mother and then a great grandmother. She
put love into everything she did. I remember when the
kids were just little, maybe seven or eight. They
wanted to decorate the Christmas tree. Well, Sophie was
somewhat of an artist or perfectionist when it came to
decorating.

I couldn’t imagine her letting the kids decorate the
tree. I just set the tree up and left the rest to
Sophie and the kids. She let them put on the
decorations. She tried to explain about decorating but
let the kids go and do it their way. They were happy as
can be when they got done. The tree looked like a
disaster. She just smiled at the kids, told them they
had done a great job and then put them to bed. Then she
came back in and redecorated the whole tree for the
next two hours.

When the kids got up the next morning they looked at
the tree and asked what happened? Sophie just said she
added a few decorations. The kids looked at her and
said, “We did good, mom, didn’t we?”

“Yes, you did, you did a great job,” was her reply.
That’s just the way she was. She put love into
everything. There was nothing she couldn’t cook. We
hardly ever worried about leftovers at our house.
Everyone always ate everything up. Even if she just
made a sandwich, it was always better then the one I
made and used exactly the same stuff.

I remember asking her one time, “Why do your sandwiches
taste better? It doesn’t make sense. We use the same
stuff.”

She looked me, smiled and said, “I always put love in
my sandwiches.” It was true, everything she did was
just a little better.

I don’t know how far we ever made it through that book
of �101 Positions,’ But making love with Sophie was
incredible. Of course after the birth of the kids we
did it a lot less but we still had the loving fun. That
was until I ruined it.

I don’t remember if Sophie was going through a change
or sick. But she became a little distant to me. Now,
looking back, I believe it was the medication she was
on. Anyway I had an affair. This gal at work was kind
of flaunting her wares. Her husband was incarcerated
and she must have been lonely, horny or both. I went
for it. Seeing Sophie was kind of turned off to me, I
went after Nancy. We probably had sex a dozen times
over a few months’ period.

I would be lying if I said it wasn’t any good. It was
great. It was new, strange and different. I just fell
to the temptation. Of course one day Sophie found out
and I figured my marriage was over. I did the usual
apologizing and explaining about it not meaning
anything, promising to stop and never do it again.

Sophie yelled and screamed at me. The worst thing she
did was cry. I couldn’t stand to see her cry. That’s
when I hit my lowest level ever. Seeing what it did to
her just tore me apart. She didn’t deserve it. She
should have just dumped me right then but she didn’t.
She stayed with me.

Our life never returned to the happy state we had
before the affair. I know Sophie never trusted me again
even to the day she died which was twenty plus years
later. We didn’t make love till a few months after the
affair. We had gone to a party and when we came home
Sophie let me make love to her.

It was never the same. We had sex but it wasn’t love
anymore. Sophie never gave so freely of herself again.
Every once in awhile I’d feel her give in some but
never the happy go lucky fun loving that we once
shared. It was my fault. There was nothing I could do
to repair the damage I had done.

The rest of our life went on pretty normal. The loving
meals, the happy mom and a lot of good times. We
enjoyed our vacations and doing things together but the
love life eventually deteriorated into nothing.

There was a time there when Sophie said she didn’t care
for sex all that much. That she learned to live without
it and so it wasn’t a big thing in her life anymore.
That is enough to turn any husband off. It was even
hard to get a hard-on when the woman you loved didn’t
want to make love with you anymore.

I remember reading a story on communicating. Sophie and
I did that, we communicated. The only problem was our
talks always ended up in arguments. It was almost
always negative talk about me. I didn’t do enough
around the house. I didn’t want to take her shopping. I
spent too much time on the computer. I never wanted to
go anywhere. And on and on and on…

About five years ago I had a heart to heart talk with
Sophie. I told her that I don’t think she ever forgave
me for the affair, that I believe she fell out of love
with me and I deserved it. I believe she only stayed
with me because of the kids and that our life outside
of no sex was pretty good. I still loved her and told
her I never had sex with any woman since the affair
over twenty years ago. I promised her that I would
always be there for her and if she wanted me all she
had to do was ask.

I went to her one time after that and even tried oral
sex on her. She said she didn’t really feel anything. I
touched her but there were no sensations. After that we
cuddled once in a while but that was it. One day she
said she knew I masturbated. I asked her what choices I
had. She didn’t want to have sex with me. I promised
her never to cheat on her again and was going to keep
that promise. I would never hurt her again. Then there
was masturbation. If she knew of another way to get
release to let me know. She just walked away.

I was now thinking about my kids. Of course they
weren’t kids anymore. They would soon have
grandchildren of their own. George Jr. lives a state
away with his wife and three kids. Dorothy lived maybe
a hundred miles away with her husband and two kids. It
really hurt Sophie when their jobs took them away. At
least their c******n were pretty much grown by then.
Sophie just loved being around the kids.

All the Christmases when our kids were little were the
best. Christmas morning we all sat around and opened
presents. The smile on their faces and the smile that
Sophie had just watching them. Some of our joyous times
were around the kids during the holidays. Then after
our kids were grown and married, Sophie did the same
thing with the grandchildren. The warmth and smiles
that were on the little faces was her reward.

When the kids had to move away, Sophie made sure we
went to their houses for Christmas. She wasn’t about to
miss the holidays with family. I just went along and
enjoyed the holidays. If it made Sophie happy, I was
happy.

Sophie’s sister Helen got married a few years after us.
She married an insurance guy named Ted. They seemed to
be a pretty good match. The four of us went everywhere
together. We were almost inseparable. We went to the
movies, dancing, dinner all the time and even went on a
cruise together.

I probably loved Helen almost as much as Sophie. I
never did anything to harm our relationship in any way.
The four of us just seemed to hit it off. I know Sophie
thought a lot of Ted also. But we all just stayed
friends, that is except Sophie and Helen. They were
probably as close as two sisters could get. I doubt if
they even kept a secret from one another.

Three years ago Ted had a heart attack and passed away.
He was only fifty-seven years old. Way to young to die.
Helen was heart broken. She lost her love. Sophie and
Helen both took it really hard. We were four, now we
were three. We still included Helen in most everything
we did. At least I didn’t have to go shopping all the
time now. Helen went on with her life. Since Ted was an
insurance agent, he saw to it that she was well taken
care of. At least financially she was secure.

She had one daughter who lived in California. She spent
the holiday season out there with her daughter and her
family. She was never in a hurry to get back, so she
stayed usually a month or so. She was planning on going
again this year. Wish she would have stayed home this
year. Maybe she could talk me out of what I was about
to do.

There was always turmoil surrounding our marriage.
Everything seems to always lead us back to the affair.
Do overs, that’s when if you had the chance you could
go back and correct the mistakes in your life. Would-a,
should-a, could-a, doesn’t mean a damn thing. I made
the mistakes and now spent the last twenty five years
of my life paying for it. I thought of leaving Sophie a
dozen times. The problem was that I caused the
heartache.

I had the affair. I’m the one who put our marriage in
this life long turmoil. But most of all, I still had
strong feelings for Sophie. Even if we had arguments,
which was pretty regular, I knew she was always there.
We might have even been in different rooms but I didn’t
miss her. I knew she was just two rooms away. It’s
funny when you think about it. Sometimes it was like
two strangers living in the same house. But it felt
secure. We pretty much learned to live with each
other’s faults.

Damn, I wish I was a writer so I could tell you how it
really feels to miss someone. I just don’t know the
words. Ache, pain, misery, loneliness, that’s what I’ve
been feeling since Sophie’s death. I don’t want to be
here alone anymore. It’s terrible, no-one to even argue
with. I go out during the day, always coming home to an
empty, lonely, dark, too quiet place.

I don’t even know my own thoughts anymore. How do you
cry on paper? How do you explain emptiness? Sophie was
right when she told me one time that I should die
first, that I didn’t know how to take care of myself
well enough to live alone and that I probably couldn’t
handle it.

I remember arguing with her that I took care of myself
for over sixty years and I could continue to do so
until the day I die. She just laughed and said,
“George, I’m the one who has taken care of you for the
last forty-two years. I think God made me your guardian
angel because you can’t go through life alone.”

Looking back I believe she was right. I hate to admit
it but I don’t do well on my own. But now I’m just too
old and too tired to go looking for a partner. The only
person that would even come close is Helen and I doubt
if she would want anything to do with me, not after she
was through talking to Sophie and besides by now she’s
probably a thousand miles away.

I know I’m feeling sorry for myself. But I’m in this
terrible rut and can’t or maybe don’t want to take the
effort to climb out of it. I’ll just keep drinking my
Jim Beam and build up some courage.

Looking back on the last six months of our life
together is painful. One day she wasn’t feeling good. I
suggested she go to the doctor and we argued about it
as usual. Finally she decided to go. I drove her to the
doctor’s office and he ran a bunch of tests. She came
out of the office and hugged me. Right then I knew we
had problems. I can’t tell you the last time she came
and hugged me like that.

We both went back into the doctor’s private office
where he told us the bad news. She had tumors and they
were probably cancerous. He was still going to run some
tests but because of past experiences he was almost
sure of his diagnosis. He asked us to come back in
three days and he could verify the facts.

We went back three days later and he said she had the
late stages of cancer. There was nothing he could do.
He would put her on chemo for awhile but the outlook
was very grave. At most he gave her six months to live.
I just broke down and bawled. I took her in my arms and
she was the strong one. She said everything would be
all right. How can everything be alright when my wife
is dying?

When we got home she called Helen. She came right over
and they cried together. I wanted to do everything I
could for my wife in her last months. Always too late,
would-a, could-a, should-a. There were no second
chances here. During her last months, Helen and I did
everything we could to make Sophie comfortable. It
should have been me, not Sophie, who was dying. We
called the kids and they came down to see her as often
as they could. It was really a strain on everyone.
Trying to put on a happy face when talking to Sophie
and crying all other times.

In her last days while in the hospital she spoke to
everyone in the family alone. She had private thoughts
for each person. I remember her talking to me. I stayed
by her side pretty much continually. Realizing she was
dying and being with her knowing there was absolutely
nothing I could do was the most inadequate feeling a
person could have. Looking at her lying there knowing
anytime she might breathe her last breath.

One of the last thing she said to me was, “George, keep
your eye on Helen for me. I always worried about her.”
That was Sophie, dying and worrying about others.

Then she looked at me as I held her hands with tears
running down my face and said, “George, I forgive you
and I have always loved you. So please forgive me for
not being the wife you wanted.” Then she closed her
eyes and went to sleep. About an hour later she stopped
breathing.

As I walked out of her room my family were all standing
there. They saw me crying and knew it was over. Their
mother, grandmother, and sister had passed away.
Everyone was in tears especially me.

God gives us one life to make the best of and I felt I
ruined hers. Why lord, why take her? Why didn’t you
take me instead. I don’t want to be alone, I want my
wife back. I don’t care if we argued everyday. I don’t
care what she calls me. I just wish I could make up for
the pain I caused her. Please, Lord, just give her back
to me. But it was not to be. That only happens in fairy
tales and this was real life.

I sat at the table taking another shot of Jim Beam,
tears just rolling down my cheeks. I was so lonely. It
had only been three months and felt like years. I
couldn’t live like this.

I recalled Thanksgiving just last month. The kids
didn’t want me to be alone, so I made the trip to be
with George Jr. and his family. My daughter Dorothy
came with her family so we could enjoy Thanksgiving
together. It wasn’t a happy occasion for me at all. I
didn’t feel thankful and I knew it built tension with
the kids. There they were with their families trying to
enjoy the holidays. Of course they missed their mother
but as they said, “Life goes on, dad.”

They invited me up for Christmas but I wasn’t going to
ruin that holiday for them also. They were able to get
on with their lives. I was the lonely old guy that I
felt was just in the way. I hoped they would understand
what I was doing. I didn’t want to be alone anymore.

I spent the last tree months getting my affairs in
order. I didn’t want to burden my kids with any undue
expenses. I had everything in order, insurances, taxes,
wills. All I needed now was courage, hopefully Jim Beam
would help me with that.

I had a housekeeper who came in twice a week to help
keep the place clean. I didn’t dirty it much, I didn’t
spend that much time at home. I ate out most of the
time now and just sat in the park feeding the ducks.
You’ve seen the lonely man just sitting there at the
park. That was me. Then at dark I come back home to
this big lonely place.

The only happiness was when Helen came by to help me
sort out and take care of Sophie’s belongings. I gave
her most of Sophie’s stuff. I knew she would want her
to have it. I did let my daughter Dorothy take what
ever she wanted of her mom’s belongings first.

One day when Helen was here and we were sorting out
Sophie’s stuff I gave her a hug, she felt so good. Then
I went to kiss her, I know I shouldn’t have but I was
just lonely. The last thing I wanted to do was alienate
Helen. She looked at me with tears in her eyes and
said, “No, George, not now.” I let go of her and went
to the bathroom and just cried. When I came back out of
the bathroom she was gone. That was a few days ago and
the last time she stopped by.

I poured myself another shot. The courage was coming. I
drank it down when there was a knock at the door. Who
the hell’s bothering me now? I got up and opened the
door and there stood Helen. Immediately tears welled up
in my eyes. I was an old guy, tears flow pretty easy
out of us and we can’t seem to stop them even if we
want to. Other than Sophie she was the prettiest sight
I could imagine at that moment.

“Well, George, are you going to invite me in or do I
have to stand out here?”

I apologized and opened the door. I had to hug her. I
couldn’t help it, us old guys are like that. I said, “I
thought you were going to go be with your daughter for
the holidays?

She said, “I called my daughter and told her I wasn’t
going to be coming this year. I’m going to spend the
holidays with a friend. I felt like I was just imposing
on my daughter and her family and I wasn’t really
comfortable being there for such a long time.”

I asked her, “What friend are you going to visit and
spend the holidays with?”

She laughed just like Sophie used to and said, “You,
George, you’re the friend I want to spend the holidays
with if you will have me. I know I’m not Sophie and I’m
an older women but I’m lonely too, George.”

I started crying and started apologizing for my actions
the last time she came to visit. Of course I wanted her
here. I couldn’t think of anyone alive that I wanted
more to be with. To say she was beautiful or gorgeous
would seem funny to people since she was 59 years old,
but to me she was. She looked great for her age.

She said, “Don’t apologize, George. I wanted you to
kiss me but I needed to think things out and have a
talk with you first.”

I took her coat and asked her to sit down. I remembered
the gun on the table. I quickly took it and put in the
drawer. When I turned around Helen was standing there.
She didn’t see the gun but the Jim Beam was still
there. She looked at me and said, “Would you like some
coffee, George?”

She then took the Jim Beam, put it in the cupboard and
started making coffee. God, it felt so could just
having her here. She looked at me and said, “George, if
we are going to enjoy the holidays, don’t we need a
little decorations?” as she smiled at me.

I headed downstairs to get our little tree and
decorations. Together Helen and I set up the little
tree and put on some Christmas music. Then she said she
would be right back. She went out to the car and
brought me in a little present and set it under the
tree. I went into my bedroom and brought out a gift I
had bought for her. I had stopped at the store a couple
of weeks ago to get the kids each a gift certificate
for their families. While I was there I bought a
necklace for Helen and had it gift wrapped. I was going
to give it to her the day she left. I put it under our
little tree next to the present she bought me.

Then she began to explain things to me.
“George, you know that I have always cared for you.
Sophie knew it, too. You know how close Sophie and I
were. She loved you, George, she loved you deeply. You
also know that she never really forgave you for the
affair until her last days. Yes, George, I know all
about the affair. She told me you tried everything to
make it up to her but she just couldn’t let it go. I
told her many times to let it go but she just said she
couldn’t.”

“I loved my husband, George. Ted was a wonderful man.
We had a wonderful life together. I’ll always remember
him. He’ll always be in my heart just like Sophie will
always be in yours. But, George, I have always loved
you too. I know you knew it but you belonged to
Sophie.”

“You know that Sophie talked to everyone before her
death. George, Sophie was worried about you. She said
she didn’t know if you could make it through life
alone. The last thing she said to me was, “Helen, take
care of my George. I know he loves you, too. He’s a
good man but I’m afraid he won’t make it on his own. He
needs plenty of love and attention. He’s stubborn as an
ox and won’t listen to you. But he is a wonderful man
and you need him, too, Helen.”

I was crying again. Damn, grown men aren’t suppose to
cry and that’s about all I do anymore. I looked at
Helen and said, “Sophie was right, you know. I’ve
always had feelings for you. Other than Sophie, you’re
the only person I truly care for,” as I gave her a hug.

I then asked Helen how long she was going to stay. We
could go get something to eat and come back and open
our gifts. We both laughed knowing there was only one
present apiece under the tree.

Then it happened. Helen looked at me and said, “George,
I’ll stay forever if you’ll have me.”

Tears again as I kissed her. I told her that was fine
with me

Sophie was right. She was my guardian angel.