Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Christmas Memory

It was Christmas Eve and I was talking to The Coach.

I was going to my aunt's Christmas Eve party; he was spending a quiet night at home with his parents. His siblings (and their spouses and their babies) weren't to arrive until the next day.

I made the offhanded suggestion that he read Truman Capote's "A Christmas Memory" that night. It's my favorite Christmas story. Perhaps even my favorite short story. The ending always makes me cry, I warned him. But, really, I told him, you should read it.

Making the suggestion felt a little silly. The Coach loves Christmastime and everything surrounding the holiday: he's an aficionado of the movie adaptations of A Christmas Carol, he likes all of the classic recordings of Christmas songs the best. He is a Christmas nerd in the most endearing ways. I was certain that he would like "A Christmas Memory" and I was equally certain that he wouldn't actually read it.

I made the suggestion anyway.

Then I read it myself. In the car en route to my aunt's house, I read "A Christmas Memory." And I cried at the end just like I knew that I would.

"A Christmas Memory" left me happy and sad and I read it again on the drive home.

After making preparations for brunch the next morning, after opening one gift at my mother's insistence, after the house was finally quiet and I was the only one who was still awake, The Coach called to tell me how much he loved "A Christmas Memory."

Like I knew that he would.

That's The Coach who I adore. Smart, funny, thoughtful. So much more than the job he allows to define him. So much more than the job he allows to overtake him. So much more than the pretty face and the flashy career.  

The man who spent his Christmas Eve reading my favorite short story is The Coach who I have adored for two years.

Two years.

It's December 26, again. It's been two years from the beginning. Exactly. I still have no idea what I'm doing. And I still have a hard time coming to terms with the fact that, most likely, it won't be with him.

I know that I need to end this entirely. For good. Forever.

Then he goes and reads "A Christmas Memory."

And I have to start all over.

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