"Autumn!" Ben beams. "Tomorrow's Christmas! That makes today Christmas Eve! There's so much to do! We still have to bake cookies and-"
"Ben!" I cut him off. "What time is it?"
"I don't know," he shrugs. "Come on!"
"Is mom still sleeping?" I ask.
"Yup," he nods.
"Then go wake her up," I groan.
"That's Tony's job," he says. "He wakes up mom, I wake up you."
I let out a groan and push myself up from my bed.
"You don't sound very Christmassy," he scolds.
"If the sun isn't up yet, I most definitely shouldn't be," I roll my eyes.
"Stop being so negative," he shakes his head.
I follow him down to the kitchen and let out a yawn as I start coffee. Mom enters the kitchen behind Tony and smiles when she sees me.
"Hey, kiddo," she grins.
I force a smile in return and look down at the boys.
"What should we do first?" I ask.
"Breakfast," Tony insists. "I'm hungry."
"You just woke up," my mom points out with a laugh.
"And I'm hungry," he nods.
"Pancakes, French toast, or waffles?" I ask.
"Pancakes!" The boys beam.
"Pancakes it is," I confirm, sifting through the pantry for the ingredients.
Mom keeps the boys busy while I create batter from the ingredients. I decide to play some music to distract me from my thoughts while I cook the pancakes. It works for a couple songs until the song that was playing during the accident comes on.
"Mom!" I call.
"Coming!" She responds.
She enters the kitchen and sees me crying.
"What's wrong?" She asks. "You were doing so good."
"The song," I choke out.
"What about it?" She questions. "Was it one of his favorites?"
I shake my head.
"What is it, sweetie?" She persists.
"It was playing," I sob, "during the, the-"
"It's okay," she nods. "I got it."
I lay my head on her shoulder and she turns off the music.
"I know it's hard," she sighs. "But I promise you it's going to get easier."
"When?" I cry.
"Eventually," she frowns.
"I need something more than eventually!" I argue.
"I know," she nods. "Go sit with your brothers and I'll finish making breakfast."
"No, I don't want them to see me crying again," I shake my head.
"It's perfectly normal to be sad," she soothes me.
"Not to them," I object. "They aren't used to seeing me like this."
"What's next?" I ask Ben.
"Cookies!" He grins.
"What kind should we make?" Mom asks.
"Sugar cookies!" Tony beams.
"With the red and green food coloring!" Ben adds.
"I'll grab the cookie cutters," I force a smile.
Christmas cookies were always Damian's favorite part of Christmas Eve.
Be strong, I tell myself. He wouldn't want me to be sad.
I blink away a few tears and set the bin of cookie cutters on the counter. I take them out and wash them one by one as mom helps the boys make the dough.
"What's next?" Ben asks when the dough is complete.
"It has to go in the fridge for a little while," mom answers. "Then when it's nice and cold, we can use the cookie cutters to make them into shapes and then bake them."
"I don't want to wait," he whines.
"Oh, well," mom laughs. "Go watch a movie and by the time it's over we can finish the cookies."
"I don't want to watch a movie," he pouts.
"Do you have any presents left to wrap?" I suggest.
"Well, do that," I laugh.
He leaves the kitchen and scurries up to his room.
"Is that everything on your to do list?" I ask the boys.
"We have to put our lists out!" Tony gasps.
"I can't believe we almost forgot!" Ben says in shock.
The boys run to grab their lists and lay them on the table by the Christmas tree.
"Now, we're set," Tony lets out a breath.
"That was close," Ben says. "We wouldn't have gotten anything."
"Now you boys need to go to bed," mom orders.
"Goodnight, mommy," they say. "Goodnight, Autumn."
"Goodnight," I answer.
"I'll tuck you boys in," mom smiles.
I'm left in a room of silence when they leave. I glimpse over at the lists, Ben's thought of them being magic returning to my mind.
"Anytime we write something on it, we get it."
I act on impulse.
I grab a sheet of paper and a crayon. I write my name on the top and right below it I scribble the words: just one more day with Damian.
Chapter three! Hope you guys are enjoying this story so far! Please vote and share it with your friends!