Chapter Seventeen

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The three days confinement to my room with only Robert for company moved a lot faster than I thought once the awkward tension had subsided. Other than being confined to a bed it was nice to not have anything to do for a change though I did miss keeping busy. I couldn't remember the last time I had a day of idleness without so much as a painting to occupy my time. We had worked every day at the factory and I rarely took my day off when I worked for the Ealing's. I even worked at the shop to help James out when I didn't have to.

Not working allowed too much time for thinking and if I spent too long doing that, I often ended up thinking back to the factory and the things I would much rather forget. If I kept myself busy, I didn't think about it and that worked well enough for me although James thought it would end up causing more harm than good. Regardless of what he thought, I did it anyway purely because it was easier to handle if I never allowed it to cross my mind.

After those three days were up, Doctor Ealing returned and once again poked around the cut on my head to ensure it was healing properly, it was, and he went ahead and removed the sutures to allow it to close on its own. With the dizziness having subsided and after passing a test of walking in a straight line without stumbling, Doctor Ealing official released me from the confinement of my room which relieved Robert of what James referred to as his babysitting duties.

Despite being given the all-clear by Doctor Ealing, James decided to continue his over-protective big brother actions and refused to allow me to go with him to the office. According to him, it was to make sure I fully recovered from the head injury but both Christopher and I knew that it was to keep me away from Matilda. James planned on finishing the Ealing's outfits, so Matilda was likely to return to the shop and he didn't want me to come in contact with her after the last time.

Still, being confined to the house beyond the three days required by Doctor Ealing didn't end up being all that bad. On my fifth day, James decided not to open the shop despite being so far behind on his workload. His intention was to spend the day decorating the house for Christmas as the party was approaching and he wanted everything to perfect, especially if Aunt Molly would be in attendance. After so many years without the Greyson family party, James was determined to make it the best it could possibly be.

Christopher and I were set to work gathering the crates from the attic that contained small glass and ceramic decorations that either went in the window, on the mantle or were hung on the tree with a piece of string. James planned on getting the Christmas tree closer to the time, but the garlands were ready, and Mrs Baker had started to sting popcorn and dry fruit to hang on the tree.

This would be my first Christmas home.

"Is this the last box?" Christopher asked as he grabbed onto the handles of the crate and lifted it.

"I think so, I can't see another one," I said. There were plenty of crates in the attic, but only a select few held the decorations we were looking for. Most of the crates were full of my old things as well some of my brother's old things.

"Alright, let's go. James is acting a little stranger than usual, and I don't want to get in his way when it comes to these decorations."

"Me neither."

Christopher nudged his head towards the door, and I walked through it with him following close behind me, occasionally having to pause to readjust his grip on the crate. The two of us made our way down the stairs from the attic, through the hallway and down the final set of steps to the entranceway and then the living room. James was already standing with his hand in one of the crates, rooting around to see what he could find.

I watched as Christopher struggled into the room with the crate and dropped it onto the sofa before routing around inside to see what he could find within. Many of the decorations had been handed down through the family, some had been purchased by Mother and there were a few that I had never seen before. I sat on the arm of the sofa and watched as he looked through the box and pulled out what seemed like an ordinary sheet of paper rolled up. I wished that was what it was.

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