Fiction: And That’s a Fact
One of the best and longest loved aspects of literature is the story’s ability to transport, to carry readers to new lands and introduce us to new people. Emily Dickinson writes, “There is no frigate like a book/ To take us lands away,” and, oh, the lands that we see, how real they become to us. How many Harry Potter fans would kill for a chance to actually visit Hogwarts? Universal Studios built a whole theme park, banking on the extensiveness of this desire. At the premiere for the last Harry Potter film, J.K. Rowling promised fans (many of whom felt the conclusion of the series like the loss of a home and a world of friends), “Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”
For bookworms, the worlds inside of books often do feel like home. Characters become friends as we watch them struggle and overcome obstacles. We do more than watch–we share their struggles and learn to understand them. We begin to love them. Readers live vicariously through stories: we travel, we meet people, we conquer evil, we cast magic. All while sitting on couches with our noses in books.
In our October issue, Write from Wrong is pleased to share with you “A Miracle of Divinity” by Annemarie Veira. Let her story transport you to an apartment glittering with holiday decor, where Delia awaits a Christmas miracle.
A Miracle of Divinity by Annemarie Veira
A Miracle of Divinity
By: Annemarie Veira
The entire house was perfect, like a picture taken from a high-end magazine of what a modern household looks like around Christmas time. Well, for single people anyway. Delia was so focused on the perfection of the meal she had planned and her decorations that she nearly forgot her hair wasn’t done yet and people would be arriving in twenty minutes. That pristine loft was more than modern; it defined the word. Two large bay windows facing the park in the city that never sleeps at Christmastime were surrounded by festive red tinsel entwined with silver, gold and green. The scents of the pumpkin, ginger and holly candles burned on the side table next to a suede couch covered in sitting pillows. The black marble floor glistened in the candlelight, the lights shining in from the kitchen completing the warmth of the room. It was the lighting from the ceiling, which reminded everyone of a concert hall when they first entered the apartment. Sometimes she would take stock of the perfectly decorated apartment and feel guilty that it was picturesque but empty. The only thing that gave her apartment any fullness was her piano. Her piano was the centerpiece.
The old-fashioned baby grand was what made her parties fun, and she was looking forward to playing anything on its keys tonight. Delia herself was very petite. Her dirty blond hair , normally straight , was pinned against her head with two pencils she had been using to plan lists, check off groceries and finish writing a new song for her employer, Sam Bradwell, that was to be in his office by the end of the year. Still walking around in flip-flops, her make-up was done to reflect the youth and beauty of a screen siren from the forties. Her pale skin contrasted with her bright red dress that belonged to the days of prohibition, which she bought down in a small vintage shop a few days before. She headed towards the kitchen to check on the food.
Well, hey, if I lose my job I can always go into cooking! She thought as she stood at the head of her island, covered from end to end with holiday favorites, from cookies, to eggnog, there was everything from Marlot, to Red Bordeaux, to Vintage Ports imported from all parts of France and Italy. The five large chickens, roasting in the oven for what would be two hours now, had reached their flavor peak. The smell of garlic and rosemary filled the kitchen as she went to baste the birds that she hoped would feed her twenty friends. In the two chrome convection ovens in the wall, pies were staying warm, both apple and pumpkin. Her New York cheesecake was chilling in the refrigerator. Wine glass, champagne flutes, and brandy glasses lined the counters, and the punch bowl was filled with a festive red juice. Sliding into the dining area, which was just a well placed mahogany dining set, she grabbed her water glass off the table top. She was heading to the bathroom to fix her hair when the doorbell rang.
“God, can I ask you one thing… Can I have one Merry Christmas when everything goes they way I want it! I mean, unless you give me one divine sign for my life, and show me what I’m supposed to do,” she was now saying this walking towards the door, “Just as long as everything that was a nightmare with Tobias,” now opening the door, “was over!” As the door swung open Tobias, dressed in his jet-black suit with white button down shirt, greeted her at the door. Uncertainty and nervousness washed over his handsome face and he said “Merry Christmas, Dee!”
Oh Holy Mary mother of God, what in the hell did I do to deserve this! She thought to herself; what she actually said out -loud was, “What are you doing here?” She took two quiet steps back as Tobias let himself in closing the door.
“It’s lovely to see you too, Delia. We really need to talk.” The sincerity on his face was stunning; Delia never saw this side of him before, not in the two years, they were together. “I was never expecting to see you at that door again, now you didn’t answer my question. What are you doing here?”
“Like I said, Dee, we need to talk, so can we or do you want me to come back some other time? Honestly all I know is this conversation is going to happen if not today,”
“No Tobias not today, not next week, not ever. I have absolutely nothing to say to you.” Frantically Delia headed to the kitchen and began to occupy herself with all of the food and place settings.
“I see you still celebrate Christmas, and can still throw a party. How can I help?” He followed her into the dining room where she was aggressively putting plates down. The porcelain was hitting the table with a thud, almost as if it were cracking, and the sound echoed through the space. “Tobias, you can leave, that will be the best help, and don’t come back.”
“Delia, I want to apologize. I couldn’t tell you what was going on, you wouldn’t have understood and you didn’t when you found out. So… what the hell was I suppose to do just live here with you knowing that you could never trust me? That would just have made me crazy! You have to understand I needed help, so I had to leave.”
“If you had told me from the beginning, I would have understood.”
“Do you remember coming back to the apartment with me afterwards? Both of my arms were bandaged up to my elbows, and we sat down on the couch and I watched you cry, and blame yourself. What was worse were the first few days afterward, where you just looked at me like I had three heads and then would follow me around and take an inventory of every sharp object in this place. I couldn’t even find the words to explain it all to you. I loved you but I hated myself, and I saw what it did to you De.”
Now the pair was standing in the archway between the kitchen and the dining room, the light was peering out, and their silhouettes were visible to someone only if they were standing in the distance. Tobias watched as Delia’s sorrow broke to the surface, and tears streamed down her face. Mascara was staining her cheeks and her small frame was shaking with emotion that had been bottled up from eighteen months of torment.
“Part of me thought that you didn’t love me. After everything that I did to myself, you were treating me as if you had already lost me. It wasn’t until I got help, and I heard from Susan when I tried to go by your job that you still cared. You were telling people that you loved me without a doubt in your mind and nothing would change that. Even now you still love me.” His hand was now grasping her chin, as her crying continued, his other hand on her shoulder, trying to ease the pain he felt just pouring out of her soul.
“No I don’t, I care for you but,” Delia responded, but Tobias interjected.
“Then why are you crying?”
“I never wanted you to go away –but you did, and I know you said that it wasn’t my fault but I didn’t help you. I made it worse. And, I’m just so sorry…” Tobias couldn’t bear it, and at that moment he kissed her so deeply that all their feelings were released, and her crying ceased.
“Delia there is nothing that you need to feel sorry for.”
“I’ve had everyone in my life leave me, and I hated them for it. When you left, I couldn’t bear to hate you because I knew I loved you so much.”
“I know that. Delia why do you think I’m here now. Why did you think I got help?”
Just at that moment, music began to play from the stereo. “At last, my love has come along, my lonely days are over and life is like a song . At last…”
“Glad to know that thing still is on its timer. Well, haven’t we met here before?”said Tobias with a slight laugh. Delia smiled to agree. She remembered that the night they met was exactly how they were now, the same party, same dress, the same embrace. The only difference was Delia’s reason for crying. “Promise me you’ll never leave again?” Delia said. At that moment, Tobias held her in his embrace, and she knew his answer.
After a few minutes alone, and a touch up on her makeup, Tobias and Delia were greeted with the sound of the other happy guests, letting themselves in with the spare key ok hidden under the fire extinguisher in the hallway and “Sway” now playing in the background. In a dreamy night around Christmas time, Tobias and Delia fell for each other again; both found forgiveness for each other as well as themselves. She learned to trust, that history doesn’t have to repeat itself if you don’t allow it to and that love can be the best thing in the world.