On Christmas Eve.
Tonight is Christmas Eve. Noah was looking forward to this day. Outside the window, the white snow started fluttering down. The inside of the mansion was decorated with red and green, and a decorated Christmas tree was on display in the entrance hall.
My Father-in-law Denis and Mother-in-law Margot were invited over for the night. Fii is busy at work so he has gotten delayed. Since Noah felt disheartened because he couldn’t see his beloved Uncle, I was preparing my heart to refuse when he asked me if he could stay up late.
“Mother, will Santa Claus come to my place today?”
“He surely will. You’ve been good all year round, after all.”
“The Dark Santa won’t come?”
“The bad guy who has been appearing recently. Santa Claus brings presents to good children, but Dark Santa steals toys and sweets from bad children.”
“I wouldn’t like that. This Dark Santa is quite a bully for stealing toys and sweets, isn’t he?”
“But, you can’t do anything about it. You mustn’t be bad. It’s a punishment.”
“Right. You are admirable. But, everyone would be sad that they didn’t receive presents and had their toys and sweets stolen instead, right?”
“Yeah. That’s why I will go to sleep early. Mr. Santa won’t come if I stay up late, right? Grandfather, Grandmother, goodnight.”
Father-in-law who was cheerful from drinking wine told Noah “Have a good night’s sleep” and “Look forward to Santa Claus’s presents”, while Mother-in-law Margot sent Noah to his room.
Noah asked Santa Claus for a sled. Looking outside the window, the soil was faintly dyed white. It does not seem like it will stop snowing. The development will be as my Angel wished for by the morning.
“Mother-in-law, you are always wearing that locket pendant, aren’t you? Is it your favorite?”
When I asked curiously about the silver pendant swaying around my Mother-in-law’s chest, she recalled the distant days.
“Yeah. It’s a matching piece I had with a precious friend of mine. The picture of her is inside the locket.”
When Mother-in-law showed me the picture in the locket, it was a portrait of a woman.
“This person was my beloved’s wife and also my best friend. We won’t ever forget her for the rest of our lives.”
Margot looked at Denis, somewhat sadly. The woman in Mother-in-law’s locket was Anton’s birth mother. Anton seemed to hate Margot, but his mother seemed to be very close friends with her.
The woman in the picture resembled Anton very much. I thought the color of his hair and eyes were inherited from his father, but they resembled this woman much better. The woman was beautiful and she gave off the impression of dignity.
“The pendant she wore had my picture in it.”
Margot spoke nostalgically about how she exchanged pendants with their pictures inside with Anton’s mother as proof of their friendship.
Just as I wanted to ask for more, Fii came in.
“Oh wow, it’s so cold today.”
He asked about Noah while handing his coat to the butler Theo.
“He already went to sleep.”
“Shall we do it then?”
“Give it a moment. Haven’t you just returned? How about resting for a little first? Your body must be freezing.”
“Oh. All right.”
I put a chair near the fireplace and handed him a towel to wipe his wet hair.
“These two got along well since they were children, haven’t they?”
Said Margot, with yearning and nostalgia for the past days in her eyes.