I knew something was wrong the minute Will opened the door. Instead of being hit by the smell of turkey cooking, I could only smell lime and lemongrass from my 6 am mopping spree.
Carrying a sleeping Amelia, I dashed into the kitchen.
‘Will, the oven! It’s not on!’
I was sure I’d switched it on, but despite turning the dial to 180°C, I’d clearly forgotten to press ‘set’.
Amelia promptly woke up and let out an ear-splitting yell. Despite being only nine months old, she knew how to choose her moments.
‘Shhh, darling, Mummy didn’t mean to shout. It’s just that Granny, Gramps, your auntie, uncle and all your cousins will be
Sensing my panic, her howling intensified.
I looked at the raw turkey through the oven glass.
A sob, almost as loud as Amelia’s, overwhelmed me. I plonked myself down in the chair in the corner of the kitchen and fed Amelia.
‘It’ll be fine,’ Will said. He clicked on the oven and the fan whirled into action.
I glared at him. How could he say that? I’d ruined Christmas! ‘You could’ve checked the oven was on.’
‘Sorry, Becky, I thought you had it under control.’
‘I had… I did… We should never have gone for a walk.’
I cut Will off. I could easily complete his sentence: ‘But, it had been a lovely walk.’ And Will was right. It had been. There was a light frost on the ground, but the sun had warmed our faces through the trees. The sky was a glorious blue and Will and I had chatted and laughed and held hands like we’d done before Amelia was born. Amelia had slept the entire walk, oblivious to the robins and squirrels we passed.
‘I thought you enjoyed it,’ Will said, looking confused.
‘That was when I thought I had a roast turkey to come home to.’
Will’s lips twitched and he cast his brown eyes downwards. My words had hurt him. Our morning stroll was the most uninterrupted time Will and I had spent together since Amelia’s birth. We’d reconnected and I’d loved it, but I was so cross I couldn’t bring myself to tell Will.
Amelia was fidgeting, so I put her down on her play mat. She didn’t stay there long. She was off, crawling towards the kitchen trolley to try out her new party trick; pulling herself up to a standing position.
Will made me a cup of tea. I frowned. ‘Tea can’t solve everything, you know. The turkey’s will take at least three and a half hours. I said 1 pm for lunch, but it’ll be nearly 4 pm.’
‘No one will mind. We can have a snack, or brunch, or I could whip up an omelette.’ Will smiled. ‘What about beans on toast for lunch and then turkey for dinner?’
Usually, I melt at Will’s smiles. But not today. ‘We’re not having beans on toast on Christmas Day.’ ‘Why not?’ Will said.
Amelia was now performing her second party trick; throwing empty tubs onto the floor. ‘I’m not even going to justify that with a response.’
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