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Chapter 19

“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!” Lucia finished with a smile, closing the book and setting it down on the table. As it turns out, the Torres family were big on cheesy Christmas traditions; hence we all sat in the living room reading ‘The Night Before Christmas’ with hot chocolate. It was Christmas Eve and each one of the kids was extremely hyper, and I didn’t see them getting to sleep any time before the rest of us woke up.

“Is Santa here yet?” Hannah, Elliot’s little sister asked impatiently, climbing eagerly over the back of the couch and looking out of the window.

“Not until everyone’s asleep.” Her mom, Aida, answered, looking up at the clock. “Speaking of which, it’s bed time!”

As expected I took longer than usual to get everyone to bed. There were multiple sleeping arrangements altered so that kids could be in the same room but still have adults and what not. By the end of the night I was in a room with Arizona, Sofia and Carmen. Arizona was currently on the phone, apparently with someone from the hospital because I didn’t understand a word she way saying. She sighed as she set the phone down, clearly pissed off.

“Ugh, interns.” She groaned. “I don’t know how they even got a job there. ‘Breathing human being needed- intelligence optional’.”

I laughed at that. Normally Arizona was the one telling Callie to give the interns a chance, considering they were new to this and probably had no idea what to do. “Just give them a chance.” I mimicked what she had once told Callie.

She glared at me jokingly. “I’ll give them a chance once they stop phoning me in the middle of my holiday.”

Surprisingly, it didn’t take long for me to get to sleep. Normally on Christmas Eve I would find myself awake at all hours of the morning, but this time I fell to sleep easily enough. I think it was the hot chocolate.

“Poppyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!!”

A very excited and high pitched voice was what I was woken up with the next day. I groaned and rolled over in bed, silently thinking that if I ignored it, it would go away. But then I remembered what ‘it’ was and what day it was, and suddenly I was wide awake.

“Merry Christmas boo!” I exclaimed as I pulled Sofia into a hug. I glanced over her shoulder and saw Callie and Arizona sitting on the bed opposite, and Carmen was nowhere to be seen. I figured she’d went to see her own parents. I then noticed a big sack at the end of Arizona’s bed. “Presents, Sofia, look!” I pointed to her and she laughed in excitement, jumping down from the bed and grabbing the bag.

“Okay, the ones wrapped in red are Sofia’s and the ones in silver are Poppy’s.” Callie announced. Just then I remembered the gifts I had bought and looked into the bag, glad to see that they appeared to be in there.

About half an hour and many presents later we made our way downstairs, greeted by cheers of excitement and laughter, and everything was very noisy. I didn’t mind though, although I had to admit I got anxious when Sofia nearly broke a very expensive looking Santa statue.

“I just had to escape for a moment.” Arizona explained when I found her alone in our room when I came up to get my new sweater. “James doesn’t like me, I’m sure.”

“How can you be sure?” I asked and raised one eyebrow, beginning to rummage through the mess that was my bed.

“I don’t know.” She sighed, leaning back onto the bed. “You know when you just know someone doesn’t like you? Yeah.”

I studied her face for a moment, and I could tell that there was more. “Are you okay though? You look off.” I asked, sitting down next to her on the bed. She looked up at me for a second, clearly contemplating whether to tell me or not.

“I’m just stressed. My interns keep calling, even though their resident is actually in the same state as them, my physical therapist called me because I completely forgot about my appointment, I keep thinking about Tim, and it’s not even that much but it’s getting to me.” She finished. I wrapped her in a hug.

“Sometimes you just need to stress. Just tell your interns to get lost, you’re being too nice. I don’t know what to say that will make you feel better about Tim, because I don’t imagine there’s much I could say.” I said, drawing away. “And you still have to get physical therapy?”

“Only every six months, just to make sure the prosthetic’s fine and that I’m walking right and stuff. Just a check-up, basically.”

“Right.” I nodded. “Well, imma go back downstairs because there was something mentioned about singing, and I’ve never heard Callie sing before, but from what I’ve been told she’s great.”

Turns out what I’d heard was right. Callie did have an amazing voice. She started with Christmas carols, but to high requests from the kids she quickly moved onto Disney songs and it wasn’t long before people started joining in. I can’t believe I had gone fifteen years without experiencing a proper, traditional family Christmas, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.


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