(It's really cheesy but its Christmas and I needed cheering up when I wrote it. I hope you all enjoy)
'Where's Daddy?' asked little Mercy, glancing expectantly at the church door as another group of parents walked in, only to look disappointedly back at her mother as she realised her father was not one of them.
'He'll be here soon sweetheart,' smiled Mercy's mother, Lucy, as she brushed her hair, 'now let's get your halo in place,'
'I won't say my words if Daddy ain't here, Mummy,'
Lucy kissed her little girl on the head as she fixed the gold painted, hardboard halo onto Mercy's head. Mercy loved her father so much and she could not understand why her parents were not like the parents of her friends. She could not understand why she could only see her father on weekends and why her mother was always angry with her father. It broke Lucy's heart, when Mercy would ask why her father could only see her on Boxing Day and not Christmas. Over the years, both her parents had cushioned the blow by telling her that she was lucky, having two Christmases with two sets of presents and dinners, but as she got older Mercy was starting to ask more questions.
'Why don't you go and join your friends,' said Lucy, kissing her daughter carefully as she did not want to knock the halo, 'and I'll go outside and give Daddy a ring,'
'Thomas!' shouted Lucy, as she got his answer phone, 'where the hell are you? You promised you'd be here! I don't care if the whole of the M25 has ground to a halt! You get out of that car and run! In fact I don't care, if you've lost both your legs in a car accident, you again get out of that car and crawl here, do you understand? And if you don't get here, I'll murder…no don't you dare cut me off! Don't you…'
But the answer phone beeped and the line went dead, causing Lucy to realise that she was standing in the middle of the school's car park, being stared at by other parents and their children.
Lucy sighed and slumped against her car. Despite everything, she hated getting angry with Thomas. He was never anything but good and reasonable; he had always been there when they needed him. It was just the one thing he could not do and that was thing Lucy, if she was honest, she had wanted more than anything else in the world, but that could never be-Thomas' father, the grandfather Mercy adored, had put an end to that.
'No son of mine is going to marry a glorified waitress!'
Lucy still heard the words echo in her mind, as she closed her mobile phone, putting it back in her handbag and throwing it over her shoulder as she stormed back into the church, hoping that her daughter's father was not too far behind her.
'O Come let us adore him,
Christ the Lord,'
They finished the opening carol and Lucy glanced nervously from the stage to the church door as her daughter and others took their place on the stage-where was he?
'One day, God sent the angel Gabriel to the house of Mary, a young Christian woman,' read the teacher from the pulpit, as Mercy and her friend Kate, who was playing Mary, came on stage. Lucy smiled encouragingly at her daughter as she saw Mercy stare at the empty seat beside her with tears starting to appear in her eyes, 'Mary who was soon going to marry a man named Joseph, was doing housework when the angel appeared,'
'Thomas where are you,' whispered Lucy, as she said a silent prayer to herself, but as the girls got into positions on stage, Kate pretending to do housework and Mercy standing there with her hands together in prayer, the door to the church swung open.
'Daddy!' cried Mercy, forgetting herself briefly as she saw her father run into the church, before remembering her words, 'Mary, God is going to give you a son,'
'Cutting it fine, aren't we Thomas?' muttered Lucy, not looking at him as she moved along the pew a little to let him sit down, 'Mary almost didn't know she was pregnant,'
'Sorry,' replied Thomas, smiling proudly at his daughter as he sat down next to Lucy, 'but my car refused to start,'
'Well, at least you're here now, I suppose,' said Lucy, happy that at least Mercy now had a smile of her face, which grew as Lucy's disappeared as she saw Thomas' father come into building, 'did you have to bring your father?'
'And you will call him Jesus!'
'He gave me a lift'
'Why couldn't you just borrow the car?' muttered Lucy, trying to keep a smile on her face for the sake of appearances but the last person she ever wanted to see was Thomas' father-especially tonight.
'I'm not on the insurance,' replied Thomas, as Lucy rolled her eyes, 'and he wanted to see his granddaughter,'
'He would see a lot more of her, if he hadn't convinced you to dump me,' thought Lucy, before turning to face her daughter's grandfather and once again forcing a smile as she greeted him, 'John,'
'Lucy,' he replied seriously with a nod of the head as he sat down next to Thomas, 'have we missed much?'
'Mary's just about to tell Joseph she's pregnant,' answered Lucy, waving at Mercy, who was sat back on the bench, waiting for her next scene, 'and Joseph being a man, will panic!'
'Daddy, come and see the painting I did,' chirped Mercy, as the four of them where stood in the classroom after the nativity with the rest of parents and children, 'it's of a Christmas tree!'
Lucy watched as her daughter dragged her father over to the other side of classroom, as she took a sip of the cup of tea Mercy's teacher had given them. Thomas was a good father; she would never deny him that. He always picked Mercy up on the days they arranged, he called her almost every day and he never failed with the money Thomas never let Mercy down but he had Lucy, though she was never sure if he realised it or not. Why did he always listen to his father? He was almost thirty, yet he let his father controlled his every decision.
'Thomas tells me you have left your job,' said John, bring Lucy out of her thoughts as he tried to make conversion with the woman, who had once hoped to be his daughter-in-law, 'any reason?'
'Well as you said John, I can't be a waitress all my life,' smiled Lucy, trying to hide her bitterness as she had loved her job as an air stewardess and if John had ever given it half a thought, he would have realised how difficult her job had been-especially as she had had to deal with all sorts of crisis, many miles up in the air, 'plus I didn't like leaving Mercy when I did night flights,'
'So what do you plan to do now?'
'Teach,' replied Lucy, feeling that John was going to start interrogating her, 'I thought, well you speak Russian, Lucy, so you might as well use it,'
'You speak Russian,' chocked John in shock as Lucy tried not to laugh, 'I didn't know,'
'You never asked. I did all my company's flights from Heathrow to Moscow and St Petersburg for six years. Before that I did the flights to the Middle East, so I know some Arabic too. Not bad for a dum blonde waitress, hey John,'
Lucy laughed as she left him and went over to where Thomas was talking to Mercy teacher, looking very proud of his clever daughter as he picked her up and hugged her. They would have made a good family, thought Lucy briefly before shaking the thought out of her mind.
'Come on, Angel Gabriel,' she said, kissing Mercy on the head, 'its time I got you home,'
'Can Daddy come?'
'No, not tonight, sweetheart' smiled Lucy, taking Mercy off of Thomas, trying to ignore the hurt look in his eyes, 'but your see him on Boxing Day,'
'But can Daddy come round Christmas Day,' she asked, her grey eyes looking up at her mother and father with hope, 'so I can show him what Santa brings me,'
'On Boxing Day,'
'Please Mummy, Christmas Day, please, please, please,'
'I could come round Christmas Day, if that's fine with you, Lucy,' Thomas asked, causing Lucy to flash him an angry look but found she could not keep it, as he looked just as hurt as his daughter.
'Mercy,' said Lucy, 'why don't you go and show granddad your painting, while I speak to Daddy,'
Mercy eagerly shook her head, before running over to her granddad and taking him over to where her painting of a Christmas tree, surrounded by presents was hanging up.
'Thomas, don't,' pleaded Lucy, pulling Thomas into the corner of the classroom, 'its difficult enough. We don't need to confuse her even more,'
'I do not wish to confuse her, Lucy,' whispered Thomas, looking at the floor, 'I just want to see my daughter...and I want to see you,'
'Now your confusing me, Thomas,' muttered Lucy, feeling a mixture of anger and tears as she hit the fire door bar and pulled Thomas outside with her, 'you told me you didn't want anything to do with me,'
'I never said that, it was just my father thought it was too soon for us to rush into marriage,'
'But not too soon to rush into having a baby!' snapped Lucy, remembering how happy she had felt, when she had seen those blue lines, only for it all to have come crashing down around her a few days later.
'No,' replied Thomas, after a moment silence as he looked Lucy straight in the eyes and hesitantly put a hand on Lucy's arm, 'but it was too soon to leave you,'
'So is the great Thomas More admitting to making a mistake,' cackled Lucy, her mind now not knowing what to think but four years of hurt do not easily go away, 'but things are not that simple. You can't expected me to be happy, that it's taken four years to realise you've made a mistake,'
'You should know me by now, Lucy. I'm thirty and I still don't know if I chosen the right career but I am truly sorry for all the hurt I have caused you,'
'So I should be honoured that it's only taken you four years,' replied Lucy, looking down at where Thomas was gently holding on to her arm. He had caused her hurt and many sleepless nights filled with tears, but he had always been kind, it was never hurt that was meant to be cruel, it was always brought on by Thomas thinking he was doing the best for all around him, 'you can come over on Christmas Day and we'll talk but I'm not promising anything,'
'Of course,' smiled Thomas, placing his other hand on Lucy's other arm, 'even if we'll just be a family for one day,'
'Yes!' cheered Mercy as her mother told her the good news, as they drove home, 'can Daddy stay for dinner?'
'Yes,' replied Lucy as they stopped at some traffic lights, 'Daddy can stay for dinner,'
'Daddy misses you, Mummy,' Mercy suddenly said, causing Lucy to take her eyes off the traffic lights and on to her daughter, who was still wearing her halo, 'I heard him tell Granddad and auntie Lizzie,'
'Yes!' answered Mercy proudly, 'he and granddad were in the kitchen talking and Daddy looked upset. He said he wished he had never let you go-that's what Daddy told Granddad and auntie Lizzie. They didn't think I was listening but I was, as I was writing my Christmas list to Santa. Do you want to know what I put at the top, Mummy?'
'I think I can guess,' smiled Lucy, as she leaned over and kissed her daughter, 'I think I can guess,'