Top of the tree
Nora and her childrenRated
: I own nothing but a vivid imaginationSummary
: Nora decorates her tree and some of the decorations hold a particular meaning. Belated Christmas story.
The Christmas-decorations are back in the tree. Some of them so old, she bought together with William, when they would still do those things together. That was long before Holly and Connie entered into their lives. In a time when William was interested in what happened at home and in what happened to her.
And there, the red ball that Sarah made such a fuss about. She had
to have it, moved heaven and earth. It was ugly and not even that round, but Sarah had seen it,had fallen in love with it and there was no way she would leave the store without it. Nora smiles, Sarah had always known how to get her own way.
Just like Kitty did. Where are those two bells that Kitty made in school? Ah, yes, there. They had to be absolutely perfect and exact copies of each other. Nicely drawn within the lines and in matching colors… Kitty. Always the traditional one. How come she wasn’t more liberal, like her brothers and sisters?
Of course, Tommy and Justin had been the more creative ones. Tommy, good with his hands, had cut out a star and sprinkled it with golden glitter, so that it would shine in the tree. Though most of the dust is gone now, Nora still remembers how pretty it had looked.
And there was of course Justin’s hand-painted Santa Claus. The only Santa in the world with purple pants, a fluorescent yellow hat and a pink reindeer. Justin never wanted his work to look like that of the others. He wanted to be different, stand out. And he did, maybe more than he ever intended.
She opens a little box. There used to be an angel in it, with one broken wing, and every year Kevin would steal it from the box to hang above his own bed. It took her many years to find out why Kevin was so drawn to the imperfection of the angel. It would never be seen for its beauty, but only for its faults.
Now that the tree is ready there’s only one thing left to do. The final decoration. A star that had been in their tree for 40 years. When she unpacks it and sees it, it reminds her of that one day with William, when they had bought it. “…. If you wish to buy this one, then we will. It will however never be as beautiful as you are, Nora. I love you so much.”
She had believed in his warm smile and words of love. She turns it around and around in her hands and suddenly her mind is made up. She opens her hands and it drops to the floor and explodes into a million bits.
She swallows away the pain she feels. Some memories are worth holding on to and some of them aren’t. What used to represent what she and William had had, no longer holds that memory. Now there’s only betrayal and pain. She sweeps up the glittering pieces of the star. It’s time for a new one. One without memories.