Thursday, July 24, 2008

TWENTY-FIVE

"Wake up, Karine." Sid tucked my hair behind my ear and kissed my cheek. "Père Noël came."

I sat up and stretched. It was still dark outside. "Is Julien awake yet?"

"Of course. He just dragged me out of bed."

I yawned and pulled on my robe. "Let's go, then," I sighed, rubbing sleep from my eyes.

The rest of my family was already downstairs waiting for us. As soon as Sid and I stepped into the sitting room, Julien began tearing into his presents. He had his mountain of gifts unwrapped in under three minutes and was playing with his new pedal truck, leaving the adults to open our gifts.

My parents opened theirs first. My mother loved her green casimir sweater and was very excited to use her gift certificate for a local spa, and my father immediately began using his new camcorder to tape the rest of us unwrapping gifts. Amélie and Guillaume were probably disappointed with their gifts, but I couldn't bring myself to care. If I had bought Amélie a "real" present, she would have just returned it. I bought Guillaume a crystal paperweight, because all he talked about was his job—I had no idea what his other interests were.

"This is from Guillaume and me," Amélie said as she handed me a large, flat package. I slowly unwrapped it and realized it was a huge black and white picture. I held it at arm's length and felt my heart jump to my throat when I realized it was a photograph of the Parisian skyline. I felt short of breath as I looked from Amélie to my parents. Did they know? No, there's no way. This is just a coincidence. A really strange, unfortunate coincidence.

"Are you okay?" Guillaume asked.

"Yeah," I lied. "Yeah. This will look great in my apartment. Thanks." I placed the picture facedown beside me as Sidney handed me his present. I caught my breath as I recognized the robin's egg blue packaging immediately—Sidney had bought something from Tiffany's. I tugged at the crisp white ribbon and carefully lifted the lid off the box. When I saw the diamond and sapphire bracelet shining up at me, I was absolutely stunned. "Sidney," I whispered. "This is beautiful."

"The sapphires reminded me of your eyes," he replied quietly.

"You are so amazing." I rested my forehead against his and kissed him appreciatively. Amélie stared at the bracelet with wide eyes and a jealous expression on her face. "My gift for you isn't nearly as good," I said apologetically as I handed him his present.

Sid tore off the wrapping paper and smiled widely. "A new PSP! Sweet!" He had lost his about a month ago, and he was always complaining that he didn't have anything to do on the long bus and plane rides. It seemed rather juvenile, but sometimes I forgot that Sid was a twenty-year-old kid. He, just like the rest of the male population, loved his video games.

"I bought you some games, too," I added, handing him another box. He shuffled through the handful of games, including Madden, NHL 08, and Super Mario Galaxy.

"This is perfect," he said, giving me a small kiss. "Thank you so much."

While my family dispersed to take showers and get ready for the day, Sid and I stayed downstairs with Julien.

"So why were you so freaked out by this picture?" Sid asked with a small frown as he lifted my present from Amélie.

"I wasn't upset," I lied.

Sid's frown became more pronounced and deep lines formed on his forehead. "What's going on?" His voice was dripping with suspicion.

"Nothing," I replied emphatically. I stood up, eager to change the subject, and asked Sid if he'd like to help me make crêpes.

"Are you sure I won't burn the house down?" he joked.

"I'm willing to risk it," I replied.

***

Sid breathed a sigh of relief as we walked out of my grandparent's house later that evening. "That was one of the most stressful experiences of my life," he said seriously.

I laughed and rested my hand on his thigh as we drove to the airport. "It wasn't that bad."

"Karine, I love you, but your family is intense."

"I know, mon cher. But thank you for spending Christmas with us anyway."

"Anything for you," he replied sweetly.

"How are you such a good person?" I asked, only half-joking.

"What do you mean?" Sid asked with a laugh.

"You're a superstar, you're inhumanly good at hockey, but you're still the sweetest guy I've ever met. How does that work?"

Sid shrugged and I could tell he was blushing. "I'm just appreciative of what I have. I know how lucky I am and I don't want to take that for granted." He kissed the back of my hand and stroked my palm with his thumb. "Plus, you bring out the best in me."

5 comments:

LC said...

This story always manages to put a smile on my face, I love it! -keep the updates coming!

Tay Tay said...

Awww... this story makes me squeal! It is so freaking cute! I LOVE IT! WRITE MORE! PLEASE!

Lauren said...

I love this story! Sid was so adorable with the little devil child!
More please!

miss.crosby said...

Can't wait for an update. Keep them coming please!!!!

lilyr said...

so cute!
i can`t wait to see what ahppens next!!!