It was early morning on Christmas Eve in Abbottsford and just as dawn was breaking snowflakes started to softly fall.
Downshire’s metropolis was a noisy city, all hustle and bustle, where at Christmas it always tended to rain.
But as the city came alive the snow fell thicker and faster, and a quiet hush descended as the large white snowflakes fell.
As the winter continued to make its presence felt the holiday rush seemed to slow down and shoppers took a pause to appreciate the beauty of winter’s gifts.
In the warmth of her flat, Arabella looked out as the snow dressed the town in its winter gown.
She looked upon it with joy initially but the joy subsided as tears started to flow from deep within as she remembered the white Christmas’ of her childhood when she lived in Tipton, where her family still lived in the north of the county.
The tears born of loneliness filled her eyes because she would be spending Christmas alone and lonely.
An ache swelled inside her chest and its pains are radiating, a choked cry, that won't pass her lips, filled her throat as the touch of sadness showed on her wrinkled face.
Arabella was a nurse at the Winston Churchill Hospital and she was working over Christmas so she would not be seeing her family and as if that wasn’t bad enough her boyfriend Frank left Abbottsford that morning to spend Christmas Day and Boxing Day with his parents in Sharpington.
So that was why she was feeling so blue, so lonely and isolated, as she was stuck inside her lonely flat for Christmas Eve.
Her only company was her cat Oscar and she cuddled him for comfort but felt no peace and was resigned to the fact that it wouldn’t come that day.
As the snow continued to fall the purring of Oscar had been replaced by the computers comforting hum yet that too turned out to be an empty comfort.
She was alone with her thoughts all day and found then uncomfortable companions and lamented the passing of the days of Christmas carolling, present wrapping, sending and receiving cards, and enjoying the season with friends.
She stared out the window watching the flakes of snow fall and said a silent prayer to help her survive the joyless day and for someone to give her a much needed lift and make her smile.
Then the tears flowed again as the feelings of worthlessness came again and she felt so very blue.
As she looked out the window she found herself thinking that somewhere out there, there were other lonely people feeling as she did, and some who needed company far more than her, just some human contact.
It was a basic need to be wanted, for some loving care, a smile, a hug or just a card, especially during the joyful season.
And just then the phone rang and when she looked at the caller ID a smile spread across her face.
“Hi mum, it’s so nice to hear your voice”
Talking to her Mum for over an hour cheered her up and got her into a better frame of mind to face the next four hours before she left for work.
Her mum was wonderful, she always helped get her head straight, and she couldn’t wait to see her at New Year’s.
She got herself showered and dressed in her uniform and was just preparing to leave for work, she was going to leave half an hour earlier than normal because of the snow and she was just getting her shoes on when there was a knock at the door and she tutted because whoever it was going to make her late.
But when she opened the door she couldn’t believe her eyes
“You’re here” she said “Why are you here?”
But her visitor couldn’t reply because she was kissing him.
“So why are you here?” she asked when she got Frank inside her flat.
“They closed the Pepperstock Express Way because of the snow” He replied “So I’m spending Christmas with you”
“Why didn’t you call me?” she asked and kissed him again
“My phone died” Frank said “So I couldn’t even call to say I missed you and I love you”