Charmed, I’m Sure

Lindy had lost her charm and her luck – and it was all Dan’s fault!

“I’ll be back as soon as possible, Lindy,” Mum said. “But Gran’s got a nasty virus so it may be a few days before she’s better. Can you make a start on my Christmas list?”

“Giftwrap Sprouts” was the first entry on the list. It seemed odd, but maybe Mum was using sprouts as stocking fillers instead of satsumas.

I was hoping for more than a gift-wrapped sprout, though. I wanted a Six Geese a-Laying charm. The one on my Twelve Days of Christmas bracelet had vanished so I’d been dropping hints for a replacement.

Dan had bought me the bracelet for Christmas last year.

He’d given it to me early so I could wear it throughout December. Clanking with silver poultry, musicians and dancers, it was the best gift ever.

We’d had a lot of festive fun but I don’t remember any of it now.

All I can think about is Dan kissing Amelia Hunt under the mistletoe at this year’s office party at the end of November.

Furious to have been taken in by his charms, I’d stalked out in a huff.

“Come back, Lindy! Amelia means nothing,” Dan yelled as he chased after me. “It’s Christmas. Everybody kisses everybody else.”

A cab drew up. Stony-faced, I dived into the back of it. Tearfully fingering my bracelet, I realised that a charm had gone.

Back home, I chucked the bracelet into a drawer and persuaded myself I was over him.

“Who am I kidding?” I sighed as I started on the sprouts. “I’ll never be over him.”

“You’re still one charm short of a bracelet, then,” Mum said when she arrived back on the twenty-second. She eyed the gift-wrapped sprouts and muttered something about losing marbles. “Poor Dan. You haven’t been fair to him.”

Dan came round the morning after the party but I’d refused to see him.

A vivid picture of Amelia with her arms around him was stuck in my head. But now I realised that Dan hadn’t had his arms around her.

He’d phoned, texted and emailed, done all the usual things to make me see sense.

He’d even written me a letter. It had jammed up the shredder big time.

What a stubborn fool I’d been!

“Why have you wrapped up the sprouts?” Mum asked.

“Because that’s what it said on the list.” I waved it under her nose.

“There should be a comma between Giftwrap and Sprouts,” she admitted. “It’s stuff to buy, not things to do. I must have forgotten I’d bought sprouts, what with worrying about Gran.”

Sulkily, I began unwrapping the veg.

“You may as well start preparing them,” she said. “It’s not as if you’re doing anything else and I’m miles behind with my list.”

She was right. I wasn’t doing anything else.

Neither was Dan.

You could have knocked me down with a feather when he turned up on Christmas Eve.

“You’d better open this now,” he said and handed me a box.

Too stunned to argue, I simply did as I was told.

Inside was a goose charm. But it was different to the one I’d lost.

Wings outstretched, this goose wasn’t a-laying. It was a-flying.

It was me – me running out on him last month.

“Oh Dan.” I fell into his arms. “How did you know I’d lost the original?”

“Your mum phoned me. She wanted to buy you a sprout charm as a replacement but couldn’t find one.”

We didn’t need any mistletoe.

“I can’t afford five gold rings,” he whispered when we came up for air. “But will one do?”

“Yes please,” I said. “It’s better than a partridge in a pear tree any day.”

Mum heard us laughing.

“Break it up you two, I need help with the list,” she yelled.

So right now, we’re off to the butchers to collect the goose. It should go nicely with the sprouts.

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