Chapter 30: Happy New Year!!!
“Are you done yet Ilona?” her mother asks while lingering at the bedroom door.
“Motheeeer,” Ilona rolls her eyes along with her voice, “I just started today! I am barely one paragraph in! Great, heartfelt feelings cannot be rushed! Or something like that.”
Her mother, now gently tapping her fingers on the doorframe, glances up at the ceiling for a second. “So, when you are done, can I read it?”
Ilona almost puts the end of her favourite pencil into her mouth and starts chewing. “I don’t know mom, It is kinda… personal. Let me think about it. Maybe next year?”
Her mother stops tapping her fingers and looks at Ilona. “Very funny young lady. Which of your friends did you rip off that joke from?” Shaking her head, she continues, “Okay Ilona, we will respect your privacy. Buuuuut,” she says imitating her daughter’s earlier voice, “We do have to go to the living room now so we can watch our New Years Eve movie.”
“YES!” Ilona shouts as she jumps out of her chair. “Cynthia says this is the Best. Movie. Ever!” She twirls around on the spot and quickly puts her just started letter away under her now finished copy of A Christmas Carol. “Gonna see the movie, gonna see the movie,” Ilona sings while tidying her desk. “Gotta return Christmas Carol to Collette, gotta return Christmas Carol to Collette,” she now sings as she lays her favourite pencil atop the pyramid of letter and book.
Ilona skips across her room and joins her mother at the door. “If Cynthia loves this movie, I have a strong feeling we will as well,” her mother smiles as she plays with Ilona’s hair. “Let’s go kiddo,” she says as mother and daughter join arms and sway down the hall.
In the living room they see Ilona’s father finishing up his last task for the day and the year, putting up a picture frame, large and hand crafted, onto the wall. “See, my little one who is not so little anymore? Your wonderfully made picture frame is up and ready to be admired. Nay, praised, for it’s greatness.” Her father points the hammer at the frame and smiles at his family.
Ilona and her mother stop and stare at each other, then burst out giggling.
“That was very… poetic father,” Ilona states, “I have a feeling you have been reading my books. Let me guess your favourite was the one with the trident?”
Her father laughs as he puts the hammer away in the closet. “Sorry no, I have a strict policy against reading books with tridents in them. I do have standards you know. Your mother on the other hand has no standards, which is why she has read them all.”
Her mother walks over and kisses her father as she pulls him in for a hug.
“I know I have no standards, that’s why I am with you,” she says between kisses.
“Get a room you two!” Ilona exclaims in her best Madison impression, then proceeds to fake stick her finger down her throat.
“Mission accomplished in grossing out our daughter,” her father smiles and gives a thumbs up.
“And mission accomplished in getting the picture frame up this year,” her mother smiles and gives a thumbs up as well.
Ilona turns and looks at the handiwork on the wall. All that time in the art room has allowed her to create this tribute to her family. Little pictures forming a tree, with grandmother Stacy, her mother and father, Ilona and Arlene, being among the branches. Ilona admires what she has accomplished and turns back to her parents, only to catch them kissing again.
“You two! Behave yourselves!” Ilona laughs.
Her parents walk over to the couch, holding hands, and sit. Ilona plops down beside her mother and goes through the dvd piles her friends have loaned her.
“So two questions for my insane daughter,” her father says, “did you finish that letter to the author of that book with the trident on the cover? And, more importantly, what movie are you subjecting us to tonight? Remember, I am very very picky with my New Years Eve movies.”
Her mother laughs and whips her head around at him. “Says the man who made me watch that Matrix trilogy marathon that one new years? That one just became more and more awful as the night went on. You only wanted to see it because the star is Canadian.”
“I have never heard of this Matrix movie,” Ilona says while organizing her large dvd pile, “And unfortunately no, I just barely started the letter. There is so much to say, so much has happened, that just figuring out where to begin is a task all to itself.”
Her mother gently touches Ilona’s hair. “Just start at the start, then move forward. Isn’t that what the man with trident does in the book?”
Her father pipes in. “Exactly. That saying your mother just said. Start at the start. Now what movie are we watching tonight?”
Ilona finally puts all the dvd’s into different piles. Doctor Who watched. Doctor Who not watched. Burned ones from Madison. Firefly from Susan. Buffy and Sherlock from Collette. Ilona thinks she will need another week of Christmas vacation to even get halfway through everything.
“Does that mean I should start at grade three? Or my second time in grade three? Or when I first noticed the book? Or when I got the book? Or the next day?” Ilona babbles while jumping her hands from pile to pile.
Making playful circles in Ilona’s hair, her mother replies, “Start with your thoughts on the first chapter of the book, everything else you can fill in afterwards.”
Her father sighs, “Speaking of filling in afterwards, what movie are we seeing tonight? Does it have those Jedi people?”
“No Jedi people tonight, sorry,” Ilona apologizes, “But mom, their is so much to fill in. I don’t want to miss anything.”
Her mother keeps making circles in Ilona’s hair, “You won’t kiddo, trust me, you won’t.”
Her father laughs, “Should I use my invisibility to fight crime, or for evil?”
“Found it!” Ilona exclaims loudly, jumping up and putting a dvd in the player. “Cynthia says this is the Best. Movie. Ever.”
Ilona settles in on the couch with her parents on New Years Eve and presses play on Love Actually.
Song For This Chapter: Christmas Is All Around by Billy Mack
First serialization started on Friday, June 7th, 2013.