Day 3: Hannah
“Honey?” Lucile asked in her heavy French accent, “Can you hand me that ornament over there?”
Hannah blew the hair out of her face and checked the contents of the box her mother was pointing at. She froze.
The glass angel sat in a smaller, plastic case. It had been in there for over a decade. It was her father’s favorite Christmas tree decoration.
Lucile climbed down the step-stool ladder. “I think it’s time we did things differently, non?”
Hannah glanced at her mother. “What things?”
Lucile bent down and picked up the case, wrapping her long, thin fingers around it. “Talk about your father more often.”
“Eh,” Hannah replied, “Okay?” She wasn’t sure what that meant or where they should start.
Lucile smiled and opened the plastic box. She held it up for Hannah to take out the ornament.
Hannah pressed her lips together. She tucked her hands into the pockets of her pajama bottoms.
“Hannah?” Lucile asked, eyebrows raised.
“What if I drop it?” Hannah blurted out.
“You won’t,” her mother chuckled.
Hannah carefully reached for the glass angel. “I think Milly will like it too.”
Lucile nodded. “Yes, I think so too.”
Hannah picked up the fragile trinket and lifted it into the air. She smiled up at it.
“Let’s find a good spot for it,” Lucile said.
Hannah turned around and took in the giant Christmas tree with a satisfied sigh. She caught Charles staring at it too. His wide, yellow eyes were fixed on it from under the couch.
“Let’s put this where Charles can’t reach it,” she said and frowned at him.
Lucile gestured for her daughter to get onto the step-stool. “How about you put up this one?”
“Alright,” Hannah agreed. “Milly will be home soon. We better hurry!”
“Yes,” Lucile replied, checking the time on her golden wristwatch.
Hannah climbed the three steps and stretched her arm to put the angel almost all the way at the top of the tree. She didn’t let go of it until she was sure it was securely attached to the fir branch.
“Perfect,” Lucile said. “I hope Milly likes our little surprise.”
Hannah grinned down at her mother. “Mom, our tree is anything but small and she’s going to *love* it.”