The Worst Christmas

The Worst Christmas

By Sophie, Sancta Maria College Mayo

This has got to be the worst Christmas the world has ever seen, I think to myself, as I walk home from school. My nose is raw red, like Rudolph the reindeer’s nose,and my hands are chapped, but I can’t complain. My dad did warn me this morning to bring gloves. I drag myself up the hill and open the front door to my house. 

 As soon as I open the door, a wave of warm air hits me. I’m greeted by two overly-excited sausage dogs jumping up and down with joy. I let out a laugh when I see their little Christmas jumpers. The smell of freshly baked apple crumble wafts up my nose. It brings me back to all the times I had with my grandad – he loved his apple pie.

 You’re probably wondering why I said this was the worst Christmas. Well, let me just say one thing – Micheál Martin will go down in history as the Taoiseach that cancelled Christmas. I know, I know, it’s not his fault. He didn’t create the Coronavirus. Christmas is a time for families, but now everyone has to stay at home. I understand that we all have to stay safe, but I wish there was some way I could see my family that doesn’t involve lagging screens and slow internet.

I rush to my room and go to my laptop. I want to finish all my schoolwork so I have two weeks to relax.

 I make my way downstairs to my roommate, still depressed about the restrictions. Who would’ve known the virus would get this bad? It’s been around four years now and they still  haven’t found a cure, not to mention the other virus that is said to be spreading around in Australia. Apparently instead of a bat, this time it came from one of those huge spiders. I get chills up my spine as I think about it.

 Just as I’m about to make dinner, my phone starts buzzing loudly on the table. It seems as though it’s about to explode with all the notifications. I quickly grab it and the first text I see is a text from my younger brother telling me to turn on the news. I race into the living room, tripping over everything on the way. I’m so confused, and fumble with the remote. I switch the TV onto the news and listen intently. My heart is pounding. We hardly ever get good news, so I’m expecting the worst. 

My heart feels as if it’s doing somersaults as soon as I hear the presenter say it’s possible to see your family. This is the happiest I’ve been since I went off to college. I almost cry. I sit there, a bit dumbfounded, for a while. I haven’t properly comprehended what is actually happening. After a few minutes, it all sinks in, and I sprint upstairs to find my roommate, Emily. I burst into her room and give her the fright of her life. 

“Amelia, what is wrong with you? What happened? Why are you making so much noise? You’re like a bull in a china shop!” 

“Brace yourself for this,” I say, with a huge grin. I continue, “We can see our families for Christmas!” 

Emily’s reaction is far from normal. It looks like she’s scared. There is an awkward silence for about fifteen seconds. I don’t move. 

She finally manages to say “Oh, yay” but doesn’t sound convincing. 

I decided not to bring up Emily’s reaction, but it’s killing me not to. I really want to know why she isn’t happy to go home. I do my best to try and ignore it and stop myself, but I can’t. By the time dinner comes around, I’m just bursting to ask. 

I stare at Emily for a few seconds and she notices. She asks me what I’m doing. I don’t say anything for a little bit, but then I say, “Why did you react like that earlier when I told you the news?”

Emily snaps back defensively, “What are you talking about? You’re always looking for drama or something, aren’t you? Always in other people’s business.” 

Emily rises from her chair aggressively and storms into her bedroom, along with a bang of the door that makes the house shake. 

I clean up the table and go to my room to get some packing done for my flight home. Something is bothering me though. I’m not even offended by what Emily said – I’m too curious and suspicious to care. I decide to keep it to myself, though, as I don’t want another outburst to ruin my Christmas. 

 I hear a knock on my bedroom door and the door opens slowly. Emily’s head appears around the corner. She slowly walks over to my bed, her eyes pointed at the ground. I sit there silently. 

She says timidly, “I’m sorry for yelling and saying all of that about you. I didn’t mean it. I’m very stressed and …” she pauses, “Well, you’re right. I am acting weird about going home but there is a reason.” 

I don’t say anything. 

Emily continues on to say, “I owe you this explanation. My family aren’t normal people. I have finally gotten away from them and this pandemic came at a great time, because I won’t be forced to see them. But because we have the green light to visit family…” 

I cut her off. 

“Emily you don’t have to go home if you don’t want to, but how bad can they be?” 

Emily looks at me, wide-eyed. 

“They’re the worst. You wouldn’t understand.” 

“Try me,” I say. 

“Promise not to freak out,” Emily replies. 

“I promise.” 

 After finding out, I am shocked and scared.