by Traci Van Wagoner
Part 3 of 5
The sun sank low and Jacob breezed past me. “Last one home is a lump of coal!”
I raced to catch up. “Maybe Pa is home by now!”
Jacob beat me home, and I saw his shoulders sag when he didn’t see the horse and wagon.
“He’ll be home,” I muttered as we brought in coal and wood for the fire. But the sun was going down.
“Don’t you miss him?” I asked.
“Sure, I guess,” Jacob said.
He acted casual, but I knew better.
I worried as we pulled out the Christmas box. “I don’t care if he doesn’t bring us presents,” I said.
I worried while helping drape the popcorn garland around the tree.
I heard Jacob mutter, “I don’t care if he doesn’t bring us a Christmas orange.”
“Can we put on the topper?” I asked.
“No, not ‘til Pa comes home,” Jacob said.
While we ate supper, my eyes drifted to Pa’s empty chair. I noticed Ma and Jacob looking too. Afterward, we joined Mama at the piano for some Christmas caroling.
Bong, bong, bong… the clock struck nine.
Come back tomorrow for Part 4. Will Papa make it home?