The days were winding down and Christmas Eve was tomorrow. The first snow of the season was falling as Alicia stared out of the library’s floor to ceiling windows. She wanted to get her children something for Christmas, but there was just no way that was about to happen. And Lord knows she wasn’t going to be able to afford anything for Charles this year. She liked surprising him every year with some random gift. He had already told her this year not to worry about getting him anything. He told her they didn’t need to purchase gifts for one another, but it didn’t set right with her. Lost in thought about what she could possibly buy for him that wouldn’t cost a great deal, she missed the town’s mayor, Albert Pickens, come through and go straight to the conference room in the back. Looking at her watch, Alicia realized she only had 20 minutes before it was time to go home for the day. She turned back to the computer to enter returned books and update accounts before going home.
The only good thing about today was that she didn’t have to go in to the Five and Dime Café. Amber had given her the evening off so that she could finish packing up their little house. They would have to put their things in storage, because they still hadn’t found another house to rent. They would stay in a little residential hotel on the outskirts of town until they could find something. It had been difficult sharing this with Chelsea. Alicia recalled how angry her daughter had been when she and Charles had told her they would have to move. It was not an easy conversation to have, especially when she learned they didn’t have a place to go. She suggested they move back to Reston. She didn’t understand why that was so difficult. The cost of living in Reston, Virginia was a lot more expensive than in the little town of Pristine, Georgia. And like there had been no guarantees jobs would be in place in Pristine, there were no guarantees in Reston either.
Alicia had thoughts similar to those of her daughter’s, wanting to pack up and return several times over the last year when things got tough. She didn’t want to complain, but it was so hard working two jobs and trying to take care of the entire family. She knew her husband did what he could, but it didn’t make life easier. She was extremely tired these days and often wondered what the future held for them.
“Have a good night and a Merry Christmas,” Verdell, the library assistant called to her on the way out the door.
“You too, Verdell, you too,” Alicia replied with a smile on her face, that didn’t quite reach her eyes.
The only good thing that had come out of the last few weeks was that they had gotten the car fixed and the kids had a break from school. It would give Chelsea time to calm down from all she had been going through after her fight at school. According to CJ the kids had gained a new respect for her and no one bullied her anymore.
Will things turn around for Alicia's family? Come back tomorrow for more.
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