Her pace slowed, as she passed the local pub. She even stopped, contemplating diving into the garish Christmas lights, tinsel, party crackers and end of year pop quizzes but shaking herself broke from the connection, abandoning the merriment behind her and allowing the laughter to trickle away in the back of her mind. The cobbled streets led her in gentle curves towards the depths of the city. The shop lights glittering and twinkling merrily at her as she passed, so lost in thought she barely noticed that she had reached the square until her eyes, ears and nose were assaulted by the lights, sounds and smells of the evening market. Rich cinnamon and roasted chestnuts wafted their way towards her. Soft pretzels, doughnuts and cheerfully wrapped cakes tore her attention from her thoughts.
She was still angry, but the feeling had dulled a little. She knew that Lottie couldn’t help the way her family had reacted to her, but it would have been nice if she’d stood up for her, instead of standing there like an idiot. Deep down she knew she was being harsh. Lottie had been just as surprised as she had been by their reactions. They had never indicated any negative feelings towards that sort of thing ever before. Or at least that was what Lottie had assured her of before they had turned up with their “news”.
She snorted to herself and pulled her scarf tighter around her as she wove in and out of the stalls, glancing at necklaces and food and junk that you buy because it’s pretty but of no real use to you whatsoever. Barely paying attention to where she was headed she found herself in the centre of the market next to a Grecian looking pavilion, and surrounded by tall snow covered trees was a temporary ice rink. Pausing, she leaned against the bars and lost herself in the twirling of the couples on the ice, her thoughts disappearing in a spiral of emotions as she clung to the railing for dear life.
Lottie gaped at her parents. She couldn’t believe that they’d said what they just did.
“That’s disgusting! You’re filthy, the pair of you! You tramp! You’ve turned my daughter into a slut!”
Those phrases rang around and around her head before the slamming of the front door shocked her out of her thoughts. Hari was gone! She’d walked out! Lottie saw red.
“How dare you! How dare you insult the woman I love! I’m so glad I don’t live at home anymore and have a job. You make me sick! I’m leaving! You’re not going to see me again! You can shove your bigoted ideas and have a merry fucking Christmas the lot of you!” She spun on her heels and headed towards the door.
“You walk out that door young lady and I’ll-“
“You’ll what Daddy? Spank me? Throw me out?” Lottie scoffed “I’m an adult with my own house.” She gasped and put a hand on her forehead dramatically “Oh no! Where will I go?! Oh! Yeah...Home.” With this she opened the door, pausing just long enough to turn around for one last parting shot, a feral smirk on her face. “Oh, and by the way Daddy, Hari is a minx in bed! Ciao!” She flipped her blonde locks over her shoulder and slammed the door leaving behind a stunned silence in her wake.
It took some time to find her but there she was, staring into space, lent against the metal barriers that had been bolted into place around the temporary ice rink. She had watched her for a few minutes now, unsure how to proceed before summoning her courage. “It’s pretty.”
“Yeah” Lottie’s heart soared a little. “She’s still talking to me!” her head screamed.
“Do you want to?”
“What?” Hari blinked and turned to her as if seeing her for the first time.
“Do you want to skate?”
Hari’s lips twitched into a smile. “Yeah, I’d like that.”
They held hands as they glided lazily around the ice. “So...”
“So?” Lottie stopped at the edge of the ice.
“What did you say?” “Oh just that I was leaving and that they were bigots.”
“Nothing else?” Hari pulled a bottle of water out of her bag and took a sip.
“I might have said Merry Christmas, after I told daddy how good you were in bed.”
“You what?!” Lottie grinned and drew Hari into a deep kiss.
“Told them that you’re a minx and mine.” Lottie nibbled her neck gently.
“Ooh...okay.” Hari moaned lightly “Lottie?”