“Sleigh Ride”

(c) Katie Mattiuz 2015

(c) Katie Mattiuz 2015

“A sleigh ride?” Jenna said.

“Why the hell not? It’s fucking Christmas,” Guy said.

Ugh. It was fucking Christmas, but at least Guy had turned out to be alright. Jenna was worried when he took off with haste at the end of their first date that he really was freaked out by her deal breakers. Though the whole conversation was his idea and he was just as into it as she. He did get in touch with her later that day, and she did meet his friend who was having the rough time.

Guy brought up the idea for the sleigh ride when they were making dinner at his place. It was in response to Jenna saying it didn’t feel like Christmas. He threw out some ideas and explained that they should try some “traditional” activities and maybe that would help. They shared a laugh at each of them, but Guy said she had to pick one under threat of him loud-talking when he met her family over the holidays, and she deferred to him.

“Fine,” Jenna said. “Ugh. It’s fucking Christmas.”

“It’s not even a sleigh,” Guy said when they arrived at High Park.

“Didn’t you notice that when you booked it?” Jenna said.

“It said, traditional Christmas carriage ride.”

“Deal breaker. Illiteracy and lack of attention to detail,” Jenna said.

“That’s two and I just read the sign we are standing in front of, so only one of them applies,” Guy said.

It wasn’t a sleigh they were about to ride, but the horses were gorgeous Clydesdales and the carriage looked very 19th century London. They greeted the driver and climbed to the seats on top.

“At least it’s not freezing,” Jenna said.

When the carriage started forward with a rocky lunge, Jenna and Guy shared a look of concern, but things settled after a couple moments.

“But there’s no snow, it feels like a sleigh ride in the early spring time,” Guy said.

“Better than freezing ourselves to death.”

“Ya, but this is our first Christmas together and I want you to feel it.”

“I get it, and I love that, but trust me, warmer means that I can actually feel something. If my eyes froze, you wouldn’t want to be anywhere near me,” Jenna said, clasping her arms around him.

“So, after this what’s next on the list?” Guy said.

“For what? Today?”

“For Christmas stuff. Go skating? Walk with Irish coffees?”

“Bake cookies, drink candy cane lattes?” Jenna said.

“Shit all over ideas and still claim to want it to feel like it’s Christmas? Deal breaker. Shitting all over ideas,” Guy said, with a smirk.

Jenna looked at him with mocking ire.

“I’m really good with whatever. I do need to grab some more gifts for people, so maybe we could go do some shopping?” Jenna said.

“As long as we go to the busiest mall in the city. Just so it can feel like Christmas.”

“And only go to the busiest stores and wait in line and pretend to argue and cause a massive fake scene so that people think we’re crazy?”

They shared a laugh, but were jarred from it when the carriage started to rattle at the back. The driver slowed the horses and pulled to the curb. He dismounted and walked to the back to inspect the noise.

“Is there a problem?” Guy said.

“Maybe,” the driver said.

“Could he be anymore vague?” Jenna whispered. “Deal breaker. Being vague.”

“Agreed,” Guy whispered. “Everything alright?” he said to the driver in a normal volume.

“I think we might have to cut this short,” the driver said. He was standing to the side of the carriage in line with their bench. “Seems I have to replace the wheel.”

The timing couldn’t have been better, or worse, depending on your comedic perspective. Just as the driver delivered the news and Jenna was about to respond, the back left wheel cracked and the carriage jostled when that corner fell to the ground. The driver jumped back and then ran to the horses who were jolted.

“What the fuck?” Jenna said.

“Are you okay?” Guy said to Jenna.

She started laughing, slow at first, and then she lost it completely leaning into him and gasping for breath.

“So, yes?” he said.

She was able to compose herself somewhat.

“Having the wheels come off is a theme of Christmas’ past for my family so this is pretty much the norm,” she said.

“Brilliant,” Guy said.


About jtkwriting

Writer living in Toronto. "Sneak out of your window darling, let's live like outlaws honey." View all posts by jtkwriting

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