Angels at Christmas

Angels at Christmas by Debbie Macomber

Book: Angels at Christmas by Debbie Macomber Read Free Book Online
Authors: Debbie Macomber
about some nonsense or other. I have to tell you, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything funnier.” Humor overtook him again and he burst into waves of laughter as he described Julie’s outrage. Soon his mother was laughing, too. She seemed to find the scene as hilarious as he did.
    â€œWhat can I do for you?” Roy asked as he wiped his eyes.
    â€œI wanted to make arrangements to come and paint,” she said.
    â€œI thought you wanted me to come to your house—to look at one of your paintings.”
    She had him completely confused now. Did his mother believe he was going to let her do custodial work? “What do you want to paint?”
    â€œThe lobby windows,” she said as if it should be perfectly obvious. “Remember? We talked about this a couple of weeks ago. I’m going to paint a holiday scene on the lobby windows.”
    In Roy’s opinion, Christmas wasn’t all that different from any other day of the year. He’d do his duty and spend it with his mother; they’d exchange gifts against a background of decorations that brought back painful memories for him—painful because they were good. The truth was, he no longer cared much for Christmas. The holidays didn’t even resemble what he’d once known, those warm, happy times, joking with his parents, feeling their love for him and for each other. That had been a façade, he now realized. His father had become cynical and jaded as the years passed. Roy hadn’t seen that until it was too late. Far too late.
    â€œOh, yes. Now that you’ve reminded me, I do remember. You can paint whatever you want, Mother,” he told her. “I’ve already let the security people know.”
    â€œI have a wonderful idea.”
    She started to detail her plans—something about angels—but he cut her off. “Mother, this isn’t the Sistine Chapel. Don’t worry about it.”
    â€œI know, but…well, I was thinking I’d paint a religious scene with angels similar to the one in this painting I was telling you about. You wouldn’t mind that, would you?”
    There was no point in arguing with her even if he did object. “All right, paint your angels. I’ll have the windows cleaned.”
    Her appreciative sigh came over the telephone line. “Thank you, Roy. I’ll be there Wednesday.”
    â€œI’m not going to bother you,” she assured him. “You won’t even know I’m there.”
    This seemed to be his day for dealing with irrational women. He could hear the determination in his mother’s voice. For whatever reason, she felt it was important to paint a Christmas scene, and not just any scene, either. But if painting angels on his windows made her happy, then he guessed there was no harm in it.
    â€œFine, Mother, come and do as you wish.”
    â€œI promise you’re going to love my Christmas angels.”
    Roy rolled his eyes. “I’m sure I will, Mother.”
    She seemed to be in a chatty mood and went on about dinner with her college friend. “I’m not keeping you from anything, am I?” she asked after talking nonstop for several minutes. “I know how busy you are.”
    For the first time in a very long while, Roy found he actually liked speaking to his mother—as much as he was capable of liking anything other than business. “It’s fine, Mom.”
    For some reason, she seemed to get choked up over that and quickly ended the conversation. He replaced the receiver and stared down at his phone, hardly knowing what to make of his mother. Women. He’d never understand them.
    Roy worked for another half hour and then realized he wasn’t in the mood. He wasn’t sure what he wanted to do, but he was leaving the office. Any file he needed could be accessed from the computer at his condo—a sprawling five-thousand-square-foot penthouse suite

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