Z is for Zzzz

Christmas day was finally coming to an end, not to arrive again for another full year, and Diana could not say she was sorry to see it go. The preparations each year were extensive and frankly, exhausting, and she suspected people genuinely needed that much time to prepare again. Between the baking and decorating, buying and wrapping and opening and cleaning, it seemed a month of work went into one day over so quickly it scarcely seemed to exist at all. The children- or even teenagers, in the case of Faith and Sheena- were whipped into a frenzy of excitement that crashed by the day's end, and from then on it was time to brace oneself for next year. Still, it had been a lovely, if tiring day, and Diana was left with a weary contentment, knowing and feeling happy and warm inside to remember how much Faith and Sheena had enjoyed themselves.

Her girls were clearly tired too, and in fact, as Diana entered the living room, she saw the both of them were asleep on the couch, heads leaned at awkward angles on each other's shoulders, bodies comfortably slumped against each other, Sheena's arm wound loosely around Faith's torso. Faith's mouth was open, Sheena's hair half hiding her face, and the two slept with their faces relaxed, so peaceful and young in their appearance that Diana smiled, feeling her heart squeeze slightly with tenderness towards them.

Moving quietly, so as not to wake them, she lifted an afghan from the loveseat nearby and spread it over them. Then, briefly regarding them, she smoothed their hair off their faces, giving each a gentle kiss on the forehead before backing away. Moving to unplug the Christmas tree lights and blow out the candles on the mantelpiece as well, Diana quietly left the room, heading upstairs towards her bedroom.

It had been a very merry Christmas.

The end