Christmas With Mr. Jeffers

Christmas With Mr. Jeffers by Julie Kavanagh Read Free Book Online

Book: Christmas With Mr. Jeffers by Julie Kavanagh Read Free Book Online
Authors: Julie Kavanagh
Chapter One
    Christmas, Scotland
    Jane sat on the crowded bus with her best friend hidden in her large tote bag tucked under her feet. She wondered idly if she should have left him a little air to breathe and chuckled softly to herself, gaining some strange looks from the other passengers . The young woman ignored them and looked away to the bright twinkly lights of the shops as the double-decker bus passed them by.
    It was the Christmas season already - how quickly had the year passed and now it was the time to be merry . Glancing, at her fellow passengers it seemed to Jane - she was the only one feeling jolly
    Jane loved this time of year; she loved the bright faces of the children as they speculated on the surprises waiting under the tree . She enjoyed, the bustle of the shops as warmly wrapped - people trod through the snow-laden streets with parcels, bent on delivering their own kind of surprises. Jane had never lost the sense of magic this special time held for her and although she wasn’t greatly religious, she loved to hear children- singing the season’s special songs.
    She reached down, her gloved hand touching the softness of the bundle in her bag. Mr. Jeffers was just a worn raggle-taggle teddy but he was the closest thing to having a friend that Jane could remember having. One ear was slightly crooked due to regular repairs. It was a fault in the manufacture, her mother had told her every time she’d lovingly sewed the offending article back on the teddy’s head , but Jane knew it was like the scar she had down her left leg from falling off her bike. Mr. Jeffers had been there for that too.
    Jane sighed softly as memories she’d not visited for several years flooded into her head. He’d been part of her life since she was five, when the fabric of her childhood had begun to unravel. It was Christmas time when he’d arrived in her life -not as a Christmas present wrapped and lovingly placed under the tree, but almost as an accident. The dark- headed boy who had lived across the street had given him to her… what was his name ? Oh yes, Tommy. He’d been older by only a few years, but his height made him seem so grown up at the time.
    London-1992
    Everybody in the street knew about Jane’s parents’ break up. She was too young to put together all the pieces but she knew something was wrong and blamed herself.
    If only she could tie her shoelaces as well as Lyndsey Macgregor. If only she didn’t keep spilling her milk. There was an endless list of things she would do better to make it right between the two people she loved the most. Why wasn’t Daddy there when she woke up? And, where were the presents with his name on them waiting under the pretty tree. Mummy cried when she thought she wasn’t listening ,
    Escaping the tense atmosphere, the hushed but fierce voices Mummy tried to hide whenever Daddy visited, Jane snuck out of the house despite the bitter cold of the winter’s day. Wrapped up in her thick school coat and hand- knit-mittens , Jane watched the activity on the opposite side of the street. A large lorry arrived; two big burly men opened the back doors, fastening them to the sides of the lorry with a loud clatter.
    Their neighbours were moving to new pastures, Jane heard Mrs. Grayson, who lived next door, told Mummy one morning on their way to school. Jane watched the commotion of the contents of the house being dismantled and lifted into the huge lorry. The man of the house and the two movers carried the household’s furniture and large crates, while children helped with bags, suitcases and other smaller items.
    When Daddy left, his face was red, Mummy looked as though she was about to cry again. Mummy tried to conceal her sadness. Jane sighed as her Daddy stomped down the road.
    The boy across the road was moving . He looked up and noticed her perched on the edge of the pavement. A teddy was in his hand. He marched across the street.
    He’d never spoke to her before - he was ten and she

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