The beat of Christmas is thumping from within her breast. Glossy flashes of overdone fun, stupored guest’s belongings trusted in Lm’s care remind her of unwanted overtures. Slurring, “Where’s my coat gorgeous?”. The squeezed cheeks, vile hugs from men twice her age who smelled of aged cheese and scotch. “That’s your daughter?”; oh, BadDad was proud then. Lm adored him still. He was all knowing, and she did not care what people said, he was her everything and no one could tell her otherwise. Rock is shoving a big fir tree down the stairwell, it’s walls now likely full of black mold. “What the hell! We can barely breathe in here as it is!”. Lm does her Scarlett O’Hara impression and falls as if fainting when Rock sets up the full Scottish pine. “Shall I drape myself in red velvet curtains, hang mistletoe and pluck a goose?”; Ah, Rock has a reaction from her finally. “Tell me about good times Lm! Must we roll in the stench of unbearable times always?”. Then Lm speaks, “FINE! BadDad is like gumbo, a bit of this, a tad of that and somehow he always made his fuck up’s better. He knew he could lie to others in front of me and I would never cross him. I miss him. I miss his daydreams, his enthusiasm, his blue eyes that could cry so dramatically, the same eyes that broke me still have a family, MY family. I had to forsake them to save us. Five of my seven half-siblings believe in him, celebrate Christmas right now with him and it’s painful. Three are strong women who would never take what I did from him. How am I to feel when he lied to their mother’s, cheated on them and even though my first little sister from Elle knows enough to stand up for me, she retreats. Why? It’s a hell of a lot easier to have the abused one far away in another country.” “Do you want to change it somehow?” asks Rock. Lm smells the fresh scent of the forest greenery and looks lost. She then starts to make popcorn and finds a needle and thread to sew a traditional cranberry popcorn chain. “I know one thing Rock. Thanks to you. TRUTH is the dystopian playground for the likes of us. We can no longer play with the others but at least we have one another.” Rock the protector, the foreman of all that is rightuous is wrong. Wrong in his predictions that is; Lm’s strength and courage surprises him yet he is thankful that Lm may just be able to go on with her life, with him on her shoulder and together they can burn the secret files from her past. Or can they? To cut the ties is a frightening thought. Can Lm stand up for herself and can Rock help her to heal? There is not much time left and God knows something must change permanently soon. Her physical pain, her cptsd and feelings of being erased tower over her. In the shadows of the well meant Christmas tree from Rock she feels her Daddy’s hand, his old love and wonders if he will ever tell her siblings, his wife, or even himself the Truth. Christmas is lost in old songs, unrequited love and Rock knows, “Pa Rumpa Pum Pum” fills Lm’s heavy heart with the kind of memories that creep upon many lost souls whether they summons them or not this time of year. Lm blurts out, “So you want a good memory Rock? Will that make you feel better? It sure as hell won’t help me but I’ll do it for you because it is Christmas Eve.” Lm stands and shares the memory of caroling with BadDad’s mother whom she adored. “My cousins and I went to neighbors and sang Jingle Bells, The Little Drummer Boy and more. That’s a good memory. Why? Because BadDad wasn’t there.” Lm tries to straighten the tree and carefully adorns it with her popcorn and cranberry chain. “To bad you can’t eat, Rock. I’m craving rice pudding. The door to Lm and Rock is slightly open and she feels the cold, frosty air. Integrating with Rock is a far off dream; whether it’s due to the spirit of hope and love that Christmas brings or her secret fantasy, Lm wants to feel whole again.