Peter Ramkin stood in front of the large picture window. He felt like he ran around the world without a sleigh. It was after 9, maybe after 10, Peter always lost count of time between Christmas and the new year. Peter hated delivering presents, because some people were highly aggitated at Peter for delivering their presents after Christmas. They didn't care that Peter saved up his money working for a boss he fantasied killing.
"I'm not the real Santa Clause." Peter often yelled at a few of the people who got upset with him for handing out gifts after December 26. "I dont' have a sleigh, reindeer or elves to help me." Sometimes people argued with him about the appropriateness of the gifts he gave. He always asked, "who else is going to give these kids gifts." That usually shut them up, because it was true. No one cared about these kids.
"Peter, I'm asking you a question."
Peter turned from the snow and dark night and looked at Amanda. She stood facing Peter in the living room.
She was holding their coats.
"I don't think Hoover Bar And Grill will give away our reservations. We'll be fine."
"You look like you wish you didn't have to act like Santa Clause." Amanda paused as she stared at Peter. He looked like someone beat him up emotionally. "You look drained. It made me wonder if you were trying to make up for something you did. Giving to poor people is your penance. You never look happy."
"Have you thought of your New Year Resolution?" Peter took his coat from Amanda and put it on.
"No." Amanda put her coat on. "I thought we should make up resolutions for each other."
"What, that's crazy. What's yours for me?"
"Let's go, Hoover won't hold our reservations all night."
"No, you're going to answer me, stop all of this." Peter stopped talking when Amanda glared at him. He appologized when her look soften into a gaze.
"I'm just aggravated."
"Only during Christmas." Amanda took a deep breath and asked, so slowly that she seemed frightened of what Peter might say, "what did you in your life that you need to make yourself so miserable."
Peter would have to think hard to remember the details, at least all of them. He continued to stare at Amanda.
"What did you do?"
"My uncle had a few fosters kids in his home. I just wasn't nice to them."
"You can continue," Amanda said. Instead of saying more, Peter opened the door and walked to the driveway. He stood by the jeep waiting for his wife to join him.