Year 2: Chapter 28: The Christmas Potluck ( Lizzie’s POV)


With the events of what happened at the Fashion Bug, things are a bit awkward between Abby and me for the next week. I know it wasn’t her fault that her mother was talking like that, but it still doesn’t change the things that she said. I really don’t know why Mrs. Clawson is so persistent about blaming me for what happened. I didn’t even want to go to that party last year. I only went because Abby begged me too, and all along she had intended to play that “prank” on me. It was manipulative and cruel. Anyways, I have gotten past it, and Abby and I are back on track. So why did her mother have to ruin it, by starting this conversation again?

Then again, I suppose it was my own mother mentioning her surprise at Abby starting a sorority after the incident with me, that may have started everything. Ugh. I just wish they would all just leave it alone.

I spend the next week up until Christmas in my room working on my novel. It is really coming along and I consider sending a few chapters to Mrs. Rose, which I eventually do. By Christmas day, I have heard back from her (surprising she would look over my novel during the holidays) and read through her comments. She actually gives me very good feedback, things I can use to continue my editing. She says that she likes the new twist I have given the story, and is interested to see what happens with the love triangle. I do as well.


I decide to take a break from editing on Christmas, wanting to enjoy the holiday and my mother’s annual potluck. Although it won’t be the same without Judy here. My mother said that Viola wanted to be back in time, but they got stranded because of the snow. It’s looking like they may not be back until New Years. I understand, but it is still disappointing all the same.

But that isn’t even the most of it. It has been a week and I still have not heard back from Michael. Every day I listen to my voicemail hoping for a call, only to hear “no messages.” I had been hoping to at least hear from him today of all days, but when I check my messages later that afternoon, I still have nothing from him. My stomach starts to sink and I feel extremely nervous. What was going on with him? Was he mad at me for what happened that night? Because I didn’t say, “I love you” back? I sigh, feeling even more guilty. Michael had put himself out there saying those words to me again, and what did I do? I just stared at him. Maybe he was ignoring me for a reason. I deserved this.

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I spend the afternoon moping around in my room before heading downstairs to the kitchen. I am shocked when I check the clock and see that it is almost five thirty. The potluck will be starting in thirty minutes!

I know that there is going to be plenty of food there, but I can’t help but rummage in the fridge for some leftovers. I have barely eaten anything all day, and I am famished.

I grab some leftover lasagna and then sit down to eat.


“You’re going to get full if you start eating now,” my dad says, walking into the kitchen.

I smile. “I know, but I haven’t eaten anything all day. I’m starving.”

He laughs and grabs a bottle of orange juice from the fridge. “All right, but don’t let your mother see you. She’ll flip. You’re grandparents should be arriving any min-”

At that exact moment, we hear the doorbell ring.

My dad smiles. “Ah, exactly fifteen minutes early. As always.” He then turns to me. “You better make that lasagna scarce.”

“Yes, sir.” I quickly wolf down the rest, wash my dish and then put it away in the cupboard. One argument now avoided.

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I spot my grandfather entering through the door. “Merry Christmas Elizabeth!” he says and waves to me. “How is one of my favorite granddaughters?”

I smile. “Don’t you mean one of your only granddaughters?”

“Which makes you and your sister my favorites.”

I laugh. “It’s nice to see you too grandpa.” I then notice that my grandmother is not behind him.

“Where is grandma?” I ask.

“Oh don’t worry. She will be here. She is just finishing up an errand. She wouldn’t miss the potluck. Your mother wouldn’t let her hear the end of it.”

Now that was true. My mother would have a cow if anyone missed her potluck. Well, unless if it was really an emergency. She loved her traditions.


Little by little the guests arrive, and soon the party is in full swing. The gift pile in the center is growing larger and larger, something Judy would have totally loved if she was here. My mother looks very joyful, but a bit frantic walking all over the place to make sure everything looked nice and that everyone was having a good time. “Sit down and enjoy yourself!” I want to call to her, but I just watch with a little smile.


Abby arrives with Charls within the hour, followed by grandma Junette finally. She is decked out in a white and black checkered jacket. I have to say, she really does have style. My dad ushers her into the dining room past Abby, who by the looks of it, was busy texting. I happen to know she has been keeping in touch with Kimberly very closely the past week. So far, it was looking like we had enough funds to rent the building she had found. Apparently, Kimberly had stayed behind to finalize our stay there. The building had not been used it a long time, so she had gotten someone to inspect it and give the okay for us to start renovations. I have not really gotten a news update from Abby, but from the excited look on her face, maybe things were going okay.


For the most part, everyone seems to be enjoying the party. I then see my uncle Rick chatting away with Mrs. Clawson of all people, and my grandmother listening in. I have to say, I am a bit surprised that Mrs. Clawson showed up at all. With all the awkwardness of last weekend, I really didn’t think she would even want to make an appearance. But I guess she changed her mind. That, or it could be something weird Abby told me over the summer. She thinks it’s possible that her mother may have some kind of attraction to my uncle! I told her it was unlikely, but she seemed to think so. She claimed that she saw it over the summer picnic we threw back in August. Her mother kept spending a lot of time around him. I can’t even let my mind go there. Not only is she like what, fifteen years older than him, I honestly just can’t see it. Or want to see it for that manner.


As the night goes on, I find myself only half enjoying it. I keep checking my phone for messages and feeling more and more sadness. Michael wasn’t coming. Of course, I already knew this, I only wish I would have heard from him by now.

My mind is so far away thinking about Michael, that I don’t even notice my mother calling to me.

“Lizzie!” She says and I jump slightly. She is standing next to my grandfather and they are both staring at me.


“I asked if you could please get the pumpkin pie from the oven! Goodness, where is your head today?”

“Oh.” I blink a few times. “I’m sorry, I guess I was day dreaming. I’ll get the pie.”


My grandfather smiles over at me. “You expecting someone?”

I blink. “What? No.”

“Are you sure? You keep checking your phone.”

I am about to protest when I realize I am doing exactly that. “Oh, I just was hoping to hear from someone. I guess he’s too busy.”At least I hope that is all it is.

“You seem worried. Are you sure everything is okay?”

I bite my lip. I am very tempted to tell him everything, but I just can’t bring myself too. Why should I burden my grandfather with this?

“I’m sure grandpa. Everything is fine.”


My grandfather shrugs. “All right, if you are sure. You know you can tell me if something is bothering you, right?”

I nod and lean over to pull my mother’s pie from the oven. “Yes. And thank you.”

My grandfather then nods and walks into the family room. The present opening was about to begin. I sigh, setting the pie on the table. Some Christmas this was turning out to be.


My Uncle Rick ends up going first to open presents this time around. I can see Mrs. Clawson watching eagerly, which makes me a bit nervous. Had she been his secret Santa? And if so, what did that mean exactly? Whatever the case, I was about to find out.

Uncle Rick tears open the wrapper and pulls out a book of guitar compositions. Now, this would not be weird if they were not all “love” songs, which are totally not his genre. Also included, was a set of guitar picks. Uncle Rick looks around in surprising looking very confused, but can’t seem to place who might have purchased it. My gaze stays on Mrs. Clawson who looks pleased with herself, and dare I say it, a little too relieved? Could Abby be right? Did her mom have some feelings for my uncle? I shiver at the thought. It was just too weird. I can never see it happening. He was much too young and definitely not her type.

“Well, um, thanks,” Uncle Rick says with a little awkward laugh and then takes his seat with his box.


I end up going next, reluctantly. It takes Abby giving me a nudge to even notice.

“Sorry,” I say sheepishly.

“Well if you weren’t staring into your phone like a zombie.”

“You should talk.”

Abby laughs. “Too shay.”

I slowly make my way over to the pile and find my gift toward the corner. Opening it up, I smile seeing a beautifully painted necklace with matching earrings. They are light turquoise matching the shirt I am wearing. I glance over at Abby and she gives me a little wink. I will say, she definitely knows my color.


After my gift, I head off to the bathroom, partly to check my phone in private. Still no message from Michael. I really need to give this up. I am ruining my fun at the potluck by worrying. I need to just focus on the party and worry about Michael tomorrow. If that was even possible.

As I am in the bathroom, I hear the doorbell ring. I frown. I’m pretty sure everyone that was coming is already here, so who could that be? Then again, my dad had invited some co-workers. Maybe they were finally here.


Upon entering the dining room again, I see I am right. My father’s co-worker had arrived and is chatting away with my Uncle Rick. But that is not the only thing that catches my eye. Someone familiar is standing by the table, someone that makes my breath catch in my chest.


“Michael?”I walk over to him with my mouth hanging open.

Michael turns and smiles at me. “Hey Lizzie.”

I just stare at him blankly. Was I hallucinating? Was he really here?

“W-what are you doing here?” I ask finally. I probably sound like an idiot.

Michael just keeps smiling at me. “Well, you invited me, didn’t you?”

I nod. “Well, yes, but-”

“I’m sorry, I would have told you earlier, but I wanted to surprise you.”

I stare at him speechless. So it was real. Michael was really here. He was really here.

“It’s nice to see you too,” he says, and laughs. I can’t help but join in.

“Sorry, I’m just surprised.”

“In a good way I hope.”



I look over and see Charls walking over to the gift pile. He pulls out a box and tears it open to find the watch that Abby got for him. He turns it over examining it before he turns and gives Abby a look.

“A watch with a compass,” he raises an eyebrow at her. “Really, Abby?”

Abby laughs. “Just in the event that you ever get lost jogging again.”

Charls shakes his head, but I can see a smile at the corner of his mouth.


Michael takes a seat on the family room sofa and is soon in conversation with my grandmother and uncle. I can’t help but smile. This was what I had wanted so badly and now it is finally coming true. And surprisingly, all that fear I had been feeling about him coming home with me, has disappeared. I am actually happier than ever. Especially when I see Rick and Michael laughing together. Still, there was something left that we needed to discuss, but we can’t do it here.


As my father’s co-worker gets up to receive his gift, I wave Michael over to me. It takes him a while to notice, but then he finally wonders over.

“What’s up?”

“I was wondering if you could come with me.”

“Where to?”

“Just out real quick. There is something I need to talk to you about.”


Michael and I both look over to see my father’s co-worker giving a look of surprise. My dad smiles and gives him a pat on the back.

“I thought it could come in handy. I know you have been wanting to go to that new restaurant for a while now.”


“Don’t worry, just enjoy a lovely evening with your wife on me.”

“Thank you.”


“Anyways,” I turn back to Michael, “come with me?”

“Of course.”

“Where are you two lovebirds off to?”

I look over and see Rick walking toward us.

I blush slightly. “Just out.”

“Uh huh.”

I feel my cheeks going redder. “Rick!”

He laughs. “I’m just teasing.”

I take Michael’s hand and lead him away. “Tell my mother that we will be back.”

“Will do.”


Rick then takes a slice of my mother’s pumpkin pie and then takes a seat at the table. Charls does so as well and Abby follows behind, giving me a little wink. “Go girl,” she mouths with a thumbs up. How embarrassing.


I am a bit tempted to just tell my mother myself, but then I spot her opening her gift. Not wanting to interrupt, I decided to just leave it up to Rick. Whatever the case, I can just tell her what happened when Michael and I get back.


Michael slips on his jacket and together we head out into the night. I am feeling a bit nervous, so I suggest we go for a little ride. We both then get into my car and take off.


While driving, we end up passing the annual downtown winter festival. I had completely forgotten all about it and it will be ending in just two days.

Michael must have caught me staring, for he suggests we go check it out.

I then pull over and we walk over. I have to say, I am a bit surprised he hasn’t said anything about my weird desire to randomly take him driving at almost 9:30 in the night. Instead, he looks overjoyed, happier than I have ever seen. I feel even more guilty about not inviting him in the first place.


“So, you said you wanted to talk to me about something,” Michael says, waking me from my thoughts.

I turn to him. “Yes, I did.”

“Bet I can guess what that is.” Michael sighs. “Look, about that night back at the dorm, I’m sorry I just sprang that on you like that.”

I smile. “It’s okay.”

“No it wasn’t. I shouldn’t have put you on the spot like that. I probably freaked you out.”

“No, you didn’t! You just surprised me.”

Michael lets out a puff of air in the cool breeze. “Still, I’m sorry.”

I shake my head. “Don’t be. I’m glad you said that to me.”

“Lizzie, you don’t have to say that-”

“I’m not just saying that, Michael. I…I love you too.”


Michael just stares at me. “What?”

“I said, I love you too.” I feel like my words are caught in my throat, I am so nervous.

Michael turns and looks toward the ground. “Lizzie, you don’t have to say that.”

I frown in confusion. “What do you mean?”

“I know I put you on the spot that day, not to mention last year when I said it to you. You don’t have to feel obligated to say it back to me. I just wanted you to know how I feel. It’s okay if you aren’t ready.”

I can’t help but let out a little laugh when he says that. It is totally something I would have said if the roles between us were reversed.

“Michael, I mean it. I love you. A lot. When you said those words to me back at the dorm, I was just…scared. I wanted to say it back to you, but I was afraid. The last time I said that to someone was Kendal, and you know how that turned out.” I pause for a moment. “I guess I just wanted to be sure. Then I talked to my mom and she made me realize that loving someone it is always a gamble. But,” I wrap my arms around him, “I think you are definitely worth it.”


Before he is able to protest or say another word, I pull him toward me and press my lips against his. At once, he stops resisting and kisses me back. His lips feel warm in the cool breeze and I cling to him tighter. I feel his hand gently massage the skin of my lower neck, sending tingles down my spine. I am so lost in his kiss that I don’t know how long we stand like that before we finally pull away. The sky has darkened overhead and snowflakes are drifting gently to the ground.


We both then laugh and stand for minutes in the snow just smiling at each other and kissing softly.

“I’m sorry,” I say to him.

Michael frowns. “For what?”

“I should have asked you to come home with me before we left campus. I was so nervous and confused about everything that I let it get the best of me.”

Michael gives me a squeeze. “Don’t worry about it. You weren’t ready at the time. But hey, I’m here now.”

I grin and kiss his lips gently. “Yes, you are.”


I then get a text from Abby, kind of ruining the moment. I glance down to read it:

-Good news! They approved the building! It’s ours to rent and renovate next quarter! By the way, where did you and Michael go?

I smile and text her back:

-That’s great news! Michael and I are at the winter festival. I told him “it” and it went well!

I then turn to take Michael’s hand, but he is standing a ways away with a snowball in his hand.

“Don’t you dare!” I start, but he throws it and it lands on my side. “Oh, you are so going to get it!” I then take off after him, and soon we are in a heated snowball fight.


Fifteen minutes later, I look up and see Abby and Charls walking into the festival. Abby waves to me and then leads Charls over to the snowboarding rink. Just exactly what was she thinking? She has never skied before!


I then realize why a few minutes later. Apparently, Charls is an amazing boarder. The minute he gets onto the rink, a crowd starts to form with people cheering him on. Abby watches him with a little knowing smile. I can tell she is really enjoying this.


After watching for a while, Michael and I wander through the park for a while, before finding a secluded spot to be together. We then sit upon the cold snow and gaze up into the sky.


We then stare up into the night sky, searching the galaxy. It is a beautiful night with the crescent shaped moon high in the sky. I cuddle into Michael’s arms and together we watch in silence. I feel so safe in his arms and I have to wonder why I waited so long to tell him that I loved him. I had felt that way for quite some time, yet still he had had to be the one to say something first. What was wrong with me?

I shake the thought from my head. That didn’t matter anymore. We both loved each other. That was all that mattered.


I then hear my phone ringing, which disturbs our peaceful silence.

“Just a second,” I say to Michael giving him a quick kiss, and then I get up to answer it.

Checking the caller ID, I see Janice’s number. What was she doing calling me this late? Wasn’t she like three hours ahead of me?


I place the phone to my ear. “Hey Janice, what’s going on?”

“Hey, Lizzie, I’m sorry to bother you so late, but I just checked my e-mail and I received a weird message from an unknown e-mail address.”

I frown. “An unknown e-mail address?”

“Yes, but you won’t believe the picture that was in the e-mail.” Janice sighs. “You know that house we’re supposed to rent? Well, someone totally trashed it.”


(Thank you for reading! I am currently working on the next two college quarters which should be ready for you to read soon! Until then, please enjoy my other Sim stories:

Kisses, Lexie:

and if you haven’t already read it:

The Life of Andrea Langston: Book 1:

(Some of the pictures in the chapters of Book 1 and 2 are missing due to me having to delete some to make room for others)


Thank you again! More Lizzie and Abby soon!)



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