Pine Street Christmas 2020: Gatherings 4

After signing off the video chat with Douglas and Louise, David checks on Sasha. She is not taking well to being confined to bed, but her blood pressure seems unable to regulate itself. And her ob-gyn wants to keep her out of the hospital, where infection is a danger in the best of times. 

“Need anything?” David asks. 

“To get out of here,” Sasha answers. He notes the bitterness in her voice, tries to ignore it. 

“How about a cup of tea? Or I could make popcorn?” 

She softens. “Yum. That sounds good.” Their kitchen soon radiates the delightful odors of hot olive oil and mint tea. David always makes popcorn the old fashioned way, in their largest stockpot. He loves the steam and the pop-pop-pop sound. 

He brings Sasha her snack on a tray, gets her all set. “David?” she asks. “Could we call my parents now?” 

“Sure, hon.” He tries not to show his surprise. “I’ll bring your phone.” 

He dials up Sasha’s mom on FaceTime. “Donna,” he says when she appears. “Merry Christmas.” 

“Hello, David.” He does not yet know, for sure, whether Donna is a true ally, or if she is simply waiting for him to fail, so she can swoop in and bring Sasha home. 

“Here’s Sasha.” He hands the phone over, stays in the background as Sasha chats awkwardly with her mother, waits to hear if Donna will invite Sasha’s dad to join them, or if, as usual, the two will conspire silently to keep him out of the loop. 

“How’s Dad?” He hears Sasha ask. “Can he join us?” 

Wow, David thinks. This, this is big.

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