Friday, 11 December 2015



Not waiting, living.

Christmas Eve


“You sure you have enough?” I ask, watching Hazel hold her camera-phone still in front of her, biting her bottom lip as she concentrates. She shifts the phone slightly to face my nonna a bit more.

“Almost,” she responds, focusing on the screen. “Just want one more. This is too cute not to capture.”

“I’m surprised, you still have memory left on your phone,” I joke, as her lips press together in annoyance. I look over to my nonna as she cradles Gian in her arms. Barely two months old, he nuzzles into her embrace, sleeping peacefully. Yeah, if I had screamed for most of a six-hour drive, I’d be passed out too. Nonna shifts forward in her arm chair and begins to stand, albeit shakily. I leap up from the couch with my arms extended to grab Gian, when she hisses quietly in Italian.

“I’m fine. I’m not so weak, you fool. Now, sit.” She straightens and walks slowly, favouring her left side as her other hip causes some discomfort. The last time we were here, she looked so fragile, yet today, with Gian in her arms, the world seems to be under her feet. She shuffles forward towards the Christmas tree that stands in the corner of the room. Looking at back at Hazel, Nonna tilts her head to gesture for her to move closer to her. Her arms shift as she draws Gian up closer to her face and she kisses his forehead.

“I got that photo!” Hazel grins triumphantly at me. I shake my head and smile back. Turning my gaze back to Nonna, I watch as she bends forward with Gian and lowers him, muttering something quietly to Hazel, who has shifted forward with her arms outstretched to Gian. Taking him from her, she places him gently under the Christmas tree and they both step back.

“In all my years here in Australia”—Nonna looks over to me—“Christmas never felt like home. When your parents convinced us to follow them over here, I missed Italy every day. Especially at Christmas. Living here”—she gestures with her arm around the room—“there were no mountains, just flat red earth. Worse, there was no snow—instead, a dry heat.” Pointing to her chest, she says, “For me, this was not Christmas. We had nice Christmases, but it wasn’t the same.” She steps back slightly and turns her eyes to me. “Roberto, when you were born, I thought my Christmas was wonderful, and when Beatrice came a few years later, my heart began to feel excited for Christmas time.” She smiles and turns back to stare down at Gian, bundled under the tree. “But, now …” Reaching out, she clasps Hazel by the shoulder and says, “I have everything I need right here. This is the best Christmas I could have ever asked for. A grandson. My first. This is better than any Christmas I had in Italy. Perfetto.”

Looking over to Trice, who sits quietly next to Alex on the other side of me, Nonna continues, “I hope to God that he’s not the last. Remember your eggs.”

Alex stiffens, and I can’t help but burst into laughter. He elbows me in the side and whispers, “Arsehole.”

* * * *

Hazel pats Gian firmly on the back a few more times to burp him as I pull back the cover in his portacot.

“You sure he just can’t sleep in our bed? I don’t like the thought of him snoozing on the floor in that cage,” I whisper, not wanting to wake him. Hazel’s hand moves behind his neck while the other remains under him to place him on the prepared swaddle on our bed.

“He’ll be fine, Tesoro. It’s not a cage, silly.” She folds over and tucks him tightly into the soft material, “I want him to get used to it, for our trips here.” Her hands reach under him as she brings him over to the cot. She lifts him to my face, and I kiss his forehead gently and whisper ‘notte bello’ before Hazel kisses his cheek and lowers him onto his baby mattress. She straightens and gestures to the bedside table, where an envelope rests. She bites her lip as I stroll over to it and lift it up.

“Do I open it now? Or wait until tomorrow, seeing as it’ll be Christmas.”

“I’m too impatient.” She clasps her hands together. “I’m worried you’ll think it’s crap.” I frown and shake my head.

“Never.” Unfolding the tab with my finger, I reach in and retrieve what looks to be a letter. From the corner of my eye, I see the bed compressing as Hazel sits down. Unfolding the stiff paper, I begin to read.


I know we said that we wouldn’t buy any big presents this year, but I wanted to give you something more personal. I haven’t written anything like this since my Year 11 English class, so here goes nothing.

I love you.


Farfalla xx

Not waiting, living.

As a girl, I used to sit and dream,

Curl myself into a ball on the window sill in my room,

And close my eyes, as I slowly lifted from that cold bench,

Feeling my fingers brush across the hard wood,

As my thoughts took me to another place.

Away from the loneliness that surrounded me,

Of empty promises and distant dreams,

Of a brown-eyed boy who I longed for,

That never saw me.

I’d float to a place where the sun shone through the clusters of clouds,

Hiding me from those thoughts,

While I waited.

In my dreams, I’d dream that the world was my stage.

The bright lights would shine down on me,

Illuminating only the floor around my feet,

While a halo would cloud my vision into the audience,

Blocking everything thing out.

The lights would push the feelings of uselessness out,

Leading them through a heavy door,

That locked them all away.

Leaving me, in a moment, to feel like me,

Waiting for my future to come.

My dreams would take me so far from my cold window sill,

That while I soared through the trees,

The birds that sat perched amongst the wayward branches,

Would sing so loudly,

That no voices of indifference, or scowling would penetrate.

My dreams would take me so far away,

That if I turned and looked back towards my window,

I’d no longer see the lost and sad girl.

I’d no longer see her sitting there, waiting,

Waiting for her moment,

Where her churning thoughts would fly away,

And she’d no longer have to hide anymore.

She’d no longer be waiting.

Those moments spent on that window sill,

With dreams of faraway places,

To the walls of my house.

It was never a home.

A home would never leave your skin cold,

And your heart empty.

But my house, was never a home.


I no longer have to dream.

I wake to the soft cries of our son,

And I know I’m home.

I feel the warmth of his skin against my chest,

The soft breath against my cheek,

That lingers there in comfort,

And I am a home.

I look to you,

And I no longer have to dream.

What’s to dream about?

When nothing could surpass you.

I no longer have to hide,

Behind stolen glances and driven melodies.

My brown-eyed boy,

Who calls me his Farfalla,

But I am no longer delicate,

Around you.

I am stronger with you,

By you,

And for you.

So I choose no longer to wait.

Instead, I choose to live.

To spend each day with you,

Until we rise with clasped hands towards the sky,

And fill our future with more dreams.

My fingers tighten across the edges of the paper as Hazel stares up at me, her eyes widening in concern.

“Well, what did you …” She hesitates, a light blush colouring her cheeks. Not breaking eye contact, I drop the sheets on the bedside table and step forward until loom over her. I lean forward until all I see are her eyes, and we are a whisper of a breath away.

“I fucking loved it.” My lips lightly brush hers. “So, this future you were talking about … does it involve me peeling your clothes from your body and making you float on top of a cloud?”

Her eyes darken as she stares back at me, a smile breaking across her beautiful face. “Absolutely.”

“I love you, Farfalla. Get ready to soar into the next galaxy.”

“Just don’t wake, Gian,” she begs, shifting under me in need.

“No, no. This ride is just for us, love.”

M R Field is an author from Rural Victoria and has completed a Bachelor's degree with Honours from Latrobe University, Melbourne.

After growing up with the river at her front door, she returned back to her hometown after many years of living in the city. She now lives a tranquil lifestyle with her husband and two young children.

M R Field has always held a love for writing, filling journals as a child which progressed to more eloquent pieces as an adult.

After ten years of creative instruction, she decided to turn these ideas into manuscripts. She adores creating new story lines and is a big fan of a happily ever after, but believes strongly in making her characters work for it.

She has recently decided to join the independent publishing world with her debut novel, Fragments, due for release on December 8th, 2014.
Visit MR Field on Facebook:
Purchase Links:
Fragments (Running on Empty #1):

Splinters (Running on Empty #2):

1) If money was no object what would take out the number one spot on your Christmas list?

 I would take my family to Northern Italy to visit my relatives and build a snowman with my children whilst sipping on real Italian hot chocolate.

2) What was the first book you read that made you think “wow this is what I want to do, I want to be an author”?

It was actually the poem, “Requiescat” by Oscar Wilde. I wanted to write something that moved people. I wanted to grasp onto their heart strings and never let go.

3) What does Christmas mean for you?

It means spending time with family while enjoying delicious food. It is also a time that you feast so much, that you need to wear elastic waisted pants.

4) What’s your guilty pleasure, the one thing you hate admitting out loud?

I never say no to cake. Unless it’s fruit cake and that’s a definite, no thanks.

5) What’s next for you in terms of writing?

Completing Fractures and continuing with the Running On Empty series. I have a spin off series that involves a CEO who will be introduced in Fractures.

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