The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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New Year's Eve is one of my father's favorite holidays to celebrate. Between the traditions that he started with his family in Russia that we continue now to this day, to the anticipations of a whole new year ahead, this time always brings him joy.

The clocks read 11:52; only 8 minutes till midnight. New Year's Eve was always George’s favorite holiday. It was a simple celebration with him and his family full of delicious food, usually correlating to the upcoming Chinese zodiac, funny stories, and even the occasional presents from Grandfather Frost. This year was no different as he currently sat at the dining table laughing. Tick, tock, tick, tock. George could almost hear the second hand moving as he watched the clock across the room strike 11:53.

“Alright, it’s almost time, and you all know what that means!” George’s father raised his glass as he said this, slowly standing up at the head of the table.

“1985, you have treated us well! I’d like to thank you for all of the nights you blessed us with food on the table, and all of the mornings you gave us full of energy and courage.” George laughed; his father did always have a flair for the dramatic when it came to giving toasts. 

“I’m glad to end this year with the people I love, and greet the new year the same. Now, all I have left to say is: 1986, may you take and learn from all of the good of the old year, and none of the bad!” They all brought their glasses to the center, clinking all together, before taking a sip and setting them down.

“Alright, back to our feast.” A feast it truly was, George thought, looking down at his plate. It was going to be the year of the Tiger, which is why his mother had prepared a baked rabbit, something George had never had before. There was truly no better dinner than the ones on new years eve, he thought while taking another bite. 11:56.

“What, no Grandfather frost this year?” George’s sister Olga asked, jokingly. Last year, Olga was tricked into reciting a poem for them all in exchange for a present from “Grandfather Frost”, who was actually just their father dressed up. 

“Well are you going to read us a poem?” asked Grandma Tanya.

“Of course not!”

“Well, there’s your answer.”

It’s 11:58, two minutes left. George turned on the TV to the broadcast of the New Year's Eve celebration where the countdown had taken its place on the screen.

“Is everyone’s glass full?” His father asked while pouring some champagne for himself. George puts his glass in front of his father but keeps his eyes trained on the screen. 11:59. His hands must have been shaking he realized as a few ice-cold drops of champagne dripped onto his fingers. 30 seconds. His father was still pouring champagne; two more glasses left. 

“Okay, last 10 seconds, here they come, everyone think of a wish!” George’s mother said while already closing her own eyes. George holds his breath as the countdown plays on the TV.

10...9...8...7...6...5...4...3...2..1… He finally breathes out.

“Happy New Year!”

Another Happy New Year

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