She opened her robe and exposed herself. Jason gave her a blank stare. A deer in headlights is what she called that stare of his and he wanted nothing to do with her. He turned around and walked toward the living room. Ellen groaned, closed her robe and took her drink to the bedroom. Jason laid down on the couch and marinated on what had occurred. Hours passed and Ellen had not come out of the bedroom. The aroma of the Christmas ham had begun to fill the air. His stomach growled. As he got up to check on dinner there was a knock at the door. He expected to see Allison but was greeted by her boyfriend Ben instead.
“Mr. Tyler?” Ben asked. His face was sad and in pain.
Jason was puzzled and asked what was wrong. Ben extended his hand and gave Jason a videotape.
“What is this,” asked Jason.
“It’s from Allison sir. A Christmas present for the both of you.”
Ben turned and left. As he walked away his face morphed from sadness to happiness and chuckled to himself. Jason went back inside and into the living room. He put the tape in and sat on the couch to watch. The video faded in on Allison sitting on a bed. She was crying and her makeup was running.
“Are we ready?” Allison looked beyond the camera at the one who was filming. “Ok. I want to tell you what really happened. Cody and I were outside playing and I went over to Mandi’s house so that I could show her what I got for Christmas.” Allison cried and held her stomach while covering her mouth. “I ran back and I heard mom yelling at Cody. She was telling him not to play by the pool but he didn’t listen. I was watching through the fence and mom went out there and grabbed him by the arm. He pulled back and…”
Jason sat up at attention. His hands were clammy and his mouth had gone dry. He waited for Allison to explain. He could see the pain and suffered with her.
“Mom… Mom picked him up and threw him in the pool. He splashed around and I was scared to run out there and help. She just watched him and then yelled for you. Mom is the one who killed Cody.”
Allison continued to cry and she pulled something from underneath her pillow. The video had gone out of focus and Jason heard a gunshot as his daughters body appeared to fall over. The video ended and sweat began to pour down his head. He ran to his office and grabbed his revolver and marched to his bedroom. He could hear the Christmas Carols getting louder as he approached. He tried the door handle but Ellen had locked it. Jason stood back and kicked the door in with all his force. Ellen was hardly startled and looked up. The anger and frustration that had been festering within Jason for so many years had finally arrived.
“Alli told me everything! How could you do this to our family and to our son?”
“I was tired of being the slave to you and the kids! I wanted out and it just happened.”
Jason lifted his revolver and took the safety off. Ellen’s eyes popped from her skull. She sat up and reached for the phone.
“All I wanted was a happy family Ellen. You took that away from me.”
Ellen was reaching for the phone but grabbed her glass instead. She heaved it and hit his chest. Jason unleashed his anger in three shots and Ellen fell back in bed. The room was sprayed with Ellen’s sin and Jason sat next to her. Joy to the World was on the radio and Jason sat at the edge of the bed with his revolver. His heart raced and his hand shook as if feigning for a cancer stick. The room was showered with blood and the scent of Christmas dinner lingered in the air. He stared at a family portrait for while. He smiled and thought of his kids and knew he would be with them soon. The gunslinger inserted his weapon. Slow motion had begun and as the bullet shot out he saw Allison run into the room. She did not die by her own hand. The video was her way of getting back at her mother. Jason did not expect for Christmas to end this way. He died in his daughters arms and his last wish was to see Cody in heaven rather than Ellen in hell.