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In an attempt to cheer Lola up, as she was still heartbroken over the loss of Oscar, James swallowed his pride and asked her to play her recorder for him. He would much rather have been out on the park playing his usual Sunday afternoon footie match, despite the miserable weather, but he was still grounded. He may as well try and win some Brownie points back while he was stuck inside.
He had to admit, as he forced a smile onto his face, Lola had improved with practise and the previously unrecognisable selection of notes was now very definitely The Twelve Days Of Christmas, which was his favourite Christmas song. Though he had no idea how Lola remembered that.
“That’s fab, Lola! Your timing is a little off, but I bet that’s only because you don’t have your teacher conducting you. You’re going to be great on Tuesday night at the concert.”
Lola beamed from ear to ear, the first real smile James had seen on her since yesterday afternoon. “Thanks Jamie, but I don’t think Damien liked it much, look.” Lola pointed behind him, where Damien the elf was sat on top of their dad’s ancient Hi-Fi system with his hands stuffed in his ears.
James was certain he hadn’t been there when he sat down.
“Oh, ha ha, yeah. Silly Damien, he’s just got no taste in music, obviously. You were awesome.”
Lola skipped off happily to play in her room, dead goldfish still forgotten, and James walked over to look at the elf.
“How did you get here? You weren’t here before, were you? Can you… can you move?” He gently prodded one of Damien’s elbows. “You don’t look remote controlled…”
James jumped. He hadn’t noticed his Dad walk into the room behind him.
“Oh, ho ho, James, very funny. My music isn’t that bad!” Joked Dad, spotting the elf. “Nice work getting his arms to stay up like that though.”