“True,” Genesis said. “Tonight’s going to be interesting.”
“I told her to behave herself,” Angela said, “but that usually just makes things worse. So I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
“Awesome,” Genesis said, grinning.
Dominick returned with two glasses. He handed one to Angela.
“One spiked eggnog,” he said, and gave Genesis the other drink. “And one apple cider with vodka.”
“Thanks, Dad,” Genesis said.
“Thank you,” Angela said.
She took a sip of the eggnog; it was a little too strong for her taste, but she tried not to let it show. Behind Dominick, Marta stepped out of the kitchen sipping a glass of red wine. She and her husband were both wearing identical green sweaters embroidered with Christmas imagery.
“Merry Christmas,” she said. “Shall we sit?”
Angela took a seat on the leather couch and set her eggnog on the coffee table. Genesis plopped down beside her. Marta and Dominick sat together on a loveseat by the fire.
“Genesis, would you like to do the honors?” Marta asked.
Genesis took a swig of her drink and reached down to the cluster of presents piled beneath the tree. She read out the tags as she distributed the first round of gifts.
“To Dad from Mom,” she said. “To Mom from Angela. To Angela from Dad. And to me from Mom.”
Angela eyed Marta nervously as the wrapping peeled away from a simple lined notebook filled with numbers.
“What… is this?” Marta asked, flipping through the book.
“Well, I was having trouble figuring out what to get you, so I… read your mind,” Angela said. “As soon as I did, this equation popped into my head. It was incomplete, but I got this wave of inspiration and just started writing. It’s all gibberish to me now, but I think I solved it.”
“You… this….” Marta stammered. “I’ve been trying to crack this for years. And you just…. How?”
“Honestly, I don’t really know,” Angela said. “I think you had the answer all along, you just needed a new perspective.”