Two have arrived. Only one will leave with their life.
Who are you backing?
I feel so cold.
The glass tinkles like pretty little Christmas bells as I go through it. The wind whirls around trying to hold me in place, but the snow pushes me on.
I see him standing at the window watching me leave his presence. He’ll never have the chance to open my gift and know the truth that will die with me.
My evening started as I nibbled on a few crackers to keep my dinner down. Searching my apartment I found the perfect sized box and a scrap of shiny red foil wrapping paper. I would announce this new fact to him as a gift. The little object displaying the answers would make the perfect present to give him.
I laid a bed of tissue paper in the box and carefully placed the little stick on top of the fluff. Then I wrapped it with the cheerful bright paper and tied the ribbon around it. Beautiful, just as our love was, just as our child would be. I grabbed my coat and my box and left the apartment heading for his office.
“Not long,” he had answered the last time I asked him when we could be together forever. “Not long. I’ll tell her about us after Christmas.”
After Christmas! He would leave her and be totally mine in just a few short days!
I rode the elevator up to the fourth floor humming Christmas songs. I knew that he would open my little gift and realize that we could never be apart again. My baby needed its father close.
As I opened the door I smelled a woman’s perfume and knew SHE was there. I hated her and all the cruelties she had put him through. She wanted to smash him down and I wanted to build him up.
I walked into the inner office and saw them. He had his face to hers in a passionate kiss. I felt the blood draining from my face as his hands eased the zipper down on the back of her dress. Their breathing grew heavy and I hiccupped a tear.
“I brought you a gift,” I said holding the box out in front of me. He backed away from her and just looked at me as if filth covered my entire body.
“Is this her?” She asked him as blood drained from my cheeks. I started to walk closer to him. She moved closer to me and I turned my back to her.
“Go away. I told you I don’t want you here.” He batted the box out of my hand. The hot tears spilled out of my eyes, then I felt a pair of hands push me toward the window.
As I went through the glass I saw his hard stone face watching me fall as he dropped the gift out to follow me.
The ground is reaching up to stop my plunge and the snow blanket waits to cover me. And I feel so cold.
Christmas Cookis By Doree Weller
“…and if you don’t behave, Santa won’t bring you any presents.”
Six-year-old Monica scowled at her mother. “What if I don’t want stupid Santa to bring me presents?”
“How can you not want presents from Santa? One day your bad attitude is going to be a problem.”
Monica rolled her eyes and crossed her arms.
Becky sighed and shook her head. “Go to your room.”
Monica flounced to her room. Stupid Santa, telling me to be good or he won’t bring me any presents. I’ll show him.
* * *
Monica sang “Jingle Bells” as she helped her mother mix Christmas cookies.
“It’s so nice when you’re a good girl,” Becky said.
Monica’s little sister, Allison, gurgled and banged a block on the tray of her high chair. Monica, still singing, walked over to her and Allison started screaming.
Becky rushed over, her hands still full of cookie dough. “What did you do to her?”
“I didn’t do anything!” Monica shouted over Allison’s screaming. “You blame me for everything!”
Frustrated, Becky stomped her foot. “If you can’t behave, Santa won’t bring you anything for Christmas.”
“I don’t care!”
As she ran out of the room, Becky spotted the red mark on Allison’s arm from where Monica had undoubtedly pinched her.
* * *
“Monica, it’s bedtime. You want to get to sleep early so Santa brings your presents.”
"Mommy, I want to make hot chocolate for Santa."
"Okay, I'll help you."
"No, I want to do it myself. I know how to use the microwave and everything."
Becky hesitated. It didn't seem worth fighting over, and it was a nice gesture. "Okay, honey. Just be careful not to spill it on yourself. I'll be in the living room if you need me."
Monica put a large mug in the microwave and pushed the buttons to heat the water. She pulled the stool over to the cabinet and took out two packets of cocoa to make it extra chocolately.
After Monica emptied the packets in the mug and stirred, she crept to the kitchen doorway and saw that mom was focused on the TV. Quietly, she stepped back to the cabinet where she had a small paper cup of antifreeze stored. Daddy showed it to her the other day and said to stay away from it because only a little bit could kill her.
She poured the antifreeze into the steaming mug of cocoa and stirred. Walking slowly, she carried it out to the living room.
Becky looked up and smiled as Monica placed the mug next to the little plate of cookies before going upstairs without argument to get tucked in.
Monica hadn't been asleep long when a sound woke her. She ran to the stairs, wondering if Santa had come already. Two men lifted Monica's daddy onto a stretcher.
Monica scowled. The cookies and hot chocolate were gone. Daddy ate Santa's cookies? Now I have to wait a whole ‘nother year to get even.