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Rated: E · Short Story · Contest · #2242610
Writers Cramp entry Word count: 988
One frosty December I walked across the supermarket parking lot. A man by the post office, with a huge camera on his shoulder, was talking to people.

Curious. I asked what he was doing. He explained that he was there to see what people had to say about the holiday, what plans they made, and what they wanted for Christmas.

This ought to be easy and fun,

"Have you ever had a dream come true?"

"Yes. A few times. I've also seen miracles."

"Do you have a special wish for Christmas?" He smiled.

"I do."

It hit me. This was a TV camera on his shoulder, and it would be broadcast. Everyone would know my secret wish.

"Would you mind sharing what your wish is with us today?"

I simply looked at him. I nodded.

"What one very special wish would you like to come true this Christmas?"

I shifted my weight, rubbed my chin, and was suddenly mute. Was this like birthday wishes? Would I jinx my wish if I shared it? I was a believer in miracles. dreams, enduring love. I certainly didn't want to mess up my chance and prevent a miracle from happening..

"Would you mind sharing what it is?"

I opened my mouth, then shut it, like a fish gasping for air.

When my eyes started to water, he asked, "Are you okay?"

"Must be the wind irritating my eyes again." I looked away, wiped a tear off of my cheek, stood a little taller, and returned my attention to him.

He looked puzzled, was so patient with me, even though we were standing around in the freezing cold weather.

"I cant. I'm sorry."

"You can't share your Christmas wish? May I ask why?"

"I...cant... because... because my wish is so personal that I can't share it with anyone. I thought I could. I'm sorry." If I didn't leave soon, I knew that I might start crying. "I have to go. Have a joyful Christmas."

"I hope you get your wish, Ma'am. Merry Christmas."

"Thank you." Wow, I just wasted his time and let myself look like an absolute fool. The night left me feeling a bit down and trapped in my own feelings.

What was the big deal? Why couldn't I have simply said something acceptable? Anything. Maybe new tires on my car. Or a vacation. Or maybe I'd enjoy Christmas with the people I love. Something I definitely was lacking for years.

Why'd I have to turn all moody and serious? Christmas is not only a celebration of Christ's birth. Ita time for family reunions, to be happy, to celebrate with loved ones and family, for sipping apple cider, eating good food,, mingling with family members and friends. I had all that for years, even after we split up. Sometimes couples kissed under the mistletoe.

The only real family I had was my ex's family, partly because they were his blood and was the kind I treasure--loving, joyful, hospitable, and fun. . And so was he.

But now he was thousands of miles away, having a life with someone else. A life we could have shared together. His mother, sisters, and brother were busy with thier own get-togethers.

Something had changed. I sensed it would in some way and dreaded it Suddenly I wasn't included, yet invited at the last minute. Maybe he requested it or was it my wishful thinking?

We had made memories together and parted peacefully, as possible. Our marriage meant everything to me. I'm pretty sure it also meant a lot to him. We didn't realise that we were caught up in other people's manipulations and agendas.

Part of my heart was broken and I kept trying to put it back together, while pretending it didn't matter. It did matter..I was alone in my misery, and busied myself to not dwell on it. I drank often, I danced and smiled, and laughed . I worked. I flirted, yet knew it wouldn't become anything more. Nobody saw this side of me. Yet, when he looked at me I felt like he saw through me .I wasnt strong like him. He'd know that, yet never exploited it.

Time went by and I got a surprise invitation to Thanksgiving dinner..My ex was visiting his family and he would be there. Of course I'd go I was thrilled that I would see his face, hear his voice and his laugh.

We, my young son and I went.That time we had arrived for Thanksgiving it was also his birthday. I had bought him a gift. I found the perfect one--a Route 66 shirt.

He was standing right in front of me. I handed the wrapped box to him."Would you accept this gift from me?" .My insides felt funny. It was always like this between us.

No words. Was that a smile? He took it in his hands almost like a caress. Suddenly the roomfull of people got quiet around us. Nobody moved.

"May I have a hug? I asked. His family were huggers. I missed his hugs.

"Always." He laid the package aside, and we embraced like old friends would. Everyone was watching. My face felt hot. My heart picked up it's pace. I was both happy and sad and confused.

"Thank you," he said.

"You're welcome "

t wasn't even dinner time yet.There was tension in the air. I could feel it. The tension hovered like a storm cloud. It wasn't going away and was not coming from him, but a few other people. I excused myself. I felt like I should leave. I told his sister I was sorry, but I had to go.

I felt like the odd man out, except I was a woman. I drove home a few miles away. I started wondering if I was hurting myself by doing this? Was I hurting him also? I certainly didn't want to cause him pain, ever.

It was the one thing I hated to do. It hurt so much, but I did it anyway. I tried not to cry or sulk. I had a mental fight with myself. Why did you do that? What do you really want? Well, I knew what I wanted. The same thing I always wanted--him. I also didn't want what someone else is having of mine.

I still doubted I'd ever get over this loss, like everyone else usually does. Like everyone else said I would. I tried, but my heart wouldn't let me. .

Forty years later and it's not happened yet.

Writers note:this entry had requirements with certain words used and word limits.

item has been revised s noince then

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