Be careful what you wish for...
|When everyone was laughing in the kitchen and preparing the meal for tomorrow, Maggie hung back and stared out the frozen window. The snowflakes flew down in large clumps and the wind blew them in every which direction. Finally, she thought, it’s going to be a white Christmas. Everybody is going to love it.
She had been looking out the window for a half hour and no one realized she was gone. No one ever did. As the middle child of both her mom and dad’s extended families, everyone was so excited to hear everybody else’s stories. This person was away at college; so-and-so was learning to talk. Maggie was convinced that no one even cared. And why would they? They had all been teenagers in high school before; they all knew what it was like.
Maybe they didn’t, though. They didn’t remember the loneliness and constant feelings of being ignored. I wish we never had a time where everybody got together. I hear enough of these stories over the phone when I can off, but here I cannot escape.
Slowly she turned her head towards a magical snow globe that sparkled from the stray lights of the lamp perched on the coffee table. Maggie picked it up carefully and became entranced by its perfectly carved flakes floating in the water. She heard the laughter from the kitchen and sighed. I wish there was no Christmas. No more family get-togethers, no more seeing everybody, no more ignoring Maggie Benson. I wish there was no Christmas.
The last flake in the globe reached the bottom, and the whole figurine exploded. The laughter was cut short as everyone in the kitchen rushed to see what had just been destroyed. “Maggie!” her mother shouted. “Why did you do such a thing?”
“It- it just exploded. I can’t explain it- it just happened.”
Her mother sighed and cautiously started picking up the pieces. “Things don’t just explode. That was a family heirloom, and some even believed it was magical. Now go to your room and don’t touch a thing.”
Maggie stormed off and slammed her bedroom door. Not only had she been scolded in front of the entire family, no one believed her. Moments later, the voices returned. She picked up a photo of her and her entire extended family and threw it on the floor. The glass cracked but no one else heard. She threw herself on her bed and cried silent sobs until she fell asleep.
The next morning she awoke bright and early. The birds were chirping and the snow had settled and developed a shimmering crystal glaze over it. Maggie stood up and walked out into her living room.
Her parents and little brother were all sitting on the couch reading the paper and watching early morning cartoons. All the aunts, uncles, and cousins had left.
“Merry Christmas everybody,” she insincerely greeted. They all turned around and looked at her strangely.
“What did you say, sweetheart?” her dad asked gently.
“I wished everyone a merry Christmas. I’m sorry about last night and everything.” She approached them all and stopped suddenly as she realized she was standing in the same place the tree had been last night.
“What happened last night?” her mother asked curiously.
“Where’s the tree? Where are the presents?” Maggie’s volume increased as she looked around the undecorated room.
“Honey, are you feeling okay?” her dad asked.
“What day is it?” Maggie demanded. “What day is it!?”
“December 25th,” her mother answered. “Calm down.”
“It’s Christmas! Where is everything?”
“I’ve never heard of Christmas before,” her little brother said as he looked up from the television.
Maggie remembered the wish she made the past night. "No,” she whispered. “No, no, it can’t be!”
She took a deep breath. “I’m sorry you guys. I just had this weird dream last night. I guess I just got really wrapped up in it. Sorry.” Maggie took a seat next to her little brother and looked at the paper blankly.
“When was the last time we saw the whole family together?” she asked suddenly.
“Oh, it’s been years,” her mother recalled. “A lot of the little kids we’ve never seen before at all. Too bad we don’t have a time where we can all get together and share our stories.”
Maggie sadly nodded and remembered all the great times she had at Christmas. The great meals and conversations. The fun games everyone played. The all-family outing to Church that morning. She drew back a deep breath and held back her emotions.
Then she noticed the snow globe out of the corner of her eye. Maybe, just maybe, she thought, I can take the wish back. It’s worth a shot.
She stood up and grabbed the globe. I wish, I wish that there would be Christmas. I miss my whole family, and I want to see them together again. Just then, the glass broke and Maggie quickly dropped all the pieces.
“Shoot!” She cried. “I cannot believe I dropped it! I am so sorry everybody!”
“That’s okay,” her mother and father soothed. “We never really realized it was there before.” They rushed off to find a broom and some paper towels.
Maggie bent over and carefully picked up a few pieces. This better work out.
The next morning she awoke and carefully went out into the living room like on the previous day. “Morning, everyone,” she greeted as she took a seat.
There were still no Christmas decorations up in the house. Maggie’s worry grew intense. No, no, no! I really did take away Christmas! No! I cannot believe this!
She slowly reached for the front page. December 24th- Town Prepares For Christmas was the headline.
“Yes!!” She screamed and jumped up.
“What?!” they all asked curiously. Maggie settled down. “I’m so glad that everybody’s coming over today for the party. I cannot wait! Yes!”
They smiled. “Yeah, we need to go get our tree today, don’t we?”
Maggie felt closer to her whole family already. Though the aunts, uncles, and cousins crowded in the kitchen leaving her alone once again, she forgave them willingly. After all, they were her family. In fact, she grew to love them so much she even considered revealing her secret about the wish. But luckily she reconsidered.