Page 22 - Scene Magazine 41-12 December 2016
P. 22

thin, with big blue eyes that shone naively from her small face. She was so innocent it broke his heart to look at her as she stood there so lonely in the dim, sparsely furnished room, that was almost as cold as the air outside, because the icy wind whistled mercilessly through the broken windows and shook the flimsy walls as if they were made of cardboard.
“Are we still getting the tree tonight?” she asked hopefully with her clear, bell- like voice as her brother finally reached the doorstep.
“Sure! You need to wear gloves, though, and another sweater. It’s freez- ing outside!” he said worried and took her hand.
He helped her in one of his old hood- ies that was so long it covered her knees but it was made of a heavy, thick fabric and would keep her warm outside. The boy also made her pull over another pair of socks before he grabbed the rusty saw that was leaning at the door frame and they left the house through the back door. The blizzard outside was as piercing as a knife and the boy pushed his sister protectively behind his back, forming a wall between her and the headwind. It was only a five minute march to the meadow they were heading for but the snow was so high and air so heavy that it took them much longer.
Actually it was forbidden to cut down trees from the meadow, that looked like a lake of white frosting once the bright green grass has been blanked by the ice- cold snow, and would be punished with a high fine, but the fir the little girl had picked was hardly more than a seedling and nobody would ever notice its ab- sence – the snow would cover their foot- prints anyway.
While the boy tampered with the young tree, the gold-haired girl started dancing around in the snow while she put her head back and tried to catch some of the snowflakes with her tongue. She did not seem to be cold or tired at all - she was in a perfect Christmas mood, though she had never experienced a real Christmas before. But now, since she had started school and learned about it, she expected Christmas to be celebrated, and the boy tried hard to make this pos- sible.
They decorated the tree with bows the boy had made out of red shoelaces because they were the only things in the small house that were not colored in some shade of gray or black or brown. Very soon the little girl started yawning and the boy sent her to bed.
“The earlier you fall asleep, the faster Santa will come.”
And her golden hair disappeared in the adjoining room, while the boy care- fully wrapped the book in a piece of newspaper and set it under the tree. Then he, too, turned off all the lights and went to bed.
The next morning came with a bunch of fresh fallen snow that was now pil- ing up the doors and almost reached the windows. It was like being trapped in the middle of a light white ocean that was so bright it made the boy feeling dizzy. He propped himself up on one elbow. There was enough light in the small squared bedroom to see them. His little sister curled up on her side, enclosed by his mother’s arms, their cheeks pressed together. In sleep, his mother looked younger, still worn but not so beaten down. She was beautiful once, too – or so they they told him.
He, however, could not remember her blue eyes that long since had been as bright as his sisters, and that were shin- ing from her cheeks. He only knew the dull emptiness that was staring at him whenever he caught her gaze and was forced to look in her eyes.
His sister woke with a quiet yawn but her face did not show any sign of fatigue, quite the contrary – the boy has never seen her so awake, so full of energy and excitement. He swung his feet out of bed to get her and also made his mother join them in the kitchen. When the little girl spotted the gray present under the poorly decorated fir seedling, her whole body seemed to shine from inside out. There was even something stirring in his moth- er’s eyes at the sight of the little girl with the golden hair that shone as bright as the glazing sun outside, that so happily unwrapped her very first Christmas pres- ent.
The boy could not wait to see her face light up, to hear her soft clear laughing filling the room and when it lit up and her voice echoed through the house, his heart made a jump and was suddenly filled with a warmth that he had never felt before.
And then, so unexpectedly, his moth- er arose from her chair and took the little girl’s hand. She lead her to the already flattened couch and made her sit on her lap. Then she started to read – she read in a scratchy voice, a voice that had not been used for such a long time but it did not matter because both, the golden haired boy and his little sister with these bright blue eyes, finally got a Christmas present of a value nobody could ever buy with money – because they finally got their mother back.
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