Page 11 - Scene Magazine 45-12 December 2020
P. 11

 not to dwell on the fact that his condition seemed to be worsening. When she figured it was about time for her to head out, she rose from her seat and said her goodbyes. “As much as I hate to leave, I need to head home.”
Gina stood as well and followed her into the hall. “Sadie, I was wondering if I could ask you about something,” she said.
“Of course.”
“We both know Martin’s health is get- ting worse. As much as I try not to think about it, it’s the harsh reality. You know Christmas is his favorite time of year, and we were all wondering if there was any way to get him out of the nursing home, if only for the holiday. You’ve heard him gabbing about that bright silver star. He refuses to let anyone else put it on the tree. He insists it has to be him, and only on Christmas Eve.”
Sadie tried not to consider Martin’s deteriorating health. After finally finding her second father, she didn’t want to consider the possibility this one would
be ripped from her too. It might be best for him to remain here. Although, this wouldn’t be the first time Mrs. Samuels had persuaded the nursing home to release Martin. That was how Sadie had found herself at their house in the first place all those months ago. The family had finally managed to get the man back home and wanted to celebrate. How- ever, considering another accident had resulted in Martin being readmitted to the
facility, she doubted it would be as easy a task this time around. “You’re going to need to discuss that with someone from a different department,” she explained.
“I know,” Gina replied. “I just wanted to ask you if you thought we stood a chance at making it happen.”
“We both know there’s nothing you couldn’t convince someone to do. Have you met yourself?”
The woman chuckled. It was common knowledge that everyone in the building adored their family. “I suppose I better get started then. Any idea who I should plead with first?”
***
After recommending multiple people for Gina to harass about Martin’s release for the holidays, Sadie finally arrived at her apartment. She tossed her keys on the counter and discarded her shoes haphazardly. She was heading towards the cabinet for some pain killers when she realized her headache had disappeared completely. She smiled and muttered under her breath, “That man really does fix everything.”
As she contemplated what to do with the rest of her evening, she wandered towards her bedroom. Her ringtone, however, interrupted her musings. She glanced at the screen of her phone
and read Alina’s name. That’s odd, she thought. If Alina had something to say I’d think she would have done so in person. A sense of foreboding filled her as she
swiped the green button. “Hello?” she asked. As heart-wrenching sobs filled her ears from the other end of the line, her heart shattered into a million pieces.
Not again.
***
After a blur of days spent mourning the loss of the brightest light in their
lives, Alina, Gina, and Sadie gathered at their family home on Christmas Eve. A solemn air hung over the room as they ate dinner, and as hard as they tried to
be cheerful, the emotion was out of their grasp. It wasn’t until they wandered into the living room that Sadie’s sadness lifted for the first time since that dreadful phone call. As she peered into the corner of the room, between the fireplace and the sofa, her eyes tracked the Christmas tree. As she followed its form up, from the colorful mat surrounding the bottom, past the jumble of mismatched ornaments, tinsel, and lights, her eyes caught on what she found at the top. The breath fled her lungs as she took in the shining silver
star perched on the highest point of the evergreen.
“Did you –” Sadie stuttered. “Did either of you put that there?” A chorus of denials echoed through the room. And as the group stood there and absorbed the sight before them, they came to a realization. Martin had never truly left them. He never would. He would always be with them if only on this one special night, year after year.
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