Christmas Shopping

April 28, 2008
By Barielle Bredy, Chicago Heights, IL

As Kendra stepped out the door of her apartment, she already knew where she wanted to go to finish up her last minute Christmas shopping. She stepped out of the elevator and out the door of the apartment building. She loved downtown Greenhill in the spring. It wasn’t too hot and it wasn’t too cool. She lifted her head towards the sky and felt the warm sunshine on her face. There was a slight breeze that carried the faint scents of the morning: steaming coffee being poured and bread being taken fresh out of the oven (those were from the café on the corner); and freshly cut and watered grass (those came from the small park across the street). Ah…I love this, she thought to herself. Absolutely love it. No less than a moment later, there was a loud bark and a loud yell. Kendra turned to her left and saw a huge Saint Bernard running towards her at top speed. Behind the unbelievably large dog, was a woman, trying to grasp a hold of the dog’s leash. The woman kept screaming the name Toby over and over. Kendra later figured that was obviously the dog’s name.

Kendra tried her best to get out of the way of Toby, but he was already about two yards away from her and running at top speed. All of a sudden he plunged into Kendra and knocked her down onto the hard pavement. She sat up, half dazed. The woman rushed to her side. “ Oh my God!...Are you okay?...I am so sorry…Are you alright…I swear he has never done anything like this before…Oh my God…He saw a squirrel and just took off after it…Here, let me help you up…I’m so sorry.”

“It’s okay. No really. I’ll be alright.” She politely responded. After the woman helped her onto her feet and ran to look for her dog, Kendra looked herself over. She had a bad cut on her elbow and had broken the strap on her sandal. “Crap.” She went back inside and cleaned up. Then came out of the building a little more vigilant and headed right. She arrived at ‘Ye Old Antique Shop’ five minutes later. She walked up to the counter and asked for the 18th century vase that she had put on layaway. “I’m sorry Miss, but it seems that one of the employees has sold it to someone else.”

“But it was in my name. How could you let that happen?”

“I’ll check for you again. You said your name was Kendra Brockfield?” He walked into the back room and came back empty handed. “I’m sorry, but it’s not here. But may I recommend ‘Jenny’s Craft’s and Things’ down the street. They might have something that might interest you.” Kendra tried the suggested store and found it to be of no use. She gave up and went to the next store on her list: the pet store…

“WHAT!!! How can you be out of turtles? TURTLES?!?!”

“We’ve sold out of them ma’am.”

“But when I last came here, the employee I talked to said you had more turtles than you could afford…He said you had buckets FULL of baby turtles!! What happened?”

“They’ve become more popular recently than we could imagine.” She stormed out of the store fuming and took an extra long time getting to the next store to cool off. When she finally arrived at ‘Lisa’s Lovely Jewelry’ it was dark and she had traveled halfway across town. There was a sign on the door. It read: SORRY, WE ARE CLOSED FOR THE HOLIDAYS. Kendra let out a long string of profanity and a heavy sigh. She decided to go the park and think things over.

She was walking down the path in the park when she looked ahead a saw a bicyclist. She moved to the right to give him room to ride past. As he did, he rode in a large puddle and splashed the cold muddy water all over Kendra. “Sorry ‘bout that!” He yelled over his shoulder. Kendra cracked. She collapsed to the ground and buried her head in her knees and sobbed. She had been crying for cry what seemed to be an eternity when she felt a hand on her shoulder.

“Excuse me. But are you alright?” She looked up and saw the most perfect face a person could ever have and a smile that seemed to brighten the whole park. “Do you need help?” Even his voice seemed to be perfect. He helped her up to her feet and gave her his jacket. He asked what her name was.

“Kendra.” She replied.

“I’m Mike. Are you from around here, you look a little lost?” She told him that she actually was, that she was not lost and that she had just had the worst day of her life. “Well, would you like me to walk you home?”

“Yeah…I would love that.” It took them two hours to get back to Kendra’s apartment, even though it should have only taken 30 minutes. The whole way there they mainly talked about Kendra’s day. Mike seemed to understand everything she had felt. He agreed with almost everything she said. And when they disagreed, he proved his point well.

“Well…here we are. Mike…thanks again. I mean, who knows how many people walked past me in the park and didn’t stop.”

“No problem.” At that very moment, an emotion overcame Kendra. Nothing she had ever felt before. She closed her eyes and leaned forward. Mike must have felt it too because their lips met and were bonded to each other. It must’ve been a good two minutes before Mike removed his hand from Kendra’s face. She reached out to put her arms around his neck…

…But felt nothing but the warm sheets of her bed. She got of bed and performed her usual morning routine. She went downstairs and out the door of her apartment building. She lifted her head to the sky, then heard a loud bark that came from her left…

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