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Blessing of Christmas
The smell of chocolate brings me to a bittersweet memory. I could picture my mother making chocolate chip pancakes, and my dad with his bed head, reading the newspaper in his favorite red, silk pajamas. I could almost hear my brother tippy-toeing towards my room, slowly opening my door, and then jumping on me screaming “Wake up! We got presents.” I remember that I would always just shoo him away and go back to my dream, but then the sweet, rich smell of the chocolate chip pancakes would overcome me. The smell is so familiar, and fresh in my mind that I could smell it right now.
I opened my eyes from my bittersweet memory and squinted against the light of the sun. It shouldn’t be so bright. I grope my way towards the window since I was still a little gaudy from my sleep and looked out the window. There was frost on my window and outside on the ground and gates were shaved ice. It snowed last night. I smiled and went on down, fully dressed, to the kitchen.
I stuck my head into the kitchen and saw Aunt Dian, a skinny, tall, fair-skinned woman, with the soft hazel eyes, attempting to cook. She was my dad’s twin sister, and she has no idea how to raise kids, nonetheless a teenager. She noticed me, and immediately waved me in to take a seat. I stepped into the kitchen, and just stood there staring at her with eyes full of questions. She glanced in my direction and sighed.
“I had the feeling of making my niece’s favorite chocolate chip pancakes.” She was waving her spatula around.
“You aren’t a good cook.” I took the spatula from her hand and helped finish the pancakes.
“Well this lawyer had no time to perfect her culinary skills.” Dian let me take over and fixed her briefcase. I noticed that she was dressed professionally.
“You’re working…”, I started. “On Christmas.”
“I’m sorry honey, but I have no choice. The lawyer for the case just recently had an emergency and I was requested to fill in.” I didn’t even have to look at her to know that she had apologetic eyes.
I put the last of the pancakes on the plate and gave her an ‘I’m ok’ smile.
“Why don’t you hang out with your friends?” Dian gave me an encouraging smile. “Bye.” She gave me a hug and out the door, she was.
“Sure.” If I had any friends. I had acquaintances not friends. Friends are people you trust and I just don’t trust. I‘m sorry to say, but I don’t even trust family.
I grabbed my favorite hoodie and walked to the garage. Might as well travel in the city. I started the engine in my vintage Volvo and opened the door. Once I was settled, I stepped on the gas and drove to the Brea Mall.
The mall wasn’t the best place for someone like me to just wander around. It was like being in a herd of frightened deers. I didn’t have to walk, because the crowd pushed you in the direction you wanted to go to. I did get annoyed though, but I was saved when an arm went around my waist and pulled me back. I looked up to see ocean blue eyes, night black hair, light skin, and a smile with white teeth that they look like the light of the moon. I smiled at this familiar figure.
“Hey princess”, he said, releasing his grip on me. “What brings you to a crowded place?”
“That isn’t of any concern to you.” It was hard trying to ignore his presence.
I walked into a jewelry store, not even bothering to look behind me to see if he was following because I knew he was. Kayden was the type of person you couldn’t get rid of unless he felt it was the right. I looked around at the different, carefully made jewelry. There was a ring that caught my attention in the glass case, and I couldn’t seize to look at it. The ring was made of white gold, and in the middle, rested two gems that touched each other at the tips making an eye-catching heart.
“Lapis Lazuli and Blue Lace Agate”, Kayden said noticing that I was watching it with curiosity. “These stones purify, cleanse, and get rid of stress from the body.”
Aunt Dian was the first thing that popped in my head. For some reason I had a sickening feeling in my gut. I pulled out my phone and saw that I had a voice mail.
I don’t remember what happened after I listened to the voice mail, but when I finally got out of my trance I was in the hospital waiting for the doctor to come out, and trying to believe in the words Kayden spoke to me over and over.
When the doctor came out I left Kayden’s arms and hugged my aunt. I felt tears streaming down my face.
“I thought you died like they did”. If I had said their names I would’ve cried even more.
“It wasn’t anything but stress.” She hugged me.
“You aren’t going back to work.” I wiped my tears.
“Sure.” She started moving her arms. “I need to stay here for tests though.”
“That’s fine.” And it was. I was glad she was okay and I realized something.
It wasn’t the people around me who didn’t move on, it was me. I had two people who were always trying to get me back up on my feet and I kept pushing them away. They were protecting, and encouraging me, and I ignored them. It was never my parents I longed for, but the warm feeling of love that I missed, and now I know where I can get that. Although I spent Christmas in the hospital I was surrounded by love and warmth, and I think that‘s the best blessing I could ever have.