A Dream in Reality

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It is Christmas Eve and little Arney wakes up to the smell of hot eggs and bacon. The rattle of pots and pans in the kitchen tells him that it is time to get up.
“Arney wake up and get ready! Do you want to sleep through Christmas Eve?”, yells Arney’s mother from the kitchen downstairs. Arney’s face immediately fills with excitement as he lunges through his door after quickly clothing himself and getting ready for the day. He races down the stairs so fast it is almost impossible to see his soft, light brown eyes that math his curly hair. He had not realized it is Christmas Eve, but he is well aware of what that means: Christmas Eve dinner at Grandma’s house and presents from everyone. He is always excited about going to his Grandmother’s house. It has always been his favorite place in the world, for he has always been in love with the comfortable environment and the friendly people. Arney stumbles into the kitchen and sees his mother, father, and brother eating toast, eggs, and bacon off of white paper plates on the kitchen counter.
Arney ask his father, “is it time to go to Grandma’s yet?”
“Eat some breakfast before we leave. It’s a long three hour drive and I don’t intend on stopping if you get hungry,” his father replies.
Arney joins his brother Nathan at the counter and speeds through a piece of toast and a plate of scrambled eggs. Nathan oddly looks nothing like the rest of his family. He has blonde hair, blue eyes, and despite being older is actually significantly shorter than his brother.
Before the two of them knew it they were in the back of their parent’s dark gray Durango. As soon as he shut his eyes to pass the time by Arney began to dream of previous Christmas Eve dinners at his Grandmother’s home. Within the first steps through the front door into the living room a chatter of a loud, obnoxious family fills a visitor’s ears. It is a warm, friendly chatter that always gives Arney and Nathan a sense of belonging in the home. Also, the smell of sweet baked potatoes, pot roast, green beans, and an assortment of other foods in the process of being cooked embraces each individual newcomer. After giving salutations to every family member already in the house, Arney and Nathan go in the little, blue room. This is just what the kids call the room. The name is quite contradictory because the room is, in fact, huge. It is the biggest room in the house; it has two beds and plenty of room for other activities. This is the room where all the younger cousins around Arney and Nathan’s age go to play. This is where the kids find all their fun for the night, besides presents of course.
“Arney, Nathan wake up. We’re here,” says Arney’s mother as she shakes the two children awake. Already this Christmas Eve night is looking like it is going to be just as great as always. However, it did not end up that way. The family enters the house and begins their adventure through the house saying hello and giving hugs or kisses to all the family that they see only on significant occurrences throughout the year. The boys had been playing in the little blue room for about an hour and half before they are called to the table to eat dinner. The large, talkative family is thrashing through their dinner when Grandma stands up and clanks a spoon to her glass in order to receive everyone’s undivided attention.
“I am so happy that throughout all these years I still get to enjoy the company of my entire family on Christmas Eve nights. However, I’m sorry to inform you all that this will be the last Christmas Eve dinner eaten in this house. I have sold this house and the movers are coming next week to help me move in with my oldest daughter, Christine. Do not let this ruin the night, for we will always get together for Christmas Eve and each other’s presence is the heart and soul of Christmas. The setting is not significant.”
Arney’s Grandmother’s speech surprised the majority of the relatives, but it has a profound effect on Arney. Arney’s jaw dropped as soon as he heard his Grandmother’s words: “last Christmas Eve dinner eaten in this house.” Sadness and grief immediately overwhelms his heart and he begins to cry. He cannot help but wonder why his Grandma is doing this. He feels as if she is stealing his favorite place in the world from him without question. Her home, to him, is a dream in reality. Now it is a dream place that he can only visit when his eyes are closed and he is deep in slumber. It is Arney’s last childhood place.





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