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A Fluffy Revelation
It was a rather chilly morning on this wintery December day. However, I was cozy warm and snug, bundled in a thick comforter far too large for my miniature twin size bed. I bolted right out of the covers. Gracefully sliding to the window, I was particularly careful to not wake my sister.
I could tell that it was freezing outside. It was obvious; even on this snowless Christmas Day, there was no mistaking that glimmering frost. It stretched atop the lawns as far as the eye could see. It was fairly disappointing. I was looking forward to playing outside and possibly discovering a blizzard, but I wasn’t going to let the lack of white blankets of snow destroy my cheery spirit. This was going to be a wonderful Christmas. No, a spectacular one! It’s only as decent as you make it. So I set off to seize the day.
Eagerly leaving the bedroom as silently as possible, I stepped into the hallway. There was an eerie silence that engulfed the house. I broadly smiled and dashed back into the room. This time I guaranteed enough noise to wake Leah.
Of course, being the “older one,” Leah grudgingly refused and turned her back away. I was completely used to this arrogant teenage behavior. After about five minutes of constant nagging, I convinced her to get up. Her mood seemed to lighten when she realized what day it was.
We both poked our ambitious faces out the door. There it was again: the silence. We soundlessly passed our snoring parents and began to tip-toe down the stairs. Fourteen steps down and a right hand turn would reveal what we called “The Christmas Room.” There is reason behind this title. Other than the month of December, Leah and I had no idea what the room’s purpose was. It just… existed. Every year we’d set up the Christmas tree in there. It’s where we have always opened our presents.
I started my descent downstairs. Through my desire and stupidity, my mind and body caused a simple false move. I fumbled and tripped halfway down. The ruckus had broken the house’s silence. That was smooth, I thought sarcastically. I was such an idiot. The plan was to stay as quiet as a mouse. As I recovered from my clumsy fall, Leah hollered with laughter.
My mother and father yelled from their bedroom. Clearly my tumble hadn’t gone unnoticed. Mika, my oldest sister, lazily glided to the scene. Judging by the fact her eyes were only half open, she was not fully awake yet. Her appearance definitely represented that; there was no usual goofy smile or large glasses. Her eyes were miniscule and her hair was visibly untidy.
The aching pain in my knee continued to throb. The now alert family gathered into the Christmas Room. Well at least I achieved something: everyone was awake.
We casually settled into our assigned seats and began to open presents. About half way through, Leah picked up a soft cylinder-wrapped gift. It was addressed to the two of us.
Mika hesitated for a moment. “Uh, Dad? Should they open that now?”
Was there something different about this particular item? Leah and exchanged puzzled looks. Alright, so clearly this is a special gift because they want to save it for last. What was so “Grand Finale” about it? It wasn’t any larger or heavier than a pillow. I turned the article in my hands. It’s was definitely soft and lightweight. Could it be clothing? What was so special about that?
“Yeah, they can open it now if they want,” my father replied.
I shrugged and tore off the festive paper. Well, it certainly wasn’t a puppy. I unrolled the fuzzy gray mat and inspected it closely. I could feel the little pieces of fluffy material on my fingertips. I didn’t understand. What was so remarkable about this? Mika answered before I could question the item any further.
“It’s a bunny play mat. Whenever I bring Yogi here, you can take him out of his cage.”
Oh, well that makes sense. Yogi was Mika’s two-year-old lop-eared rabbit. Sometimes we would have to watch him while Mika was away. Leah and I always adored having Yogi over. He was the closest thing to a pet that we had.
“Thanks,” I said halfheartedly. I still didn’t know why they wanted to save it for last. Overall, I was rather disappointed with it. I was kind of hoping for a really mesmerizing gift. I guessed I should have lowered my expectations.
We finally finished opening all of the presents. Naturally, Leah and I would jumble all of our new possessions in a pile. Before we could take it upstairs, Mika said there was one more gift hidden downstairs.
Leah and I anxiously rushed down in our bare feet to the basement. The icy steps froze my toes as we plunged downward into the darkness. The bitter, cool air sent a shiver down my spine. It was like the Artic down here. My heart began to accelerate. We reached the cold floor and I swiftly scanned the room. At first I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. Everything seemed to be in place and nothing more stood out. Then Leah exclaimed exuberantly with joy. She ran over to the couch when I saw it too. My jaw dropped. There, over the gray sofa, stood an immense dark green based cage with thin metal bars circling the top. In it revealed a pintsized lop-eared bunny staring up at us with an assorted gray and white thick coat. Its diminutive nose sniffed the air as the creature tapped its foot. So this was the big surprise tie-in! Mika didn’t give us a play mat for Yogi; they wanted to save it for last to reveal a bunny of our own to cherish.
This teeny rabbit was our first real pet.
Mika explained how she and dad had gone out and bought a bunny. She kept it in her apartment for about a week before moving it here last night. Leah and I took turns holding her while we figured out what to call her. We decided to name her Leia because we were super obsessed with Star Wars at the time. She looked like a little princess.
As I stood there stroking Leia’s soft, furry neck, her large eyes stared back at me. I smiled. Though I hadn’t realized it at that moment, a fond relationship had begun to sprout. A sudden warmth spread through my fingers. It was not physical, but more of a mental attachment. Leia, my first companion, would always burrow and position her heartfelt memories in my mind.