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Christmas Pines MAG
Every day he comes to see me. He stops for just a moment and smiles up at me. Then with a look of determined resolve, he tightens the grip on his briefcase and hurries down the street. He may only stay for a second. But it's enough.
Watching me, his deep green eyes are like Christmas pines, his sandy red hair like gingerbread. He is mine. He is the ending of my story, and the beginning of my life. He must love me … he must.
But for now I wait for him. Every day I wait. He always comes at twelve past six, or so says the ticks of the clock. He always stays for three clicks before continuing on his way. It's not much. But it's enough.
I find myself wondering what thoughts go through his mind during our daily encounters. Does he feel the same love for me that I do for him? Oh, but he must from the look of pure enchantment on his face, the sparkle in his Christmas-colored eyes.
Today is special, I know it is. Today is Christmas Eve. Today he will take me away; he won't leave me alone on Christmas. He won't.
The bell on the door has been swinging merrily all afternoon as the last-minute shoppers gather their treasures. The store owner is in a near frenzied state, restocking shelves, cleaning the snow and sludge that was tracked in, and keeping the store presentable for customers.
It's getting late. It's ten past six, and the store closes at 6:30. The last rush of shoppers begins to depart.
Six thirteen. I can feel disappointment looming as I wait. He's late. Slowly each minute drags into the next. The cuckoo clock reflects in the front window. It's a constant reminder that he hasn't come.
I listen as each tick of the clock passes by. Finally I am resigned to waiting. Waiting for the tell-tale chirping of that bright blue bird exploding from the wooden clock framed with silver. Waiting for that spiteful horrible bird to sing out, shattering my plans.
The sound will remind me without a doubt that it is 6:30, that he's not coming. Can't he understand? Doesn't he see my devotion ? Doesn't he see that I wait, counting the ticks without pause, until I get to see him again?
Eighty-six-thousand, three hundred ninety-seven – that's how many ticks I wait between his visits. I never wait any longer than that, though it's never any shorter either. Except today, the one day I hoped he'd take me away from here.
The later it gets, the harder it is to hold on to any hope.
But then there he is, coming around the corner, his cheeks flushed from running, his nose pink from the cold. He hasn't forgotten me! All doubt evaporates, as if flying away to a long-forgotten world.
His gray scarf flaps behind him as he sprints toward the door. For the first time he comes into my shop. He's apologizing to the owner for coming in so close to closing. But wait, what is he saying now? He's pointing at me. He's smiling.
The owner nods and comes over, pulling the beautiful celeste blue scarf from around my neck, leaving me cold and unadorned. She rings it up, the cash register clanging for the last time before Christmas.
She wraps the scarf in silver tissue paper and hands it to him. His smile reaches all the way up to his Christmas-pine eyes. He thanks the owner, pulls his coat around him, and with that, he's on his way. Not so much as a second look at me. He left me on Christmas without so much as a smile.
It's twelve after six and I see him rounding the corner. My spirits soar for a moment, but then I see her. Blond curls play peek-a-boo under her brightly colored winter hat, her blue eyes shine with excitement, and her face is animated as she talks with him. Her jacket is pulled tight, her hand intertwined with his. It hurts to see her with him, but nothing hurts more than the blue scarf around her neck, my scarf.
I realize now how stupid I have been. It wasn't love. He only stopped to look at the scarf. Who would want a dummy, a poser like me? Who could ever love a mannequin?