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On The Night Of The Christmas Eve

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*On The Night of the Christmas Eve *

[*Paris. 11:15PM. December 2016. *]

It was the night of the Christmas Eve and the entire sky was shrouded with

complete darkness yet the place looked so lit up; colourful lights, gleaming billboards,

and plenty of street lights.

_The city was so alive. _

The narrow, yet the busiest streets of Paris were completely filled with tiny little

snowflakes that literally appeared like millions of tiny stars falling off from its wide

horizon.

Anna was heading back home right through the middle of the huge festive crowd;

chattering noise of crowded people, horns honking from tens and hundreds of

automobile, busy pedestrians trying to walk the streets off, and fresh roasted bean

aroma from the Paris Café by the end of the street – just like any other busiest day in

Paris, except that this was the Christmas Eve, and people were much more excited,

probably about family get to together, plenty of gifts from the Santa, Giant Christmas

cake, and pretty much everything else but Anna never had any of those thoughts in her

mind right now.

In fact she was not much of a go-for-all-the-fun-stuffs kinda girl.

Anna was a loner; she lived alone in her thirteenth floor apartment right across

the Abbey [_Street, _] which she rented a few days back.

Anna’s old apartment was a mess and it had seen a lot of both good and bad

memories and she couldn’t live there for longer, not after that incident.

_Not anymore. _

She lost Brian, her soon to be wedded, her fiancé in a tragic road accident that

also killed an innocent little girl and it pretty much messed up in her mind and made her

a disaster and she couldn’t take it any easier and she went into depression which cost

her, her job as a financial analyst in the city’s leading law firm; but she didn’t care about

her job anymore. She wouldn’t return to normal from the shock – denial of

acknowledgement.

It was almost midnight and the clock ticked 1145 hours by the time she made it

back to her place. Anna had to climb the stairs all the way to the thirteenth floor. There

was a complaint with the elevator shaft for almost a week and residents of the

apartment have even reported it for service but, [_who are they kidding? _] It was the

Christmas week and everyone were pretty much busy, so the service guys won’t be

around for at least another couple of weeks, maybe.

She unlocked the door, led herself inside and locked the door behind her. She

removed her jacket and hung it over the fire place and finally made it to the kitchen. She

grabbed the can of water from over the dining table and gulped quickly down her dry

throat, and then unpacked the groceries from the polythene cover and stacked them

inside the refrigerator one by one, slowly.

A sudden Whhooooossshhh filled the warmth of the dry air. _ _

The strong air hit the windows with a howling and creepy sound. That one was

really . . . . . . . Creepy, she thought. So, finally the groceries bag was emptied and so one

less work to worry about.

A completely hectic day and now it’s time for a good dinner, she thought. Anna

unpacked the cheese grated margarita flavoured with steak sauce and stirred onions on

top of it, and jumped on her couch. She grabbed it from the Pick N’ Dine corner on the

way home, her favourite food place.

Anna switched ON the television and within a few scrambled pixels, the

big [_thirty-two _] inches flat screen monitor finally came to life. After five long minutes of

switching various channels, _thoughtless, _ she finally rested on ABC network, which

telecasted the repeat of “The Supernatural” _, _ one of Anna’s favourite television horror

shows.

_Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. _

_ _

The knock on the door was loud and threw her off, that she almost dropped her

dinner down the maple flooring.

_Bang. Bang. Bang. _ The knock grew vigorously loud, and tireless.

“Woah!” She said. “Hold on. Coming.” She went straight for the door.

Unhinging the lock, Anna slid the door wide open.

A little girl was standing outside Anna’s door. She was dressed in a full white

gown and she was holding a big white plate closed with a dome shaped aluminium

vessel, to preserve the warmth of whatever was inside it. Her eyes were green and she

looked so pale and _lifeless. _

“Hey little one.” She called her. “What’re you doin’ here? It’s almost mid night.”

Anna asked; a concern in her voice.

“Aunt Anna, isn’t it? I live in the same block, door number _206, _ the one _ _ just across

the elevator.” The little girl said.

“Ummm… Rosalie?” she asked, with a puzzling face.

“She’s my mom, Aunt Anna. I’m Leah Donovan. Her daughter. Mommy wanted to

give you this, for the Christmas Eve. She figured you’d be alone here. Aren’t you?”

Anna couldn’t help her surprised face, she stared straight into Leah’s eyes. “Well,

yeah I, _kind of, _ am. Errr… Thanks… I guess?”

“You’re welcome Aunt Anna.” She uttered with a wide smile and hands crossed.

“Merry Christmas. See you tomorrow then? You must be starving.” She said. “It was nice

to meet you, by the way.” She said and the disappeared the next moment.

She was very quick in her feet, Anna thought.

“Merry Christmas. See ya.” she said in a very low monotonous voice after she left

and closed the door.

Over a quite busy and hectic day, Anna became completely exhausted and she

figured that she needed a good night’s sleep. So she finished her remaining margarita,

saved Leah’s dinner in the fridge for the next day and went back to bed.

  • *

[*The Next Day. 8:36AM. *]

The rays of sun fell directly into Anna’s bedroom window, striking her eyes wide

open. Everything appeared like a hazy blur, and it almost took a minute for her to adjust

to the lightings. She took a peak at the watch, it was 0840 hours. She rose from bed,

brushed, took a warm shower and made herself fresh and ready for the big day –

Christmas. She wanted to blend in with the others like a normal person, trying to start a

new life, which she knew she couldn’t.

Nothing was ever the same without Brian, not even Christmas, but still she was

trying to move on, which she clearly tough on her.

She picked up the dinner, Leah had given the previous night – A chocolate grated

vanilla cake and home baked cookies with some candies.

It was [_Yummy… And also a delicious _] food that Anna had in a long time. _ _

Grinding the last piece of cookie in her mouth, Anna stepped out of her

apartment, locked it and headed to the stairs. That’s when she found her neighbour

Rosalie climbing the stairs slowly; tiredness completely filled Rosalie’s eyes, as she was

struggling with two huge bags.

Anna offered help, “Rosalie! Hi…” She called out. “Here . . . let me help.”

Rosalie was like, “Awww! That was sweet but you didn’t have to do it my dear.”

said Rosalie as Anna took over her bags and walked with her slowly.

“Oh come on Rosalie! How couldn’t I not?” She asked. “You’ve made me one of

the most delicious dinners I’ve had in a million years; it’s only generous that I help you.”

Anna’s words stroke Rosalie’s head like a thunder. She was awestruck with

millions of questions and surprise right at that moment.

_But she immediately knew. _

“Anna!” She called. “I need you to come to my house right away.” She said. “Right

now.”

_Weird, _ Anna thought and then they both walked to Rosalie’s house. _The door _

number 206, Anna noticed. Rosalie generously led Anna inside and closed the door.

“Make yourself at home Anna. I’ll be right back before you even know that I’m

gone.” She said.

A few minutes passed by in complete silence and finally Rosalie appeared with a

photo that was framed with a wooden casing edging it. She sat beside Anna and patted

on her back.

She showed the framed photograph to Anna. _Leah’s photo was on it. _ Rosalie, one

last time made sure if it was Leah who one came to Anna with the dinner plate. After a

close look, Anna confirmed that it was her.

Tears trickled down Rosalie’s cheeks as she spoke, “I don’t know what to say

Anna. It’s our daughter Leah.” she said.

“Yes I know that, Leah told me yesterday. Well, where is she? Is she still

sleeping?” Anna asked.

“No. She’s not sleeping. In fact she’s not here right now.” She said. “[_Not anymore. _]”

Anna’s face puzzled and she showed one of those faces, like “ [_What?” _] – “What do

you mean by [_Not Anymore? _]” she asked.

“Our little Leah, passed away last year in a tragic road accident, across Pier 29,

motorway. She’s dead Anna. Leah, she’s dead.” Rosalie cried.

Anna could never forget the Pier 29 motorway accident. It was a tragic one. A

Lexus automobile crashed across the pedestrian walkway, leaving a small child, around

the age of twelve and the driver of the automobile dead; failure in the automobile’s

brakes was the cause of accident, said the news the next day.

She remembered it and she wouldn’t forget it because the man inside the Lexus

automobile was her fiancé, Brian and she didn’t know that Leah was the small kid, until

Rosalie told her so.

Anna left Rosalie’s apartment with a lot’s of questions in mind, for which she had

no answers or any possible explanations at all. She has always wanted some miracles to

happen, she always imagined that Brian would come back and knock her door, but then

she realized that none of that was ever gonna happen, but this new incident, last night

gave her new hopes. She dreamt of many possibilities and many things that could never

happen in reality.

But who cares about reality, right? There are more than billions of people in the

entire world.

Every minute that passes by, someone from somewhere around the world

always wonder about certain things that could never ever happen, but that doesn’t

mean that one should give up dreaming.

Keep dreaming, imagine things and always keep your hopes up high. No one can

really say what’s gonna happen the very next minute.

Anything can happen anytime.

_That’s what life is all about. _

A great person once said, “One of the greatest meanings of life is that *IT ENDS. * So

keep the vibe going on until it ENDS.”

  • *

[*(P.S. This is my first short story / fiction. I hope you bear with the mistakes *]

[* I've made. Feedbacks, both +ve and -ve are most welcome. Thanks. With Regards - *]

[* Gowtham Gurunath)*]


On The Night Of The Christmas Eve

  • ISBN: 9781370922291
  • Author: Gowtham Gurunath
  • Published: 2017-04-27 07:20:22
  • Words: 1811
On The Night Of The Christmas Eve On The Night Of The Christmas Eve