*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
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
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
_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
_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
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)*]