Dreams from a popcorn seller

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Chapter twenty-one: Christmas

On Christmas Eve I woke up with a feeling of gloom in the air. I had enjoyed my stay with my family, and I wanted to stay longer. I would be leaving in three days, and I would miss being here.

Pushing the thought out of my head, I changed and went downstairs for breakfast.

Everybody was already there. Everybody’s face had a sort of weird smile on it, as if they knew some secret. I sat down next to Lilly and took a muffin.

“Viola.” Mom called me.

“Yes, Mom?” I said.

“We’re doing our last-minute Christmas shopping today, would you care to join us?”

“Yeah, sure.”

I had no idea why, but she breathed a sigh of relief.

“Good. Dad is staying home to take care of some—er—work.”

I raised my eyebrows at her, but she just smiled. I had a feeling that I was getting a really big Christmas present.

After everybody was in the limo, ready to go shopping, we watched a movie in the car, since we were going to a different town this time and the journey would be a little bit longer. We watched a movie about a girl and her brother who got lost in a forest.

Once we were out of the car I was glad to stretch my legs. Hannah and I went into one store while Daisy and Lilly went into another. Mom was browsing the kitchen store.

I picked out some presents for Daisy and Lilly, which consisted of a vase with a daisy on it and a cute cat carved out of wood. I secretly got an art set for Hannah and hid it inside my jacket after I bought it.

After we did shopping we met up at a café (thankfully it wasn’t French) and ordered hot chocolate and soup. It was a weird combination, but I used to eat potato chips and peanut butter, so I didn’t mind it so much.

Once we were home again, I saw a car leave our driveway. Wondering who it was, I went inside and asked Dad.

“Oh, it was the postman, honey.” Dad said, not even bothering to look up from his papers.

“But it wasn’t a truck.” I insisted. But Dad just waved his hand. I took the hint and went to the room that I shared with Hannah.

I woke up on Christmas day and jumped out of my bed. I had never had any Christmas presents (or presents of any kind, really, except for my birthday presents) ever since I went to work at the circus, so I was really very excited. I was so excited, in fact, that I didn’t even get dressed. I put on my slippers and then ran downstairs, where the whole family was waiting for me.

From Hannah I had gotten a figurine of an acrobat, from Daisy I got a popcorn machine, and from Lilly I received a sketchpad.

“And now…” Mom said, a smile growing on her face. “Me and your father have a very big present for you, Viola.” I smiled, wondering what it was.

“It’s much to big to wrap, I’m afraid.” Dad said. Mom looked at Dad.

“Don’t be silly, you can’t wrap it no matter what size it is. It isn’t even a size at all!”

“Oh, tell me already!” I exclaimed, throwing my hands up.

“Viola.” Mom said. “You know how your father stayed home yesterday while we went shopping? Well, he was there to have an interview with a circus manager. He showed him some videos of your acrobatic skills and he accepted you into his circus. It’s only about an hour’s drive from here, and you start after Christmas break.”

I was so shocked that I couldn’t speak. No more Mr. Gone, no more working at McDonald’s, I could be really happy. I was elated.

Immediately I ran over to my parents and gave them a big hug.

“Thank you thank you thank you!” I said, literally jumping up and down with excitement. Then a thought popped into my head.

“How did you get those videos?”

“Your acrobat teacher sent them to me.” Dad said with a smile. “She thinks you will have a great future.”

“You will have to train a lot still though.” Mom said. I nodded. It was too good to be true. And yet it was.

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