All Just For a Scholarship

Sleigh Bells and Pistachio Shells

Wow, I wished there was something better for me to say in reaction to just smashing onto the pavement thanks to a car but...I can't. Just, wow, what could possibly have added to the agony I'm facing today?

"Oh wake up why don't you?"

Instantly, some sting buzzed from my abdomen, my eyes sparked open, shooting up with extra pain to boot. Oh you are kidding? I-
"Of all the retched things you young fools do, jump in front of cars? And without any insurance either?" The crone dubbed Nurse McRae whined, walking away mumbling, probably disappointed by the fact I'm still alive!

I turned away from McRae to suppress the thought of the car collision, only to glare straight into a bowl of pistachios.
The white bowl had over flown with the morsels, a minute letter trapped underneath it.
I slipped it free from its entrapment, fumbling to open the letter up with my slowly recovering from lack of feeling after being knocked out for lord knows how long.

A quiet whisper piped up, "Hey."
I turned towards the whisper; it was Johnny, his leather jacket partially torn and dreadfully dusty, accompanied by his equally torn and dusty face. He piped a question, "How did you get here?"
Ah the social mannerisms which make life seem like a game of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?"...how I despise you! Tell the truth and I will get mocked, or will I not? Perhaps it's best to lie, but what to say? And would it be convincing?
I blurted, "Traffic accident, you?" the ambiguous truth/lie covering me for that ridiculous game.
Johnny sat up partially, "Couple a Jocks jumped me. Those over-grown meatheads!" he cursed, his lack of grammar passing by me without a care. "I swear, once I get outta here, I'm gonna get back there and-"
"You are going nowhere Mr. Vincent!" MacRae crooned, smacking his leg with a cane, seriously I knew American Health Care wasn't spectacular, but I would have thought that staff would have learned of "First Do No Harm". MacRae pivoted towards me, prodding her cane between my eyes "And you Daniels would be wise to not talk!"

Shimmying away from her cane, I slowly turned back to the bowl of pistachios as MacRae retracted to Johnny. I lifted the small letter from my table, written on it were the words "A friend".
As surprising as it would be to hear that there truly is a red and white pensioner with a large girth who gives out presents to the good, I was not willing to believe that. I was also doubtful that my parents had thought of sending me a gift, let alone one that is nothing more than a bowl of nuts! I opened the letter and read its contents:

"Dear John,

I hope you are getting better from that accident, Jesus you scared me."

I lowered the parchment to contemplate over the letter, she saw the accident? How? I didn't think Erica left the dormitory, if only to go to classes, she'd basically be in there for the whole of the school term. I continued:

"In case you are wondering, yeah, it's Christmas already. I know, the time around here is really messed up. I swear it was only Halloween yesterday. Anyways, I got you some pistachios; I would have gotten you chocolate but, well, last minute shopping on Christmas Eve, what do you think?"

As I picked up a pistachio, I chuckled at the last comment. As I single-handedly liberated the pistachio from its shell, it jumped onto the bed sheets. I continued to read as I scoured for the pistachio:

"Hopefully you'll have recovered later so I can see you...awake.

Yours Sincerely,

Erica xxx

P.S. Dr. Crabblesnitch told me to tell you that if you do recover enough to leave the ward, there is a gift for you from your parents."

So they haven't forgotten about me I thought, thank Christ for that! I slipped the letter back under the bowl as I reclaimed the pistachio and ate it, savouring it before proceeding onto the others.

As time passed, Johnny hobbling away with two Greasers carrying him off, I eventually saw Erica rush into the ward, MacRae cursing her (naturally) as she did so.
Erica approached me, "John!" she cried, mauling me with a warm hug.
"Erica! How are you?" I gasped, as the bruising from my accident arose from Erica's mittens.
Erica released me and stood back ajar "Oops, sorry." She giggled nervously, she turned to the half full (hey it's Christmas, why can't I be optimistic?) bowl of pistachios and grinned, "Having a bean feast while I was gone?"
I sat up a little more and shrugged, "Maybe a little one?" as if scripted, MacRae approached my bed. She whipped her cane across the bed railings, Erica sprung back in shock, I guess the ringing of a wooden cane meeting a railing is foreign to Erica...who knew!
"You can leave! Now go away or die!" She barked, retreating to her desk. Erica returned her sight to me as I got out of the bed, still wearing my clothes from the accident.
"I guess MacRae doesn't swing that way." I joked, walking out the ward with a stupid grin on my face and a bowl of pistachios under my arm.

With Erica as company, Christmas lived up to its Merry title!

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