What an incredible Christmas! If that really happened, Rebecca would be frantic. Fortunately, her ideal Christmas could only happen if she had stayed a grouch and never helped after what Jasmine, the head cheerleader, did. She could make it happen, but only if she wanted.
Not knowing that, Rebecca gulped and opened her door. She stepped inside. Rebecca looked beyond the foyer to her living room. Her brother Gregory was still there fixing that DVD player. The grouch shook her head and walked toward him.
“Aunt Becky, where have you been?” Sean asked. She glanced at him. Recalling what happened after the snow-falling stopped, she kept quiet a moment before snapping.
“There is no need for you to know.” She took her coat and scarf off. “Where is Brittany?” she asked.
“She’s still in the kitchen,” he replied. He was right as she stepped in the kitchen. She cleared her throat. Brittany looked at her.
“What is it, miss Rebecca?” she asked.
“I’m letting you know that you’ll be working tomorrow and the day after,” she said.
“What? But it’s Christmas,” she said in shock. “I always take those days off.”
“And I’m telling you now, that is going to stop. From now on, you’re not taking any days off,” she said harshly.
Brittany stared at her as she walked out. Rebecca always kept to herself. She didn’t see the need to tell anyone what troubled her, and she knew no one would believe what she saw. She became shocked to find Christina in her bedroom. Her niece stared at her as a small ball tumbled from her hands.
“Aunt Becky!” she whispered.
“What are you doing in here?” she asked hotly. Christina picked up what dropped on the floor and put it on Rebecca’s vanity desk. She hastened out of the room, but her aunt stopped her. “Christina…” she warned.
“I – I – I was just… trying to find that packet of our family tree,” she stuttered.
“Are you saying you never finished that homework assignment?” She eyed her niece. Christina’s cheeks turned red. Rebecca scoffed. “Why Tammy agreed to take custody of you and Andrea after your father died is beyond me.” She tugged her toward the door. “Get out. You’re giving me a headache.”
“Yes, aunt Becky,” she whispered.Rebecca groaned as she rubbed her temple points and walked to her bed.
“What a headache,” she mumbled. “I’m taking a nap.” She fell asleep quickly after her head touched the pillow.
She looked around her dorm. It amazed her that she stayed in college so long. Rebecca could still smell the dust it had. She could never get the stench out. After her parents died during her second year, she barely had time to mourn. They came close to disinheriting her considering the attitude she picked up in high school.
Rebecca ended up getting the house, a small portion of money to continue college, and the family heirloom. To continue on made it difficult for her – what with the attitude. After breaking up with Nolan, she craved certain feelings over the years. She tried finding ways to fill them. That year, she had met someone who was willing to help her. Little did he know he would get her pregnant.
She and the married man never made contact after that day. Rebecca knew he wouldn’t help. She had no one to support her. Rebecca already spent the money to stay in her dorm. She didn’t know what to do. Months passed as she tried to find a solution.
When the time came to give birth, she was drained and almost delirious. Rebecca didn’t care what health condition her children were in. She knew she would have trouble. As cruel as she became by then, she didn’t have the heart for abortion. She put the twin babies up for adoption.
Rebecca woke in a cold sweat; knocking could be heard on her door. She grunted as she reached for her head. The headache moved further down, behind her eyes. She slowly got out of bed and opened the door.
“What is it?” she whispered.
“Whoa, what happened, Rebecca?” Brenda asked.
“There’s no need to know,” she said abruptly. Rebecca sighed as she rubbed her forehead. “Why’d you wake me?”
“Lunch is ready,” she said. “Let’s go eat.”
“You go. I’m not in the mood to sit around the family.” Her sister sighed before turning her head.
“You never are, Rebecca.” She walked away. “I’ll tell Brittany to bring you some food. There’s no reason you should starve.”
“Also tell her to bring aspirin. I’m getting a migraine,” she called. Brenda rolled her eyes.
After eating her lunch, Rebecca grew bored. Blocking out her family was almost a sport for her, and since her DVD player couldn’t play anything for a while, she had nothing else to do. She was getting tired of it. Rebecca ended up checking on them for the second time that day. She entered the family room first.
She saw Tammy sitting in their rocking chair. All her nieces sat around her in a half circle, facing her sister; though Andrea still had her notebook and writing things down as she spoke her thoughts aloud.
Rebecca watched the five of them talking about all sorts of things. Tammy stopped talking after a while. She listened to her nieces and daughter, but she could hear something else. Obviously, it had to be the way Rebecca was moving. Because she was blind, all of her other senses heightened over the years.
“Hello, Becky,” she said. Everyone stopped talking. The women cautiously turned their heads to see their aunt.
“Hello,” Rebecca mumbled.
“How is your migraine, sister?” Tammy asked.
“It’s better, I suppose. I think I might go for a walk after I see what Gregory is doing,” she said.
“Of course you know what he is doing,” she said. “He’s been working on that player of yours all day. I keep hearing him muttering to himself. It’s starting to get annoying. Please tell him to stop.” Rebecca scoffed and rolled her eyes. Tammy heard her. “Becky, you don’t have to be annoyed. I am not ordering you. I am merely asking a favor. It is Christmas. We should all be happy.”
“Whatever,” she mumbled. She turned to leave.
“Becky…” her sister whispered. She stopped at the door. “Gregory and Brenda may have given up trying to break that wall of yours down. That doesn’t mean they stopped loving you.” She left the family room. Tammy turned to Andrea. “Now, tell me how you wrote that,” she said candidly.
Her daughter Alexis laughed, as did her nieces. They all knew she never stopped writing.Andrea giggled and told her every word. Gregory was still in the living room, indeed fixing the player. Rebecca sighed.
“Still fixing it, I see,” she said with annoyance.
“Don’t worry,” he said with the same level she did. “It’ll be done before I go to bed.” After working on it for hours on end, except lunch, he became grouchy and somewhat knew how she felt.
“Will you just forget it?” she said hotly. “Besides it’s a DVD player, not a DVR. I can watch my show whenever I want.”
“Well, you should’ve told me that from the beginning,” he said. He stopped working and stood up to face her. Brenda and Brittany came in to talk to Gregory, but they didn’t get a word in as he continued talking. “Last night, you demanded me to fix your player before tomorrow. And because you never repair the darn thing, almost all the stuff inside is dusty and almost rusted. Dare I say it, you should just replace the DVD player. Heaven knows you got plenty of money. We haven’t seen you use that inheritance money since mom and dad died.”
Her eyes widened with fright and horror. He gulped and stepped back. Her sister and the housekeeper grew worried. They didn’t know what was going to happen, but they knew it would be bad. Rebecca was always a hothead.
For her to experience the memory as a dream and to hear someone mention the inheritance money in the same day, she became scared and horrified after remembering everything else. She turned around before she closed her eyes and clenched her teeth. No one ever saw her tremble like that before.
“Never… mention that… again,” she hissed with a slow, quivering voice. “You don’t know… anything about that.” She walked to the front door and grabbed her downy coat and scarf.
“Wait, Becky!” Brittany called out. “You can’t go out there! A blizzard is coming.”
“Do you think she would care?” Brenda and Gregory asked at the same time. Her sister said it sarcastically whereas her brother said it hotly. Rebecca walked out the door.
The winds blew harder than ever. Snow fell fast from the skies. The coldness covered her from head to toe. Her body shivered but she could hardly tell. She trudged on through the heavy-packed snow that covered her entire street. She pushed against the winds so she could walk. The cold and snow stung her face.
Rebecca whimpered and continued walking. She could feel her heart becoming hollow with each footstep. She was suddenly pushed back by an attack of wind. Rebecca fell on her back as she cried. Her cry was muffled. The wind became so loud; she could barely hear anything else. Breathing heavily, she scrunched her closed eyes.
I give up, she thought as falling snow began to cover her. The next second, she couldn’t hear anything. She grew worried. Did the snow cover her that fast? Did her ears grow deaf? Or worse, did she just die?
Rebecca didn’t want to know. She didn’t care. Only the silence she heard gave her peace. She quickly grew tired as her mind drifted to sleep.
Soon after she fell asleep, a big-bellied, strong man found her. He sighed as he watched her limp, tired body. The cheery man kneeled down to slip his hands under her. He then lifted her and carried Rebecca to a tall, very wide, red-and-white house. Some of his workers came up to him to help. He gave directions as to what to do next.
Rebecca woke an hour later with warmth hitting upon her cheeks and ears. She moaned as she shifted her arms to sit up. She glanced around before discovering she was in a large, comfortable chair near a fireplace. A thick blanket covered her. Rebecca shook her head before rubbing her forehead. She groaned. Her migraine continued throbbing.
“Welcome back, Miss Matthews,” Santa Claus greeted. She gasped and turned toward his voice. “For a moment, I thought you were stuck in a hypothermic sleep.” Her eyes widened. “You’re in safe hands now.”
“I see that,” she whispered. Rebecca observed his rosy cheeks and white hair. “You must be Santa Claus.” He laughed heartily, ho-ho-hoing the entire time. She couldn’t prevent herself from giggling. His laughter was infectious.
“I have no doubt about that,” he said. “I am curious what made you walk in a blizzard. What happened, my dear?” She recalled her argument with her brother Gregory. She sighed and frowned.
I don’t understand. Of all places, the Christmas dimension, she thought. Are there other dimensions?
“Oh, Mr. Claus.” She crossed her arms. “I don’t know why I keep getting sent here. I am nothing but a grouch. I get more pleasure making arguments than stopping them.”
“Perhaps you should think how to change that,” he said. She shook her head.
“I don’t know how. I’ve been blocking people out since high school. I’m so used to doing that.” She sighed once more. “I’m tired of it but… but I don’t think I have the ability to make amends.” Rebecca looked toward the fireplace.Santa Claus smiled as a thought came to him.
“Then I suggest visiting your perfect Christmas. I recall my Missus sending you there once before,” he said. She looked at him and nodded. “What did you see?” She stayed quiet as she turned her head toward the fireplace again. Rebecca didn’t feel comfortable telling him her family’s miserable Christmas made her happy. She knew that would hurt his cheery disposition. “Ah; I suppose telling of it would not make it happen.”
“It’s not that,” Rebecca whispered. “Telling you would make you sad.” She stood, placing the blanket on the chair, and walked away. “Thank you, Mr. Claus. I think I should be going.”
“Wait,” he said. She stopped to look at him. “You almost forgot your coat.” Rebecca then realized her scarf was missing too. “I had them cleaned and dried for you. We don’t want you going home in the same condition we found you.” One of his workers came up to him with her coat and scarf. Her eyes widened when she saw the short woman had pointy ears. She stuttered.