The previous Christmas, I was a lonely girl in this big city with no friends or relatives, barely making ends meet as a waitress. And after one year, everything has changed. Not only do I have a home but also a boyfriend, with whom I’ll be married soon.
I pulled the blindfolds back and looked outside of my New York penthouse. The whole city was covered with white snow, and I could see everyone wrapped up in their coats.
It’s almost 2 degrees here. I don’t think one cup of coffee will do the trick.
I remember being on those streets before meeting Harry. Waking up before anyone else and then rushing to work without having eaten breakfast. Waiting long hours for the bus. I need to change buses twice before reaching my destination, have to think twice before spending any money on food. Instead of healthy options, I would mainly pick cheap junk food just to be on budget.
My life was crazy, even though I only lived that life for a year. I remember days crying before going to sleep. I always wanted to go back home. New York is nothing like Nashville. My small town is less populated, and people mostly have their own family businesses. It’s not stressful as compared to life in a big city.
In Nashville, I used to work at my Uncle Joey’s restaurant. The timing was simple, and the people were down to earth. They wouldn’t give me much tips, but they were gentle. I felt safe.
On the other hand, New York did offer me lots of ways to earn money, but in the end, it just took too much toil for myself. Low pay, cheap junk food, and long working hours deteriorated my health a lot.
Thankfully, the job I got was at Seven- Twenty-Four, where Harry was the manager.
I walked across the bedroom where my boyfriend was sleeping and turned on the hallway lights.
“Mam, you need help?” I turned and saw Martha standing near the doorway.
“No Martha. I am good.” I smiled. I looked around the vast kitchen. The whole place was different from my Nashville home, where the kitchen was stocked with modern appliances and smart gadgets.
“If you want, you can find me Harry’s favorite coffee.” I’m going to give him some Christmas surprises.”
“Oh, yes, Mr. Rodriguez prefers Black Ivory coffee. I think Jerry bought new stock yesterday.”
She hurriedly approached the cabinets and began her mini-search.
It’s strange that someone like Harry, who likes coffee that costs $2k per kg, would be interested in an orphan girl like me.
“Martha, how long have you been working here?” I seated myself on the nearby stool where Toby the cat was sleeping last night.
“Three years this Christmas, mam.”
“Oh, that’s a long time. Maybe I’ll ask you one more thing.”
“Have you seen girls or anyone here?” I mean… anyone in his family?”
“Girls? Nope. Mr. Rodriguez never brings any female here except his sister Mia.”
I remember Harry mentioning her once.
“Where is she now?”
“Miss Rodriguez? She is in San Diego, ma’am. She studies film there.”
Won’t he be celebrating Christmas with his family?
“Here it is. You want me to make coffee?” she asked.
I shook my head. “Nope, that’s all, Martha. I’ll take care of the rest.”
“Where is my angel?”
I turned and saw Harry at the front door, scratching his head as if he didn’t recognise his own place.
“This place looked different,” he said. He walked over and kissed me gently on the forehead.
“It’s Christmas, Harry. I updated this place a little.”
“A little? You changed the whole living room. By the way, where is my favorite recliner chair?”
“Harry, won’t you be spending Christmas with your family?” I totally forgot about the recliner chair.
“Because they are busy. Busy as hell.”
“It’s christmas. Who works on Christmas?”
“You fell in love with someone who didn’t like Christmas before.”
“Right. So, you are telling me there are more Scrooges like you?”
He silently smiled. “I’d like to see how you are going to change them. Let me tell you, I was an easy target, but they won’t be.”
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