Timmy’s Boots

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Copyright Adam Ickes

“Where are your boots, Timmy?” His mother asked him when she noticed that he wasn’t wearing them.

“I left them outside.”

“Why?” she asked.

“I’m taking them over to Leroy.”

“Why?”

“He doesn’t have boots.  He likes mine so I’m going to give them to him.”

“But those are your favorite boots”

“I know but Leroy’s my best friend and it’s Christmas.”

His mother was deeply touched.  She reached out and ruffled his hair.  “Bring them in, Honey.  We’ll wrap them so that Leroy has another present to open on Christmas Day.”

Timmy beamed.  “Thanks, Mom!”  He raced off.

 

99 Words

This was written for the Friday Fictioneers challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields For more details, visit Here.  To read other stories based on this week’s prompt, visit Here.

 

I wish to take this opportunity to wish everyone and their loved ones a very Merry Christmas.

Jenna’s Christmas/Setting #writephoto

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Photo by Sue Vincent

 

She was sitting on the sofa, hugging the cushion, watching Hallmark Christmas romance movies, feeling sorry for herself when her friend and former co-worker, Kim stopped by.  She took one look at the place and her face and said, “Oh, Honey” before hugging her tightly.  “I don’t have to ask how you’re doing.  I wanted to come by and see you before but I wanted to give you your space.  I was shocked when I found out that you resigned.  What happened?  Why did you leave a job you loved so much?”

She reached for a tissue as she felt the tears coming.  “Bo broke up with me.”

“When?”

“Last week Tuesday.”

Kim studied her.  “Jenna, I think I know why he broke up with you.”

“He told me why he was breaking up with me.  He said and I quote, ‘I like you but I’m not in love with you.  If we stay together, you will be happy at first but then miserable later on.  You deserve to be with a guy who will love you as much as you love me.’”

“Jenna, Bo found out on Monday that he has Lou Gehrig’s Disease.”

Jenna stared at her, stunned.  “What?”

“Yes.  He had been experiencing the early signs of the disease for a while and finally decided to go to the doctor to confirm what he suspected.  When you were together, didn’t you notice anything?”

“He seemed a bit clumsy at times and other times, his speech seemed a bit slurred.  I asked him about it but he always brushed it off, saying that it wasn’t anything to worry about.”

“Bo broke up with you because of the disease and no other reason.”

“I want to believe that but I can’t forget the look on his face when he told me that he didn’t love me.”

“He had to be convincing.  You have no idea how much it must have pained him to lie to you like that.   One evening when I went into the office the day before he left the company, I saw him staring at a photo of you which he kept in his wallet.  Jenna, Bo loves you.  What he did was not to hurt you but to spare you the heartache of seeing him deteriorate as the disease becomes more progressive.  He felt that you shouldn’t be burdened with it and him.  It isn’t what he wanted for you.  That’s how much he loves you.  He was thinking of you, not himself when he ended your relationship.”

The tears were streaming down her face now.  “You said he left the company.”

“Yes.  He didn’t think he could function any longer so he passed the reins over to George, packed up and left.”

“I should go and see him.”

“He’s not in the city.”

“Do you know where he is?”

“I think he went to the cabin to celebrate Christmas with his sister and her family.”

Jenna wiped away the tears.  “I’ll get dressed now and head up there.  Thanks, Kim, for stopping by.”

Kim hugged.  “I’m happy I did.  Now, go and straighten things with Bo.  Have a Merry Christmas, Jenna.”

Jenna smiled for the first time.  “I will,” she said.  “And I hope you do too.”

After Kim, left,she called Rebecca, Bo’s sister and apologized to her for not returning her call.  They spoke for a while and then, she cleaned up the apartment, showered, got dressed, packed an overnight bag and left.

Bo stood watching the sun setting.  He inhaled deeply, savoring the crisp, fresh air.  The mountains stood majestically before him.  Walking up here had been a bit difficult but he was determined to do it.  He didn’t know how much time he had before he could no longer be mobile.  This disease had blindsided him although he recognized the symptoms.  He had hoped that he was wrong because he had such plans.  He had wanted to ask Jenna to marry him but after the diagnosis, he decided that she would be better off with someone else.

Jenna.  He missed her terribly.  That day when he broke up with her, it was the worst and most painful one in his entire life.  It took every ounce of strength not to go after her when she ran away.  Several times, he wanted to call her but common sense prevailed.  When he saw her letter of resignation, he was relieved but regretful at the same time.  It was for the best, he told himself but his heart said differently.

“Bo.”

He turned around and his heart began to pound when he saw her standing there.  He hadn’t heard her.  He had been so absorbed in his thoughts.  “Hello, Jenna,” he said as she drew closer.  “What are you doing here?”

“I know why you broke up with me.”

He swallowed hard.  “What do you mean?” he asked.  “I told you the reason–”

“I know what you told me but now I know what the real reason is.”

“The real reason?  Jenna, I don’t…”

“I know about the disease.”

He raked his fingers through his hair.  “Who told you?”

“It doesn’t matter who told me. The important thing is that I know.”

“Nothing has changed, Jenna.  We still can’t be together.”

She moved closer.  “Bo, I love you and I know you love me too.  We can face this together.  Please don’t shut me out.”

“Jenna, you deserve better.”

“I think I deserve to be happy, don’t you and that will only be possible with you.  Now, please stop trying to push me out of your life.  I’m here to stay, Bo, whether you like it or not.”

Bo stared at her, his heart bursting.  “Are you sure that this is what you want?” he asked tautly.

“Yes!  I love you and I want to be with you, for better and for worse.”

“Oh, Jenna.”  He pulled her against him and buried his face in her hair.  “I love you so much.”

She smiled and put her arms round him.  “I know,” she murmured.  “You and I are going to spend this Christmas and the rest of our lives together.”

 

This was written for the #writephoto Prompt – Setting at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo.

Gifts From the East

“Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him” – Matthew 2:2

Wise Men from the East traveled all the way to Jerusalem to see the King of the Jews.  They didn’t know where exactly to find Him.  They had see His star and followed it.  It led them there in Jerusalem.  They visited King Herod, believing that he would know where the Christ was but the king didn’t.  He was greatly troubled by this and called the chief priests and scribes together to inquire where the Christ was to be born.  They told him what the prophecy said, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet:  ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.’

King Herod met alone with the Wise Men and told them that the Child was in Bethlehem, tell them to, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.”  The visitors left and the star which they had seen in the East went before them and led them to where the Child was.  Seeing the star filled them with great joy and they rejoiced.

They went into the house and saw the young Child with His mother, Mary.  They fell down and worshipped Him.  They presented gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. What was the significance of each of these gifts?  Were they simply customary gifts from the regions or were they chosen specifically?  Gold is a precious and valuable metal.   It is rare and it doesn’t tarnish.  Precious things and ornaments are made of gold.  In this instance, gold represents Jesus’ kingship.  Frankincense is a perfume or incense.  It was used in religious and spiritual rituals all over the world..  It represents Jesus’ priesthood.  Myrrh is a bitter gum and costly perfume which comes from a certain tree or shrub in Arabia and Ethiopia.  It is also an antiseptic used for embalming.  The myrrh prefigures Jesus’ death and embalming.

These gifts were not arbitrary.  They were carefully chosen for the One whom they traveled far to behold and worship.  They brought their gifts to Him because they believed that He was the Messiah, the King of the Jews.  What a beautiful story of faith and the love of God who sent His Son to die for everyone.  It is a testimony that Jesus is Savior of Jews and Gentiles.  He came to save the world.

This Christmas season, reflect on the roles of Jesus–King, Priest and Savior.  Think of someone who needs to know that God loves them and offer them His most precious Gift to mankind–His Son.

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Source: Natural Living Family

Best Friends

mens-hairstyles-curly-hairstyle-menHe raked his fingers through his disheveled hair, frustrated.  It was no use.  He couldn’t concentrate on his work.  He had come here to the cottage to work on the manuscript which was due in a couple of days.  The quiet, solitude were exactly what he needed to get him going but his mind was refusing to focus.  His eyes shifted to the time at the bottom of the screen.  All he could think about was her with someone else…  Muttering under his breath, he jumped to his feet and walked over to the window.

He looked out at the mountains as they loomed in the distance.  The lake was calm.  He envied it.  Sometimes, he wished he didn’t feel anything.  It would make life so much easier.  Right now, he didn’t want to feel the pain that gnawed at him.  Why on earth did he break his own rule and fall in love with his best friend?  They had known each other since high school.  Back then, she was a skinny girl with the terrific smile and who wore glasses that were too big for her face.   She wasn’t pretty like the other girls but she was smart and he liked hanging out with her.  They were interested in the same things.

Over the weekends, they went to Art galleries, museums, poetry readings and the theatre.  They weren’t into parties or hanging out at the mall.  They went to the prom together and enrolled in the same university.  His major was Creative Writing and hers was Journalism.  Whenever he wrote a story, he would have her read it.  She was his best critic.  She was more excited than he when his first story was published in the local newspaper.  And it was she who encouraged him to consider writing novels.  One snowy day, he sat down and crafted his first novel which he dedicated to her.  It was a bestseller.

They were friends for life—inseparable until her career as a journalist took her to LA where she got to work at the magazine she had always dreamed of writing for.  It was too great an opportunity to pass up.  It was when they were facing each other at the airport that he realized that he wasn’t just saying goodbye to his best friend but he was saying goodbye to the girl he had fallen in love with.  When they hugged, he closed his eyes and buried his face in her hair.  He didn’t want to let go.

When they drew apart, she gazed up at him, her eyes brimming with tears.  “We’ll see each other in the summer and for the Christmas holidays,” she said.  “We’ll keep in touch every single day.”

He smiled even though his heart was breaking.  “Yes, we will.”

“I love you, Jonas,” she said, reaching up and touching his face.

He swallowed hard.  “I love you too.”  He knew that she loved him as a friend but he was telling her that he loved her as a man loved a woman.

“Take care of yourself.”

“I will.”  He watched her walk away, taking a part of him with her.

The drive back to home had been a depressing one and when he got in, he went into the study and sat down in front of the laptop to write.  Writing was the only thing that gave him any comfort and purpose.

They kept in touch through texting, emails, phone calls, Facebook and Skype.  They saw each other during the summer and over the Christmas holidays.   She had changed somewhat.  Gone was the awkward and shy girl.  In her stead was a glamorous and confident woman.   Gone were the glasses and in place of the braids was her natural hair.  She looked great.  Although they had both changed, they still connected.  Neither was dating.   That changed however, last summer when he visited her for Christmas and was introduced to Roger, the man she had started dating.

They met at some function or the other—he couldn’t remember.  His heart was aching.  Pain and jealousy consumed him.  He smiled but it was a facade.  It masked the hurt he was feeling.   He thought that was the worst moment of his life until that afternoon when they were walking through Seward Park where she told him that she was engaged.  It was too much.  He couldn’t hide his distress.  “I’m sorry,” he mumbled.  “I can’t do this.  I can’t pretend that I’m happy for you when this is killing me.  I have to go.”  He turned and walked away.

That was the last time they saw each other face to face.  She had called him but when he saw her number on the display, he let it go to voicemail.  She sent him emails but they sat unopened in his inbox.  Last week, she left a message about him going to LA for Christmas which was a week away.  He couldn’t go.  He couldn’t face her.  He couldn’t bear to see her with Roger.  He couldn’t do it.  That was why he came here instead.  He wanted to lose himself in his new novel but it wasn’t working out.  All he could think about was her.  He was losing his best friend.  He was losing the woman he loved.  How was it possible for a person to live with a broken heart?  Right now he couldn’t see past the pain.

I need some fresh air, he decided.  He moved away from the window.  Grabbing his coat, he left the cottage and went down to the lake where he stood, gazing at the mountains.   What a magnificent view.  The sun hovered over them, enshrouding them in its golden hue.  What he wouldn’t give for Rose to be there right with him now.  Just the two of them, alone out there, no interruptions.   They would sit by the lake and or go for a swim.  Afterwards, they would go and have a bite to eat or go for a drive.  At night, they would sit out on the back porch and watch the stars.

He closed his eyes in despair.  They soon opened.  It was so faint that at first he thought he imagined it.  Then he heard it again.  He turned.  His eyes widened in disbelief when he saw her running towards him.  “What are you doing here?” he demanded when she reached him.

“I’ve been trying to reach you,” she said, trying to catch her breath.

“What are you doing here?” he asked again.

“I came back,” she cried, her expression earnest as she looked up at him.  “I left my job in LA and moved back here where I belong.”

Jonas stared at her, dazed and confused.  “You moved back to Seattle?”

“Yes!”

“But what about Roger?”

“I broke off our engagement.”

“Why?”

“I broke it off because I love you, Jonas.”

He blinked.  “I’m sorry, but did you just say…?”

“Yes.  I love you.  I tried to tell you that when I called and emailed you.”

“I didn’t want to talk to you or to read your emails.  I didn’t want to hear anything about you and Roger.”

“That day in the park before you walked away, you said something that made me realize how you really felt about me.  Before that I had no idea.  I had hoped but I thought you said that because you didn’t think that Roger was the right guy for me.  I didn’t think…”

“Yes.  I was hurt, jealous and angry.  You have no idea how much I wanted to tell you that I loved you.  It was too much to deal with so I walked.”

“I wanted to run after you but I was afraid that I would make a fool of myself.  All the way back to LA, I couldn’t stop thinking about what you said and the way you looked. As soon as I arrived at the airport, I called Roger and asked him to meet me at a café near my apartment.  He took it well.  He suspected that I was in love with you.  After we say our goodbyes, I went home and typed up my letter of resignation.  Then, I booked a flight to Seattle.  And here I am.”

“How did you know I was here?”

“I didn’t.  I went to your place and your neighbor told me.”

Jonas stared at her.  “I can’t believe that you’re standing here in front of me.”

“This is where I belong, Jonas.  Here with you.”

He pulled her against him, his eyes darkening on her upturned face.  “Yes, it is,” he agreed huskily.  “Now, I really won’t be able to get any work done…”

She smiled.  “So, you’re working on a new novel?”

“Yes, but it can wait.”  He bent his head and kissed her.

Some Family Christmas

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Photo Credit: Anurag Bakhshi

I looked at the houses below me, thankful to be leaving.  I couldn’t wait to get back to America.  I had the bright idea of spending Christmas on the island with my family for a change.  The first night I was there, I wanted to take the first plane back to New York.  My sister’s constant talk of her boyfriend got on my nerves because it invariably led to my mother asking me about my love life.  One night at dinner, she asked, “So, what’s wrong with you?”

The fork of rice was midway to my mouth.  I looked at her quizzically.  “What do you mean?” I asked.

“You’ve been living in New York all these years and you still haven’t found a man?”

“I haven’t found the right one,” I clarified and then proceeded to put the rice in my mouth.  It was delicious.  I wish she’d let me enjoy it in peace.  Who wanted to talk about my nonexistent love life over Pelau?  Unfortunately, my mother did.

She rolled her eyes.  “You’re too picky,” she said.

I didn’t answer.  My father shot me sympathetic looks.

With Christmas behind me, I’m looking forward to celebrating 2019 in New York.

 

200 Words

 

This was written for Sunday Photo Fiction hosted by Susan Spaulding. For more details visit Here.  To read more of the stories based on this week’s prompt, visit Here.

Not a Jolly Christmas

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Photo by Akshata Ram

It was Christmas but she wasn’t feeling jolly.  Her relationship with Bo was over.  They’d been dating for a year and just when she thought that things were getting serious between them, he broke up with her.  She’d sat there on the park bench, stunned.  She hadn’t seen it coming.  She was speechless.

“Why?” she finally managed to ask.  “What did I do wrong?”

“There’s no easy way to say this, Chloe.  “I like you but I’m not in love with you.  If we stay together, you will be happy at first but then miserable later on.  You deserve to be with a guy who will love you as much as you love me.”

She flinched as if he’d struck her.  “I can’t believe it.”

“I’m sorry…I never meant to hurt you.”

It was the worst moment of her life.  She collapsed on the bed.  I can’t be Santa’s helper today.  I can’t face those kids.  Bo’s going to be there.  I can’t face him…

She wrote Bo a letter of resignation.

 

172 Words

 

This was written for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers hosted by Priceless Joy and Joe. For more information visit Here.  To read other stories based on this week’s prompt, visit Here.

Sources:  Love Bondings; Cosmopolitan;

A Promise Fulfilled

“Lord, now I can die in peace! As you promised me, I have seen the Savior you have given to all people.  He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!” (Luke 2:29-32)

These are the words of a man named Simeon who was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue His people. The Holy Spirit had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. He got his wish.

The Holy Spirit led Simeon to the temple the very same day that Jesus was dedicated to the Lord. How wonderful! God had fulfilled His promise to Simeon.

Simeon was overjoyed when he saw the Infant Savior. How his heart must have leapt with joy as he held Jesus in his arms and gazed down into that tiny face. He blessed Joseph and Mary. He said to Mary, “This Child will be rejected by many in Israel, and it will be their undoing. But he will be the greatest joy to many others.”

For many of us, Jesus is the greatest joy. He brought us hope, love, peace and the promise of eternal life.  Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, proclaimed, “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, because He has visited His people and redeemed them.  He has sent us a mighty Savior from the royal line of His servant David, just as He promised through His holy prophets long ago” (Luke 1:68-70).

What a wonderful promise!  During the Christmas season, imagine what it must have been like for Simeon to see the Lord face to face and to realize that the Lord had kept him alive for just that moment.  Simeon had seen salvation.  He had seen the promise of eternal life before he died.  God had promised His people salvation and then He fulfilled that promise through His Son, Jesus.

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