“Umm, do you have this in teal?” I asked holding up a light blue bundle of yarn. “Ooh, or maybe like a fuzzy teal? I don’t know what it’s called--arts and crafts really aren’t my thing--but like it has sort of these splintering-off threads on it? It puffs out more.” I tried to gesture with my hands. “God, I really don’t know what it’s called. Do you know what I’m talking about?”
“Yeah, I think I do.” The employee answered. “We might have some in the back.”
I exhaled, relieved. “Great, this is like the fifth AC Moore I’ve been to in the past three days. Plus four Jo-Anns and two Micheals. They were all out of stock.”
The employee chuckled. “Well, it is Christmas Eve. Everyone’s running low on supplies. Just follow me.” As we walked to the stockroom, he asked. “So, who is for? They must be pretty important if you’re going through all this trouble for them.”
My eyes lit up. “She are!!! It’s my beautiful, wonderful, amazing, and perfect in every which way, wife, Alicia. Christmas is also the anniversary of the day we met. So, I just want to make everything perfect for her.”
“Well, she’s lucky to have a wife like you.” He pushed open the stockroom’s door. “Good luck finding what you need in here.”
The stockroom was filled with a miniature city of towering boxes, each filled with different craft supplies. Colored pencils, paper, and plastic jewels littered the ground. In one corner, there was just a five foot pile of stray cloth.
I rolled up my sleeves. “I don’t need luck.” I dived into the chaotic mess. “I have the power of love on my side.”
After three hours of shifting through the mess, I popped up from inside a box of yarn to catch my breath. To my right, was the employee from before with a sly grin on his face and a BLT sandwich. “How you holding up there, sport?”
“I think I have a pair of knitting needles stuck in my thigh.”
“Welp, they’re covered in your blood. Their yours now.
“Cool, I needed a pair of them anyway.”
“Are you sure this is worth it? I mean, couldn’t you just get her a different type of yarn?”
“No.” I refused. “My wife loves arts and crafts… thingies. And she loves teal and fuzzy things. Last year, she gave me a hand stitched embroidered pillow with us holding hands sewn on it. This year, I swore to get her something just as amazing. So I’m finding that yarn.”
The employee sighed. “Yeah, I’d figured you’d say something like that. But look, lady, the store is closing early today in half an hour. There’s a good chance that the yarn isn’t even here.”
“Thank you for your encouraging words.”
“I’m not trying to bum you out or anything.” He defended. “I’m simply stating the obvious. So, you might want to think of a different solution. Since the yarn isn’t here or in any arts and crafts store within a hundred miles, I called in a special order for you.”
“Really?” My eyes sparkled with hope. “When will it get here?”
“You have to go pick it up at headquarters. While you were playing in here, that blizzard they predicted was going to hit during the night was wreaking havoc outside. That’s why the store is closing early. Which means… headquarters in also closing early.”
“How much time do I have?”
“Not enough. They’re closing in half an hour as well.”
I emerged from the yarn. “I have to get going then!”
“Oi!” He called out. “Wait a second.”
He handed me the sandwich. “It’s dangerous to go alone. Take this.”
“Thanks? I was getting kind of hungry.”
“Figured as much. But seriously, the roads are going to be dangerous with the snow, be careful.”
I had looked up the route to AC Moore headquarters on Google Maps and since it was a forty minute drive, I may have sped a little.
Well, a lot actually.
Which landed my car halfway through a snowbank I stared at the wreck and my hands resting behind my head as I gawked at it from the outside. This was not good. The car may only have minor damages, but there was no way I would be able to get Alicia’s yarn now.
And based on when someone finds me, I may even miss Christmas morning.
I covered my face in my hands. “What am I gonna do? What am I gonna do? What am I gonna do?” I whimpered to myself over and over again.
Then, I felt a pair of eyes staring at me and looked up. It was… a reindeer.
I was about halfway through the question “am I really going to mount a reindeer and ride it through a snowstorm to get a present for my wife?” when I had already mounted it and started dashing down the highway.
Okay, so for anyone who ever thought riding a reindeer would be like riding a horse without a saddle—ie five-minutes-ago me—it is not. I was grabbing onto its fur by the fistful the entire ride there, terrified. Not to mention the number of strange looks I got.
When headquarters was finally in sight, I didn’t even dismounted the reindeer. I just… slid off sideways into a pile of snow.
2/10 Uber. Would not recommend.
“It’s for my wife. It’s for my wife. It’s for my wife.” I kept muttering to myself like a madman.
“Madame!” An employee rushed from the building to my freezing soon-to-be corpse. “Are you okay?”
“Yarn…” I murmured.
I grabbed the collar of their shirt. “YARN!”
“Jesus!” He scrambled backward. “Oh, wait a minute. You’re the loon who ordered the teal yarn?
“Yes. Can I just please have it now? And maybe a bus pass home?”
“Sure.” He chuckled.
Christmas morning. Ta-da! It was the moment we were all waiting for!
At least, I think this was the moment. I was still pretty sleep deprived and out of it.
I felt someone press a mug of hot coffee in my hands and a peck on the cheek. “Merry Christmas, love.” Alicia whispered into my ear.
I smiled. “You ready to open your present?”
“Super ready. Is it this red one?”
I nodded and took a sip of coffee.
Carefully, Alicia unwrapped the gift and opened the box. She gasped. “A real sweater!”
Alicia held it up to her torso. “And it fits perfectly!”
“Yeah, I know your measurements pretty well.”
“Did you have knit this?”
“Yup.” I kissed her cheek. “Only the best for my baby.”