Friendship Funny

365 days. Every year. Every stinking, miserable year. I can't deal with it anymore. People call me a Scrooge or a Grinch, and I accept it. I mean, why do people like Christmas so much? The carols that can't get out of your head and the all-too-shiny shimmer on the presents, not to mention the sickening smell of sugar everywhere you turn. Am I supposed to love Christmas, because people say I should. Out of my misery, I decided to go to town and see the festivities, hoping to tease and push people to their limits.

It was almost too easy. I mean, the messy wreathes made by children, and the out of key songs? Who would want anything to do with those? I walk through the crowded streets, looking for another miser like me, when the worst happened. It was almost like a cartoon, but worse. Way worse.

There was a construction crew working on the city sewers; no warning signs or anything. Scrolling through my phone as I walked, I couldn't see them. And I fell into the pothole, cracking my head. The workers rushed me to the hospital, praying that I'd be alright. To be quite frank, I was perfectly fine. It was almost as if nothing happened. Sure, my head was bleeding and I couldn't feel anything, but I felt... normal. Happy, even.

The doctors helped me, trying to see what was wrong and if there were any witnesses. I told them they didn't need witnesses, and that I remembered everything. The thing was, I didn't. I tried to explain the accident, but everything came up blank. I heard one word that made me change my entire outlook on the situation, causing me panic.


I knew what it meant, but I didn't want it to be true. I couldn't think straight, or remember my name, or even where I was from. I didn't know anything about who I was, or what I was even doing. So when the doctors discharged me, I had no where in the world to go.

The doctors ordered me a home nurse, who would take care of me through my return. She was a wonderful lady, kind and sweet with no remorse. She was tender, and like a grandmother. She helped me when I couldn't remember or got frustrated, and asked me to see the date after I saw the snow outside. Looking at the calendar from the place the nurse said was my home, it was Christmas Eve.

"Christmas? What is Christmas?" I asked the nurse, confused and interested all in one. The nurse only laughed as she explained, telling me that it would be better for me to experience it for myself. I did as I was told, going about the crowded streets once again.

Everything felt different, like I hadn't felt the joy or laughter of this season before. I saw families together, chuckling and exchanging early presents. I heard the sweet melody of the carolers, trying to remember if I had heard them before. I couldn't remember, though. I went to the charity booth for the homeless and dropped $50 in the donation bin, with a smile on my face. The people collecting donations stared at me as if I had three heads.

"Asherah? Is that really you?" one of them asked, studying me from head to toe. I thought to myself, thinking of who this man was. Asherah. Asherah. Is that my name? I thought to myself. The man looked at me, seemingly wanting a quicker response. I shrugged, not completely sure how to answer.

A brief memory passed through my mind. This man and I were fighting over something, and it seemed important. I only had the fragment, and I held on to it tightly.

"Manasseh?" I asked, gasping as I remembered his name.

"Yes. That is me. Are you okay?" he questioned, giving me a concerned look.

"Yes. I am fine. And I am sorry about that fight we had," I replied. He nodded and chuckled, assuring me that no harm was done. I walked away from the booth and towards the town square. There was a large ice skating rink filled with happy children. It was draped with tinsel and glitter, shining in the sun.

A woman from across the rink saw me, and her eyes welled up with tears. She was about my age, whatever it was, and she looked like me. Her dark hair flowed down her back, and her dark eyes met with mine as she walked over.

"Asherah?" she asked, her eyes brimming from the wetness. I nodded as she said my name, and she embraced me warmly. "I have missed you so much, my sister. Why are you here? I thought you hated Christmas."

"Hate Christmas?" I replied, shaken at the thought. Who could hate Christmas? It is such a time of joy and cheer, filling people with happy memories.

"Yes, you hate Christmas," she replied. I perceived her name to be Halima, and she felt so familiar to me. "Or you used to, at least."

"Halima, if I hated Christmas, then I don't now. It is such a wonderful and blessed time of year. I am grateful for whatever happened, because I would not be who I am now without it," I remarked. Halima nodded and gave me another hug before walking away.

I went back to my house, filled with Christmas spirit. I described everything that had happened to my nurse, happier and happier with every new sentence. She told me that she was proud, and that I was recovering quickly, even with my condition. We had been invited to a dinner that night with Halima, Manasseh, and their families. We went, of course, and had the most amazing time.

There was roast beef and stew, holly berries and every kind of sweet food. Cakes and candies, sugar galore. The children ran around gleefully, whining about presents and when Santa would come.

"Who is Santa?" I asked. Every person at the table turned their heads to look at me, like I had said the most inappropriate thing in the world. The children laughed, breaking the awkward silence that had started.

"Auntie Asherah. Santa is a magical man who brings you presents when you are good," a little boy said. He had dark hair and dark eyes like Halima, and a wide smile like Manasseh. I wondered if they were married, but I shooed the thought away. The boy went into a long discussion about the story of Santa, being cut off when it was time for bed. "Aw," he said. "I don't wanna go to sleep."

"If you don't go to sleep, Santa won't bring you any presents," Halima warned. The boy immediately ran for his room when he heard this, giving everyone a rushed goodnight. I chuckled and looked around the large room. "That Cad is going to get himself in trouble one day with all the complaints he makes."

I wanted to ask why, but I decided to hold off on that subject. All the adults, including me, went over to the large, cushioned couches and watched movies until midnight. I went home after the party, smiling and just downright giddy.

I don't know why people called me a Scrooge or a Grinch, but I know one thing in particular. Christmas is the most wonderful and amazing time of the year. People may go through hard and challenging times, but there would always be Christmas to give them the wonders and miracles they needed. I feel happier than I have in a long time, and I can't wait for next year. 365 days.

December 20, 2023 22:42

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