To: The North Pole, 1100 W. Sleigh Avenue

Submitted into Contest #55 in response to: Write a story that either starts or ends with someone asking, “Can you keep a secret?”... view prompt

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General

“Can you keep a secret?” Stupid Rachel Seyfarth said to me while she was behind me in the Bathroom Line. “Santa isn’t real. I know it because I’m Catholic, and Christmas is about God. Santa is just a way for not-believers to make fun of God.”

Santa, if you’re reading this, which I know you are, I want to tell you personally that I do not believe Stupid Rachel. I could not understand why she was saying these horrible things to me. And worst of all, when I said back to her “That’s not true,” Mrs. Anderson gave us both red slips for talking in the bathroom line. I am livid, Mr. Claus!

I’m a good person. I have never gotten a red slip. I read at a 7th grade level. I’m always quiet in the bathroom line, and I even made a petition to bring snack time back to school, and 48 kids signed it! You know me, and I’m sorry if this red slip has put me on the naughty list. I promise you, I have not been naughty.

But things got worse after I got that red slip. I feel like I should tell you, in the interest of full honesty. 

I was still in the bathroom line and my eyes were burning from the tears. I was embarrassed that I was crying in front of everybody, but I was more mad than anything. I crumpled the slip in my hand and said to Stupid Rachel “My mom says God isn’t real and to not say anything because people need to believe in a place to go when they die! But there’s no place, Rachel! You just die!”

Now, you know me, Santa. I’m not a bad person. I know right from wrong, and I think what I said was factually correct, but morally gray. 

At that point, everybody heard what I said. And it led (lead??? I never know!) to me getting sent…to the PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE! What? I didn’t even start the conversation in the first place! I was trying to mind my own business in line while we waited for George Asidorian to finish pooping before going back to learning subtraction. 

Mrs. Anderson took great offense to what I said, and she told me that she’s never heard of someone being so “callous.” I had to look that one up because I thought she was talking about the things on my mom’s feet, and it didn’t make a lot of sense. Turns out my mom actually has bunions, and Mrs. Anderson was saying that I am “insensitive and have cruel disregard for others.”

Do you think I’m callous, Santa? Was I callous last year when I went to my big brothers’ soccer games and cheered for him? Was I callous when I made my best friend Ellen a home-made birthday card? Was I callous when I accidentally dropped the class pet hamster and organized a funeral for her? These are great questions to think about. 

I’m not saying that Stupid Rachel deserved to cry. But she’s the one who started the conversation! I had to defend your honor, Santa! I wasn’t going to just let her go around and say you’re not real, especially when she’s saying God is real. Why wasn’t she sent to the principal’s office, too? She’s the one who’s actually wrong!

She went home early and her mom said I’m not allowed at Brownies anymore. The power of being a scout leader has definitely gone to her head. They would take me out of Brownies -- where we write cards to seniors and learn how to sew -- because I told the truth? This world isn’t making sense to me anymore. I like Brownies because I get to wear pants on Fridays, which girls aren’t allowed to usually wear. I’m really sad that I can’t anymore. 

Is it a crime to acknowledge the reality we live in, Santa? My mom came to pick me up and said she couldn’t believe that I got into so much trouble. I need to learn better social skills, my mom says. That’s crazy because I already have them. I already don’t get red slips, I turn in all my homework on time, I do math in pencil (and not pen!), I clean my room, I don’t have a cell phone like the other kids because I know I’m too young, I eat all the food on my plates, I am nice to my friends, I keep my mask on at all times during school and also on the bus, and I ride my bike with my helmet on! I do all these good things, and I hardly have time to just sit down by myself. I’m tired!!!!1!!!!!

I’m sorry for getting upset. After I went to the principal’s office and my mom picked me up, she said I have to write an apology letter to Stupid Rachel Seyfarth. My language skills would be a waste on her, obviously. So I decided to write you instead. There’s only 15 more minutes that I’m allowed on the computer for. 

I know you’re busy, Santa, and I know that’s why you don’t write back a lot. But if maybe an assistant could send something? I would really appreciate some guidance. I’m feeling so...sad? I think it’s because I’m also wondering if maybe Stupid Rachel was right. Are you real? Are you listening? Is Rachel’s secret true? Why did she tell me, of all people? I don’t want to believe you’re not real because then what else have I been lied to about? Is the sky really blue? Do babies not come from women’s uteruses? If I’m poked, do I not really bleed? These are some questions. 

I really need a win here, Mr. Claus. I’m not having a very good time anymore. I’m overworked, and I’m trying my best. You’re the thing that keeps me going through the year. Even though I don’t see you, just knowing that you see me makes me feel good. I wish more people could see me. 

Send me a letter back at your earliest convenience,

Love,

Paloma

August 17, 2020 21:22

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2 comments

16:23 Aug 28, 2020

Santa could really make some headway in being believed if he gave an only begotten son or some shit. Even just a viral video of him drop kicking an elf would extend his shelf life.

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Zammie I
16:57 Aug 24, 2020

I liked it good job could you check out mine

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