"My dad died in March," Marissa started.
"I'm so sorry," Shawn said, his eyes showing how sincere he was.
"Every year since they got married, my dad would buy my mom the collectible snow globe sold here at Hudson's Bay. At first it was because they were young and it was all he could afford. Eventually it grew into a tradition."
"So she has a ton of them?" he asked.
"Twenty-four. They are all over our living room every Christmas. When I was little, I was obsessed with the different designs. I had my favorites and I would shake them to watch the snow fall over and over."
Shawn ate part of his cookie and nodded, encouraging Marissa to go on.
"My dad was in a car accident. A drunk driver hit him as he was waiting at a red light. My whole family is still reeling from it because it was so unexpected."
Shawn looked down at his hands as he thought about what it would be like to lose his own dad suddenly like that. "I can't even imagine," he said softly.
"Everyone says our first Christmas would be horrible, and I think we've accepted that. I have a younger brother, and he said he wants to skip it. My mom won't allow that, though. She put up a tree, decorated the yard, and got out all of the snow globes."
"She sounds like a strong person."
"She is. She's my hero."
Marissa broke off another piece of cookie and ate it. She looked at Shawn who was drinking his cocoa. Something about him was vaguely familiar. Was he a student at her university?
She continued, "I woke up this morning and thought about the snow globe. About how she wouldn't get one this year. It was like a stab in the heart. So many of our traditions are altered now, but I thought that maybe this one could stay the same. Maybe I could take over buying them."
Shawn felt a lump forming in his throat. His clumsiness really fucked over this poor beautiful girl and her family. He watched her as she pushed her long wavy blonde hair out of her face. It had been obscuring her blue eyes, that even with smudged make-up from the crying, were still captivating.
"I am so sorry," he said. "I know I said that upstairs, but now that I know, I feel even worse."
"Accidents happen," she said. She gave him a small smile to try to make him feel less horrible.
"Listen, I am going to try to make this right. Can you give me your number? If I can find one of these snow globes, I will get it to you."
"It's too late," she said defeatedly. "Tomorrow is Christmas. But you are really sweet to want to help."
"Maybe you are right, but let me try."
Despite knowing that he was not going to have any luck, she wrote her number down on a napkin and handed it to him. She then stood up.
"Thank you for the cocoa and the cookie. And the talk. It made me feel better."
Shawn stood up, too. "I wish I could have done more."
"Have a merry Christmas," she said as she put her coat back on.
"I know your Christmas will be rough," he said, trying to come up with the best words for her situation, "but I hope it is bearable."
She nodded and left. Bearable was pretty much all she could ask for at this point.
When she started her car in the parking garage, the radio came on. The station was playing Mercy by Shawn Mendes. Suddenly it hit her why he was so familiar.
"Shawn, it's Christmas Eve dinner. Get off your phone!" Shawn's dad, Manny, ordered.
"Sorry, I was searching on eBay for something. I need it tonight, so I thought maybe there might be a local seller."
"What on earth would you need to get tonight?" his mom, Karen, asked.
Shawn sighed and recounted the whole story about his mishap with the snow globe earlier that day and how important it was to Marissa.
"God, you're a klutz," his sister, Aaliyah, proclaimed when he was done telling the story.
"Yeah, I know. I already feel like shit, so lay off," he said.
"So you want to find a snow globe for this young lady?" Karen asked.
"I was hoping I could, but it's looking impossible," he said as he stared at the eBay page which showed no useful results. There were several of the globe listed, but no one close enough to drive to.
Aaliyah smacked his bicep. "Shawn! You are famous! Go on twitter or Instagram and post a note asking if anyone local has the snow globe. You have thousands of local fans. Maybe one of them has one."
"But do you think they'd just give it to me?" he asked.
"Offer a trade," she suggested.
After they'd eaten and the dishes were done, he went on instagram.
He'd found a picture of the 2017 snow globe and used that. He captioned it:
Local Toronto fans! I need your help! If any of you has the snow globe pictured above and you are willing to part with it, DM me.
He posted and sat back and waited.