Christmas Magic Isn't Real, Right?

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It's finally Christmas Eve, oh joy. In case you haven't noticed, I'm being sarcastic.

While walking up the block, I was reminded of how bland my life is. I don't know what I really want to change in it but I wish something would.

It won't be a snowstorm that's for sure. I glanced up at the clouded sky, one that would've excited me years ago. Now I sadly sighed, breath mingling with the chill, resulting in a familiar misty cloud.

"Is it too much to ask for a white Christmas?" I asked no one in particular as I glanced at the decorated yards of each house I pass. "For as long as I can remember that's what I've wanted around this time of year. And I did get it but..." A lone tear fell down my cheek before I could stop it, several others following and I sat at the curb of my home, taking a moment to let them fall as they gently chilled my skin.

~

Night fell quickly as it does on Christmas Eve and with it came the excitement of all young believers, including my seven-year-old brother Noah.

"Oh Heidi, wouldn't it be something to catch Santa on camera? Then we'd know he's real and you wouldn't be such a non-believer." I rolled my eyes at the little-freckled brunette brother of mine. "I'm sixteen Noah, I think I'm entitled to stop believing if I want to." He shook his head with a little smile, as though he knew something I didn't.

"Kids, I'm heading out now, be safe!" Noah and I both frowned as the front door shut behind mom, she was going out to a Christmas party with her friends and we can't come along. Come to think about it, that might be why I'm banned from going anywhere.

"Can I watch some Christmas movies?" He asked. "Knock yourself out." Even before I'm out of the living room, he was making a beeline for the DVD cabinet.

After a nice warm shower, I slipped into my dark purple fleece pajamas with a golden crest moon on the front of the shirt and stars scattered across the pants. After brushing my hair and tying it up in a high bun for the night, I picked up Avery and sat at my window, gazing up at the half cloudy, still star-speckled sky.

"It's like nine years ago, all over again." A single tear fell, enough to make me wish to for what I knew I wouldn't come.

~

I don't know when I fell asleep but suddenly I was awake thanks to Noah jumping on my stomach.

"Heidi wake up!" "Huh? What's going on?" Santa's here, he'll be in the living room any second, come quick before he's gone!" It took two seconds for the statement to register, then I was out of bed like the house was on fire. "Santa?!" "Shh, he'll hear you." He grabbed my hand and dragged me down the hall, stopping abruptly at the living room archway. I hesitated before peaking out above him. My jaw promptly hit the floor.

It was Santa, just as you'd see him in old Coca-Cola ads; all festive and merry-looking with a twinkle in his eyes as he opened his bright red sack. Being in his presence alone made me feel lighter than air and I didn't need to look at Noah to know he was feeling the same. Casually, the holiday icon placed the brightly colored presents beneath the tree, seemingly separating them into different piles, before stopping as he revealed a particular one.

It was a rather small box, possibly for jewelry. Light blue and wrapped with a sparkly white ribbon, and just beneath its bow was a little white label with a single word in scratchy looking black handwriting: Heidi. I could've sworn my heart stopped.

Santa shook his head. "Apologizes dear sir but I don't think she'll recognize what you've done for her." Before dropping it back in the sack and taking a cookie from the plate.

"The nerve! That present's rightfully yours." Noah hissed, snapping me back to reality. "It doesn't matter. Come on, let's go back to bed." "Yes, it does." And before I could stop him he darted across the room as quick as a mouse and disappeared into bag's red velvet depths. "Noah..." I stepped out to follow him, only to draw back when Santa turned around. When I peaked out again his sack was on his shoulder and he was facing the fireplace. Before I could have second thoughts, I ran up and latched on to the bag, feet and all.

The world disappeared in a sparkly rainbow swirl and the next thing I knew I was on the back of the Santa's sleigh, exposed to the chilly winter night. He shouted something I didn't quite catch and we were airborne, me practically dangling off the back. For a while I couldn't move, completely frozen with fear. Until I managed to loosen the drawstring holding the sack shut and found Noah's face smiling up at me.

"Hey sis, I think I found your present. Wait, are we flying?" My nod was fearfully frantic, his face went white. "But right now you have to try getting out of there so we can-" Just then the sleigh jerked sharply, causing one of my hands to lose its grip.

"Heidi!" Santa finally noticed us. "What are you two doing here?" Noah squirmed until his arms were out of the bag, attempting to pull me up. "Heidi hang on!" "I'm trying Noah, I'm-" But another jerk disconnected my hand from the red velvet.

"HEIDI!!!" The flying object soon faded into the snow-laced wind. Down I fell, hair whipping around the sides of my face. Almost too soon I hit the ground, hard. "Ow..." Then everything went black.

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