1. Memories of past Christmases flashed through her mind. They were among her most cherished remembrances. Back when she’d been younger, he’d taken her with him to show her what it was like. She’d spent the majority of the ride huddled under warm blankets as they soared through the skies. Transfixed by the sleigh’s rollercoaster ups and downs at dizzying speeds. Awed by the lights and decorations which festooned the cities and towns. And, more than anything, overwhelmingly proud of her father for all the work he did to bring joy to children and believers all over the world.
2. It was well after dark and he was hungry, not having eaten anything since lunch that day, and that being only a bologna sandwich. He briefly debated whether or not to try and get something with the six dollars he had left in his pocket, but quickly shot it down. He might need that money at some crucial time later on. In the meantime, he could wait until he got back to the apartment and eat another bologna sandwich.
3. She had no idea what his circumstances were. She didn’t know if he was married, or engaged, or divorced. If he lived alone, with his family, or with roommates. But what she did know was that his pain and depression was real. And if there was any way in the world she could bring him maybe one iota of happiness during this holiday season, she was going to try.
4. “Yeah, I know you think I’m too old for a doll, but this one… I don’t know. I can’t explain why I want one, but I’ll understand if you can’t get it for me.” She’d shrugged her thin shoulders and gazed at him with a wan smile. Dark circles under her eyes emphasized her pale face and the toll her condition was taking on her. At that moment he knew he’d move Heaven and Earth to get her one of those dolls. She rarely asked him for anything. And since this may be her last holiday…
5. “That’s true, but you have to be prepared to tell him everything. I mean everything, including the fact that you’re immortal, and he isn’t. You’ve witnessed countless human lives come and go. If he rejects your offer, you will outlive him. Will you still love him this much when he grows old and feeble, while you remain youthful looking and healthy?”
6. Pressing the card and envelope to his face, his shoulders shook as he allowed the tears to fall.
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