Believe – A Christmas Story
Part One – Reality
His name was Jonathon Prior… And he was seven.
Jonathon was a quiet one…. But, he was curious.
Often he’d stand in the direct middle of the school yard just listening, and watching, as life went on around him.
Rarely was he struck in the side of the face by an opened peanut butter and jelly sandwich… But on occasion… He was.
Today was such a day.
“HAHAHA!” the children laughed, as the sandwich slowly slid off his face, and onto his wool green jacket.
That jacket… The one you’d often see him wearing… Even when outside temperatures would reach 80, 90 and 100 degrees.
He didn’t care… He just didn’t care.
To Jonathon, much of what one might feel… Like… Being overheated… Was but a trick of the mind… A switch to be turned on and off… And that’s just what he did.
As he tried to figure out what to do with all the peanut butter on his face, a young girl’s hand reached up with a warm, wet handkerchief, and began to wipe it away.
It was the oh so lovely… And yet, equally shy, Esmeralda.
Her sad little green eyes furrowed as she wiped it off of Jonathon’s face.
Jonathon reached for her hand, and stopped her “You’ll ruin your handkerchief” he spoke.
She smiled slightly “Oh… I never use it… My mom just makes me take it with me to school” she replies.
DING! DING! DING!
Suddenly the class bell rings, and all the children run to class… Save Esmeralda and Jonathon.
Esmeralda hands Jonathon the handkerchief “You can give it back to me later” she says.
Jonathon smiles slightly, then goes serious again “Ok Esmeralda…” he replies.
Esmeralda turns her little face again, and hides a little smile… Then runs off to class.
Jonathon on the other hand walks directly towards the school gate, and leaves school.
He walks slowly home, which was maybe two or three miles.
His little form walking along the semi busy road.
When Jonathon reaches his home, he gets the key from underneath the doormat, and enters.
“I’M HOME MOM!” he calls out as he takes off his jacket, and rinses his face off in the kitchen sink.
While wiping his face dry, he looks over at his jacket which is lying on their brick orange living room chair.
From its pocket he sees Esmeralda’s handkerchief. “The single kindest act anyone has ever done for me” he thinks to himself.
“OK JONNY!” replies his mother from her bedroom upstairs.
“Accept my mom that is… She does kind things for me as often as she can… At least she used to… Before she got sick” he thinks to himself.
Jonathon breaks away from gazing at the handkerchief, and begins to boil some water, for tea for his mom… Not the easiest task, as he’s not that tall… But he manages.
He then brings the tea to her room, where he explains that school let out early… He didn’t have the heart to tell her that someone had tossed food at him again.
Once in his room, he drew back his drapes, which delivered a clear view of Esmeralda’s house next store. Esmeralda’s dad was in insurance, and he’s not quite sure what her mom did. Maybe she was an at home mom.
Jonathon’s dad was in the military for a while, but after some serious trauma while on duty, he never returned home. Well, he came home for a month or two, but would wake up screaming most nights… Post-Traumatic stress I think they called it.
And then he simply packed his bags and left one day.
One year later, Jonathon’s mom got sick, and so she had to quit her job as a waitress, and rest for a while.
Jonathon clears his thoughts of all these heavy life troubles, and goes to his twin bed, where from underneath it he pulls out a wooden chest.
He opens it, and inside are a good two dozen action figures, of different sorts. Most of them he got from the second hand store down the road, so he had no idea what their names might be.
He didn’t mind though, he sat for hours on his bed making up little stories, and conversations between the different characters.
But today around when he’d normally be getting home from school, he ran over to his window and watched Esmeralda get off the school bus.
Esmeralda adjusted her little backpack, and almost sensed that Jonathon was looking over… But when she looked back, she couldn’t see him in the window, so made her way into her home.
Meanwhile little Jonathon had darted behind the drapes, and was breathing quickly.
PICTURE CREDIT – Christmas Town