A Christmas Story

I opened the pot to check on my rice. I added a little salt to it. I brought out the shredded beef sauce from the fridge and cooked my chicken in chili sauce. I turned down the heat on my corn sauce. I loved cooking but cooking tonight was extra special. My parents were going to be home for Christmas for the first time in almost as long as forever. My parents were workaholics and the type of jobs they had didn’t make it any better. My father was a pilot and he was one of the most highly recommended pilots I knew. He got paid very well but was never around much especially during holiday seasons as his work load increased during the periods. My mother was a banker or so I was told. Regular bankers I knew never knew so many miles in such short periods. My parents told me they had met on a flight and well I came into the picture and they got married.

I was an only child. My mother had said no to having other children. She loved her work and her figure and my father loved her.  I was sent to boarding schools and the house was always filled with maids who did and got whatever I asked them to. I had everything I could ask for. My parent’s way of saying “I’m sorry but I’m too busy to be there with you.”  For every time they missed a school event or a birthday, there was always a gift waiting for me at home.

Christmas every year was the same, I would go out with my friends and we each took turns to host Christmas parties every year. I always stayed over at my friends on Christmas, staying in that big empty house alone was too much pain to bear. When I got home in the morning, there would be a big gift waiting for me in my bedroom. This year I cancelled all my plans and sent all the maids home.  I was going to make Christmas dinner for my parents. I felt so happy that they were going to be here themselves and not skyping me to say merry Christmas. They were going to be here to deliver whatever gift they had bought for me. My friends knew what this meant to me and so they understood when I couldn’t host this year.

I looked at the time. It was 30 minutes after 9. Their flight was supposed to get in at 9:45. They were coming in together and they said they would call as soon as they landed. By 10 ‘o’ clock I hadn’t gotten a call, not even a single message. I set the table and went to the living room bowl of ice-cream in hand as I thought that maybe their flight was delayed. By 11, I gave up. I left the food as it was on the table. I didn’t feel like eating and the maids would clear it up tomorrow.

I walked to my room, the house echoing every step I took. The downside of walking in a big old empty house. I tucked myself in and left my laptop on. By midnight I couldn’t sleep and I tried watching a movie. My skpye alerted me to a skype call. I figured it was my parents, they were probably going to give me another excuse about how they couldn’t get away or how they’re flight was delayed or some silly excuse that wouldn’t fly with me and that there would be a gift waiting for me in the morning. You can be a world-class pilot but you still can’t get away on Christmas.

I checked and I was right it was from them. I didn’t pick up and I suddenly burst into tears. I was all alone on Christmas again. I turned off the lights as I cried myself to sleep.