By: Jessica Mercurio
A week before Christmas, nights at the Wells residence were not quiet. The sounds of video games being played, yelling gamers, and the living room tv on full blast filled the home
College senior Melissa Wells laid in her bed, staring at the ceiling. She was completely worried about everything. It was her final semester of actual classes with grades. The online semester had been hell. Six classes with a demanding workload were not fun. Melissa spent most of her time doing school work.
Her family life had not been the best either. Her siblings were selfish. They stole from her all the time, called her names, and made her do their chores. Whenever she complained about it to her parents, her parents told her to get over it. She had gotten her siblings nice gifts, but she knew deep down that most of her siblings wouldn’t get her anything and would complain about whatever they got.
She had lost one of her best friends, Jason, at the beginning of the semester and she missed him. Halloween was terrible to celebrate because they spent every Halloween together with a group of their friends performing.
“No, I killed you, you asshole!” Melissa heard one of her brothers scream at his game, traveling through the walls.
Melissa groaned. She had one last paper to edit and hand in tomorrow and she was exhausted. She looked at the clock: 1:32 am.
After some time, Melissa’s eyes grew heavy and she fell into a dreamless sleep. Or so she thought.
A pillow hit Melissa’s head and she shot up.
“Not funny Ryan!”
Melissa looked around the room and noticed that her door was closed and no one was in there. Strange, she thought.
“Ryan?” A voice said.
Melissa looked around and saw no one. She jumped out of bed and looked under it. Nothing. She checked the closet. Nothing. She checked behind the door. Nothing. She looked at her television. Turned off. She started to get scared.
“Hello?” her voice quivered.
“How do you not recognize one of your best friends?” the voice responded. Jason made himself visible. He was wearing a grey tee shirt and jeans. He smelled of cigarette smoke. His blonde hair with silver blue tips shined. He even looked like he lost a few pounds, but Melissa hadn’t seen Jason since before the pandemic, except at his funeral.
“Jason!” Melissa's eyes swelled up with tears. She missed him so much. She hugged him, tears falling down her cheeks. She was careful not to crinkle his wings.
Jason hugged back. “I know you’re having a hard time lately and I came to help.”
“How did you know?” Melissa asked.
Jason looked around and sat next to Melissa. “I have been watching you. I have been checking on everyone.”
Melissa looked down, sad.
“Have you checked on Miguel? I know he’s a mess since you’ve been gone.”
“I’ve checked on him, but I know you are worried about how your family’s Christmas is going to turn out,” Jason said. He had always been older and wiser. He was a big brother to Melissa who she could go to with family issues.
Melissa sighed and got up to look out the window, “I don’t know. I know my parents don’t have a lot of money and it’s been a rough year. I’m afraid I’m not going to get anything for Christmas,” she admitted.
“Your parents will never forget about you. They love you,” Jason told her with a smile on his face, revealing his stained teeth.
Melissa shook her head. “No, they forgot about my siblings. And I know my siblings aren’t going to get me anything.”
“Can I tell you something?” Jason’s tone was serious.
Melissa nodded, not being able to answer.
“So, it doesn’t matter what you get. You’ve never cared before. When you’re gone, the universe doesn’t care about how much you have. They don’t care if you have the most expensive posessions. It only matters what you do to make the most out of life. You are the person who opens a door for someone and helps a person in need. That’s all that matters,” Jason said these words of wisdom. It was true. Life is about doing the best you can do.
Melissa teared up. “I’ve missed you so much Jason.”
“I’ve missed you kiddo,” Jason said, wiping away the tears. “Don’t worry, I got you something for Christmas.” Melissa laughed. “The sun is rising, I need to go,” Jason said, standing up.
“What do I do to talk to you again?” Melissa asked Jason.
He smiled at her. “I will always be here for you. Just ask.” And with a whoosh, Jason was gone.
Melissa opened her eyes and smiled. She knew that it wasn’t a dream, she was visited by her Christmas angel. She ran to the window and looked out. It was snowing. Blankets of white covered the front lawn. “You’re right, this is going to be a great Christmas.”