A Christmas Short Story

This is a story which I conjured up from my mind after coming home from church today. Let me know what you think.

Jason came back from work late that night. Exhausted, he could not bring himself to feel any of the yuletide cheer that one normally associates with Christmas.

He had been held back by his employer, the ratty-looking employer who had wanted him to look into some suspicious entries on one of the accounts. A few phone calls here and there and after cross-checking thrice with another two colleagues who were already on their plane flight with their families to some far-off place for a vacation finally revealed that said “suspicious account” was nothing more than a miscalculated amount. And thus, the said account had to be re-done all over again, which took Jason a whole two hours to complete.

By the time he arrived home, he was weary, his vision blurred with numbers, and his thoughts full of unutterable curses. They were directed at his colleague, whom he thought to have such poor mathematical sense that it’s a wonder his colleague had managed to become an accountant.

After hanging up his jacket in the closet, he surveyed his little studio apartment located in one of the busiest streets in
Kuala Lumpur. He could hear the din in the streets below from the inside of his apartment, something which he had tried in futility to block out ever since moving here at the beginning of the year.

 But strangely tonight, the din outside had only made the silence within his apartment all the more deafening. He couldn’t have felt more alone right now in his own very home. With a heavy sigh, he set about putting his things in the living room in order – rearranging the cushion on the couches neatly, stacking up the magazines and newspapers that were strewn about on the floor, putting the TV & ASTRO remote controls back in the drawer and taking out the trash and dumping them down the garbage chute.

When he returned, he smiled to himself in a satisfied way and thought that the place looked at least habitable rather than some smelly bear’s den. He went into the kitchen to make himself a cup of hot Milo but realised he had ran out of hot water. He just dumped the contents of one Milo sachet into a cup, filled it with tap water and nuked it in the microwave.

Within a minute, Jason was standing at his balcony outside, looking down at the streetlife of Kuala Lumpur’s famed Bintang Street. Sipping his Milo slowly, he watched and listened in silence at the cornucopia of lights and sounds that seemed to envelope his entire being with an array of emotions. He was soon hopelessly depressed and was plunging deeper into the depths of his own dark world.

He had half a mind to fling himself off the balcony down twelve floors below. It would be a grand way to go, he’d figured. Better than dying alone in an empty apartment with no one bothering to know what had happened to him.

Somewhere down below, from one of the big shopping malls, he could hear strains of “You better not cry…you better not shout…`cause Santa Claus is coming to town!” from the evergreen Christmas song ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’. He scoffed at the song. Santa Claus indeed!

Without knowing what happened, Jason soon found himself sobbing profusely, the tears kept flowing thick and fast. He dropped his half-finished cup of Milo, the cup smashed to pieces and the contents splashed all over the floor and Jason slumped onto the floor leaning against the metal bars of his balcony.

“What’s going on? I just don’t understand! This isn’t the life I had wanted…this wasn’t what I had in mind! I’m just so lost…aimless…I’m just so tired…” Jason sobbed to the world – to the people deaf to his cries of anguish and hopelessness below, to the people who has friends, who have the money to splurge, who seems to be enjoying life while he, Jason, was bawling his eyes and nose out.

“Everyday is just so routine…Wake up, work, work, work, eat and sleep…so tired of it…how can anyone live like this? How can I go on like this?” Jason continued in his rants to the world.

“THEN, STOP WALLOWING IN YOUR SELF-PITY AND CHANGE!” a chirpy high-pitched voice shouted loudly behind him, causing him to jerk in fright and he turned his head slowly to see who had shouted behind him.

A strong breeze appeared from nowhere all of a sudden, sending cold shivers down Jason’s spine. The breeze got stronger and it was forming a mini-tornado right in his own living room! A bright glow emanated from the core of the windstorm, growing brighter and taller, filling the entire apartment in bright white light.

With a loud sparking sound, a magnificent figure in white appeared on the table facing Jason who was still slumped outside the balcony, staring right at the white figure with a mixture of astonishment and fear.

“You’re Jason, my good fellow, aren’t ya? Well, pleased to meet you too,” the white figure said brightly as he stepped down from the table and approached Jason in small graceful steps.

“Wh-who are you? Wh-wh-what are-are you…?” Jason stuttered, wiping his eyes in disbelief, his jaw hung opened in shock.

“What are you? Blind? What’s all in white and appears out of nowhere from a ball of light?” the white figure chortled.

“Um…uh…a gh-ghost?” stammered Jason.

“A ghost! A GHOST? Well, I never! You need to get that head of yours checked, boy! A ghost indeed! Everyone knows there’s no such thing as ghosts!” howled the stranger clothed in white who puffed out his chest in indignation.

“Uh…uh…sorry…but it isn’t like I have visitors from outta space visit me everyday…” muttered Jason defensively.

“Outta space! Darn it, boy…” groaned the white figure, who now reached down and offered Jason his hand, which he took hesitantly “It’s bad enough that I got a crummy, self-pitying no-hoper like yourself for my next task, I got one who doesn’t even know an angel when he sees one right in front of him!”

“An…angel??” Jason breathed out the word in surprise and disbelief.

“Yes, an angel. I am what you call an angel and not a word out of you about the wings…” the angel warned Jason just when Jason was going to ask about the angel’s wings.

“Uh..ok…sorry…well, um…what’s an angel doing in my apartment? Don’t you guys…like…got better things to do…like help people rather than wasting your time on folks like me?” Jason enquired.

“There you go again…part of your problem is the fact that you’ve got low self-esteem and a severe lack of confidence,” the angel said pointedly.

“You’re not very nice for an angel…” Jason squeaked quietly.

“Oh yeah? Well, let me see you try handling human beings like your sort for centuries and still try to be nice!” the angel said in a huff.

“Um…okay…so what are you supposed to do to help me?” Jason asked, feeling a little stupid but still hoping for a miracle. The angel read his thoughts.

“Right, miracles, signs and wonders…that’s what everybody wants out of me and Him nowadays. There’s no easy way out of your troubles, Jason. Me and Him…we just can’t hand out miracles, signs and wonders like they’re kiddy candy bars. The Big Boss just don’t work like that. You want your miracle? You want to see some signs and wonders? You, no matter what your troubles are, gotta earn it like everybody else,” the angel explained.

Jason nodded, his head low, feeling ashamed that he had been so foolish to think that there could ever be an easy way out from his current rut.

“Then, what are you going to do…uh…you got a name?”

“Oh, where are my manners… Of course I got a name. I’m Angel Sander, the One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty Sixth Angel from the Human Assistance Regiment… H-A-R for short…at your service,” Sander bowed deeply.

“Ok, Sander…um…I don’t even know what I want in life anymore. I’m just tired of living…”Jason sighed as he plonked down on the nearest couch.

“We all know the confusion and the desperation and the defeat that’s wrecking your soul and spirit, Jason. We’ve heard it almost everyday since the day you moved in here. I’ve been assigned to watch you since that day and I’ve only been given permission to make contact with you now when you’re at an all-time low,” said the angel in a much kinder, less biting sort of way.

When Jason didn’t say anything except but to look down on his toes, Sander continued, “Any change that you want happen have to start from your own initiative. The Big Boss and us angels can only guide you and lend you our strength.”

“So you mean that I have to have the courage to change?” asked Jason.

“Yes. Only you can, Jason. The Father is all seeing and all knowing but alas, He doesn’t control how you lead your life. He doesn’t make the decision on how you lead our life. You choose your own way. And everything that you’ve chosen has led you to this day,” said the Sander. 

“I don’t know if I could. I want to…but I’m nothing special, Sander. I’ve never been good with people personally. Besides work, there’s nothing much else…I could never be like those people down there in the streets partying and enjoying their lives,” mumbled Jason.

“Jason, no one wants you to be like those people. You’re your own special person. Each and everyone was made in their special way. No man is the same, not even twins or triplets or how many ‘…lets’ The Big Guy decides to give, none of them would be entirely the same.”

“I don’t know, I don’t know anything anymore…” said Jason forlornly.

“All right, get up Jason. You and me, we’re going a little trip down memory lane,” said Sander as he grabbed Jason’s hand and pulled him off the couch.

Before Jason had any chance to react, he felt as though the pit of his stomach was being sucked into a void of some sort. The slow twirling ceiling fan was the last thing he saw before he blacked out.

End of Part One

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