Monday, September 24, 2012

The Christmas Present

            Christmas came not long after I introduced the Perkins to my live-in boyfriend Bobby. As Santa's big day came near, Bobby received a large box from his mother in Oregon. Too big to fit under the tiny tree I bought with my equally small salary. So, he placed the present next to our tree and left it there on the kitchen table. 
            The tree was the only holiday decoration in my flat. It sat in on the makeshift kitchen table that I had salvaged out of someone’s garbage when I moved in. It was the perfect size table but in terrible condition. I covered it with a cheery red and white checked tablecloth and had two mismatched chairs on either side. 
           Bobby's mom had sent him a present that was larger than the tree and with both things on the table, there wasn't enough room to eat. I was so curious to find out what his mother sent him. I tried to convince Bobby to peek but he wouldn't. Unlike me, Bobby wanted to wait to open his presents on Christmas morning.
When the big day finally arrived, I acted like a child, waking up early on the day off and singing carols. Bobby and I sat in the mismatched chairs and sipped coffee.
“Here, open mine first,” I handed him a small box expertly store wrapped in bright red paper with green ribbon. I spent what little money I had that year on his gift. I was hoping he had present for me. 
“I didn’t get you anything,” he admitted, embarrassed
“Well, Merry Christmas anyway,” I said trying to mask my disappointment. I really wanted to cry. Here was this man who had just moved in with me a couple months earlier yet he didn’t get me anything for Christmas? He didn't pay rent or any of the bills. Basically, he was living off me and he couldn't even buy me a little something? 
I fought back the tears as he opened the present from me. He admired the simple sterling silver ring I gave him, engraved on the inside with the words “love S&B” for Susan and Blondie. He leaned over to give me a kiss.
“Thank you,” his eyes were tearing up. What on earth did he have to cry about, I thought to myself. “You’re so good to me,” he said, wiping his eyes. 
"What do you think your mom sent you? I asked, changing the subject quickly. I didn't really care anymore what his mother had sent him. I just cared about fighting back the tears.

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