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A Christmas Day

Her eyes opened to a new day. Anita rolled over in her twin bed and shut the loud, buzzing from her alarm clock off; knocking on the floor her notebook and pen. She reached down and picked it up, reading the words she had wrote the night before:

Alone, there is nothing I can do.

Is this normal, it is all too formal.

Alone, for way too long.

The past hurts too much, love is lost.

Alone, I look toward the moon.

It makes me afraid, of what I might see.

Alone, we all are the same.

On this crowded street, people walk by.

Alone, they do not care if you live or die.

It is hell, in which we live today.

Alone, I look into their faces.

They wish for me, someone I cannot be, alone.

She closed her eyes again, shutting her pain out. She did not want to face another horrid day. Anita slowly crawled out of bed. With her head hung low, she walked into the tiny bathroom. She held her head up and looked into the mirror. Anita sighed as she studied the woman looking back at her. She was only twenty-three years old, but looked many years older. Her limp, dull blonde hair hung to her shoulders. Her skin was as pale as a ghost. Anita’s green eyes, her haunted eyes could not hide the great pain she felt. “I look like a corpse, I feel like a corpse, now it may be the time to become one. No more pain, haven’t I suffered so much as it is,” Anita said to the figure in the mirror. Tears fell from her haunted eyes as she decided what she must do. She got dressed, left her tiny apartment and walked to work.

As Anita walked, the people around her were filled with happiness of the holiday approaching. She looked at their faces as they passed by, wondering why she could not feel such joy.

Some people that passed her said, “Good morning.” Anita would nod and move away quickly, she did not want to look into their faces and see their happiness when all she felt was despair. As she walked faster and faster, her tears fell more and more.

Anita could not see where she was going and did not care. Anita hoped that a car, to end the pain, would hit her. She began to run, and ran into something.

Anita looked up. He was wearing a white business suit, which she had never seen worn in New York City. All the men wore dark suits. She met his eyes. He was a handsome man with golden hair and pure blue eyes. He mesmerized Anita. There seemed to be an aura surrounding him that kept her in awe.

“Pardon me Miss, I didn’t mean to stand in your way,” he said, his voice was soft.

“I, I’m sorry Sir,” Anita apologized as she stared into his eyes that held a certain power over her.

“That’s quite all right, my dear. Slow down and take time to look at the beauty surrounding you,” he told her and smiled.

“Beauty, there is no beauty in the world,” Anita said sadly.

“Ahh, but there is beauty all around, you have to look for it. You can start by looking right here,” he said as he pointed to her heart. The stranger then smiled again and walked past her. “Oh, by the way, Merry Christmas.”

Anita turned around; he was gone. He had disappeared into the crowd. She stared after him, slightly hoping to see him again. Nevertheless, she did not. Anita turned and started to walk toward the building in which she worked.

“I hate Monday!” Anita’s coworker, Marge, said when she walked into the office.

“I hate every day,” Anita said sadly.

“Be happy for tis the season to be jolly. You have been like this since you began working here. Is it ever going to stop? How long have you been like this?” Marge asked.

“All my life and it will never stop,” Anita answered her and started to walk away.

Marge hollered after her, “Maybe you should get some help, it’s not healthy you know.”

Anita heard Marge and said to herself, “No one can help me, especially now.” She was confident about her plan, and the perfect time was on Christmas Eve. The same day long ago that began her pain.

Anita went on with her work that day. She was feeling positive on what she was going to do. After work, Anita walked home. Her eyes scanned the busy streets, in hope to catch a glimpse of the man that held her so deeply. She did not see him, of course. She would never see him again. Anita reached her home, climbed her stairs and went to bed. The same as she had done every night, since it all began.

The alarm had sounded loud and clear to Anita. This morning she got right out of bed. Thursday evening was the night all her sadness would be gone, forever. Anita dressed and left the apartment. As she walked, again she looked for the man with golden hair. Anita did not see him. She arrived at work like usual and began the long day.

During the afternoon, Anita felt a shiver go through her body. She looked up and met those piercing blue eyes, she would never forget. Her heart leaped in her chest as he walked toward her.

“Sadness isn’t becoming to your beautiful face,” he said as he held her chin with his strong, soft hand. “Smile and live for the future not in the past. Your future can be changed, your past cannot.”

“My future will be changed, real soon,” Anita said as she looked into his eyes.

“Changed for the good or the bad?” He asked her.

“For the good, good for me and everyone else,” she answered him. Anita had a feeling he knew what was going to happen. She shook the feeling away, he could not know.

“My good may overcome your bad,” he said to Anita.

Anita looked down at her desk. Guilt overtook her for a brief moment; she looked back up to comment on what he had said. He was gone again.

“Who was that?” Marge asked her.

“I don’t really know,” Anita said as she stared at the spot where he once stood only a few minutes ago.

The day was over and Anita walked home. She thought of the man she had seen twice in two days. It was a man that came from nowhere, who had suddenly appeared in her life at this time. Anita walked inside of her apartment and went to bed.

The next morning, Anita was out of bed before the alarm even sounded. As the week passed she more and more felt differently about life, but Anita ignored the feelings she was beginning to realize. “It’s Wednesday, one more day until I’m finally free,” Anita said to herself. Anita walked to work. She went through the day looking for him. However, she did not see him.

Anita walked home; she stared at the pavement as she walked. She did not want to see their smiling faces, so happy about nothing in particular. Anita bumped into something; she knew that white suit. Anita looked up into the beautiful face again.

“Love fills everyone’s heart during this time,” he said as he looked at passing faces.

“Not everyone’s heart,” Anita said.

He looked down at her, “No, not everyone has love in his or her hearts. But God has enough love to fill the emptiest of hearts.”

“God, oh please, get real! You are so positive about everything. Aren’t you ever sad, mad or anything negative?” Anita asked loudly.

“No, I never felt any negative feelings. I’m quite positive,” he answered calmly.

“If you don’t feel any negative feelings then you’re not human,” Anita said angrily, pushed him aside, and began to walk away.

“I’m not,” he simply said.

Anita stopped and turned around quickly; he was gone. She ran home and slammed the door behind her. Anita ran into her kitchen and brought down her dishes. One by one, she threw them, shattering them into little pieces. Then she went into her living room and began emptying the shelves of the porcelain figurines from her childhood. The anger she had felt all her life finally surfaced. Why now, she had held it in for so long; it was not anger she felt toward the stranger, it was anger that came from her past.

Anita’s hand grabbed the last figurine from the shelf and raised it high into the air. As she was about to throw it down, Anita stopped. She stared at her hand that held a porcelain angel. Anita’s mother gave it to her when she was five years old. Anita remembered the day clearly; her mother brought the statue into her room and told her, “Anita, I am giving you this angel that has been in our family for many years. My mom gave him to me when I was twelve but I want you to have him now. If you ever feel that you need guidance in your life, he will always be there for you.”

Suddenly, Anita’s rage subsided; she fell onto her bed and cried. Anita grabbed her notebook from the bedside stand; she had over a hundred notebooks filled with poetry that she wrote since childhood. Anita began to write feverishly, and read it after she had finished:

Life is no longer,

my soul has died.

Death will soon come,

hate shall live on.

It is a sickness of the mind,

love can no longer be.

It will make you hurt,

no longer will love live.

Life is almost over,

their hate will go on.

No more love will flow,

hate moves on.

The passion will cease,

all shall perish.

All Anita thought of, as she cried herself to sleep, was only one more day of pain.

Her day of freedom had finally arrived. Anita opened her eyes and felt at ease. She got dressed and went into her kitchen. Broken dishes lay everywhere, “The landlord can clean this mess when I’m gone.” Anita left for work.

She did not look for the mysterious stranger on the street going to work. Anita did not look for him at work; she only worked hard wanting the day over with. She did not look for the man as she walked home from work; Anita only stared straight ahead. Intent on which way she was going, toward home, toward finally losing all the pain she felt.

Anita walked inside her apartment and locked the door behind her. Tears flooded her eyes as she got everything around. Then she heard a voice.

“There is beauty all around; you have to look for it. You can start by looking right in your heart.”

Anita looked around; no one was there.

“My good may overcome your bad,” the voice said.

Anita looked around again, “Who is there?” She was alone.

The voice said, “Not everyone has love in their hearts. But God has enough love to fill the emptiest of hearts.”

Anita looked around the room; she was still alone.

She finished tying the rope to the beam in her ceiling and made the loop that would fit around her neck. Anita looked around her and said, “This is it, no more pain and sadness will fill my heart, I will be free.” She stood on a chair and slipped the noose around her neck.

Then a voice said, “Your father also felt great pain, as you do. But you can change that pain; you have the power and the guidance.” The man walked out of the shadows. An aura glimmered around him.

He was no longer wearing a white suit, now he wore a shimmering white robe. His feathered wings stretched out across the room. He was standing there in all splendors. Shock showed on Anita’s face.

“I told you I was not human,” he said.

“I must be dead, funny I don’t remember tipping the chair,” Anita said as she looked down at the chair she was still standing on.

“My dear child, if you were dead by means of what you are thinking of doing, it would not be a heavenly angel you would see,” he said as he pointed toward the floor. “And believe me when I say, you think your feeling pain now, wait until you meet up with him.”

“Why are you here? Who are you?” Anita asked, still stunned.

“I am Raphael, and I was sent here.”

“By who, who would send you to me?” She asked.

“Someone who loves you; She could not save herself, but she wanted to save you again. My sweet child Anita, your mother has sent me,” Raphael told her.

“My mother?” Anita asked, not believing what was happening.

“Yes, your mother. Well, you know who had a say in it, also,” he said.

“God,” Anita said, her eyes looked toward heaven.

“Please step down off the chair and let us talk. If you feel then as you feel now, I will not stand in your way. I’m here as a guide, it’s up to you on what you decide,” Raphael said to her.

Anita took off the rope from around her neck; she stepped down off the chair and sat in it.

“Why do you feel such sadness?” He asked.

“You should know, you talked with my mother,” Anita said.

“I want to hear it from you,” Raphael told her.

“My father used to beat me and my mother up all the time. Every day and night, he even at times woke me up at night just so he could hit me. My mother was always there to stop him. Since he still needed to get his frustration out, he would beat my mother. It was like that for six years. On Christmas Eve, when I was seven years old, my father was especially angry. He beat me as I cowered into a corner. I began to feel numb from the pain. Suddenly it stopped; I looked up and stared into a gun.” Anita paused.

She breathed deeply and continued, “I heard my mother scream; my father told me that he never wanted me,”

Anita looked at Raphael; he was standing across from her. Tears fell from her eyes, she could not go on but Anita knew she had to.

“My mother ran to my father and tried to grab the gun. They fell to the ground, wrestling for the gun. I could not move, I just sat there and watched. The gun went off; my father stood up and looked at my mother on the floor. She was dead. He looked at me and put the gun to his head. He told me that I was supposed to die. He also said that he never loved me and never wanted me. That I should not exist; that I was no good. He had no reason to live, because I had killed his wife. He pulled the trigger and fell backward into our Christmas tree, knocking it over. He died. He was right, I was supposed to die, and there is no reason to live.” Anita looked at Raphael.

“I can feel your pain and anguish. If you were supposed to die that night, don’t you think you would have died,” Raphael said.

Anita looked at the angel quizzically, “I was supposed to die, but my mother died instead. That bullet was for me. I killed her.”

“She died, so you could live. It was her time. She lived her life and left so you could live yours. Which by the way, you are doing a really bad job at it,” Raphael said.

“I don’t understand,” Anita, told him.

“Anita, your overwhelming guilt is not necessary. There is only one who decides whether you live or die, and my dear the choice is not yours or your father. God decided it was your mother’s time to come home,” Raphael watched Anita, as he continued, “He chose you to stay for a reason, maybe you should stick around for a while to find out why. Only you can make that decision; do you really want to die or do you really want to find out why you had lived. If you give it a chance, the answer will come soon. You can start with that notebook and pen next to the bed.”

Raphael’s wings pulled toward his body. He put his hands together as in prayer and looked toward the heavens. A great brilliant light flooded into the room. “The answer will come, please wait for it.”

He was gone; darkness filled the room. Anita sat there and stared at nothing. Everything he said leaped into her mind. She cried, as if she never cried before.

Anita was seven years old again; her father lay dead on top of the Christmas tree. Her mother, who lay dead on the floor, had an aura around her.

Her mother’s spirit stood before Anita, “My dear Anita, don’t cry for me. I am very happy where I am now. All my pain is gone; there is no need for you to suffer anymore. My death has freed your pain. Be happy, for I am now. Don’t let my death be in vain.”

Anita woke up the next morning; she jumped out of bed. She thought back to the night before and a vision of a beautiful angel and her mother was still fresh inside her mind. Anita ran to the bathroom and looked at the stranger in front of her. The blonde hair had a shimmer to it, her face glowed and her eyes held a light to them, which would never be dark again.

Anita ran to the bedroom and threw opens the curtains. The daylight poured into the room that had only seen darkness for so long. Anita looked out into the busy street, at all the people. She saw the beauty all around her. It was the beauty of the day. It was a truly beautiful, miraculous day. Anita knew what she had to do; it was all clear to her now. “I have to show other people the beauty in the world, help them overcome their sadness too. The only way I could do that is to use my talent.” Anita looked over to the nightstand. “Show beauty through the power of words.”

She ran to her bed and picked up the notebook that held her misery, Anita threw it in the trash can next to her bed. “A fresh new life deserves a fresh new notebook.” Anita grabbed a new notebook and began to write quickly.

When she finished, Anita looked up toward heaven and did something she had never done before, Anita smiled. Her eyes had been opened to a new day, opened on a Christmas Day. She went to the porcelain figurine of an angel and picked it up carefully. “Thank you for guiding me, Raphael.” Anita whispered and sat him on her nightstand, next to her notebook.

“I should go clean my kitchen,” Anita said with a smile. She left the room with a bounce in her step that was never there before. Left on her nightstand was the first inspirational poem she had written:

Life held nothing but sorrow and pain.

I was slowly dying,

living in my despair.

What could I possibly do,

but to end the nightmare.

The sun radiates a golden beam,

I have been saved.

My eyes have been opened,

and the light appeared.

Thought it was the end,

but it is a new beginning.

I had learned a lesson,

never give up on hope,

hidden in the darkness.

Live for the day,

be here for tomorrow.

You too will see,

God's heavenly, golden beam upon you.

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