Thursday, 18 October 2012

merry christmas, crying child

this is the story of a crying child. in reality, she did not cry all the time. in fact, she cried twice, maybe thrice for all who can remember, but in this story, the fact that the child cries is why she is the crying child.

it is only a week after her birthday, but christmas is in a month or so. nobody really can remember, because at her age, she has not yet learned to tell the times, and that is all we have to base the story on. one month till christmas, and the crying child asks her father,

'daddy, will i get a present for christmas?' and seeing as she did not get any for her birthday, one would be modest to assume that she would.

'i cannot promise that you will, but if you wait, we'll see,' said dad.

'okay,' smiled the crying child, for though she was yet young, patience is a virtue we can all learn from her.

a week passes, and then a fortnight, when the child has not heard from her father, and now asks her mother,

'mommy, will i get a present for christmas?' and seeing as she had asked now once too many a time, one would be cautious to assume that she still would.

'i cannot promise that you will, but if you wait, you just may,' said mom, and to add, she told the child, 'please ask not again, for it troubles me so that we do not have much money to spend, and you ask it for presents that we cannot promise upon you.'

'okay,' smiled the crying child, for though she was yet accepting, tolerance is a trait we could all do well to learn from her.

soon, christmas came, and went. then new year's eve was to pass. and months on end, till came valentine's day and it faded into near memory, without any present for the crying child. to keep her word, she never did ask of her parents that present, though she hoped very much that they would still gift her something when they could spare. her parents, however, chose to remain silent and feign oblivion and pretend, that if one were to think no present was given by default, then that is the arrangement that all parents have with their children.

not a day sooner, not a day late, the crying child asked her parents together,

'mommy and daddy, i know now that i could not have had a present for christmas. we cannot afford such luxury. but maybe if i am a good girl for another year, a present may be come this year?' her voice trailed off, unsure if question or request. but her parents, they remained silent at this query, to perhaps a deafness only resonant in the child's mind.

a year passes, or at least nearly a year. from the child's perspective, she could not yet tell of the times. a friend, and sister then tells her of what she could not hear and did not see (or possibly chose not to in her little mind):

'my sister, do not falter; my heart, do not cry. know that father and mother have not gifted you for christmas for their money is not theirs to spend.'

'of this, i know,' said the crying child, 'and so i am fine...'

but before she could finish, sister interjected '... then you should also know that their silence is begotten from that they have used what money saved for lavish gifts upon our neighbour - that though you do not know him or of him, there is where you present lies.'

the child, now deserving of the title she hold, cannot come to terms with this betrayal, accepts for what is, and goes to her room. therein, she lies; therein she cries. and till another will present her with whatever she may yet deserve, remains her eyes, her heart, her self.

merry christmas, dear crying child.

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