The Christmas Rose
"But it's Christmas Eve", Rebecca says.
"I know, it'll only be for a few hours", Jim replies. "I might be able to make it anyways".
"The storm's gonna move in soon".
"Which is why I should leave right now".
"What about Ramona?" Rebecca asks. "She'll be devastated".
"I know, I'm gonna talk to her".
"Ok well you should get going".
"Ok honey, I love you", Jim says before giving Rebecca a kiss goodbye.
Jim walks to the living room to tell Ramona the bad news. She'll be performing in her school's Christmas Pageant tonight so the news will be devastating to her.
"Hey daddy", Ramona replies.
"Ramona, I might not be able to make it to the pageant tonight".
"But you have to be there daddy", Ramona cried. "I'm gonna be performing".
"I know honey, but I got called into work".
"Can't you just skip it daddy?"
"My boss is a scrooge, he'll fire me if I don't show up".
"Ok daddy, I guess mommy can just record it for you".
"That's a great idea sweetie but I'll try my best to make it".
"Ok daddy", Ramona says as tears fall from her face.
Jim takes the rose out of the vase his mother had given him just before she died. There's something about that vase, Jim believes his mother's spirit lives within it. He bends down in front of Ramona and he tells her, "I've had this rose for 2 years and it never died". He gives the rose to Ramona. "Keep that rose and never let it go", Jim says. "If I never come back, my spirit will live within that rose and it will never die, so I'll be with you forever".
"I love you daddy", Ramona says as she hugs him tightly.
"I love you too baby".
Hours later Jim sits in his office, the work he needed done is now finished so he quickly runs outside to his car and drives off, hoping he can make it in time to see Ramona perform. The night is cold, the wind is intense and the falling snow is making it tough to see the roads. The storm is here so Jim has to drive extra careful if he wants to make it to the pageant at all. Jim is driving along the snow covered slippery road when his car begins to spin uncontrollably as he makes a turn. He can't control the car as it continues to spin down the road until it hits hard against a tree. Jim sits in the car unconscious as the snow continues to fall, almost covering the whole entire car.
"Oh no", Jim says as he awakes to see his car practically buried in snow. The car won't start so Jim finds himself in a tough situation. He tries opening the door but it's stuck so he lies on his back and kicks it a few times until it pops open. Jim makes his way out of the car; he can barely walk because of the freezing weather. He walks along the snow covered sidewalks still hoping he can see his daughter perform. Meanwhile Ramona sits outside the school waiting for her dad.
"I know you can make it daddy, I just know it", Ramona says, looking up at the falling white snow.
"Hey Ramona, it's almost showtime so you have to come in and get ready", Rebecca says.
"Ok mommy", Ramona replies as she gets up and runs inside. Ramona was in the dressing room when she realizes that she had lost the rose her father had given her. She runs outside and looks around but it's nowhere to be found. She sits on the steps and cries; it's almost as if she had lost her dad.
Jim continues to walk in the horrid weather, he tried hitching a ride but every car that passes him by seems to ignore him. "What is wrong with you people?" Jim thought to himself. "It's Christmas!" He yells out loud. His body is shaking and he doesn't believe he can go on any longer, until he sees something coming towards him, he jumps up and grabs it out of the air. It's the rose; he knows it's the same rose he had given Ramona. Jim looks ahead and sees many cars closely parked; he realizes that the school is really close.
Ramona waits behind the curtains for her turn on the stage. She peeks through the curtains to see if her father was out there but no Jim. "Now singing Silent Night, Ramona Black", the host announced. The crowd claps loudly as Ramona slowly makes her way on stage. She looks in the crowd for Jim but she can only see her mother. Ramona is shaking; her heart is racing as she beings to sing. The crowd is quiet and Ramona is barely being heard. She isn't singing loud at all until in the back, she sees Jim jumping up and down, trying to get her attention. A big smile appears on her face as she starts singing louder and louder for all in the crowd to hear her. As she finishes the last line of the song, the whole entire crowd stands up and cheers, Ramona has earned a standing ovation. She looks around for her father but she doesn't see him. She jumps off of the stage and runs to her mother.
"That was amazing baby", Rebecca says as she wipes her tears with a tissue. "Honey, I have some terrible news".
"But mommy, he made it", Ramona says as she looks around for Jim.
"Baby just listen", Rebecca says, tears falling from her face. "Your dad's been in an accident".
"No mommy, he's here", Ramona tries explaining.
"He's gone baby, I'm so sorry".
"But he was just here mommy, I promise", Rebecca cries.
"I'm sorry", Rebecca repeats, sobbing and reaching out to hold her daughter.
Ramona runs outside, "he can't be dead!" She yells as she sits outside the school. "Daddy, I need you, I need you daddy", Ramona cries, as she covers her face with her hands. Suddenly she feels something lightly hit her lap, she uncovers her face to see the rose neatly sitting on her lap. She picks up the rose, holds it tightly and looks to the snow covered sky and says, "I love you daddy".