Thursday, December 13, 2012


Alina sat in her room, in the dark, bored out of her mind. She was hunkered down on her bed with a large quilt pulled over her as she stared at her window. The only noise was the constant patter of steady rain against the window pane.
            The window in her room gave a wonderful view of the village square. Normally it was empty, but this time of year it was filled with a large evergreen. The tree in turn was fully decorated in a rainbow of small twinkling lights. Despite the misty rain coating the glass with droplets, the myriad of colored lights still shown through into her room.
            This did not help her sleep one bit.
            Added to that was the fact that the lights were currently little more than random blobs of color. With her glasses broken, and irreparable for the next few days, Alina found herself imagining what the tree must look like instead of actually enjoying it.
            Not that she would have even if her sight was fine.
            Other children may have looked forward to presents and gifts, but not her.
            Alina had learned the truth very early on. When she thought about it, she was fairly certain that she had never believed to begin with.
            As the daughter of a young widower, many of life’s harshest realities are thrust upon you at an early age.
            She remembered one time in elementary school. They had been discussing plans for the winter holiday. One of the boys asked the teacher why people always had plans on holidays. The teacher had answered that was because everyone had off on days like Christmas, so getting together with family was easier then. Another boy raised his hand, then answered without being called on. He haughtily informed the teacher that his father, a farmer, had told him that they never had a break because animals were too stupid to celebrate holidays and too stupid to feed themselves. The whole class, including the teacher, laughed at this.
            Encouraged, and wanting to fit in, Alina raised her hand. When the teacher called on her she asked if this meant that people were too stupid as well. The teacher gave her a puzzled look. Alina explained that since her father worked at the power plant, and never got a day off,  that must mean that people were too stupid to get their own electricity. The sudden silence told Alina that she had made a grave error in judgment.
            After that day a lot of people talked to her a lot less. That was fine by her. She would have disappeared then and there if she could have.
            A steady tapping on the window glass let Alina know that the light drizzle was becoming a full-blown shower.
            She wouldn’t have been able to tell if not for the noise. For her, the Christmas tree was still little more that random blobs of color.
            A reminder of how her glasses were broken.
            A reminder of how her eyesight was poor.
            A reminder of how she was poor.
            A reminder of how she wished for sleep most of all.
            But sleep still didn’t come, just the constant patter of steady rain against the window pane.

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