It was a cold night of winter. The weather reports were forecasting for a heavy snowfall. It was Christmas the next day. The entire Yorkshire was decorated with lights, garlands, flowers, bells. It was as if the bunch of stars in the galaxy had landed on the streets of Yorkshire and had brightened the night.
Little girl Samara was watching the houses of people decorated elegantly with her wide blue eyes. Her eyebrows were frost due to the snowing. Her soft rosy pink lips were shivering in the December cold. Perhaps her long dark hair were acting as a shield to protect her ears from the cold. She was feeling cold and was shivering in her pale yellow frock. Little Samara with her box full of match boxes stopped by an attractively decorated house and peeped in. She saw a small girl decorating the Christmas tree with her mother. There were huge pile of gifts stocked below the tree. The house was looking warm and ignited by the fire in the fireplace. Samara got an urge to stand by the fireplace. The stockings were hanging above the fireplace.
Suddenly,a man, probably her father entered the hall carrying a lovely what appeared to be a chocolate pie. Her stomach growled and mouth watered. She imagined the aroma coming from it through the glass. She had forgotten that since 2 days she had not had proper food to eat. She was suddenly lost in her thoughts that how much her heart was longing for a proper meal and most importantly to be caressed in the arms of a loved one, to have and live a happy normal life with your parents. A pearl like drop fell from her eye and she wiped it with the back of her hand. She turned back and started walking down the street with images of the delicious pie and happy family lingering in her mind.
She started yelling” Match boxes, match boxes just for 20 cents, match boxes..”. She sat down below a street lamp with her basket of match boxes. Her eyes fell on the church across the street. The melodious tunes of the hym”silent night, holy night” were coming from the church. She was suddenly reminded of her mother and how she always used to accompany her to the church on Sunday mornings. She was lost in the thoughts of those memorable days when she used to wear precious designer frocks and a matching hat to go on each dress. She had a whole huge cupboard only of different shoes and sandals. Her house was no less than a royal palace and her bedroom was bigger than the hut where she now seeked refuge. Her bedroom was decorated with pink silky bedsheets and pink pillows. There were pink curtains. There were days when she used to wear slippers made of fur even inside her house and now she didn’t have proper shoes to survive in the cold.
It was her birthday that day. She was sleeping when suddenly her parents opened her door and coaxed her to get up. When she opened her eyes, there were attractive huge boxes of gifts everywhere in her room with decorative ribbons on them and a bunch of bouquettes. “Happy birthday sweety” both her parents greeted. She was so delighted at the sight of so many gifts, she ran towards them and started unwrapping them in a hurry.
“Take it easy sweetheart, your gifts aren’t running anywhere. You can see them after we come from the church as its much important to seek blessings of the lord on this auspicious day. Come on now go get a bath and get ready.” Insisted her mom.
“Ya sweetheart, your mom’s right. You have the whole day left to unwrap them, now do as your mom says” said her father.
“No! I want to unwrap them now. I don’t want to go to church, its boring to stand there.” Samara argued.
“Samara! I’ve seen that you’re becoming blunt day by day, don’t you know church’s a holy place and we should never talk about it like that, have you lost your manners?” scolded her mom.
“I’m sorry but can’t we go there later?” she requested.
“No honey, now don’t make me scold you on your birthday, go get ready, I’ll make you your favorite cheese toasts and strawberry milkshake and there’s your favorite choco pie waiting for you” said her mom.
“Wow! I’ll go get ready in a jiffy” she said joyously.
After finishing her breakfast, they were in the church. Mom, why do we have to come to the church? There’s no such thing as “God” otherwise why do my wishes don’t come true?
“Samara, don’t say that, you know your prayers go unanswered because God doesn’t feel that what your asking for is needed, when you really ask something truly &with pure feelings& when He feels that you need it, those prayers and wishes would 100% be fulfilled.”
“Really?” she asked with an innocent glee.
“yes, of course”assured her mom. “ now tell me what is it that you want from God and is not yet fulfilled?”
“I had asked from him the beautiful dancing Barbie doll we had seen in that shop”
“Hmm. Samara, see, I told you, you have already hundreds of dolls with you, so God doesn’t feel that you need it urgently, you should be thankful for what you have, there are many girls of your age who don’t even have a proper home to stay, food to eat, clothes to wear, remember one thing, you always get what you’re destined to get and not more than that”
They returned home. When they opened the door they could see that there were big bags in the hall and Samara’s father was gathering all the things in a particular bag. “Honey we’re back, why are you packing your bags? Are you going somewhere?”her mom asked
“Ya Jane, actually we both have to leave right now to Chicago, there’s some urgent work come up in our company over there and there’s some problem which our managers over there cant tackle, we need to leave right now” said George, her father. Samara was finding it difficult to digest all this as it was her birthday today and her father was taking her mom on some business trip.
“Papa,its my birthday today, how can you leave me alone?”debated Samara
“Honey, we’re leaving Ida, the nanny to take care of you, she’ll be with you, and we’ll be back by tomorrow’s flight, I promise.”
“Honey, your father and I have to go, we’re sorry but we’ll be back soon, time will fly by, don’t worry” said her mom.
The next day, Samara woke up late as she was not able to sleep last night without her mother who used to always tell her a bedtime story. She was awakened by the knock on the door. It was Ida.
“Samara madam please wake up, its time for your breakfast.”
“What, its already morning? Oh!,Ida why are you crying?” Are you not feeling well?” She could see her maid was slowly breaking into a heavy sob. She felt uneasy. “What is it tell me now, I order you, please tell me.”
“How should I tell you this madam, Oh God why do I have to do this to the poor child!”.
She sobbed a little more and then gathered the courage to mutter the unpleasant truth. “Samara, its that..that your parents’ flight, flight”
“what happened to the flight? Tell me now fast” Samara muttered loudly.
“It has crashed!” She cried heavily and hugged Samara to consolidate her.
It was as if Samara’s entire life had crashed down. Samara was back to the present, she was now leaving with the housemaid Ida. Suddenly her eyes fell on the feet of a lady standing in front of her, she looked up to see. She couldn’t see properly as her eyes were blurred due to tears and the snow. She wiped them with her hand.
A woman in a beautiful gown was standing with a big box in her hand. She had big blue eyes and a heart warming smile. “hello little lady, what are you doing here in this cold? Don’t you want to go to your home and warm up by the fire and celebrate Christmas?”
“No, I don’t have a fireplace at my home and no money to buy a Christmas tree. I don’t even have money to buy food. Madam, if you please take these match boxes, I’ll be able to buy myself and my ailing caretaker a meal, its just for 20 cents, please will you buy it?”
“Sweety I don’t need them”. Samara’s face dropped with displeasure.
“But I have something that’s a solution to your problems. Here, take this box.”
“What’s in it?”
“A Christmas present for you.”
“But why are you giving it to me, I don’t even know you”
“Maybe it was destined to be sent to you”.
Samantha gave a puzzled expression.
“Don’t give me that quizzical look sweety, remember, you always get what you’re destined to get and not more than that. Merry Christmas, bye”
With that she went towards the church. Samara opened the box, it was a chocolate pie inside it. Suddenly the words rolled back in her mind, “ you always get what you’re destined to get and not more than that” suddenly it dawned upon her that who the woman was and she screamed, “mom!” She searched through the crowd gathered near the church but she couldn’t find her. She suddenly saw that lady, she gave her a reassuring smile that made her whole body feel warm and comforted and then waved to her and then she disappeared.
Samantha tried to stop her but then she watched towards the sky and said under her breaths, “ you were right mom, God knows what you need the most and at this moment, more than the food, I needed to see you. This is the best Christmas present I’ve ever got.”
She carried her basket of match boxes and ran towards her home with the pie in her hand.