A few minutes later, you feel the fleeting heat on your cheek for a moment as the door opens again but you don’t bother to open your eyes or reach for your cardboard sign, because you know the answer will be no, as usual. You understand but you don’t all at once. They have places to go and family to see and you just don’t belong in that world of vibrant colour. You’ll always be faded background noise, the part of the 7 billion that enables the other part to drink from their red, snowflake-covered cups.
"Excuse me?" Your eyes flutter open as you realize the voice is close enough to possibly be talking to you. It’s her, and she’s holding out a red, snowflake-covered cup, and a pretty paper bag. “I bought you some hot chocolate. And a muffin.” You stare at her. “I mean, you don’t have to - Actually I was just - I mean, it’s for you.” She fumbles slightly and holds it out and you can’t believe this face that lives in colour and makes you look twice is even capable of stumbling over her words. You reach out and grab today’s grace. Today’s healing. And you decide that it’s enough for you to believe that His gospel is peace again, at least for today.
You notice her. She’s got one of those faces that makes you look twice. She’s maybe only a few years younger than you. You wonder what it’d be like, to fade into a quiet black and white background, instead of always living in fast-paced, vibrant colour. She catches your eye and for a moment you think she’s noticed you. You panic, and quickly open the door and slip into the warm world of red, snowflake-covered cups of low-fat, double pump, extra whip. You shut your eyes and think about what that girl must think of all these people running past her for five dollar coffees and you hear a carol in the background and you wonder if she even believes it. His law is love and His gospel is peace. Yeah, right.
You step up to the counter and order a peppermint hot chocolate. Then you surprise yourself and order a second, along with an apple-cinnamon muffin. You push open the door, and you’re not sure why your heart’s beating out of your chest. You’ve nailed every big presentation you’ve ever made and somehow you’re nervous about offering this girl some breakfast. She’s still there, eyes closed, head leaned back and you understand and you don’t all at once. You just don’t know that black and white world. You’ve always lived in this intoxicating vibrant colour and you just hate that these two worlds even exist and you know you have nothing and everything to do with their existence.
“Excuse me?” Her eyes flutter open and your heart beats faster. You hold out the red, snowflake-covered cup, and the paper bag. “I bought you some hot chocolate. And a muffin.” She stares at you. “I mean, you don’t have to - Actually I was just - I mean, it’s for you.” You fumble slightly and hold it out and you wonder if this face that lives in black and white and makes you look twice ever feels nervous holding out her cardboard sign. She reaches out and grabs the meager offering and this is today's grace. Today’s healing. And you decide that it’s enough for you to believe that His gospel is peace again, at least for today.
Part of a Christmas series here on the blog: Seven straight days of Christmas Creative Writing - a 7-day journey to the manger through creative words.
Day One: Back to the Manger
Day One: Back to the Manger