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A blast from the past. Here's a story I wrote for one of my first creative writing classes at USC. This particular story was written April 7th, 1996. I was reminded of this story today because of the references to Christmas mentioned at the beginning and end of the story. Enjoy.
Fairest of Them All
by mojo shivers
Sitting down, Sarah decided that if Brooke thought herself pretty she sure didn’t show it. Her features didn’t exactly flatter her. Looking at her now Sarah couldn’t help but see the undeniable something that Brooke had—even now her sleeveless black sheath worn over a lavender turtleneck looked straight out of a woman’s magazine. Yes, Brooke had style—exactly what style Sarah wasn’t sure. Steven had once said to Sarah that Brooke was believably beautiful, meaning that with her auburn tresses and hazel green eyes she could have any man she wanted, but with her somewhat overly freckled skin and definitely plump figure she wasn’t destined to keep them for very long. It was cruel of Steven, Sarah knew, but he more than anyone else had the right to say it. In stark contrast was Sarah, who, brushing off some imaginary lint from her suit pants, was more at home in her striped cotton shirt and silk cardigan, her straw-colored hair draped lightly over her shoulders. She thought herself stylish as well, but she could never give up being comfortable. Not that Sarah really cared for such things as fashion—she didn’t need to care for such material things anymore—but it was nice to know she hadn’t lost touch with this side of hers.
So no, Brooke was not as attractive as Sarah, but she still was her closest girlfriend and that made her more beautiful than almost anyone Sarah had ever known.
“I guess the difference is between getting something and finding something. It’s like during Easter you have to find the stuff while at Christmas they’re given to you,” she heard Brooke resume the argument quickly.
“Sure, if you want to look at it that way. But that’s also the beauty of Easter; that you do have to get out and find the eggs. Isn’t it that much more satisfying to find the egg after you’ve searched for it?”
She didn’t know why they were arguing over this; it really wasn’t that important to either of them. Somehow their conversations always fell to these rants on the most mundane of topics. Today it was Easter vs. Christmas; tomorrow it would be what their favorite Pez dispenser design was. It was stupid, Sarah knew, but she had sorely missed a good argument while she was away and to be involved in one now with Brooke always made her feel invigorated, as if she had no purpose but to be difficult. And the fact that these nonsensical debates with her friend always seemed to tap every bit of her persuasive reasoning made it more of an adventure rather than small talk.
“Satisfying, yes, Sarah. But it’s just that much more difficult. And the way folks are now it doesn’t seem fair to place those two holidays in the same contest. Christmas is always going to appeal to more people than Easter ever will. Not that I agree with it, but even if Easter is more important, Christmas is more fun. That’s why people like it more.”
Sarah smiled almost contemptuously. She was amazed at her friend’s remarkable clarity; she saw things more simply than Sarah ever could. Not that Brooke was stupid; it was just that Sarah’s knowledge extended into realms Brooke couldn’t even conceive of conceiving.
“It just bothers me, you know? That so many people place so much emphasis on the wrong holiday. If I were a different woman, I’d consider doing something about it.”
“A holiday’s a holiday. All people know is which one you get the longer vacation for. That’s all they care about. Functionally, it’s the better of the two.”
She saw Brooke scratch her head slowly and then lick her lips. She got the feeling her friend was enjoying this tête-à-tête as much as she was. They were two of a kind really. They both like to question things that people normally didn’t question, that people didn’t think needed questioning. It was one of two things they shared.
“Like I said, I was the same way; in our house, Christmases were always great, lavish affairs, while Easter was practically another Sunday with a few negligible bonuses… but somehow now it bothers me even more.”
“Yeah.” She saw Brooke stretch herself out on the couch, on the brand-new eight-hundred dollar rose-patterned couch, but she didn’t ever blink an eye at this; it was just her friend’s way. “So Steven and you got anything planned?” Sarah heard Brooke continue, “I’d love for you to stop by my place if you can. My parents are going back east to visit their folks so I’d really love the company.”
“Sure. I’ll have to ask Steven first, of course, but I’m sure it’ll be fine to do that. Truth be told, I don’t think he was all doing anything special on that day anyway. Besides, the holidays are no time for one to be alone.”
Cool, Sarah though, my first Christmas back.
“This from the girl who stole Steven away from me,” she heard Brooke joke, followed by a healthy chuckle.
“What, steal?” she laughed back. “If I remember correctly he wasn’t actually yours to be stolen from. As I recall you were begging me to haul him away.”
“And, boy, was I glad you did. Miss Sarah, words can never express my gratitude for your kindness.”
Gratitude. She had heard that word a lot from her friend. She hadn’t done all that much. In fact, she didn’t think she had done anything at all, especially what she came here to do. Sure, technically, it had all worked out in the end, but Sarah believed in doing things as close to perfection as possible. She had a certain reputation to live up to now and a certain standard she had set for herself. Sure, she still had a lot of the quirks to work out of the manner in which things were done—she had been selfish on occasion and that had led to several moments of self-doubt concerning if she was truly cut out for what she was doing. At those times she wished things could be how they used to be, before she had met Steven, before she had met Brooke, before she had even known who those two were. But those times were getting rarer and rarer. Somehow she had always managed to get done what needed doing and she saw that her life wasn’t so bad after all. Individuals like Brooke thanking her all time for doing what it was in her nature to do anyway would take some getting used to, but she more than up to the challenge.
It had been a period of adjustment coming back, but she was glad she did.
She heard Brooke continue.
“So you think he’s one hundred percent okay with all of this? I mean, I see he decided not to join us after all.”
“Oh, Stevie’s doing just fine. Yes, it still is uncomfortable for him, but what can you expect, Brooke? His current and ex spend all their time together and he’s supposed to just handle it? I don’t think so. What about you? How are you doing?”
Her violent blue eyes pushed their way into Brooke’s face, attempting to see the truth to what was a still touchy subject, a subject that her friend still refused to discuss.
She heard a slight sigh and saw Brooke brush the deep red bangs out of her face. Sarah copied her action, partly out of instinct and partly out of the fact she was becoming well aware of the sudden shift in conversation.
“I still hate you, but I mean that in the nicest sense of the word.”
She heard Brooke quickly attempt to qualify her remark.
“But that’s still not enough for me to stop liking you or anything. I still want to get to know you better; I think you’re good people, Sarah. Basically, as a person I think you’re the coolest…. but as Stevie’s current it’s my duty to wish you dead… so to speak.” A tilt of the head towards her, and then the stare—Sarah knew Brooke’s look well. Her friend was baiting her and they both knew it. Sarah obliged.
“Can’t help you in that department.”
“I know, I know, but a girl can dream, can’t she?”
As her friend she knew that Brooke had the utmost respect for her, but Sarah could not help but hear something else in the voice, something that did not speak well of the friendship that was forming between them. It was a strange enough situation, what being the before and after picture of the shmoe named Steven, but to complicate things even further she could begin to see the signs in Brooke that the others had warned Sarah would start to develop once she came back here. It was nothing now and Sarah knew it would probably take a while for it to actually come to a head. Yet she heard it more and more the longer she was with Brooke.
Brooke was frightened of her. Actually, she didn’t want to go too far in thinking that. It was more like Brooke was in awe of her. It was more than a respect for Sarah, she knew Brooke had an uncharacteristically intense attraction to her. Now if there was one thing that she had never had it would have to be charisma. Sure, she was attractive enough, intelligent enough, and ambitious enough to attract attention wherever she went, but Sarah had never been a leader. She never attempted to get people to listen to her. She was more than content to be led by those she trusted. Yet the way Brooke seemed to hang onto her, Sarah began to think that her friend saw her as the next messiah. Well, she was far from being that, she was far from being anything more than just plain, old Sarah. Try as she might to deny it, Sarah was not used to the attention and quite frankly she was trying to keep as much of it away from herself as possible. She wanted Brooke’s friendship not out of some mentor-student dynamic but out of a mutual understanding of one another. She knew they were different in many respects. Brooke’s family was working class; Sarah’s, while far from being rich, had been supported solely by Sarah’s father’s small architect firm. Brooke’s roots were in the community; Sarah’s had always been in her extended family, only every so often letting children from the block into her life. Brooke was a ten-minute shower; Sarah had been a two-hour bubble bath. Despite all this, however, she could speak to Brooke at the same level. It was almost ad if they were the melody and harmony of the same tune. And Sarah was loath to let anything change this dynamic so dramatically. Despite what the others tried to instill in her, Sarah didn’t feel herself any more special than had been before.
“I’m just so glad I had a chance to help you like this, Brooke, that we had a chance to become friends. I was so worried you’d harbor a grudge against me forever.”
“Harbor? Is that another fat joke? That I’m big enough that a ship could fit inside of me?” She heard Brooke laugh once again. “Yeah, I thought about it. I thought about how easy it would be to play the same role I’ve always played, that of the helpless victim. But, you know what? After awhile I saw that the two of you deserve each other.”
“Oh, thanks. What’s that supposed to mean?”
“That? Just an observation, Sarah. Think about it. Who but someone like you could be that understanding and forgiving of Steven’s behavior? I mean, the whole reason you came here in the first place was because I couldn’t stand him anymore.”
“And him you.”
“Well, yeah, but there’s no need to bring up something like that now.”
“You have to admit that you weren’t exactly fully behind the relationship towards the end. In fact, he was the one trying to hold it together the best he could while you were the one backing away, right?”
She saw Brooke swivel back into sitting position, her eyes squinting in disbelief. Sarah readjusted her own posture, her legs folded, to receive what she knew was to come next.
“Holding it together? If you can call seeing Penelope Krauss from down the hall holding our relationship together, if you can call palling around with LeAnn—otherwise known as “the woman before me”—holding it together, then, yeah, he was doing one hell of a job of keeping me.”
“Oh, don’t get upset, Brooke. I was just kidding.”
“I know, but it irritates me to think that I found him so perfect once. And how, in one day of revelation, he could destroy the trust I had built up in him.”
“You know you still like him, though.”
She saw Brooke mull it over, the corners of her mouth pulled in as she pulled in her lips. She knew it was a difficult question to ask, but Sarah’s basic premise coming into any relationship was to constantly reassess the situation as different events arose to bring about change in it. Sarah knew this evaluation of exactly who and what you were dealing with was the only way to find happiness, was the only way you could find happiness that lasted forever, the kind of happiness that Sarah was fortunate to be experiencing at that moment with Steven in her life.
“Yeah, I guess I do. But I think I find him a much better friend than whatever it was we were before. A lot less stressful for me, if you know what I mean.”
“Then what was it?”
“What was what?”
“When did it for you the first time?”
“I don’t know what you’re asking…”
“Why’d you do it? Why’d you stay with him as long as you did?”
“Honestly, I don’t know. You know the first time your parents brought you to Mass and you realized that what all those guys up there were saying wasn’t half bad?”
Sure, Sarah did. October tenth, 1975, when she had only been a year old. That was the first day her parents said she had settled down in one place for any serious amount of time. That was when, she guessed, she know who she wanted to follow for the rest of her life, who was to be her mentor.
She heard Brooke continue.
“After Corey was killed, Steven was the only one I could turn to. He was the only one who knew how special Corey was. He was the only one, besides our parents, who had known Corey for as long and as deeply as I did. And, despite how much I rag on him for being a real prick sometimes, he does care about people… sometimes a little too much.”
“I know. His compassion is quite a turn-on, isn’t it? I could just eat it up like it was Pez….”
Wow, Pez. She had forgotten how much she liked eating the stuff—whenever she could find it, that is.
“Pez? Whatever you say, Sarah. You’re silly.”
“That’s me, Silly Sarah.” She guessed she was reveling again. The notion that she was back flooded her entire body. How she had missed being as carefree and silly as Brooke. “Well, don’t stop there, go on. I don’t think I’ve ever heard you tell me how he was before I came and intervened.”
“What is there to tell, really?” After my initial grief was over I began to see again what repulsed me about him in the first place. His infidelity, for one, is amazing. The way he hits on women as if relying totally on instinct and not because he actually is attracted to them. He just never seemed to get that I had a problem with that. Me and my bizarre standards, huh? And when he moved way beyond hitting on them he didn’t even have the decency to hide it well. I don’t know, I guess the moment of his perfection wore off. Yeah, it took me all this time to actually do anything about it, but it’s just not my style to look a gift horse in the mouth.”
“And, according to you, this is why you started pulling away from him?”
“And the other reason or reasons would be?”
“Oh…. You’re not going to like it.”
“And why’s that?”
What was that? Was that Brooke asking her permission to tell the reason? It was almost as if Brooke was terrified of her reaction, which was ridiculous since Sarah could never think of anything that Brooke could say to upset her that much. Sarah was pretty fair-minded when it came to these things. She just didn’t arbitrarily decide things on the spot and expect her friends to just accept her decision as law; it was not the way she worked. Even when she first came back, Sarah didn’t understand that what she was doing was more important that what she had done before. Sure, she knew it had a higher purpose, but to actually consider herself as a key player in some great scheme was more than beyond her thoughts, it was beyond the scope of her imagination. She refused to believe she special.
She wanted Steven here to hear what Brooke was saying. That was what this situation called for and it really was the way she should be running things—less concerned about being overly familiar with the principals involved and more forceful in her instructions. But this was her friend and she would never do anything to hurt her nor force her to do something to hurt herself. Besides, this was an intimate secret shared between friends. It wasn’t something that really needed to spread beyond her own two ears. This was one friend explaining to the other a failed former relationship. Who cares that it involved Sarah’s own Steven? That was outside of the situation. This was Brooke’s one great love who had disappointed her; that was the vital information to be remembered about what came next and that this also was the one great love that Sarah had recently found was of no consequence now.
“Because I started getting sick and tired about his bullshit pleas for forgiveness, the way he would with a straight face say that God forgives all and that it didn’t matter anyway because ‘she’d be the last one.’ I just lost all faith in him.” Sarah felt the moment of silence more than she heard it. “I asked for the hurt to go away—that all the tears go away.
“And that’s where you stepped in to once and for all sever the romantic ties between us.”
“I guess I was too good at my job. Sure, I got you off worrying about him, about hurting him, but I let him take advantage of me. He’s awfully clingy, isn’t he?”
“Just about to everyone.”
“I guessed I missed that human interaction, that feeling of someone wanting you that badly. And so instead of letting him down gently as I should’ve done, I let him continue and got myself involved. It was a mistake and I’m sure against the rules, but—“
“But it was the best mistake you’d ever made, right? I knew it. How can you stand being around someone like that for so long? Doesn’t it bother you that he can be so freewheeling with his heart… among other things?”
“Sure, it bothers me. But individuals in my line of work can’t exactly afford to be judgmental—that’s left to somebody else. It isn’t exactly a desirable trait.”
“No, I wouldn’t think so. But that doesn’t mean you had to fall for him either.”
“Hey, you fell for him, Brooke.”
Here she saw her friend turn away, trying to come up with some classy retort. And while Brooke wracked her brain for an answer, Sarah began to realize that no one is supposed to be judgmental or even allowed to be critical except the one whose fairness is beyond reproach, the one whose beliefs Sarah had grown up with the greater part of her life and in whom Sarah believed to be nothing but goodness. To even consider that she had the authority to pass judgment on someone or someone’s actions would not only be wrong, it would be highly presumptuous. It was one thing to question silly, little things. Pragmatically speaking, whether or not Easter is more popular than Christmas wasn’t of real concern to anyone. Everyone knew the answer and because of that it was safe. However, to discuss matters of morality, of what’s right and wrong, would be improper. Sarah scoffed at the idea creeping into her head to make sure that everything she did was in the most beneficial of spirits. Of course, it was. Besides, now was not the time to question her beliefs.
“Yeah, but I’m far from perfect.”
“Oh… I couldn’t resist. I thought you had a better chance at resisting him. You know, original sin and all?”
Sarah pursed her lips into a quizzical smile.
“Yeah, I see what you’re trying to say. You thought individuals like us are free from all the clutter and mess of emotions. That, Brooke, is an example of propaganda.”
“Which means I’m far from being without feelings. I mean, compassion is a feeling as well as caring and sympathy. How good would I be without those? So, yes, there are some things that are more developed in me than in you, but when it comes to emotions… you’re about as skilled in obeying and disobeying them as I am.”
“I guess I just assumed that his charms wouldn’t work on you.”
“I mean, I know why he fell for you, you’re perfect and all.”
“There’s that word again. I am not perfect.”
“Sure you are, that’s why I never stood a chance.”
“A chance at what?”
“A chance of getting Steven back from you, Sarah.”
Sarah couldn’t believe her eyes; Brooke was actually quivering. And for that instance Sarah wished she could go back to show Brooke had nothing to fear from her and to show that perfection really only existed in one being.
“I thought you didn’t want him back.”
“Oh, I don’t, not really. But the decision is kind of made up for me now isn’t it? How can I possibly compete against someone like you? You’re so beautiful.”
“Yes, I am that, but—“
“And you are the kindest and most forgiving woman I’ve ever known.”
“But so are—“
“And, more to the point, you really do love him. See, you’re perfect and there’s no fighting back when you’re up against perfection.”
Sarah remembered an old fairy tale that her grandfather had told her as a child. It was the tale of Briar Rose, otherwise known as Sleeping Beauty. It was a lot like the modern retelling of it. Same old guy, same sweet girl, the same chain of events linked together in somewhat like fashion. However, as Brooke spoke, Sarah remembered a minor difference, a difference that had never really bothered her as it bothered her now. In the original telling of the tale Briar Rose didn’t start out as some great beauty and, were it not for the curse placed upon her as a child which compelled her into a deep sleep, she might have never found her prince. In some modernist retellings of the tale Sarah had delved into Briar had, in fact, missed her one great calling and was doomed to be normal for the rest of her life—coincidentally bumping into the prince and he finding her utterly plain and common. That was how Sarah felt at times, that if things in her life hadn’t turned out as they had been destined to she might have never found the beauty within her or her prince. She felt at times that this “perfection” that Brooke wished to convey on her was the same “beauty” that the prince instilled on Briar Rose only after an unfortunate tragedy. It was at those times that she began to wonder if Briar would have missed anything had she not know the happiness that was to be hers, if the plain life that she had experienced was more suited to her temperament and personality. After all, she was born common so maybe being common was already perfect enough for her. Especially in times like this Sarah had these thoughts, when people like Brooke wished her to be something she just was never prepared to be.
“Is that what you honestly think? That I’m perfect?”
“Of course, you are. You kind of have to be, don’t you?”
“No, I’m not.”
She didn’t want to believe her friend. She never wanted that responsibility—not because she couldn’t handle it but just because she never wanted it, not for any concrete reason except that it wasn’t her style.
“Sounds like there’s something you’re not telling me, Brooke. What is it?”
“Did Steven ever tell you how Corey died?”
“Not in so many words, but a little bit.”
“Do you want to hear it?”
“Do you want to tell it?”
“I never want to tell it, but I think you’ll understand it, and I think it’s time you knew… a lot of things.” She saw Brooke’s face lose all tension or emotion; in a split-second it became a blank canvas revealing nothing other than the fact of itself. And she heard the words begin to flow. “He was ten at the time and I was eleven. It was October 10th, I remember because Steven had just celebrated his tenth birthday the day before and we were all walking into town to go see Top Gun, a present from Steven’s parents. Oh, how we had begged and pleaded to them to let us go by ourselves. It was only six blocks from our house to the movie theater, but for them it was a vast desert, where every step could be our last. It took awhile, but we convinced them. So there we were, just walking along—I was in front since with my whole year of seniority, as well as my three-quarters of an inch height advantage, I always made sure they knew who was in charge, who was the followed and who were the followers. That’s how I missed the van. That’s how I missed the sound of it coming right behind the three of us. And that’s how I ultimately missed the sound of Corey being thrown in through the sliding door, while poor Steven was shoved to the ground and forced to watch his best friend being taken from him. By the time it was over, I only had time to notice the van speed by me. And for the first couple of seconds I didn’t understand what had just happened. I still don’t think I do, not really.
“They found the body almost a month later, abused and tossed into the river as if Corey were nothing more than trash.”
For a couple of minutes Sarah sat in silence, watching and waiting for Brooke to start bawling, but for some reason or another she didn’t. She just watched as Brooke’s face continued staring into her own, devoid of any real discernible feelings. She hadn’t known. She hadn’t known such horrors could occur so close to home. She hadn’t known such horrors could occur. She hadn’t known horror, not the way Brooke knew it. It was all beyond her experience.
“I didn’t know it had been so horrific.”
“Well, now you do.”
“I got upset with everyone and everything, especially God. Yeah, for the longest time I was very upset with Him. I started to scream at Him daily that it wasn’t fair, that he was too young, that he was my brother and someone on television or in some movie. I kept screaming and hollering, but all I ever got back was the silence of someone who wasn’t listening because He didn’t have to. After awhile I realized that there really wasn’t anything I could do about it. It wasn’t as if anything I could say or do would change the matter. He’d still allow stuff like that to go on. I guessed I wasn’t going to make a difference. So I guess I gave up.”
And suddenly she saw Brooke was back, an almost forced grin on her face again.
“So when I got shoved into your face and you saw that I was falling for Steven you thought it was happening to you again.”
“No, not really. I just decided it was easier to lose him and keep you as a friend then try and keep him, and risk losing both of you.”
“So you really did want him back?”
“No. I mean, yeah, a little part of me. But, mostly, it was just being angry at losing something that was mine than actually losing Steven.”
“Didn’t you know, Brooke, you were going to lose him anyway?”
“Yeah, I did. That’s why you came; you told us that.”
“So why then? If you knew you were going to lose him and you didn’t want him, then why care if I took him from you?”
“I don’t know.”
“You must have some idea.”
“I guess it’s because this time I wasn’t turned around. This time I knew what was going on, what was happening, and still had no way to change things….”
Sometimes it’s not good to change things. Sometimes it’s not good to want things any different than they already are. That was what Sarah thought. Her parents had taught her early on that lesson, the way authority works, except they had called it faith. She remembered asking for money for the latest Pez dispenser design, even though she had amassed quite a collection of them in her bedroom already. That must have been when she was twelve or thirteen, around the time Brooke’s brother had been killed. She knew perfectly that her father could indulge her obsession, but for some reason he never did. He would tell her that she had to have faith that it was for the best and never explained his decision on it any further. So, yes, Sarah knew where Brooke’s line of reasoning led. On her own Sarah earned the money to buy the latest dispenser without her father’s help. She didn’t know why she had to have them all, she just did. Later on, as she progressed through school, and as she began to learn what the word faith actually meant, she came to understand that God works in mysterious ways and that we aren’t supposed to question His motives. But she could never figure out why He wanted her to get obsessed with the cheap, plastic novelty items. And, eventually, she stopped questioning why altogether.
“Whatever you may think, Brooke, I was never after Steven. It kind of happened. If things had happened differently and you weren’t seeing him, if he was alone and in misery, I still think he and I would have gotten together.”
“Oh, I’m sure you two would have.”
“But you still can’t fight the feeling that you should have done more, put up more of an effort.”
“A little. As well as why I got a solution to Steven… but not Corey…”
She remembered how much like Brooke she had been. The way all these doubts and insecurities had kept her on her toes throughout her life. As a child she had been popular, on a quickly rising trajectory. Yet inside she was struggling with life around her. Her schools taught her to obey her parents. Her parents taught her to obey the Church. The Church taught her to obey God. And yet God never revealed anything to her. How scared of Him she had been in those days in much the same way Brooke was scared of her now, not scared that He was vindictive and would punish her for every little indiscretion. That she could accept for if the act she had done was bad enough to deserve punishment then she’d rather it come from God because his penchant for forgiveness was legendary. No, she was more scared of the fact that He really did expect her to live her own life and yet she had no choice in the matter. That apparent conflict between free will or predestination. That, even if she had wanted to, there was no possible way to make her own decisions without having them been arranged for her beforehand. It was only when she left and saw that her fate was far greater than most others’ that she was assured there was a purpose in her life.
But now something was completely different. Now she saw Brooke exactly as she herself had been, wanting something that she thought she couldn’t have and too afraid to do something about it.
“You know what? I think you’re right; people will always like Christmas better than Easter. But not because of your reason, not because it’s easier to receive than to find something, but because people inherently cherish things more that are given to them than things they get for themselves. No matter how inappropriate the gift may be for the person receiving it, they keep it. Not because they especially like it or anything, but because it came as a surprise to be given it. It’s as if a person can’t have faith in another person’s love until they’ve received a gift from that person. Easter eggs basically are all the same, but Christmas presents are always unexpected.
“Exactly—the present could totally suck—broken in a dozen different places, too juvenile to be of any real worth, but because it was a gift there is almost an obligation to hang on to it as long as possible.”
She stared at Brooke. They really were on the same wavelength.
“Brooke, you can always question Him if you do not feel He is right. You know that, right? You don’t have to accept things just because they are. You can change things if you wanted to.”
Sarah didn’t know if she believed that, but the idea began to look less evil a prospect than it had been beforehand.
“It takes more effort than I can really give and…”
“How do you tell a parent that the gift they gave you was all wrong? How do you tell Him that even though you thought His taking away of something you thought was all wrong for you was the best present He could give you, that the present you wanted was the one you had all along?”
“I wouldn’t know.”
“You can’t because the minute you tell someone what you want, knowing that they’ll get it for you, it loses the magic of being a gift.”
“And you never know when the most precious gift you have can be taken from you in the blink of an eye…”
“Or the turning of a head—“
And suddenly Sarah knew exactly what gift she wanted back.
“Or the changing of one light to the next…”
“So I just think it’s better not to even argue about it since it doesn’t do one bit of good…”
And with that the conversation ended for there was nothing more left to say.