Christmas Eve. Older sister Nancy and I are home alone again. We decide to have our own Christmas. We carry candles, douse lights, decorating a makeshift tree in semi-darkness. Shadows dance like ballet dancers, while we decorate.
We wrap empty packages, tie them with strings. Make each other little gift certificates for love. “Redeemable upon request,” Nancy says, laughing.
Seeing that word emblazoned on crude scraps of paper fills me with boundless euphoria. I’m here with my older sister and we’re celebrating Christmas. Negativity dissolves, the people who ignore us, the bills, all of that.
We redeem them, giving each other Christmas hugs, candles flickering, the things we’ve created so vast and majestic. With the intensity of each hug, I inhale perfume and sweat and Christmas.
I don’t let go. Neither does Nancy.
Mir-Yashar Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University's MFA program in fiction. His work has been published or is forthcoming in journals such as A Story In 100 Words, Unstamatic, Aromatica Poetica, and Ariel Chart.