Faith, Art, writing and learning are Tim’s passions. Tim loves working in education. He has a BS in Psychology from Albright College.
Faith, Merry and Agnes sat at the table in the little cafe and watched the crowd meander in and out. Merry picked up her sandwich and took a bite. “Pickles make anything better, don’t you think?”
“Merry, give it a rest. ” She turned towards Faith. “Please explain to me how you got arrested again.”
Faith looked up from her coffee. “What...it wasn’t my fault. You told me to do what I needed to do to protect the girl from harm.”
Agnes shook her head. “No, what I told you was that God said to watch over her. I didn’t mean to take down a guy who simply made a pass at her in the bar.”
“Hey I felt she was in trouble…”
“Yeah, well you wait until something happens then you act accordingly but only under the bosses orders. You know what we had to do to clean up this mess?”
“No, but I’m sure you’re going to,tell me.”
“Hey, I’m full. Does anybody want the rest of my sandwich?”
Agnes looked at Merry, “No we don’t want your sandwich.” She looked back at Joe Remember we are angels and we act only when we are told to act. The Boss said if you have a problem one more time you may be demoted back to watching over the nursery at the hospital. Though if memory serves me correctly the last time you even got in trouble there. Now we have a hew assignment.”
”Yeah Faith, we’ve been called to assist a guy named Tom using the Christmas Carol routine.”
”Christmas Carol?” Chimed in Merry.
”You know a guy named Dickens, his character a miser named Scrooge…visited by three ghosts…”
”Nope.” Said Merry.
”Well anyway,” Snipped Agnes. “The boss is sending an associate of his named Larry he will…”
“Wait, who are you and why are you sitting in a chair in my bedroom?”
“It’s me Larry.”
“Larry? But you’re dead.”
“Yeah I guess technically I am dead but here I am.”
“Wait, if you’re dead how can you be here?”
“I don’t really know how I’m here. I was wallowing miserably in my afterlife then poof I’m here. However, I know why I’m here…it is to warn you, to gain some Christmas cheer before it’s too late. Your cheer meter is low. Well it’s never really been up there but that’s neither here nor there. It’s just who you are. It’s who I was when I was alive and look where it got me. Well anyway why I’m here is to tell you in order to boost your holiday cheer you will be visited by three…”
“Wait, are we doing the Scrooge thing?”
“You know three ghosts…yadda,yadda.
“No, that only happens in books and movies. You’re going to be visited by three angels, Faith, Merry and Agnes. They’re going to show you what it’s like to have good cheer. So if you didn’t not mind I'm going to get back to my afterlife. Oh yeah, cheer up.” He laughed as he faded out.”
“Oh great!” Tom said. “Well bah humbug no Angel is going to get me to cheer up.” He rolled over and went back to sleep
Around about 1AM Tom rolled over and opened his eyes. There before him sat, in the same chair Larry had sat in, a woman all on white with shining blond hair. “Greetings earthling, name is Faith.”
“Hey could you tone down the brightness a little?” Tom said.
“Oh sorry, sometimes I forget you humans are sensitive to the shine.”
The angel smiled. “The Holy glow? You know angels shine forth like the sun.”
“No matter. There I toned it down a little. Now, are you ready for your first adventure?”
“If I said no would it matter?”
“No, well then it’s time to go.”
They appeared in front of a row home which had seen better days.
Paint was peeling around the windows, bricks falling down from the facade.Tom looked at the angel. “Where are we?”
“Have you never been here before?”
“Doesn’t surprise me. Now let’s go inside.”
Tom found himself inside the house. He looked around.
“Wait, that’s Carl. He works for me.”
“Yes he does. By the looks of it you don’t pay him well.”
Tom looked at Faith. “Why are we here?”
“You’ll see. Now watch. “
“Tom watched as Carl and his family came into the room. They were all laughing. Carl and his wife sat on the couch. The children decorated the tree. Soon Carl and his wife joined them. They all sang Christmas carols and talked of the coming holiday, Faith snapped her fingers and they were back in Tom’s bedroom.
“I don’t get it. Why were they so filled with cheer? I mean…”
“Because they don’t have much?”
“I mean yes…no,”
“They are cheerful not because of the material things they have but because of the faith in their hearts. When you have faith it helps you remain cheerful no matter what. Think about it. Your first lesson is done. Remember Tom, remember. Oh yeah, tell Merry I said hello,” Faith faded out.
Tom didn’t go back to sleep. He sat in the chair Larry and Faith had previously occupied. He looked over at his clock…2AM. Maybe he should go back to bed.
“You know you’re almost out of peanut butter.”
Joe turned to find a middle aged woman with long brown hair standing there. She held a half eaten sandwich in her hand.
“Merry I presume.”
“In the flesh so to speak.” She smiled. “By the way you might also want to expand your horizons by getting some strawberry jelly next time.”
“Oh nothing. I have this bad habit of saying what pops into my head. It gets me into trouble sometimes.”
“Wait, if you’re an Angel, where is your glow?”
“You know the Angel shine?”
She laughed. “Faith was at it again. Angels do have a shine but we usually only use it around our creator. Faith likes to have fun and part of her fun is to glow around humans. I’ll have to have a talk with her later. Now, are you ready to go?”
“I’ve been ready, let’s get this over with.”
“Come on Tom, lighten up. After all, it is the soul purpose of my visit.”
Merry snapped her fingers and they reappeared at Tom’s workplace.
“Why are we here?”
“Don’t you know?”
“No, wait today, I mean tomorrow is the big Christmas party at work. But why bring me here to watch my associates celebrate?”
Tom watched as several of his workers came into the room. He knew their names, Jan, Robert and Paul. Jan he’d dated for a while till he realized a workplace romance was not for him.
Jan looked at the other two. “Well I have work to do so I guess I’ll see you at the party later.”
“Ok Jan.” Said Robert. “See you later.”
“I feel so bad for her.” Said Robert.
“Yeah, she’s trying to remain cheerful even though her heart hurts.”
“Yeah, Jan always puts the needs of others above herself.”
Robert glanced over at Paul. “Yeah Tom is my friend but sometimes he can be so self centered and mean. He treated Jan pretty badly when he broke off their relationship.”
“Yeah.” Paul quipped. “Now he tries to avoid her.”
“I feel so bad because I think she has a thing for him.”
Paul snapped his fingers.”You know who he reminds me of…Larry”
“The guy who died in the car accident?”
“Yeah him..,” “Paul shuddered. “A really cold hearted soul if you ask me.”
Merry looked at Tom. “Heard enough.”
“Yeah, can we go now?”
Merry snapped her fingers. They were back in Tom’s room.
“I don’t get it. I thought people liked me. I mean I’m not Larry.”
“I think you have perspective issues. You think people see you as a caring person. The problem is you see yourself one way and other people see who you really are. You blinded yourself to the truth.”
“The other angel told me the exact same thing.”
“Good, Faith is learning. Now you must weigh your heart to see where the truth lies. Does what you do each day provide others with some manner of good cheer? If not then you must change your perspective.” So if you’ll excuse me I have another to seek out tonight,” She faded out. Tom sat on the edge of his bed and pondered what he’d heard so far. He swung his feet up and laid down. No sooner had he closed his eyes he heard a strange whistling sound from down stairs. He got up and headed down the stairs.
Tom walked into his kitchen. A woman who looked to be about sixty stood in front of his stove pouring some hot water out of a tea kettle into a cup. Tom wrinkled his brow. Since when did he have a tea kettle?
“About time you showed up. Would you like a nice cup of tea?”
“Umm…no thank you. I don’t care for tea. I take it you're the third Angel…Agnes?
She smiled. “Agnes at your service. Now if you’ll be so kind as to let me finish my tea we’ll be on our way.”
“Hey, no problem. Take your time.” Tom leaned up against the counter. She sipped her tea,
“Are you ready yet?”
“Patience…the events we need to see have not yet been put into motion.”
She took a sip of tea.
“Okay…everything should be ready now.” She poured the rest of the tea in the sink. “Now let’s go.” She snapped her fingers. They appeared in an apartment. “Where are we?”
“The appropriate question might be “When are we?” The answer is three months ago and the apartment you’ve quickly forgotten is your ex-girlfriend’s. They both jumped as the door behind them slammed. They turned to find her standing there in tears.
“It’s not you, it's me.” She threw her keys on the counter, walked over and dropped to the couch. She sobbed for a while and then grew quiet.”
Agnes looked at Tom. “It’s not you, it’s me.” Well at least you got that part right.” What a fluffta.”
“Angels are not allowed to curse. So it is the closest I dare come. You see I know deep down you have feelings for this girl...for God has told me. The problem is in your perspective you feel this girl is holding you back. The truth is she could take you further both in life and in work. Come with me.”
“Do I have a choice?’
“No!” She snapped her fingers. They were now in Tom’s offices. In front of him sat Jan. She was wrapped in last minute preparations for the Christmas party as well as finalizing an agreement with a new toy company.
“See how she is still working for the best interest of your company even though deep inside she hurts.
“I haven’t seen her in days.” Tom said.
“More like weeks.” Chimed in Agnes.”You two have been doing a good job of avoiding each other when you should be clinging to each other. You need her Tom, whether in your mind you think you do or not. Let me take you to one more place.”
They appeared in the middle of the train station.
“Why are we here?”
“Her.” Agnes pointed over to a woman sitting on a bench.
“Why is she here?”
“She came here to take a ride on the Christmas Train to see what the future for her and you would look like. I warned her now is not the time to take the ride. In truth however her happy ending is all tied to you and your perspective on life now. So my work here is done.” She snapped her fingers. Tom was back in his apartment. He looked at his clock. It was only 4 AM. He was going to be tired but he had work to do before the morning
The Day of the Christmas Party
Tom got to his office bright and early. He left envelopes on each of his employees desks. He then sent out an email to all his employees to enjoy the employee Christmas party and this year to take Christmas Day off. He signed it Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Robert and Paul walked into the room.
“What are you doing here? I mean it’s good you are here but we just thought this would be the last place…”
Tom waved them off. “It’s okay. I know I’ve been a big jerk the last couple of years but things are gonna change from now on. My eyes have been opened.” He walked over and hugged both of them. “Now where is Jan?”
“I don’t know.” Said Paul
“Me either.” Chimed in Robert.
“Okay, I’m going to go run a few errands but I’ll be back for the Christmas party.”
Tom got up and started to head out of the office. “Wait, I know where Jan is…”
A few moments later he arrived at the train station. He ran inside. Hopefully she was still here. After a few moments of looking around he spotted her sitting on a bench holding a train ticket. He rushed over to her.
“What are you doing here?”
“I came to talk to you.”
“Talk to me…since when do you want to talk to me. I mean you’ve spent the last four months trying to avoid me.”
“You’re right. I was avoiding you but not because of what you think. I love you.”
She crossed her arms. “I’m listening.”
“I told myself I couldn’t love you because it didn’t fit into my plans.”
“Your plans. What do you mean?
You know sometimes you can be …”
“Please let me finish. Like I said, I told myself, no convinced myself love was not in the plans I had for my future. I mean I used to be an arrogant selfish kind of person. All of which stole my cheer and joy. But with the help of others I’ve discovered a whole new perspective on life.
“What are you talking about?”
“What I’m saying is that I’ve learned some things in the last day or so. The first thing I learned was to see people. Really see them for who they are. The second was to find the joy in the people around you and revel in their joy. The third was to not deny love when it stands right before you. Jan you are my love.”
“Is this some kind of joke?”
“No, no joke. I love you and want to be with you. Please forgive me.”
“I don’t know if I…”
He pulled her to himself then kissed her. All her inhibitions melted and she met his kiss head on. After a few moments they stopped.
Tom looked into her eyes. “Would you like to go to a Christmas party with me?”
“But I’m not really dressed for a party.”
“You look beautiful.”
They locked hands and headed for the exit.
Off in the distance three Angels and Larry smiled.
“Another job well done.” Said Agnes.”Now let us ge on our way
© 2021 Timothy Whitt