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The Tenth Day Of Christmas (Rickie)

written by Shannon Bryan

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Published: 1997 | Size: 7 KB (1365 words) | Language: english | Rating: PG-13
Average: 3.7/5   3.7/5 (9 votes)

based on stories and characters created by Winnie Holzman

Without further ado, Enrique Vasquez . . . .

Christmas is a special time.  I know it’s not fashionable to talk about it, and Rayanne would probably laugh, but it’s the time of year I feel most connected to God.  And to Jesus.  And I *know* that historians say that Jesus probably wasn’t born around December 25th.  Cause, like the calendars were all different then anyway, and Christians moved their celebration to compete with some pagan holiday that they didn’t approve of.

In a lot of ways, that really doesn’t even matter.

What I do know is the story of the birth of Jesus.  About how Joseph and Mary had to travel so far for the census and couldn’t find anyplace to stay.  And they were supposedly traveling home.  But there was no room for them in a place that was supposed to be like home.  And I kind of know how that feels.  Not being welcome.  And about not being able to find a place to stay.

I mean, I'm *nothing* like the Virgin Mary, but I think I understand how she felt anyways.

Because last year I really didn’t have any place to stay.  Because the people who were supposed to support me--to *understand* me--well, they didn’t.  And so I went from place to place, like Joseph and Mary went from inn to inn.  But at Rayanne’s house there just wasn’t room.  With Rusty around, there was barely room for Rayanne, much less me.  At Brian’s house there was lots of room, but I couldn’t stay there, because I barely knew him then, and I couldn’t ...I couldn’t ask him for help.  And he didn’t seem to be able to read between the lines.  And at Angela’s she seemed to understand what I needed, without me even asking, but I felt like an intruder, so I left.

But finally I found a kind soul, who couldn’t take me in, but who knew a place where I could go.  Jordan Catalano of all people.  Like the last person I would have turned to.  The last person I would have thought could understand.  But he did.  And he gave me someplace to be.  An abandoned warehouse.  Not exactly like a stable.  But close.  To stay there, and stay safe, you had to be careful not to disturb, well ... the *animals*.

Eventually I got taken to this church.  With an amazing choir.  I remember almost everything they sang that night.  I sat there for a long time.  Thinking.  And praying.  The song they were singing when I first got there was “I’ll be Home for Christmas”.  I’m sure you’ve heard of it.  It’s famous and stuff.  They sang it in that “Facts of Life” episode where Natalie and Tootie and the whole gang performed at the prison.  It’s a good song and all, but that night, it just, y’know, *got* to me.

“I’ll be home for Christmas ... if only in my dreams.”

Because I was treating my situation like *it* was the dream.  A bad one.  But having no where to be ... no *home*, that wasn’t a bad dream, that was reality.  And a home, *that* was the dream.  And then, I sort of started to cry.  And went and lit a candle for Jordan Catalano.  And then one for myself.  And I hoped that God could forgive my selfishness.  And then I prayed for help.

And I got it.  The Baby Jesus had the Three Wise Men.  And I guess I did too.  Because eventually Angela *and* her Mom showed up at the church too.  And when I asked Mrs. Chase what had made her come into the church that night, she wasn’t sure.  She got this really faraway look, and said it was just a feeling.  Something she couldn’t explain.  And I know that’s not the same as a guiding star, but all the same, it was a miracle for me that the Chases showed up that night.

And Angela and Mrs. Chase didn’t bring gold or myrrh, whatever that even is.  They brought friendship and a place to stay.  And I know that’s only two wise women, but the third wise man got a little lost, I guess.  Because I didn’t find him until much later.

And that night I went home with the Chases, and had like, hot cocoa, with mini marshmallows.  And the Chases didn’t really have another bed made up, but Brian Krakow’s whole house was empty.  So I went home with him that night, to sleep in a real bed, for the first time in like a week.  And he seemed so guilty for not having offered before.  And I realized at that moment, that I probably *could* have asked him for help.  Maybe I even should have.  Asked him.  Or the Chases.  Or even Amber.  And we listened to even more Christmas carols.  I remember Brian played the Beach Boys version of “Silent Night“.  And they were pretty good for surfer dudes.

“Sleep in heavenly peace.”  

That night I really did.  And for a week or so after that at the Chases. 

But by then I felt I had really outstayed my welcome, so I moved on.  And so I was searching again.  And instead of that third wise man finding me, I sort of found him.  And I knew it was him as soon as I stood in front of his apartment door.  The door said:  3 .

And I can’t explain why that made me feel better.  Third wise man?  The holy trinity?  Third time’s the charm?  I really have no idea.  All I know is that the minute Mr. Katimski opened that door and let me in, and, like, *hugged* me, that I was home.

*Home*.  For like the first time.  Ever.

It just took a long time.  Not soon enough for my tastes, that’s for sure.  But maybe that just goes to show that God does work in mysterious ways.  You don’t always get *what* you want *when* you ask for it.  But eventually you can get the things you really need.  You just have to be able to recognize them.  And maybe if you’re never lost, then you can never be found.

And Mr. Katimski and Joseph (*his* Joseph, not Mary’s Joseph) just got finished setting up the tree.  And we’re having some hot cocoa.  No mini marshmallows, though.  Mr. Katimski prefers a little whipped cream and cinnamon on top.  I think I do too.  It’s kind of a family tradition.   *Our* family.

In a minute, I think I’m going to go put on some Christmas carols.  I’m in a “Joy to the World” sort of mood.  I won't be putting on “I’ll be Home for Christmas” though.  Never again.  Because being home  isn’t just a dream for me.  Not anymore.

Okay everybody, sing along!
That's right, even you guys sitting in the back!

(music = ON)

On the tenth day of Christmas Chuck Wood gave to me
...ten IRS audits.

nine volumeters,
eight flapper dresses,
seven swans of origami,
six pairs of handcuffs,
five cotton swabs,
four invisible cats,
three yummy lollies,
two free Dead tickets,
and one out of state fake ID.

Next--look for some thoughts from the crimson glow girl herself.  Angela.  I mean if you counted, she’s like the only one left.  Duh squared.

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The Eleventh Day Of Christmas (Angela) by Shannon Bryan and E.R. Holdridge (Shobi)
Published: 1997 | Size: 7 KB (1215 words) | Language: english english | Rating: PG-13
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“And, you know, with your hair like that? It hurts to look at you.”

Rayanne Graff, Episode 1: "My So-Called Life (Pilot)"