Secret Santa ’16

December 2016

Today, unexpected I got one of my favourite things. A present.

I shouldn’t have been surprised, because I had dropped my name in the Secret Santa box which was expertly placed in our faculty building and advertized. I participated as a way of being a good sport.

I don’t look forward to gifts in general and especially not from acquaintances. I consider gifts to be very personal, emotional manifestations of one’s feeling towards another. This however is restricted to the act and not the thing. The act never feels the same when done by someone who is not a close friend or family. They are never as personal, or as warm.

But today, as the fair-skinned blue-eyed class monitor made his way down the row of desks, decidedly coming towards me my heart did something which I can’t explain, and my mind went blank. I did not know what was happening. Why was this beautiful boy walking towards ‘me’? He looked so pleasant. This would not be class-related…or would it? Was he in that good of a mood?

He had something in his hand.

It was from my Secret Santa and he was the delivery man. I don’t remember what he said. I don’t remember how the gift came to be in my hands. But when I looked down there it was. A beautiful thing. It was a bag, a pouch. It was a pouch for a card. The pouch itself was beautiful, and that would have been enough. The fabric was gold and transparent a pattern of tiny flowers.  It reminded me of the type of expensive cloths reserved for special things like wedding dresses. I sat staring at it for some time. I ran my fingers over it gently. I was enthralled.

I turned it around. There was a card inside. It looked…Wow! I was anxious to run my fingers over it to feel the texture of the paper and the small Christmas tree on the front. I could see and feel it through the pouch. But that wasn’t enough. I tried pulling the card out…The space was a bit tight in the pouch. Hm, I would have to be careful. I slowed my actions. There was something else inside!

There was a book inside. A small book with a dark brown cover with the word ‘Tomsk’ written on the front in white. Inside the book were light blue pages. The pages were empty. There were no lines, marks, or drawings of any kind. It was perfect. And for the first time I cried in public. I was so overwhelmed.

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