The next day I head down to Newberry’s Five & Dime Store and pick out some pretty decorations. I get shiny balls, icicles and a garland; also, a star for the top of the tree and some red candles for the windows.
I have to call a cab and guess who shows up? “I didn’t ask for you,” I say, making it plain.
“Yeah, I know,” He says. He takes my packages and hands them back to me after I get in.
He says. “You know you never told me your name.”
“Yeah, I know,” I say. “Will you please stop on the corner, by the tree lot?”
I buy some mistletoe and some holly but Mr. Ambrogio won’t take any money for the evergreen boughs I ask for. Mr. Ambrogio is giving Tommy the squint-eye when he puts them in the trunk. It begins to snow. “Looks like we’re gonna have a white Christmas if this keeps up,” the cabbie says.
“I smile.” I think he’s right.
After we get to my little house and he’s handing me my stuff at the door he says, “Merry Christmas.” I take my packages and say, “Merry Christmas, Tommy.”
I hadn’t seen or heard from Freddy for three days since that night we left the diner. But he called at noon and said he’d been working a lot and could he come by later so’s we could spend Christmas Eve together.
It’s been snowing for two days and I love the snow. Of course I say, yes. So it’s Christmas Eve and we’re sitting here on the sofa looking at my little Christmas tree with all the lights.
“I’m glad you didn’t have to work tonight, Freddy.”
“Yeah,” he says, smiling, and changes the subject. “The candles and holly look real nice, Molly; so’s the tree; its beautiful.”
“See the green packages, Freddy? They’re your presents. The red ones are for my Aunt and your Mom and sister.”
“I only got you one thing, Molly,”
“Oh, that’s all right. You know what they say about good things coming in small packages.” I smile up at him.”
He’s got his arm around me but he stands and pulls me up off the sofa and takes me to the kitchen doorway where I put the mistletoe up.
He kisses me then, real soft and he’s got those eyes of his at half-mast – the way that drives me nuts. He takes a little wrapped box out of his pocket and says: “Open it now, Molly – while I’m here, okay?”
So I do. And it’s just the sweetest thing; it’s a very small onyx oval on a little gold chain, and the onyx oval has this tiny, little diamond in the middle. And now I know why he’s been working all the time. “Oh Freddy,” and I look up and I have tears in my eyes.
“Do you like it?” He says.
Now, they’re rolling down my cheeks, and I can barely whisper: “It’s just so beautiful.”
“Oh, Molly, don’t cry.” And he pulls me into his arms. “It’s for you, Molly – Merry Christmas.”
Time for a break.