Title: Christmas Wishes: A Taking Chances Outtake
Author Penname: Butterfly Betty
Summary: Set right before the start of Taking Chances, Alex and Anthony sit down and write a special letter to Santa.
Banner Designer Name: Busymommy
Alex's Desperate Plea
Grandpa always told me that if you wanted something bad enough, you'd get it. I wasn't stupid; I knew that I just because I asked for a new bike didn't mean I'd get one. But maybe, if I was good enough, and I mean really good, Santa would bring me what I wanted the most—a daddy.
I never got the chance to meet my real dad; he died before I was born. Momma never really talked about him much. It made her sad, sometimes she'd cry. I didn't like it when momma cried. She tried to hide it, but I could always tell. She didn't smile or laugh. She'd watch me with a strange look on her face. Like I said, I didn't like it when momma wasn't happy.
Sneaking into momma's office, I pulled open the bottom drawer of her desk, grabbing one of her yellow notebooks and an envelope. She always told me I could get one if I wanted, but I was supposed to ask. Momma had a meeting with Aunt Tanya about her book, so she had Grandpa come over and watch me. But, really, I spent more time watching over him than he did me. The things he'd get into if nobody paid him any attention. Momma often said that he was worse than a kid locked in a candy store.
Grandpa was sitting on the couch, watching some football game when I came downstairs. Whoever was playing wasn't doing a very good job because his face was really red and it looked like he wanted to say some of those bad words Momma always told him not to say around me. He still did, though. I just never told her. He got in enough trouble without me adding fuel to the fire, as he put it. I don't know what that means, though.
I climbed onto the couch next to him, placing the notebook over my lap. "Grandpa, how do you spell dear?"
"D-e-a-r," he rambled out. Gripping my pencil, I wrote down each letter.
"How do you spell Santa?"
"S-a-n-t-a," he said, turning the TV off. "I can't handle watching those boys get beat again. Someone forgot to kick them in their ass and tell them it was time to play football." Shifting his eyes down to mine, he added, "Don't tell your momma I said that word."
"Okay, I won't. How do you spell want?" I looked up at him.
"W-a-n-t. What are you writing there, sport?"
"A letter to Santa," I replied, shrugging my shoulders.
"Um, Alex, it's only August," Grandpa said, laughing.
"I know," I muttered, trying to focus on my letters. "How do you write a W?"
"You start here at the top," he pointed to the top of the line, "then go down to the line below, up halfway, then down again, before going back up to the top of the line."
"Oh, like an upside down M."
"Why are you writing your letter to Santa in August, kiddo?"
Sighing, I looked up at him. "Because, it's might take him a long time to find what I want this year."
"What do you want?" he asked, little lines shooting across his forehead. Momma called them his worry lines. He always had them around her, because he worried too much. At least, that's what she said.
"A daddy," I whispered, dropping my eyes from his.
"Alex," he puffed out. "I, um, I don't know if Santa can bring you a daddy."
"You said that all I had to do is ask for whatever I wanted, and he'd bring it," I whined.
"I know, but—"
"Grandpa, don't I deserve a daddy?" Tears filled my eyes and even though I tried to stop them, they rolled down my face.
"Of course, you do, sport, but it's not that easy," he said, pulling me into his lap.
"I've been good all year, just like the song says to be. I eat my vegetables and keep my room clean. I even let momma kiss me." Rubbing my eyes with the back of my hands, I sniffed. "I just want a daddy, someone who will make momma happy, too."
"I want that, too, Alex," he whispered.
Turning in his lap, I asked, "Will you help me with my letter, Grandpa?"
"Alex, I don't think that's such a good idea," he muttered, trying to look away. Placing my hands on the side of his face, I stuck out my bottom lip. "Oh, crap, don't do that!"
"Please, Grandpa, please!" I begged. "Please, please, please!"
"Fine," he grumbled. "But if your momma finds out, I'm putting all the blame on you, kiddo."
"Yeah, cause that'd be different," I scoffed, climbing off his lap and sitting on the couch next to him. "You write it out, because you're faster than me."
"Okay," he sighed, taking the yellow notebook and pencil from me. "I'm gonna get into so much trouble for this."
Ignoring him, I started telling him what to write:
I hope you and Mrs. Claus are good. Is it cold at the North Pole? It rains a lot here in Seattle. I don't really mind it most of the time, but when it starts to rain really hard, momma won't let me go outside and play. How are the reindeer? Are you feeding them anything good? What do reindeer eat?
"They eat little kids who are mean to their grandpas," teased Grandpa, ruffling my hair.
I rolled my eyes. "Whatever, keep going!"
I hope it's okay that I am writing to you so early, but I really need your help, Santa. See, my momma doesn't have a husband. He went to heaven before I was born. She tries not to cry in front of me, but sometimes, I see it. She's really lonely and I think she needs a new husband, Santa. She's been really good, I promise. She keeps the house clean, makes me eat my vegetables, and even puts up with my Grandpa.
"I'm not that bad," Grandpa gripped.
"Of course you're not," I replied, patting his arm. "Can we get back to my letter, please?"
"Fine," he muttered.
Santa, she's been alone for a really long time, like since before I was born. She says I'm enough for her, and maybe I am for now, but I'm almost five and half. Before she knows it, I'm gonna be in school, and then who will she take care of? See, what I mean? She really needs a new husband, and I could really use a daddy. I just want someone who says "This is my son." Is that too much to ask, Santa?
I'll understand if you can't bring me a new daddy. I'll always believe in you, no matter what.
Looking up at my Grandpa, I asked, "Does that sound okay?"
Nodding, he leaned over and kissed the top of my head. "Sounds real good, sport. Let's get it in the envelope and send it right now."
Grandpa folded it for me, making sure that it would fit into the envelope okay. Taking the pencil from him, I bit my lip and wrote out my address, with a little help from him. Making sure to write Santa's name extra big, Grandpa pulled a stamp out of his wallet and put it in the corner. Following me out to the mailbox, he pulled the front down so I could put it inside. Heading back into the house, I hoped that Santa would get it soon and bring me my daddy.
Anthony's Attempt at a Deal
Sitting on the porch at my Nana and Papa's house, I watched it rain…again. That's all it ever did here was rain. Most of the time, I didn't mind it, but today, it really bugged me. Papa was working at his hospital. Dad had dropped me off this morning because he had to take some pictures of this really big family. He said they had like a billion kids and wanted pictures of all of them. He'd usually let me go to work with him, but he said there were going to be too many people there today. Whatever. I didn't care anyway.
"Anthony, want to make some cookies?" Nana asked, opening the front door.
Turning back to the rain, I shrugged my shoulders. "I guess."
Climbing off the porch swing, I followed Nana into the kitchen, climbing onto the stool in front of the bar. She smiled as she started pulling everything out of the cabinets; sugar, flour, measuring cups. Nana and I always made cookies when I came over and nobody else was here. She said it's because she loves me so much that she waits until we're alone. I think she's just bored and uses me as her excuse to bake something. But I wouldn't tell her that. It'd make her sad and I don't like when my Nana is sad.
Dad told me that Nana's been sad enough in her life without us adding to it. Something about her being sick, but I didn't ask for more. I didn't need to; I already knew what made her sad. My mommy going to heaven made her sad, and seeing my dad cry over her made Nana sad, too. Makes me sad, as well.
I don't remember my mommy. Dad said she went to heaven just before my first birthday. He told me she loved me so much her heart overflowed so she went to heaven to share the love with the angels. I don't believe him, though. I'd never tell him, but sometimes, I wonder if my mommy ever loved me. If she did, how could she leave me when I needed her so much?
"Are you ready, sweet boy?" Nana asked.
"Yeah," I muttered, pushing up on my knees.
"What's the matter with you?" Nana set her mixing bowl in front of me, gesturing to the two measuring cups already filled with sugar and flour.
Picking them up, I dumped them in the bowl. "Nothing."
"Hmm," she hummed, but didn't say anything else as she pushed the bag of chocolate pieces over to me. Picking them up, I poured all of them inside. Nana always let me put as many chocolate pieces as I wanted. She told me they were my cookies, and I could have what I wanted. "You know, I'm a pretty good listener."
"Yeah, I know," I sighed, leaning back while she broke the eggs. "Nana, can I ask you something?"
"Did my mommy love me?" I could barely get the words out. My eyes filled with tears, and no matter how many times I blinked, they wouldn't go away.
"Oh, my sweet boy, she loved you so much," soothed Nana, rushing around the corner and lifting me in her arms. I ducked my head into the crook of her neck, holding on tight. "She wanted you so much. She tried to hold on, but her heart just got too full of love."
"It's not fair," I cried. "Elliott and Ivy get their mommies, but I don't get to have one. I want a mommy, too. Why can't I have one?"
Nana sat down on my stool, letting my legs dangle on either side of her. "I don't know, sweet boy."
"Was I bad?" I whispered.
"Oh, no, you were the best little baby. You're a wonderful little boy. Just sometimes, mommies go to heaven."
"I still want a mommy," I mumbled.
"Well, why don't you ask for one?" Nana suggested.
Leaning back, I looked up at her. "Huh? Who can I ask?"
"Um," she said, thinking for a moment. Her face lit up and she smiled. "Santa!"
"Do you think he'd bring me a mommy if I asked for one?" I tried not to get my hopes up, because last year I'd asked for a new bike and got a puzzle instead. I don't know what Santa was thinking.
"You know, I do," she replied, nodding. "Santa's probably got a special wish stuck back for just this type of request. How about if we finish making the cookies and get them in the oven? Then, while they're baking, we can write him a letter together?"
"Okay," I cheered, jumping off her lap.
Nana and I hurried to finish making the cookies. She even let me get a spoon and eat some of the dough. Once she had them on her cookie sheet, she pulled a notebook out of one of the drawers in the kitchen and a pencil. We moved over to the table. She agreed to write the letter since I didn't know how to spell a lot of words.
I'm not sure how to start this letter. I guess I'll start by asking about the Mrs. She doing okay? Keeping you fed and everything? You look like she does a good job. Not calling you fat, just pointing out that you aren't starving. You know what I mean, right? This isn't going to ruin my chances to get my Christmas wish?
Let me start over. I hope you and the Mrs. are doing good. Have the elves started making this year's presents? Do they get overtime? What is overtime, anyway? Sorry, I got off track.
My Nana said you might be able to help me get a mommy. I know it's a lot to ask, but I really want one. My dad's great, but sometimes, a boy just needs his mom, you know? Did you have a mom? Did she hug you and kiss your forehead before putting you to bed? I've never had one; is that something they really do?
My mommy went to heaven a long time ago, before I could even remember what color eyes she had, or if she smiled when she looked at me. My dad says I look just like her, but I don't know if he's just saying that or if he really means it. How do I know?
I'm not just asking for a mommy for me, either. My dad could really use a new wife. He can't cook. At all. Nana makes us dinner a lot, but when he tries, he burns it. And you don't want me to get started on the laundry. Pink underwear, enough said, don't you think?
Santa, he's sad, too. He thinks I don't hear, but he cries almost every night, mostly when he thinks I'm sleeping. It makes me want to cry, too.
Santa, I know you get a bunch of letters, and maybe this is even more than you can do, but…well, if you'd try, I'd be thankful. No matter what, I'll always believe in you.
P.S. I'll take a new bike, too.
Nana put the pencil down just when the timer for the cookies went off. Going over to the oven, she pulled them out, placing the cookies on a plate to cool. Setting the plate between us at the table, she folded the letter and helped me put it inside the envelope. With her help, I managed to write our address and Santa's name before adding the stamp. Holding Nana's hand, we ran out in the rain and shoved it into the mailbox, lifting the red flag on the side.
"Do you think this will work, Nana?" I asked, looking up at her. "Will I get a mommy?"
"I believe you will, sweet boy." She smiled, brushing her fingers across my cheek. "Now, let's go eat some cookies before Papa comes home and gobbles them all up."
"Okay," I laughed, racing her inside. Stopping on the porch, I looked back at the mailbox, hoping Nana was right and I'd have a mommy by Christmas.
Thank you for taking the time out to read this little piece. I hope you enjoyed it