Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Kaelah's Corner (Nov 2020):
An Awful Day

It was an awful day. He sat in the kitchen, totally tired, not having slept well, and drank a cup of coffee that definitely was too thin for his taste. When he looked outside, he saw – absolutely nothing! It was still completely dark, although it was a quarter past seven already, as his watch told him. Time to hurry up. The newspaper hadn't been in the letter box, so his morning ritual was screwed, anyway. He poured away the rest of his coffee, rinsed his cup and put it into the dish washer.

On soft feet he walked through the hall, not wanting to wake his wife, who had been working late shift and had a day off today. He put on his right boot, only to realise that the left one was missing. He searched the whole wardrobe, but couldn't find it. Obviously, the crazy dog had once again taken and hidden one of his shoes. Mumbling curses, he put on his summer shoes instead, knowing that his feet would be extra cold in them. Yep, it definitely was a crappy day!

And it wasn't supposed to get any better. He shuddered when he thought about the extra long meeting with his whole team that lay before him. How much he wanted to get back into bed and cuddle with his wife instead! But of course that wasn't an option, so he put on his warmest coat and hat, grabbed his briefcase and opened the front door.

As he stepped out, he was welcomed by an ice cold breeze and saw that a freezing rain had set in as well. Of course it had, because this was possibly the most f...ed up day ever! He grunted with disgust, grabbed his briefcase harder, pulled his hat deeper into his face and determinedly started his way to the bus stop.

He didn't get very far, though, because before he had even taken a single step down to the front garden, his right foot hit something hard. He looked down and saw – his missing boot! He picked it up. It was freezing cold and much heavier than it used to be. He reached into it, and when he pulled out his hand again, it was filled with chocolate and nuts.

It took him a second to realise what was going on, but then a childlike smile appeared across his face. It was St Nicholas' Day! The last time his boots were filled with chocolate, fruits and nuts on St Nicholas' Day must have been about twenty years ago. But this year, someone apparently had put in a good word for him with St Nicholas – and he already knew who it had been! He put his briefcase aside and carefully carried the boot back into the house.

Well, at least that was what he intended to do, when his gaze fell onto another item lying on the ground. For a moment, he stood rooted to the ground, unable to take his eyes away. He then exhaled, put the boot down again, and reached for his new finding. Cautiously he held it in his hands and curiously looked at it from all sides.

It was indeed a birch! And not a fake one, but a real, heavy, freshly cut birch! He smelled the fresh wood and admired how beautifully the birch was tied with a red ribbon. Never in his life had he held a real birch before, and he was surprised by how heavy it was. Then he saw the little note that stuck in the ribbon. He pulled it out and opened it. It read: "For a nicely naughty boy." Now he felt warm despite the cold air and his thin shoes, and there were butterflies in his stomach.

For a minute, his head was filled with hundreds of pictures and emotions. Then he returned to reality, becoming aware that it still was a working day and that he really had to hurry up now if he didn't want to be late for his meeting. So, he took up his boot and carried both, the boot and the birch, into the hall.

As he stood there, thinking about where to put his findings, he felt that someone was looking down at him from upstairs. And indeed, it was his wife, wearing cozy pyjamas. She smiled at him, then looked at his shoes. "You'll better take the boots, it's really cold outside," she said. He nodded, carefully poured the goodies out of his boot on the small front hall table, lay the birch down next to them and exchanged the summer shoes for his boots. "Now go, you're late already. Have a wonderful day – and don't come home too late!" - "I certainly won't."

With a smile, he turned around and left the house. The freezing rain had turned into snow. He quickly walked to the bus stop, enjoying the lights that were beautifully reflected by the white snow. The air was fresh, and he was comfortably warm in his coat, hat and boots. He had just reached the bus stop when the bus came around the corner.

He decided to make a small stop at the bakery next to his office and get some Danish pastry for his colleagues. Lately, he hadn't had the time to talk to many of them, at least apart from coordinating deadlines. Their team building meeting would surely be nice. And then he would do something he hadn't done in ages, either – leave the office early.

This really was a wonderful day, maybe the most wonderful day ever!


Domhnall the Second said...

Nicely done. I enjoyed the read very much. Thank you.


Chocolate and a birch, I can think of worse days :)


Hermione said...

What a sweet story. He'll be anxious to come home and enjoy all his treats.


Anonymous said...

I enjoyed that small tease. What a wonderful day after all.

Bob S said...

Very nice story. Thank you.

Kaelah said...

@ Domhnall The Second:
I'm very happy that you enjoyed the read! :-)

@ Spankedhortic:
Yes, me too, Prefectdt! ;-)

@ Hermione:
He definitely will be! :-) Thanks a lot for stopping by.

@ Bill:
I'm so happy you enjoyed my little story!

@ Bob S:
Thank you for commenting!

Ramon Herzog said...

There isn't much needed to uplift a gloomy mood. Well done Kaelah!

Spearthrower said...

Great for the season and to lift our spirits!

Kaelah said...

@ Ramon Herzog:
It's wonderful to hear from you! Thank you for your kind words. :-)

@ Spearthrower:
Thank you very much, it's great to hear that my little story might be able to lift the readers' spirits.