Ambrose was still reclined in the sofa and had no mind to get up and switch on the lights even though it had become dark. He had shut down the TV after seeing for a few minutes, kept aside the novel he was reading and silenced the music system. He lost interest in everything ever since his young wife Sharon passed away two years back. He could see the bright lights in all the houses , the brightly decorated Christmas trees through windows and the shining stars hanging outside. Christmas was just the next day. He remembered how Sharon and himself would spend hours on the Christmas tree adorning it with beautifully wrapped gifts, ribbons and attractive items .The tree still was in one of the rear rooms but he had no mind to have it brought out.
To get out of the stuffiness and the dull head ache he sauntered across the road to the market close by. He was just walking along a shop full of Christmas trees, hanging decorations for the trees Christmas tree lights, ornaments, shiny balls and so much more. There was a little boy of eight or nine year old standing outside the shop peering through the glass at the various things inside. He would move from one end to the other without taking his head away.
“Hey, what are you looking at so intently?” asked Ambrose.
The boy turned immediately and said “I am watching all the things stored inside. Aren’t they beautiful, Mister?”
“Yes, they are. Don’t you have a Christmas tree in your home? What is your name?” Ambrose asked.
“No, we don’t have one. We have become poor after dad passed away two years back. Mom says we cannot afford. Xavier is my name” the boy replied
“I am sorry to hear that. I have a nice Christmas tree with all decorations. I do not need it .I can give you” Ambrose said
Just then he heard a voice from behind.”Xavier, how long are you standing there? Come away. We are returning home.” It was the boy’s mom. She looked about 30 and very strikingly attractive. Ambrose stood bewitched.
“Mom, uncle says he has a spare Christmas tree all done up and that he can give me. Can I take it?" the boy asked pleadingly.
It was then she turned to look at Ambrose whose eyes were already transfixed on her. Ambrose 34 was a handsome man and her heart skipped a beat. But she told “Xavier, we should not accept gifts from strangers. Come here. Let us go.”
Ambrose stepped forward to her and said “We are strangers only till we become known and turn into friends. I have a tree that I would not be using. Let Xavier have it. If you kindly agree I will drop it in my car at your house. I stay opposite to this place.”
When she was hesitating, Ambrose told with finality “Xavier, please tell me where you live? I will bring it within an hour”
Soon the tree was set up in their small but well kept house. Ambrose had tied some gifts in the tree.
He turned to the lady and said “My name is Ambrose. I lost my wife two years back. That is the reason I have no mind to celebrate. Thanks to Xavier I am now drawn into the mood. You haven’t introduced yourself yet”
“I am Sharon. I lost my husband in an accident two years back. I am working in a small job. I am glad to meet a kind hearted gentleman like you. We are sailing in the same boat as I too did not feel the urge to celebrate Christmas though the boy has been pressing. Thanks to you I could feel the Christmas cheer and happier days ahead”
“What a strange coincidence? My wife too was Sharon. Did you say happier days ahead? Yes, we can make them happy. Please accept me as friend initially. I am no longer a stranger” Ambrose said with a big laugh.
She turned coy and her eyes lowered unable to stand the gaze of the man.A love was born on the Christmas Eve.