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A haunting story
It was a typical day shortly before Christmas. A woman was picking out a new stuffed animal for her niece, imagining the bright eyes of the little girl when she opened the present.
She checked her wallet to see how much money she had left when she heard a sniffle coming from down the aisle. She looked up and saw a little boy standing there alone.
He was about 10 or 12 years old and wore a blue woolen cap, his dark brown curls poking out from beneath it. His corduroy pants had obviously been through the wash a few too many times and his shoes were messily tied together. His eyes were filled with a deep sadness. The woman carefully approached the boy, still holding her wallet; she was curious why he looked so sad. As she got closer, she could tell he was trying to hold back a flood of tears and she noticed a pink ribbon tied around his wrist â€” how curious...
"Hey there. Why are you here all alone?," she asked. The boy, still looking at the toys, answered that he wanted to buy something for his sister for Christmas. "That's a wonderful idea. But then why are you so sad?" He looked at her and admitted that he didn't have enough money to buy anything.
"Well, Santa will probably bring her a doll, right?," she tried. The boy fell silent and turned to look her in the eyes. She saw something beyond sadness in his eyes; something she'd never seen in the eyes of a child. "Santa doesn't travel to where my sister is." The woman could feel her throat start to tighten and she barely squeezed out her next question, "What happened to your sister?" She wasn't sure if she wanted to hear the answer, but she couldn't help but ask. "She's in heaven. And I want her to have something nice up there. My mom's heading there soon and I thought she could take the doll up with her." The woman had the sensation that the floor had just dropped away from beneath her feet.
She took a deep breath and said, "Well, let's see how much you've got there." She counted his money and secretly slipped a few extra bills of her own into the mix. Suddenly, he did have enough for a doll and even a little extra. His eyes lit up and he said, "Wonderful! I can even buy mom one of her favorite flowers. She loves white roses." The boy disappeared and the woman was left wondering whether he had been telling the truth or not. But that thought quickly passed.
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