“What did Santa bring you?” Asked Mommy on the phone. Her eyes were big as saucers as she looked ’round her daddy’s home. Her little heart was broken as she sobbed into the phone, “I must’ve been a bad girl, Mommy…Santa didn’t come.”
“No!” Mommy reassured her, “Santa didn’t know! He thought you were at my house; that’s where he was supposed to go. You should see the presents he left under the tree! Grandpa’s on his way to get you; he’ll bring you to me.”
But it was too late; the damage, done. Somehow, she was a bad girl; she was the naughty one. She cried as she waited, and held her unicorn so tight. Tears flooded her sapphire eyes like a million points of light.
When Gramps got there he told her to go wait in the car. But she didn’t make it to the door when she heard the yelling start.
“You’re just a waste of fucking space, you broke your daughter’s heart! Looks like cocaine was more important and worth ripping her apart. You’re nothing but a piece of useless trash, and now you’ve got 2 seconds before I kick your fucking ass!”
She couldn’t hear what daddy said; her ears were born all broken. But somehow she knew what Gramps had said were the truest words he’d ever spoken.
Then dad came falling down the stairs, and Gramps had a bloody fist. “Gramps, now, Grammy said we’re not supposed to hit!”
He reminded her she was supposed to wait outside. Then picked her up and carried her out to their waiting ride.
She was only 3 years old, but felt all a broken heart could feel.
And at 40 she remembers how she learned that Santa wasn’t real.