Hello! In the words of Eloise from the Plaza, it’s Christmas Eve Eve! Are you excited? I know I am. And to show you how excited I am, I have a special edition of Friday Fictioneers for you! Rochelle always asks for a story in 100 words, but this one I just couldn’t keep short. So, I’ve written it in 3 parts of 100 words….hopefully that counts! Special thanks to Roger Bultot for his photo that inspired me today!
Enjoy, and Happy Holidays, everyone!
A Christmas Tradition
I’ve worked at the Patriots Diner for nine years now. I started a little before Christmas, and since I was the newbie, I got stuck with the Christmas Eve shift.
I was nearly at my wit’s end when an elderly couple came in and were sat in my section. They were an adorable couple, looking like people you would see in old black and white movies.
The gentleman told me that he and his wife came here every Christmas Eve. “It’s our tradition,” he said, squeezing her hand. They were kind and generous tippers. Every year since, I’ve seen them.
Christmas Eve came again. It was busier than usual, but I was looking forward to seeing my old couple. Eagerly I watched the clock and the door.
Finally, I saw the old man enter. Oddly, he was alone and late. Since my section was full, he was placed under another server’s care. Worried that his wife was maybe too sick to come, I put together her usual order in a to-go box, paid for it, and asked his server, Tracy, to give it to him.
When she did, his eyes immediately sought me out. He gave a smile before leaving.
A few days after Christmas, I was busy with the afternoon rush. Tracy pulled me aside and handed me a card. “A woman dropped this off for you,” she said. I was confused, but opened it and started reading.
“Thank you for your kindness to my father. His wife had passed away a week earlier and he almost didn’t go to dinner Christmas Eve. Your thoughtful gift made his night. I regret to inform you that he also passed away yesterday, but he wanted me to thank you. The world needs more people like you.”
Through my tears, I smiled.