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Junes Fourth Christmas
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June has everything, but the love and attention of her parents.
Her fourth Christmas is about to change her life and that of her parents. Read on to learn more.
The first thing June could remember was her mother staring at herself in the mirror.
The next thing was her nanny, whom she later called auntie, feeding her with milk.
She was left with her 'auntie' most of the days.
As she grew up into a toddler, she saw her father engrossed in a cell phone most of the time.
June realized that the cell phone was a very significant thing and you have to stare at it to be considered 'important'.
By the time she was 3, June was able to able to play mobile games on her own.
She also started to recognize letters of alphabet at the same time.
June was 4 by the time her parents realized that she was not able to identify words at a close range.
Though her dad grumbled about a shortage of time, he took her to a doctor.
She was diagnosed with myopia and given glasses to wear.
However, no one stopped her from watching cell phones.
One day, June saw something that disturbed her.
Her mom hit her auntie for not ironing a dress.
Her auntie was grumpy that day and shouted at June whenever she asked for something.
June always played alone in the playground while her auntie conversed with other helpers.
This was the only hour in the day when her nanny was happy.
A few days after June had turned 4, she noticed a small girl of her own age in her play area. She was probably new.
But June ignored her and continued to play on her own, as usual.
She never climbed the monkey bars nor did she slide.
All she did was stroll in the sidewalk and sit in the sand, staring somewhere.
One day she heard loud noises and squeals of laughter nearby.
It was the new girl, squealing happily as a man pushed her swing higher and higher.
June caught his eyes but turned away.
He slowly walked up to her, tagging the girl along.
"This is Sophie", he introduced the girl with him. "Would you like to play with her?"
After trying to engage June for some more time, Sophie's dad slowly walked away.
The next day, Sophie walked with June on the sidewalk.
Her dad was nowhere to be seen. Sophie chatted with her for a few minutes, but June did not respond.
This continued for a week.
After 10 days, when Sophie did not turn up one evening, June began searching for her.
She smiled when she saw Sophie approaching her.
Sophie climbed up the ladder and looked around, ready to slide.
June was not to be seen in the vicinity.
Her helper was around though, talking animatedly with someone.
Sophie turned around and saw June trying to climb the ladder behind her.
"Come up June. Slide after me." shouted Sophie, happily.
As she climbed her way to the top, June slipped.
She would have fallen if somebody had not caught her from behind.
It was Sophie's dad, helping her to the top.
June pushed his hand away and began to cry softly.
"That is ok. Nobody gets their balance the first time." he said softly.
The next day, June watched as Sophie's dad pushed her in the swing.
"Higher dad. Higher!" yelled Sophie.
"It is my turn next." said June.
Both of them turned around and looked at her, surprised.
It was the first time they had heard a full sentence from June.
Sophie's dad smiled and put June on the swing.
"Higher dad. Higher!" imitated June.
He smiled; he did not mind June calling him 'dad' as long as she was happy.
June's helper stopped chatting and turned to look at June.
Was this girl even capable of smiling?
She had never seen her so happy, she felt guilty when Sophie's dad helped her with the monkey bars.
She walked over and took June's hand.
"I will do it, sir." she said.
June pushed her nanny's hand away and walked behind Sophie and her dad.
That evening, June asked her auntie for some chocolate cookies along with her milk.
Her mom looked up from her eye shadow, surprised.
June kissed her dad before he left for office.
He felt surprisingly light-hearted, despite his heavy workload in the office.
Christmas preparations were on and there was a talk of a party in their condominium.
June and Sophie put their wish-list in the box.
"What did you ask for?" Sophie inquired of June.
"A new pair of pink shoes. And you?"
"Colours and crayons. I am going to wear my purple dress for the Christmas party."
"I have a new cream gown, I think." said June doubtfully.
Hoping that Santa would heed their wish-list, the girls went home.
On Christmas day, June found her nanny standing in front of the Christmas tree, tears in her eyes.
She was thinking of her toddler girl and her country.
June stood in front of her and tugged at her long dress.
"Auntie, did mom scold you today?"
"No dear. Thank God for that."
Her nanny tried to assume her wooden posture, which she always did when she was with the family.
"Aren't you going to open your gift, auntie? The one in the green bag."
This was the first time she had received a Christmas gift, though she had been with the family for 3 years.
Her nanny took the green bag and opened the shining new wrapper. She found a handbag and a small pink pullover.
"It is for your baby girl. You said it would be so cold in your hometown."
Auntie was going to her hometown the next month.
Her wooden mask slipped and she burst into tears again, touched. "Thank you dear."
The party had already started when June and her family arrived.
A grand Christmas tree stood on the stage, where the host announced each event.
There was a dance programme by the children, followed by a solo song number by June, praising the lord.
June had not mentioned anything about singing.
Her parents gasped; they never knew she could speak well, let alone sing.
There were some games for families.
At last, Santa Claus entered.
June's eyes lit up, as did Sophie's. He distributed gifts all over and came to June and Sophie.
"Dad! It is you!" exclaimed Sophie. "Have you got me some crayons?"
"Oh yes, how could I forget? And here are the pink shoes you asked for June. Squeaky ones, see?"
"Dad, I love you." cried June, hugging him.
June's mother felt tears stinging her eyes, as she saw her daughter address a stranger as dad.
She began recalling June's behaviour over the past 3 months.
The changes she saw in her daughter, but never thought over in-depth. She did not know when and how June changed. But she realized that she had to thank this stranger, who had apparently played a big role in changing June's personality.
For once, she did not mind her tears spoiling her make-up.
June's dad continued to stare. Not because June called another man her 'dad'.
He was shocked to see that the man behind the Santa's costume was, in fact, his boss, who worked around the clock and supervised 30 people.
That night, June's mom tucked her in and her father told her a story about angels.
June smiled, as she imagined Sophie and her dad with wings.
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