My special gift

By Antonella



It’s dark in the loft, except for the festive and multicoloured blinking of the Christmas Tree.

There is also a pleasant silence.

Just the fireplace’s crackling every now and then.

It has been a long day and in about half hour it will be Christmas Eve.

Meanwhile, I’m here, and I look at the snow that slowly and solemnly keeps on falling over the city.

I cannot help but think that this same magic and just to all appearances, seeming insubstantial climatic expression of Mother Nature, just hours ago put in danger the lives of my best friend and another hundred persons.

It began with a light snowfall, perfect for the season, and from San Francisco, the flight had taken off without problems. In the neighbourhood of Portland, though, both in Oregon and Washington areas, a violent blizzard was raised.

In a few hours the situation was became extremely grim and many flights had changed course for other airports.

Sandburg’s flight, instead, had initially obtained the authorization to land, except then to spend almost an hour flying around Cascade when an ultimate worsening of weather had made it impossible to approach the airport.

The atmosphere in the arrival lounge was comprehensibly on edge, the fear clearly readable on the faces of relatives and friends waiting for their loved ones.

Someone was even praying. Too many things could be wrong in those cases.

A strong sensation of impotence weighed on all of us.

I was angry and damn frustrated. My brother, my guide was hundreds of feet in the air and I could do nothing to help.

My little guppy, who was afraid of heights, was turning around Cascade, tossed about by very strong winds.

That hour at the mercy of the storm seemed to last an eternity.

At the end, since the fuel had begun run out, the tower had decided for an instrumental landing.

After about an hour and half’s odyssey, this nightmare was finally ended and all were safe and sound.

The sight of a slightly shocked Blair at the gate had caused to my heart to clench at the thought of what I had almost lost.

No words were needed in that moment. A long bear hug had been enough to leave the day behind us.

Now, in the quiet on our home, I can finally relax myself, looking at an exhausted Sandburg sleeping peacefully on the couch, buried under two warm quilts, with just his nose and some curls visible.

The fear was still inside me, though. To lost this special kid was intolerable for me. To know that Blair’s fate was out of my hands make my heart pound and knotted my gut.

Things had gone differently, thanks to God, the pilot’s mastery or mere luck.

Sandburg had came back for Christmas, like promised, as it said in the famous song.

Lost in my thoughts, I didn't realize immediately that two cerulean and scarcely open eyes were looking blearily at me.

A soft sigh and a light rustling took my attention.


"Hi to you."

"You weren't zoned, were you?"

"No, Sandburg, I wasn’t zoned, just thinking…"

"About what?"

"Are you warm enough. Do you need another blanket?"

"No, big guy, I’m deliciously toasty for now."

"Are you ready for a hot chocolate?"

"Do you mind waiting for a bit. My insides are still making flip flop inside me. Maybe later."


"Jim, are you alright? You still haven’t answered to my previous question, you know?"

"Do you want really know it?"

"Wow, it’s so bad…?"

"Well, I don’t know, I don’t believe so, but you could…"

"Oh come on…Jiiiiim!"

"Okay, okay. I was considering putting a big red bow on your head, while you sleep…."

"You were going to do what…?"

"And maybe to wrap you, duvets and all, with bright Christmas paper…"

"Tell me that you are just joking with my frazzled nerves."

"Why not? It’s after midnight. So it’s Christmas Eve. I’ll unwrap you tonight."

"You are totally crazy, why have you made something like this?"

"Absolutely not, on the contrary, this is perfectly logical; and I have made this because after what happened yesterday, the fact that you are here with me, it’s a wonderful gift for me. Because the only thing that I could ever want for Christmas, it’s right in front of me. Besides, I think that you are very cute with a bow over that wild mop of your’s"

A shy smile and a faint blush touched Blair’s features. On the other hand, what could he say after such an unusually intimate confession from his sentinel.

Amidst the outside snowy whiteness, the sparkling lights and the warm of their friendship, never had the silence been so impregnated with emotions.