Jane Sally was a brat. Now, before I say any more, let me tell you a little bit about her. She was beautiful, and had won many beauty pageants. Her hair was brown and full,her nose was unscrunched and smooth, her posture was perfect. She never forgot to shower, and she had the best clothes her family could afford. Jane Sally was rich and popular.

But, no matter how beautiful she was on the outside, she had an ugly heart. Her heart had a scrunched up nose, and squinty eyes. Her heart was always smelly, and wore rags. It couldn’t afford love. It was all scrunched up in her perfect chest. Beating nicely. But her heart was hideous. And it was angry. Jane Sally was angry because of Christmas. Christmas was a cheerful time.

A time where everyone had nice clothes, and looked beautiful, and was cheerful. Christmas was a time when the poor got gifts, and people who never deserve gifts got gifts. All of the silly, ridiculous songs, and performances. Everyone in nice church clothes, donating, helping the other people of the world. Christmas was the one time of year that Jane Sally was not the center of attention. Jane Sally fumed. She kicked her wall, and screamed at the butler. “Why?” She yelled, “Why does the world have to be so happy? Why does everyone else get gifts?” She even forgot that she herself would get gifts. Lots and lots of gifts. It was such an awful sight. A perfectly good face going to waste. Her perfect green eyes had angry tears in them, her smooth nose was buried in a tissue. It makes a witness want to cry to see a good face go to waste, just because of an ugly heart.

Next door to Jane Sally, lived Cecelia. Cecelia was a sweet girl. Cece was ugly. She had a pinched nose. Her eyes were a sad grey. She had great, big buck teeth. She lisped, and picked her nose. Her eyes were always squinty. She had ragged white hair and wore huge, round glasses that made her look like an owl. But evn though Cece had an ugly appearence, her heart was beautiful and golden. It shone like the sun, full of joy and happiness. It was always laughing, and cheering her up. Cecelia was ugly and poor.

Cecelia loved Christmas. She scraped together every penny she could, to buy her friends, family, and pets presents. If she ran out of money, she would make them. Cece only got one present on Christmas. Every child in her family got a clove. One, single, sweet smelling clove. It was all her parents could afford. And every year Cecelia would take that clove down to the square, and give it to a homeless child. So she or he could sweeten their porrige with it. Cece did this every year because of her golden heart. No matter how poor her family got, her golden heart always shone through. Even though Cece wasn’t nice to look at, her face was always lit up like a Christmas tree.

Cecelia and Jane Sally. So different, so opposite. One beautiful yet ugly, one ugly yet beautiful. Each was their own person, and soul, but one was already perfect, and one wasn’t.

On Christmas day, Jane Sally went walking in the square to buy a delicious, scrumptious cup of hot chocolate. She stormed and stomped. She had opened all her presents. All 36 of them, and she didn’t think it was enough. She wore new socks, and precious sunday dress, golden, sparkly earmuffs, a golden necklace, and silk leg warmers. And, to top it all, her favorite present of all, her fuzzy, warm hat. It was a sparkly pink, with a soft strap to tie under your chin. Jane Sally pranced around proudly in it. Exclaiming loudly how nice it was.

“Lookie here, lookie here!” She said, prancing up to the hot chocolate stand.

“Hello young lady, what can I do for you?” Asked the lady at the counter.

“Hot chocolate, extra sweet,” Said Jane Sally. “I have opened all my presents, and I have more to come!” She lied. “And my parents bought me this nice hat, which I think that no one else in the square could afford!” Her voice grew louder with every word, so every one could hear. The lady served her her hot chocolate, and smiled.

“Merry Christmas,” She said smiling. Jane Sally hurumphed and walked away with the 10 dollar cup grasped between her mittened hands. The homeless lining the street reached and grapped at the hem of her dress. Jane Sally held her nose high, and strutted past the freezing people. She had just reached the end of the square when she took a sip of her warm drink. She stumbled back in shock.

“I said extra sweet!” She exclaimed out loud into the air. She began to walk again when she felt a hand on her shoulder. She turned around and saw Cecelia.

“Get away from me, beggar girl!” She said, backing away, ” I don’t have any money.”

“Please wait,” Said Cece softly. “I couldn’t help but overhear you saying that your drink does not have enough flavor?”

“Yes, but don’t you dare spit in it or something wretched!” She replied.

“I just wanted to know if you would like this sweet clove to flavor it?” Said Cece, offering the clove in her dirty palm.

“Yes,” Said Jane Sally, “Put it in then, and hurry up!” Cece put it in and watched her precious gift sink into the bottom of a brat’s cup. Jane Sally suddenly felt something in her chest. It was something she had never felt before. It was compassion. Love and compassion. “Thank yo-” She began. But when she turned around to thank Cece, she was gone.

Cece was gone from this world, her and her golden heart had done their job. Cece was leaving to go up to get what she deserved. A richness that only a golden heart can bring.

Jane Sally turned around and ran back to the square. She took off her warm hat, and placed it on a crying baby. The baby giggled and smiled. She waved a chubby hand at Jane Sally.

Then she ran through the street, giving away her mittens and leg warmers. She threw her golden necklace to a begging woman, and gave her warm socks to a grubby boy.

Jane Sally ran back to her room and got all of her presents, and piled them in her wagon and rolled it down the street, giving away all of it.

When she had given away as much as she could, she fished through her cocoa cup and found the clove. She placed it on her dresser in a cushion of tissues, and that is where it sits to this day.



2 thoughts on “MERCIFUL HEARTS

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