Standing Room Only

A World of Short Stories

The Present

The present was almost as big as the couch and I only hoped it was a puppy. I had longed, wished and prayed for a puppy for my entire life. I was trying to not get too excited because there was no noise coming from the present, but what else could it be? It had to be the crate for a dog. For a puppy who would grow up to be as big as the crate. I knew everyone was waiting for the largest present to be the last present because somehow ‘biggest is best’ was mixed in with our family values. 

As we all finished opening our small amount Christmas presents, my father stood up and cleared his throat. My brothers and I exchanged glances and I knew, at that moment, they were thinking the one present left had to be a puppy. It was the only logical explanation. 

“Well, you all know, the factory has been doing very well this year…” my father droned on and on about work. It was nothing we hadn’t heard before. He had been dropping hints for months about what a great year work was having. I stared longingly at the present and waited for him to finish. 

Twenty minutes later, I was dozing off when he finally finished his speech. If he had been trying to lull us all into stupidity, he was successful. My brothers and I sat up straight as he headed to the present and the blanket that covered it. When he whipped the blanket off the top of the present, I had to work hard to hold in my groan of disappointment. He had bought himself a new, large screen television. And I say himself because none of us were even allowed to watch television. He drooled proudly over his new purchase as I took my presents to my room to cry. 

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