He dreaded the month of December. It is a time when everyone says ‘Merry Christmas’ to everyone they meet. It quickly got on his nerves to the point he wanted to ask, “What is there to be merry about it?”
What he hated the most is when someone asked him those two questions. Always the same two questions arrived with the Christmas holiday. He did not need to be reminded he had no one to share the holiday with.
Early in the morning he headed for the church to shovel off the sidewalks. The snow covered streets made it difficult for him to drive his truck. The one good thing about the blizzard is the Ladies’ Fellowship would be canceled. He did not need to find an excuse when one of the good ladies of the church asked him those two questions.
When he finally arrived at church he unlocked the storage shed and brought out the snow shovel. He started to shovel the snow off the front sidewalk when he noticed on the corner the youth pastor’s wife slowly wade through the snow toward the church.
“Amy, you are pregnant. You, yourself, told me the baby is due any day now.”
Her winter coat barely covered her round belly, she laughed, “Warren, it is very easy for one to notice I’m nine months pregnant.”
“You should not be out in this cold weather. Does Stan know you are out in this mess?”
“Stan and the Calhoun’s drove the youth group to the ‘Acquire the Fire’ concert and got caught in the blizzard. He is stuck in a Comfort Inn with fifteen teenagers and the Calhoun’s.”
“I got to get you home and out of this cold weather.”
“I need to get my guitar. Forgot to take it home and I need it to practice for Sunday services.”
“Let me start the truck to warm it up. You can wait there while I get your guitar. Where is it?”
“It’s in the choir room next to the book shelves.”
The guitar on the truck seat sat between them as he drove Amy home. The snow covered streets had gotten worse. They did small talk when Amy asked those two questions.
“Are you going home for Christmas? Where does your family live?”
“I’m an old bachelor with no family. Not much into Christmas, like to be by myself.”
“Warren you are full of prunes. At Christmas time no one wants to be alone.”
He got the guitar and Amy into the house when she said, “I’ve gone into labor. Now don’t panic, this is my first baby so there is plenty of time.”
With a panicked voice he asked, “When did it start?”
“It started while I waited in the truck.”
He nervously waited for the paramedics while Amy timed her contractions. With fears he would soon have to deliver the baby he looked out the living room window to see it had started to snow heavily.
“Warren, I want to make a bet with you. If this baby waits to be born in the hospital you spend Christmas with Stan, the baby, and me. If you deliver the baby here on the living room rug you can spend Christmas all alone and miserable. Shake?”
“You have to shake my hand or the bet is off.”
After he shook her hand she had a strong contraction. He paced the floor while Amy knitted a yellow baby blanket. The contractions came sooner and stronger. He looked out the living room window to see the only thing that arrived is more snow.
It seemed liked hours before the paramedics finally got there. As the paramedics prepared Amy to leave for the hospital she looked at him with a smile and said, “You lost the bet.”
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