She stood in the street, soft snowflakes falling round her, as she gazed at the doll in the shop window. The bright lights of Christmas filled the night, casting shadows of all shapes and sizes across the white winter blanket that covered the streets. Sounds of music and laughter came from behind curtains, and the spirit of the Yuletide seemed to fill the air.
Children their faces lit with the joy of the season rushed through the streets, their garb of multi colors making her drab dress look even duller.
She looked once more at the doll in the window a look of longing covering her face, as she wiped away a small teardrop that escaped the corner of one eye.
The shop door opened as a family, arms filled with gifts came laughing into the street, and without thinking she slipped past them into the shop. Her eyes opened wide as she gazed on the beauties in this Aladdin’s cave of a toyshop. Not knowing where to look first she slowly wondered through the store, each step revealing something even more fantastic, even more wonderful. Her eyes grew as big as saucers, and sparkled like the lights that lit the Christmas bedecked store.
At last she came to the dolls, and she knew at once the one she wanted, the one she had craved so very long. She was their her dark hair curled round her face, blue eyes, smiled at the girl, and hands were outstretched as if asking to be taken and held by the girl.
Tears sprang to the young girl’s eyes, slowly trickling down her cheek, as she knew she would never have the doll, never know the feel of her cuddled up in her arms.
Slowly she turned and walked back through the store. Nobody seemed to notice the girl, in her dull dress, tear smeared features and a heart so heavy one could almost feel the pain.
She reached the door as another family came rushing into the store, and for a moment the girl wanted to stay and join them, then as before she quietly moved through the door, until she stood once more on the street gazing at the doll in the shop window.
It was the same place she had been standing all those years ago, when the runaway coach and horses had plowed into her, sending her to the world where she now roamed.
With a sigh that if heard would have broken your heart, she reached towards the doll, her ghostly hands passing through the window, and also through the doll. With tears still falling from her deep rimmed eyes she turned and walked away disappearing into the growing darkness. She would be back next year, once more to see the doll, and each year after that until she would finally rest in peace.
Barry Eva 2002
YOU ARE THE