Alyssa tiptoed down the stairs. Her parents were asleep in the adjacent room. A dim light above the fireplace glowed softly on a plate with a dozen cookies and a glass of milk they left for the Santa.
Alyssa knew Santa did not exist. She scooped the cookies into a small paper bag, leaving just one on the plate. In the kitchen, Alyssa took out the biggest piece of cake she hid in a drawer earlier that day. With a package in one hand and the paper bag in another, she set out into the snowy night using the back door. The sky was clear with tiny stars sparkling like diamonds.
“Mr. Nelson!” Alyssa hissed knocking the door hard. Everyone in the town knew he lived in the library as he had no home.
There was a sound. The door creaked open. “Alyssa! What on earth are you doing here in the middle of the night?” An old man with a balding head and slumped shoulders stared at the nine-year-old.
“I came for you, Mr. Nelson.” She made herself comfortable in an old chair.
“Me?” He was stunned watching as she arranged the stuff on the small table. He converted the storeroom to a bedroom.
Alyssa gave him a big smile. “You are my best friend in this new town. I want to spend my Christmas with you.”
When he met Alyssa a year ago, he had no idea she’d become such an important part of his lonely life. Still, he did not expect her to walk through the dark night to meet him.
“You should spend it with your family.” He said.
“You are family.” Alyssa countered.
For the first time in his life, he believed in miracles. “Merry Christmas, little angel.” He murmured wiping his tears.