Happy Christmas

The Christmas CD I had put on last night had long finished. Waking up in an apartment too big for just one person makes one feel lonely. So I pressed play and listened to the tune while checking messages on the phone. My friends had asked if I could make fried chicken for tonight’s party. And after replying “Yes,” I checked if there was anything from my mother.

Nothing. But our last monthly phone call was only a week ago, so I didn’t expect much.

After my part-time job, I returned home to make that chicken. And I arrived at my friend’s house at six. “Who ordered super spicy chicken?”

Being with my friends helped me feel better.

And because we would graduate from high school in a few months, this could be our last chance to relax like this. “What are you going to study?” one of them asked me. “You’re going to university, right?”

‘I think I will apply to the Language Department,” I said. “I want to work abroad in the future.”

“Like your mom?”


My phone vibrated just then. When I saw the caller ID, I excused myself before rushing out of the room, then pressed to answer. “Mom?”

“Azusa,” her voice said. “Merry Christmas.”

“But you just called last week.”

“I just want to say Merry Christmas quickly,” she said. “Hey, sorry, it’s taking longer than expected, so I might not be able to come home soon. The stock price here’s going up and down like an elevator with the new law they’ve passed. Millions of dollars are up—”

She talked about work even during the holidays. My mother could be so not motherly.

But I was so happy to hear her voice.

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