It’s almost Christmas and I’m going to see my dad in Florida this year. It’s night time. I’m at the airport with my mom and Daddy Ken. My mom kneels down to my height. “Ok your Gameboy is right here in this pocket and I put this baggie of snacks in here for the plane. We’ll see you in the new millennium, bud!”
I’m an unaccompanied minor which means they assign me a flight attendant to be my friend until I see my dad at the gatein Orlando. Her name is Allison. She says call her Allie though. Do I need anything, handsome? Is there a movie? Yes.
Thank you, Allie. Ok just press this button, if you need anything else. I like Allie. She’s nice.
I play Pokemon on my Gameboy for a while and then I turn it off when Allie says to shut off your electronic devices. I think about the plane crashing because somebody left their Gameboy on. I eat some goldfish from mom’s snack bag. The cabin lights dim. Some people are asleep already.
There’s another unaccompanied minor next to me. A girl about my age. She’s nice. I have the window seat. She’s in the middle. We’re up in the sky now. I imagine looking out the window at the big Christmas moon and seeing Jesus flying over it with a bow and arrow. He shoots it into the little girl’s heart and she takes my hand because now we’re in love. We’re going somewhere far away together where everyone is happy and magic really does exist.
The bumpy landing wakes me up. Allie asks if I’ve got all my things. Yep. I say goodbye to my wife and walk down the jetbridge to the gate where my dad is waiting. “Dad!!!” Allie tells him what a good little boy I am. “Thanks for taking good careof him.” They stand there talking to each other and ignoring me for a long time. Apparently Allie lives close to my dad and if I ever need a babysitter, let her know.
I’m so excited to see my dad. I don’t usually get to do Christmas with him so this is a big deal. I wanna see how he does it. I imagine his apartment with a big Christmas tree and try to picture how Santa’s gonna get in there. My dad says Santa’s brother Ron does all the houses in Florida. Ron is really skinny, he says, and because of the weather in Florida, most people don’t have fireplaces so he comes through the central air vents. “You don’t hear a lot about Ron because he’s not great with children but all that matters is the presents get there on time”.
Now we’re at my dad’s place in Boca Raton. There’s no Christmas tree. Just a palm leaf house plant thing with a string of lights around it’s skinny trunk. My dad says that’s how they do it down here. I think Christmas is weird here.
My dad’s gonna make us some sausages. I’m gonna go find one of my dad’s bandanas and put it on like I’m a motorcycle guy. I think they’re in the top drawer of this dresser. Wait what’s this? An unopened Duncan yo-yo? That’s on my Christmas list. Wait, there’s a few packages of Pokemon cards here too. I’m so confused. Why does my dad have these things in his bandana drawer.
“Shit,” he says. “Ron must have come early.”
He tells me how Ron’s got a lot of apartments to hit down here and sometimes he gives himself like a week head start. My dad tells me that’s all my Christmas gifts but we’ll do other fun stuff while I’m here. I want to cry but I don’t want to make my dad cry from seeing me cry so I don’t.
It is fun though. We go to the movies. We go to Boomer’s one day and play video games and do bumper boats. We dance on the table to Spice Girls. We eat chicken wings and hamburgers and pizza pockets. My dad lets me pick out a toy whenwe go into Wal-Mart just because. With my dad, every day is kind of like it’s own little Christmas. I never want to leave.
Christmas comes and goes and Santa’s brother, Ron doesn’t come again. I don’t know why I was expecting him to. It’s fine though. I think about mentioning it in next year’s letter to Santa but I don’t wanna get the guy in trouble. The trip continues
“Christian, I have a business meeting tonight so that flight attendant, Allie is gonna come hang out with you.”
That’s cool with me. I like Allie. Her and I play hide and seek in the house. We have so much in common. She loves video games and funny movies. We put on Dumb & Dumber. It’s past my bedtime and she doesn’t say anything. I’m in love with this woman. We’re laying next to each other on the floor laughing. I’m tired. You’re cool, Allie.
When I wake up, it’s still dark. The TV is just that blank blue screen that comes up after your tape gets to the end and turnsoff. I’m still on the floor. This is weird. Where’d Allie go? Did my dad come home? Please God, don’t let this be the Rapture. I start walking around the apartment slowly, looking for any sign that I didn’t get left behind.
The door to my dad’s room is open and I see clothes on the floor and my heart stops. The Rapture. Wait, no. My dad’s in bed. Dad. Wait, that’s Allie. What’s she doing? I stay quiet because I feel like I’m not supposed to be seeing this. Allie has no pants on and neither does my dad and she’s shaking her head up and down over his belly. I go back to my room. Relieved. Whew. No Rapture tonight. I crawl into my bed and fall asleep.
Now it’s morning. I’m the only one awake. I’m hungry. I go to wake my dad up to see if he’ll make me some eggs and ketchup in the microwave. I open the door and Allie is just standing there in front of me still with no pants. She has all this hair where her penis should be and I’m freaked out. It sounds like my dad’s in the shower. She’s like “oh, it’s okay,” but I can tell she’s freaked out too and doesn’t know what to say. Then she just puts her pants on and leaves.
We don’t talk about it for a couple days and then I ask my dad if Allie can come over and play again. He says no, she’s busy. I’m sad. Allie was my friend and my dad was naked with her and now she’s gone. I don’t understand.
It’s time to go back home to mom and Daddy Ken. I’m hoping that Allie will be my flight friend again on the way back. My dad says he doesn’t know. We’ll have to see when we get there. I look around the gate for her. I’m thinking any minute she’s gonna walk off that plane in her uniform and come get me. Here they come. People in uniform. One of them is a mean looking old woman. She comes up to me and my dad and says, “You must be our unaccompanied minor!” I hug my dad bye and get on the plane.
I wonder if I’m ever gonna see Allie again. I fall asleep and dream about Jesus flying to her house with Santa’s brother,Ron. Them sneaking in through the central air vents and shooting her in the heart with an arrow. Us all holding hands and watching a movie.
Christian Lee Hutson is a singer-songwriter from Los Angeles. He went to Options for high school as he was asked to leave Santa Monica High School