…I turned to Freddie, “Would you mind telling me what the hell is going on?”
“I enjoyed our last meeting and thought it would be nice to continue our conversation,” Freddie’s smile told me he was having a good time – at my expense.
“I gathered that from the cryptic note you left in my mailbox. How did you know where I live?” I was on the verge of glaring at him.
Very nonchalantly, “It was on your University record.”
“You were never at the University. I called and checked,” I thought I had him cornered.
“I wasn’t?” Freddie smiled and took another bite of the Italian bread roll, which smelled so good I had to try some myself.
As I chewed my first bite of this gorgeous bread, I looked him in the eyes, “And you’re not Father Frederick Monahan either.”
“I’m not?” He kept chewing, smiling, and returned a much more loving look than I was giving him.
“No, you’re not. Father Monahan died on the Titanic in 1912, one hundred and three years ago. So who the hell are you? And what do you want with me?”
For a few seconds, Freddie continued to munch his bread roll. Then he reached into his pocket, pulled out a gold cross embedded with green stones and laid it in front of me. The sparkle of those gems told me they were emeralds. I had seen that very cross in the article I found on the Internet when I Googled his name.
“Oh jeez, you are Father Monahan,” I looked at him. “What do you want with me?” My heart began to race as I realized I was sitting across a dinner table from a dead man, who was eating an Italian bread roll.
Before he could speak, I decided it was my turn and he was about to cart me off to heaven or wherever people go when they die. He read my mind.
“No, Cris, I’m not here to take you to heaven,” he smiled. “Disappointed?”
I had to laugh at myself. I put my bread roll down and sat back in my chair. “Then what are you here for?” I began to gasp, my breathing was heavy and fast.
“Relax, it’s not all that serious,” He was being nonchalant again.
“Maybe not from your viewpoint. Try standing in my socks for a few minutes.”
“I sought you out with the intent of convincing you, no, of persuading you to return to your seminary studies.”
“What the hell for?” I was pissed at being deceived.
“I wasn’t trying to deceive you. The world needs more people like you who can bring about miracles.”
“A miracle worker I am not. And stop reading my mind. That really pisses me off.”
“Ok, I’ll stop, but you’re so easy.”
I think he was trying to be nice. Good luck with that. “Yeah? Well, we’ll see how easy it is to get me to do what you ask. Good night, Father,” I got up and walked a few steps, turned and yelled, “MERRY CHRISTMAS!” and left the restaurant, Italian bread stick still in my hand.
Author Notes: THE CHRISTMAS MIRACLE will soon be posted on shortstories 101.