10 days until Christmas! The town was all decked out in holiday cheer. Absolutely picturesque, with store fronts having a friendly decorating competition. The winner would be announced on Christmas Eve.
“Holly,Jolly Christmas’ was playing when Tippner entered Mason’s diner. He stood under the door a little too long.
“Merry Christmas Tippner!” Miss. Blossom kissed him on the cheek and as he wiped it off Miss.Peanut kissed him on the other cheek as she went out the door.
Tippner grumbled, “Why do you have to hang up mistletoe?”
Laughing, Cara said, “Oh don’t be a Scrooge!”
Tippner sat down at his bootb muttering to himself, “I will be a scrooge if I want.”
In his opinion there was too much glitz around town. He felt like he was living in a Hallmark movie or something. It was like the clouds had rained down glitter.
His store was decorated with the Grinch’s face everywhere! Cara and Sarah just shook their heads and rolled their eyes at him.
The diner was busy, everyone was out shopping and they all needed a coffee break. Cara needed a coffee break too. Her Candy Cane Chocolate Lattes were selling out, she better get more ingredients for Christmas Eve.
“Mason, we are running low on eggs and peppermint creamer, could you run to the store?”
“I need to run a special errand so I will pick them up on the way back.” He put on his coat and gloves.
Cara looked at him, “But I thought you said that you were finished your Christmas shoppimg?”
Smiling, he shrugged, “Have to run, before they close.”
“You have plenty of time, the stores here have extended hours.” Cara replied, as she fixed more coffee.
“But this store isn’t in town. See ya later.” With a wink he headed for the door.
“Not in town, then where are …” the door closed. Cara wondered where he was going, Amanda was coming in a few days. Hmmm….maybe it was something for her. A slow smile spread across her face.
Hours later Cara was ready to get off her feet. It had been non-stop customers. Of all days for Mason to go on a secret errand. Just wait til she saw him tomorrow. Perhaps she would take an extra long lunch break, tomorrow.
Having just mopped the floor she started walking towards the back of the store when she heard something at the door. The Closed sign was up, who was there?
Opening up the door a crack, she almost got knocked down when a sheep dog burst in. His muddy paws trampling all over the floor!
Cara groaned. He was a mess! They didn’t have snow this week, they had rain and mud. It looked like he had been out in it for a long time.
“Where did you come from big fella?” She put out a bowl of water and he lapped it up so quickly. Poor fella, was probably hungry too. Finding some food in the back she filled a bowl with food and one with water. He wagged his tail with delight and sighing, she went back to mopping the floor all over again.
After eating the dog had laid down watching Cara. She couldn’t help but smile at him. They already had 3 dogs but Cara couldn’t turn him back out in the rain. She would bring him home. Bard would understand. He knew she had a big heart when it came to anomals. Hopefully they could find his owner before Christmas.
The door blew open and Tippner ran inside with his muddy boots. “Tippner!!’
“You have to come! There’s been an accident. ”
Cara’s eyes deepened with concern looking at Tippner’s stricken face. “Who?”
“It’s Mason, a car ran a redlight and plowed into him.”
Forgetting about the dog, Cara ran out the door with Tippner and jumped in his car. Neither of them spoke as Tippner drove to the hospital.
Fear clutched at Cara’s stomach, as they drove.
When they got to the hospital, Cara gave Sarah and Grayson a tight hug,
“How bad is it?”
“He is unconscious, swelling on his brain, all we can do is wait.”
Tears mingled as they all hugged again. The waiting room quickly filled up. Word spreads quickly in a small town like Bittersweet Creek.
Through the night people were there with Cara, Bard, Grayson, Sarah and Tippner. Old Man Fuzzywhistle came and Cara had never seen him with tears in his eyes before. But they were there when he walked out of Mason’s room.
Tippner kept banging the vending machine, it made him feel better and so far he had managed to dislodge 2 Snickers bars.
Grayson paced the floor as Sarah tried to get him to sit down. Finally he did, with his head in his hands. Others had their heads bowed in prayer.
Tippner looked around and said to Cara, “If only Mason could see how many people truly care about him. He would be overwhelmed.”
Grayson raised his head, ” Yes, people liked him for more than just his wavy, luxurious hair. Something we men in the family have to suffer with. The genetic trait of awesome hair.”
Everyone laughed, it felt good to break the tension.
“Silent Night, Holy Njght….” Carolers were in the hallway. Cara leaned against Bard and Sarah and Grayson were wrapped in each other’s arms as they listened. Tippy momentarily had stopped banging the vending machine and peace filled the room.
It was the wee hours of the morning and everyone had sore necks and backs but noone wanted to leave until they knew that Mason would be Ok.
Cara had phoned Amanda and she was leaving as soon as she could.
The hours passed and still no change. Tippner went to the diner to make coffee for everyone. He got pounced on when he entered the diner by one excited sheepdog!
The sheepdog started licking hun. He knew this dog, where had he seen it before? Yes, this was Randy’s dog! What was it doing here? He had told Randy he needed to move here, get away from those crazy women that put spells on him. Apparently the dog wanted knew to get away from them. He would call Randy later, he was probably worried, but doubted that he wanted disturbed at 3am!
At 7am Amanda arrived. Her eyes were red and swollen. Cara and Sarah gave her long hugs and they showed her Mason’s room and left. Only one person in a time was allowed in.
Amanda took his hand in hers, gently rubbing it. She was trying to swallow the lump in her throat.
“You have to wake up Mason, a whole waiting room full of people are waiting for you and I need you.”
“I need to see that smile that melts my heart and feel the touch that makes my heart race.”
She couldn’t say anymore as she laid her bead on his chest.
“Amanda, why are you crying? Where am I?”
Her head jerked up and she yelled, “You are awake! Doctor, Doctor!” She kept pushing the call button. It was happy chaos as the Dr and nurses gatbered around his bed.
It was Christmas Eve and Mason was coming home! He was doing fine. The Dr couldn’t believe it, the fact that he had survived with just bruises and scrapes was a miracle. His car was a mangled piece of metal.
“When is the Dr coming? I am ready to get out of here!”
“Relax, he is coming. In the meantime, we could watch more Hallmark movies ” Amanda gave a teasing grin, it was the only channel the hospital got.
Mason groaned as the Dr walked in.
“Are you feeling okay?”
Amanda laughed, I think you he needs a prescription for Hallmark movies.”
Once the Dr discharged him they stepped outside and he breatbed in the fresh air.
“Ahhh! Frels so good and look its snowing!”
“Its perfect, just like a movie!”
Amanda stuck out her tongue to catch a snowflake, could this day get any more magical?
“I love you Amanda Rose,” and they kissed as the snow fell, lost in a world of their own. The snow sparkled like diamonds. Amanda knew that nothing could shine brighter than her heart at this moment, not even the diamond ring on her finger.