Stave Six: At Last

Pádme woke up with a gasp.

"Was it a dream or was it real?" she asked herself. "I guess I'll never know."

She took a bath and then decided to turn on the tv to watch the news while she dressed-up.

"...for December 23rd. Lots of snow today for all of Maine's northern counties. I hope that it doesn't ruin the holidays. Happy Holidays everyone! Back to you Greg." said the weatherman on tv.

"Huh? Deja vu?" said Pádme. "It's December 23rd again? It couldn't be a dream. No, it looked too real."

"Good morning Pádme!" said Chris.

"How are you my fair lady?" said Max.

T waved his hand.

"What are you all doing here?" asked Pádme.

"We came here to greet you." said Max.

"Thank you so much." said Pádme as she hugged them.

"Goodbye!" said Chris and disappeared.

"Farewell!" said Max and disappeared.

T waved his hand and, like the other two, disappeared.

"Good, now I'm 100% sure that it was real." said Pádme as she took her car keys and headed to work.

"Good morning Beth! Any message for me?" asked Pádme as she went inside her secretary's office.

"Yes, Miss. Wesford. Mr. Leatherman called and said that he wanted his Jell-O commercial for today." answered Beth.

"Oh, he did. I'll call him later. Anything else?"

"Yes, Mr. McAshton came and leave these folders for you. He said that they were very important and confidential." answered Beth as she handed two brown folders to Pádme.

As she went outside the office a tall man softly touched her back with his index finger. She turned towards the man.

"Oh, Mr. Roger Smith! How are you today?" said Pádme smiling.

"Good morning Miss. Wesford. I'm fine." said Roger.

"And, how's your wife?"

"She is fine too."

"I'm glad to hear that."

"Miss. Wesford, I was wondering if you could give me more time to finish the Jell-O commecial."

"Sure."

"Really?"

"Yes. By the way, I'll increase everyone's salary to 50% and that includes you."

"Are you ok, Miss. Wesford?"

"Better than ever."

Roger's eyes shone with joy.

"Margaret!" called Pádme.

"Y...yes Miss. Wesford." said Margaret.

"How are your kids?"

"They are great!"

"I'm glad. You, and everyone else in this company, can go home at 12 and come back... on January 3rd." said Pádme walking into her office.

"God! She's not herself." whispered Joan.

"Yes." inquired Alice.

"I think that someone else took her place." said Joan smiling.

"A good alien or something." said Alice laughing.

Pádme went inside her office and sat on her desk. She opened the folders and read the papers inside them.

One of them had a letter:

Dear Miss. Wesford:

Heaven's Eyes is a company that for over 20 years had been dedicated to serve the less fortunate. Every year we feed and dress over 1,000 people all around the United States. Right now, we are recollecting signs to build a new center in the outskirts of Maine. We need over 300 signs, otherwise the authorities won't give us the permission we need. Please, sign the form and send it back to our headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.

God Bless You and Happy Holidays!

Frank McAshton

She opened the other folder, it had the form. She was about to sign it when someone interrupted her.

"Miss. Wesford, Mr. Leatherman is here." said Beth through the intercom.

"Let him pass." answered Pádme.

Mr. Leatherman went inside her office. Both shook hands.

"Good morning Miss. Wesford." he said.

"Good morning Mr. Leatherman. Please, sit down. Do you want something? A coffee or perhaps juice?"

"No thanks. I just came to get my commercial, you said that it was going to be ready for today, right?"

"Yes, I did. But it isn't ready, because every employee in this company, that includes me, are going to spend the holidays with our families. You should do the same."

"Well, I guess is ok. When will you come back from your vacations?"

"January 3rd. Mr. Leatherman, would you like to go with me to Rhode Island, to spend the holidays with my family?"

"No, thanks."

"The Christmas Spirits will be very busy tonight." thought Pádme.

"Ok then." she said.

"Well, I'll be back on January 3rd."

Mr. Leatherman shooked Pádme's hand one more time.

"Have a nice day and happy holidays." said Pádme.

"Ditto." said Mr. Leatherman.

He went outside her office.

"Miss. Wesford..." it was Beth through the intercom, again.

"What?" asked Pádme.

"Mr. McAshton is on line 2."

Pádme picked up the phone.

"Got it." she said "Hi! Mr. McAshton. Happy holidays!"

"Did you get the folders?" asked a trembling man's voice.

"Yes, I did."

"Good, what do you think?"

"I love the idea and I was about to sign the form."

"I'm glad."

"Mr. McAshton, I wanted to ask you something."

"Ask away."

"Can I visit Heaven's Eyes?"

"Of course, it would be great!"

"Well, I'll visit your institution tomorrow."

"We'll be waiting for you."

"See you tomorrow."

She hung the phone.

"Miss. Wesford, sorry to interrupt you again, but your mother is in line 1." said Beth through the intercom once again.

"I'll get the call." answered Pádme.

"Hello Darling!" said a sweet voice through the phone.

"Hi mom!" said Pádme.

"Honey, I know that you are busy right now, but I was thinking that maybe you could come on Christmas and dine with us."

"Sure."

"Really?!"

"Of course mom."

"I feel so happy!"

"Well, see you on Christmas mom."

"See you baby. I love you."

"I love you too."

Both hung up the phone and Pádme signed the form.

In the afternoon, after she got out of her work, she went shopping and went back to her house at night.

Next day, Pádme got up at 6, as usual. Took a bath and dress-up quickly. Took her travelling bag, keys and headed to the airport. She was extremely lucky to find a flight to Georgia because it isn't easy to find one in that time of the year.

She got to Atlanta, Georgia at 12:05pm. Went out of the airport and took a taxi.

"Please, take me to Heaven's Eyes." she said.

"Sure M'am." said the taxi-driver.

They arrived at Heaven's Eyes in 8 minutes.

"Thanks Sir." said Pádme as she paid.

She knocked on the door and 3 seconds later a young woman opened the door.

"Good afternoon M'am."

"Good afternoon. I'm Pádme Wesford, Mr. McAshton is waiting for me."

"Sure, come inside."

Pádme walked through the living room, following the girl. The place was amazing, it had lots of paintings all over the walls, most of them about Angels.

"This is Mr. McAshton's office." said the girl as she opened the door of a big room.

"Thanks!" said Pádme smiling.

She went inside the office, Mr. McAshton was wrapping some gifts.

"Hi, Mr. McAshton." said Pádme.

"Oh, hello dear! How are you?" he said.

"I'm great and you?"

"I am fine."

"Well, I came to give you this form and to ask you something."

She gave the form to Mr. McAshton.

"Thanks! And, what is it that you want to ask me?" he said as he put the form in a big cabinet.

"Well, I wanted to ask you, if I could help you with Heaven's Eyes, financially and as a volunteer."

"Oh, Miss. Wesford! That's very generous of you. We'll be please to have you."

"I'm very glad."

"Well, I think that you should meet some of the people that works here."

They went to the living room and Mr. McAshton introduced Pádme. She met Joe, the blonde kid, with the blue jacket, that was reading a story to the little girl in the left corner. She also met, David, the small red haired boy playing chess.

She played and helped the kids. Pádme had never felt so alive before, she was a completely new person. After dinner Pádme had to leave to the airport, the kids didn't wanted her to leave.

"I promise that I'll come back some other day." she said. "Right now I have to go to my house and share with my family."

Pádme catched a plane and arrived to Blooming Alley at 10:00 pm.

"Hi mom!" she said as she came inside the house.

"Darling! I'm so glad that you made it!" said Jill. "How was the flight?"

"It was ok. But I'm very tired. Where are Anakin and Leah?"

"They were tired too and went to sleep early."

"I guess that I'll do the same."

Her mother smiled.

The next morning everyone woke up early. Pádme went downstairs and saw Leah, Anakin and Jill opening their Christmas presents.

"Good morning!" said Pádme.

"Pádme!" said Leah as she hugged her.

Anakin hugged her too.

"I've been very selfish and I'm sorry." said Pádme.

"Is ok Pádme, everyone makes mistakes." said Anakin.

"But as long as you know how to deal with them and make all wrongs rights, everything is ok." said Jill.

"That's very true..." said Pádme. "...very true."

They talked all day, remembered the good times, drank hot cocoa and had the time of their lives.

The sun went down. The moon and the stars raise up in the sky. It was a cold, dark and quite night, the perfect night for the Spirits to work and help others.

At distance a soft whisper could be heard, "Home is where the heart is."