I stood at the frosted window, the snow gently falling on the other side of the glass. The world beyond was calm, peaceful even. It echoed my inner calm.
But that calm was shattered like a crack in pond ice.
Sharp pain burst across my lower abdomen with a surprising vigor that knocked my breath away. The mug in my hand crashed to the ground where it shattered into a thousand jagged pieces.
Panic spread throughout my heart.
I took a deep, cleansing breath before making my way over to my phone. I clenched my teeth against the pain as I dialed a random relative's number. I would have to check on all of them anyway.
They picked up on the third ring.
"Hi Kuri! What has you calling today?" a voice sounded over the speaker. It was my older sister. "Oh, no reason," I answered softly, "I just wanted to check in and wish you a Merry Christmas."
I hung after a short while.
A sigh of relief passed my lips as I dialed in another number. All of my siblings were fine, my parents as well. That only left my aunt, the last person on my list to call.
She had to be the culprit of the searing pain.
The phone rang several times, but there was no answer. I hung up, grabbed a sweater and my keys, and headed to outside. The snow was falling harder now as it came down in unrelenting flakes.
The drive over was short as I avoided the more heavily populated roads. Her car and walkway were covered in a few layers of undisturbed snow. Ice had made the porch steps perilous.
I hopped the steps two at a time, then rang her door bell. Unsurprisingly, there was no answer. I peering into a window and found that the house was dark on the inside.
I jogged back to my car, careful of the slick ice and snow.
After rummaging through my car, I pulled out the spare key my aunt had gave me a while back. It was one of many that I kept attached to a small loop.
With the key in tow, I headed back to the front door.
It swung open with little resistance, the watery winter light spilling into the foyer. I let myself in, quietly shutting the door behind me.
The house was dark and cold, with the only light coming...
from upstairs. I slipped my boots off on the way up, the persistent pain causing me to bend double on the carpeted stairs. I reached the top and cautiously made my way toward the beckon of light
My aunt was laying on the floor, her arms wrapped tightly around abdomen. Soft, mournful moans escaped her mouth.
I tried to wake her, but all I got in response was another small moan. I rose to my feet and snatched her phone off a dresser. I dialed 911 and waited for the operator to pick up.
I leaned back in a plastic chair, my back stiff and sore.
The rest of my family surround me as we waited patiently to hear news of my aunt. But I already knew she was going to be alright. The harsh pain that had plagued had finally subsided.
A doctor made her way over to our little group.
"Which one of you is Kuri?" she asked, an almost blank expression on her face. I rose from my seat and approached her, my mind weary of the news she bore. She lead us a small way from my family.
She turned to me and grasped my hand tightly.
A snap of fear raced up my spine. Was my aunt alright? "I want to thank you," she said, "on behalf of your aunt. If you wouldn't have found her in time, she wouldn't be here right now."
I stared at the doctor for a second.
My family was going to be fine. "You saved her life today," she continued, "That's a great honor." I nodded my head, lost away in my thoughts, before I walked back to that harsh plastic seat.
Today was Christmas.
And I had just saved one of my relative's life. That was the best Christmas present that I could hope for.