Michela Walters’s Picture Choice: Both
Title: New Year’s Hope
The streets were packed with tourists, in town for the most celebrated night in New York, New Year’s eve. It made Jenna wish she didn’t have to walk through Chinatown to get to her walk up apartment on the edge of Soho. She normally didn’t mind the eclectic shops hocking colorful wares and livestock from their tiny cramped spaces. Usually it allowed her mind to drift to exotic lands, places she’d only imagined in her dreams. Places far, far away from the dreary life she’d been stuck in for the last ten months.
Her phone trilling in her bag caused Jenna to step aside and answer it, knowing by the ring it was the one person she’d always pick up for, even in the frigid cold. “Hey mom. Everything okay?”
It had been hell watching her mother struggle to fight against the cancer that riddled her body. The chemo and radiation leaving her body frail and sickly, all the things that her vivacious and spunky mother had never been before. It broke her heart to not be able to do much other than hold her hand during treatments or hold her hair as her breakfast made a sudden reappearance.
“My scans came back,” she said, stopping to sob before continuing. Jenna’s mind reeled at what it meant, and couldn’t hold back her own flood of tears fearing the worst.
“The treatment’s working, my tumors are smaller. The doctor’s told me we’re going to stick with this course for another five weeks.”
The whoop I let out scared the strangers who were walking by, probably assuming I was just another crazy lady they’d come across on their vacation to the big, bad city. “I can’t believe it. You’re getting better.”
My mom chuckled and said she’d talk to me later when I came over to watch the ball drop from the warmth and comfort of her Greenwich apartment. “Don’t forget the champagne. Dr. Burke said I could have a half a glass to celebrate.”
Saying our goodbyes, I turned back towards the sidewalk, almost running into a tiny woman standing before me holding out a statue of a fat, laughing buddha.
“You take this. Next year will bring good health and prosperity. Put in the east and it will bring you longevity.” The Chinese woman kept pushing the statue into my arms until I finally grasped it, “You’re mom will be fine.” She disappeared back into her shop, leaving me bewildered and oddly thankful for her gift. I wasn’t sure if I believed in feng shui or any of the magic the statue was supposed to possess, but after the year I’d had, I figured it was worth a shot.
Tucking the statue into my bag, I hummed Auld Lang Syne the rest of the way home, counting my blessing for everything I had, and the health and prosperity I was hoping the New Year would provide.
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Michela Walters is a wife, mother and book enthusiast. She is currently attempting her hand at writing her first romantic fiction novella. You can read her other stories on her blog: michelawalters.wordpress.com