Ordinary World Soap Opera
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Episode 905: You Make It Feel like Christmas

Following a successful Christmas party that had brought in a ton of donations and many registering for interviews in the new year to potentially adopt pets, Tansy knew as she finished up her afternoon at the shelter she should feel awesome about how the event had gone, but she was too worried about her gift exchange with Enid.

Her hands were all clammy and she had the urge to run away. Tansy finished walking, playing with and hugging her last dog of the day, she made sure Gertrude, a spaniel was securely settled in her clean, cozy little space with a fresh dish of water. Tansy took one last long look at Enid on the floor of the pen next door, cuddling and wishing happy holidays to Charlie, a labrador/shepherd mix.

Tansy hurried off to the small room where she and Enid stored their belongings and shared afternoon snacks. She meant to grab her coat, mittens, and the backpack with the gift she would never give. But Tansy stood there too long, remembering the times in that room over the last several months where they’d laughed, smiled, and lifted each other’s spirits on otherwise not so great days.

If she hadn’t gotten caught up in those memories, she would have gotten out of there in time, instead, Enid walked in.

“Oh,” Enid said, a little out of breath. “I’m glad you’re still here, I was afraid maybe you’d forgotten about our gifts.”

Enid went to a shopping bag near her backpack and set on the table a gold wrapped box on the table with a matching gold ribbon. If the outside looked that fancy, Tansy hated to imagine what the insides looked like. Her grandpa had been right. She should have taken the money he’d offered, but she’d insisted Enid would like something from the heart more.

“Open it,” Enid urged.

Tansy lifted the lid, certain that there would be such a stark difference between their gifts that Enid would finally declare them incompatible as friends. But inside the box were simple things, a notebook hand-decorated with gold dot stickers, three different metallic washi tapes, and several packs of gel pens in varying shades.

“I got as much as I could with my allowance,” Enid said. “I had a coupon but I still couldn’t get the nicest art journal, but I decorated this one a little to make it nicer, even though I’m not artistic, I thought it turned out kind of pretty. Is it okay? I’ve been so nervous about finding you just the right present. I thought since you like to write and draw, maybe an art journal would be a good present, and then, maybe sometime if I’m really lucky you’d finally let me look at what you’ve done.”

Tansy grinned and with actual excitement presented her gift to Enid. She was now pretty sure her grandpa had been wrong about the kind of present Enid would like.

Enid was careful with the wrapping even though it wasn’t half as fancy as hers had been. “Oh! I love this! I love it so much!” she said flipping through the book with its hand-stitched binding. “These are all the animals we’ve cared for since you started volunteering. And you drew these? You’re so talented.”

Tansy blushed and beamed all at once. Her emotions became even more confused when Enid thanked her in an unexpected way.

Episode 906: Christmastime

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