Gwen and Matt perform good deeds as their version of the 12 days of Christmas.
Sleep captured Gwen in its gentle arms and eased her into her fondest memory. She was three years old and playing in her sandbox, the one mama said had been hers once upon a time. A child she’d never seen walked up to her sandbox and stood, staring at her.
“You Gwen?” His face puckered up in a frown.
Gwen nodded slowly. “Uh huh. Who are you?”
The boy looked bigger than she was and real skinny. His glasses made him look like an owl. He carried a pail and a shovel. His light hair was short.
“Matthew Henry Simmons,” he said. He must be serious about the long name, because he wasn’t smiling.
“This is my sandbox. Wanna play?”
“Sure.” He still didn’t smile.
Gwen smiled when she thought about his red plastic bucket and shovel. She remembered the gentleness of five-year old Matt. He had been her playmate ever since. That Christmas he had told her about the Twelve Days of Christmas song he’d learned in kindergarten. He’d also taught her to count to one hundred.