Hey, my good people. Make sure you’ve read parts 1-3. Trust me, you don’t want to leave anything out. If you’re all caught up, please proceed to read part 4. Happy reading! 🙂
That Porsche got the two of them to Romona’s house faster than the speed of light. Carol recognized the house, because during college, she and Romona were best friends. They both were interns at Jennifer’s accounting firm. Carol as an accountant and Romona as a project manager. When Carol opened her own firm, she hired Romona as her executive assistant. Inside of Romona’s home lay her pup named Slim Jim. He’s a wiener dog. Slim Jim barely stood up on his little legs and limped towards Romona. She walked towards the puppy and picked him up. Romona looked sad. “Romona has a picture of her puppy on her desk. She loves that dog. Why is he limping though? And why is Romona sad?” “She’s sad because her puppy has a ligament disease,” the ghost of Christmas present said. “Oh, no. What’s going to happen to him?” “Well, he’ll be fine. He’ll get surgery and physical therapy and eventually he’ll be okay. But you know, you never approve Romona’s time off, so she’s had to delay getting him treatment.” “You mean, this is my fault this poor puppy is suffering? I’m so sorry, Romona. I didn’t know,” Carol said to Romona who sat in a chair rubbing her puppy’s back. “She can’t hear you,” the ghost said. Then, Romona’s fiancé came in the house with medicine for the dog. Romona put her puppy down, then got up and kissed her fiancé before grabbing her coat and purse and heading out the door. “Can’t you spend Christmas with me and Slim Jim?” her fiancé asked. “I’m sorry honey, but Carol needs me,” Romona said. “I need you. Slim Jim needs you,” her fiancé said. “I know,” Romona said as she turned around and rubbed her fiancé’s face. “I love you, and I promise to make it up to you tonight when I get off work,” Romona said. “She would leave her fiancé and sick dog at home for me?” Carol asked. “Sure. Romona still sees you as her best friend. She loves you, and would do anything for you,” the ghost of Christmas present said. “Well, I haven’t been a very good friend to her. I’ve only been her boss, and not a very good boss either.” Carol had tears in her eyes, when she saw the sacrifice Romona made for her. “You know, your entire team goes over and beyond for you everyday. You are blessed to have such loyal employees, friends and family. Then the ghost of Christmas present day and Carol appeared in the Porsche and in a flash they were at Carol’s parents house. “Mom. Dad.” Carol said with tears of joy. She went to embrace them. “They don’t know you’re here,” the ghost of Christmas present, said. Carol and the ghost watched as her parents looked through the photo album of Carol’s childhood Christmas’s. Her parents hugged each other as they cuddled on the loveseat in front of their fireplace. “How long has it been?” the ghost asked. “I haven’t been home in seven years,” Carol said. “You haven’t seen your parents in seven years, and they live two hours away?” “I’ve seen them. They’ve visited. We’ve FaceTimed, but I haven’t been home in seven years.” “I think it’s time for a visit, don’t you?” the ghost said. Then they appeared in the Porsche once more, and then appeared at the shelter where Xavier volunteers. “Zay,” Carol said as she ran up to hug Xavier, who was helping serve guests at the shelter. “Umm,” the ghost of Christmas present day said. “Yeah, I know. He doesn’t know I’m here. He can’t feel my embrace. Yada, yada, ya…,” Carol said a little frustrated. Then her heart warmed seeing how happy the people at the shelter were to receive a Christmas meal and presents. One little girl’s eyes lit up like a Christmas tree when she received a doll. Carol finally understood why Xavier does what he does. He does it out of the goodness of his heart, so that others can feel as loved, happy and blessed as he does. “He’s such a good man,” Carol said. “I don’t deserve him.” Carol looked as Xavier excused himself off the serving line, and went to call her on his cell. Carol’s cell ring in her pocket. She answered, but Xavier couldn’t hear her. Instead, he heard her voicemail. Xavier began to leave a message. He said, Merry Christmas, and he wished she’d come spend the day with him at the shelter. Then he said, “I never told you this, but this is important to me because I come from humble beginnings. My mom and I lived in a shelter when I was a kid, and I remember being happy with just one toy that I received from a local church. I remember having a real Christmas dinner at the shelter with my mom. It didn’t matter that we were poor or in a shelter. What mattered most was the love. The love my mom and I had for each other and the love strangers showed to us by being there for us, especially during the holidays. Those individuals inspired me to make a difference. This is my calling in life, and that’s why it’s so important to me. This is who I am, and I want you to be a part of it, forever, but it’s up to you. Meet me at the shelter if you want the same. If you don’t, I’ll have my answer and I’ll never bother you again. I love you,” Xavier said before hanging up the phone. Carol cried, “Zay. I’m right here, baby. I love you too.” “If only he could hear you,” the ghost said. Then an attractive female volunteer came up to Xavier and rubbed his back and asked, “Are you okay.” “I’m fine,” he said. “Let’s get back on the line and serve up these good old plates.” The attractive lady smiled, “Okay then. That’s the spirit.” She stood beside him on the line and hip bumped him, and then gave him a wink and a smile. Xavier smiled back and continued serving the guests. “Oh no miss pretty little thing didn’t,” Carol said. “Oh, yes she did,” the ghost of Christmas present day said. Before Carol knew it, they’d zoomed back to Carol’s house and right before Carol was about to make her a cup of coffee, the ghost of Christmas present day disappeared and the ghost of Christmas future appeared. Carol didn’t see the ghost, but she felt a gust of wind behind her. The gust of wind knocked the ground coffee out of Carol’s hand. “Geesh, you all really don’t believe in giving people warnings, do you?” Carol asked, with her back still turned away from the ghost. “We’re not people,” the ghost said. “Oh, right. You’re ghost,” Carol said with a smirk. “But to answer your question. No. We don’t believe in giving warnings. Where’s the fun in that?” the ghost said. “None of this is fun,” Carol said. “I’ve met the ghost of Christmas past, present, and I’m assuming you’re the ghost of Christmas future?” “You’ve assumed correctly,” the ghost said. Carol turned around, and she was blown away, but not in a good way. She almost had a heart attack. This ghost looked like death. He had a black hood, no face, just darkness, and he even had a staff in his hand. “What the Hell,” Carol said. “You’ve got that right,” the ghost said. “Well, not exactly Hell. More like Hades,” the ghost said. “Isn’t it the same thing?” Carol asked. “You’re about to find out,” the ghost said, as he grabbed Carol’s arm. “Wait, no. I don’t want to find out,” Carol said, trying to jerk away from the ghost’s grip. He hit his staff on the floor and they were at a funeral.