ll I Want For Christmas

Chapter One

My name is Noah Bence. I am three and a half years old. I have brown hair and brown eyes and I live with my mum. But I look like my daddy. My momma said that my dad loves me but that he's chasing the dream he has had his whole life of playing basketball and that he loves me no matter what and that if I play, he will know I want to be exactly like him.

But I have just one (maybe three) Christmas wish this year that I hope Santa can come through with. I want to play my daddy's favourite game with him and tell him he's my hero. All I want for Christmas is my daddy here with Mummy and me.

Creeping into her apartment late into the night following an extraordinarily prosperous yet chaotic day at work, Isabella exchanged a friendly smile with Chloe, her son's babysitter as she slipped out the door. Isabella guessed her son was asleep in his bed considering how late it was. Isabella had always asked for Noah to be in bed no later than Eight PM sharp.

She bent over the arm of the creamy coloured sofa, slipping out of her black pumps and kicked them to the side of the couch, making her way to her son's bedroom. She went to her son's bedroom, and sure enough, she found him sleeping as if he had no care of the world. And of course, he didn't have any responsibility of the world. He was three and half years old. He wasn't supposed to.

She knew he had the whole world in his hands and someday he was going to conquer it, but for now, he was a three-year-old boy—her three-year-old.

As she quietly entered his room, making her way towards the bed, she knew that moments like these were the ones she cherished the most. She just wished she could keep him this way forever. She longed to protect him from everything bad in the world. As his mother, that was her duty.

She never imagined she would be a mother at twenty-two years of age, but now that she was, she couldn't imagine Noah not part of her life. It was sheer impossible to believe that she was blessed with such an extraordinary gift.

She wished she could have tucked him into bed. That, she knew, he loved, but her job as the face and up and coming fashion designer at the head of one of the country's newest fashion line known as Bella meant she was supposed to split her time between the two loves of her life—her son and her clothing label.

Sitting down on the edge of his bed, she was tempted to run her hand over his forehead but refrained from doing so. Isabella knew that if she did, he would only wake from his slumber in an agitated mood and would be impossible to put back to sleep. He was just so much of a deep sleeper when he wanted to be. Other than that, he could awake at any given moment if he was disturbed abruptly.

She silently stood from her position on the edge of his bed, bringing his Ben 10 blanket tighter around his small body so that he wouldn't be cold throughout the night. Her stocking clad feet scuffed at a piece of paper that had fluttered to the floor.

Kneeling down on the wooden floor, she scooped up the piece of paper; turning it over and realised it was Noah's letter to Santa Claus, bringing a smile to her face. It was the letter she had suggested he write a couple of days ago, so Santa knew what to bring him. When she asked if she could read what he had written, he shook his head blandly saying his wishes wouldn't come true if he let her read it.

Though, this time, the opportunity was in her reach. She would have just one peek to know what Santa (she) needed to buy him and then put it back where she found it before Noah knew she had broken her pinkie promise and snooped at his letter. Call it crazy, but for a three and a half-year-old, Noah was an extremely inquisitive little boy—much like his father had been throughout high school.

She skimmed over the letter, her eyes taking in the list Noah had written. What was, in recent years, a long list that Isabella helped him write, was now a short list with just three items on his wish list. With words Isabella was sure he didn't understand no matter how smart he was for a three-year-old, she assumed Chloe had helped to write the letter while he dictated back to her what he wanted, drawing pictures to emphasise what he wanted.

As she skimmed down the page at the words and pictures, her heart was forlorn and suddenly breaking into a million pieces when her eyes locked onto item one on his list. How could four simple words shatter her so much? It was at that moment that she curled herself together deeper on the floor, not knowing what else she should do.

Instead, she re-read those four words over and over again until it was unbearable to erase "I want a daddy" from her mind.

She looked over at Noah sleeping. God, he was precious. She hated to think his little heart was breaking when she thought about him having no father present in his life and the boys and girls around him at daycare had both a mother and father in their families. She hated to know that he was missing his father when he wanted his dad with him. She didn't want to shatter his heart any more than it apparently was, but she didn't know what else she should do.

Her maternal instinct kicked and her hand clung to his head, forgetting about his perceptible sleeping habit as she ran her hand through his soft dark brown hair. His wispy hair was not something he had inherited from her when Isabella's hair was a different colour to Noah's hair. There was not a shadow of doubt in her mind that she didn't know her son looked like his father. And every day as he grew a little more, Isabella realised her son was beginning to resemble more and more of his dad. Noah's peripheral features on his face seemed to abide an identical resemblance to those she remembered about his dad.

Some would say he was the spitting image of his father and the only thing he had inherited from his mother was her smile and friendly personality.

Of course, she had told Noah that he had a father, but she had said he was following his dream of being a professional basketball player and playing for an elite basketball team in the NBA but that he loved him, whether he knew the truth or not. She knew Noah would eventually begin to ask for his dad, but she had hoped it wouldn't be so soon.

And as she crumbled to the ground in her son's heartbreak, she couldn't help to think how his heart would shatter that little bit more when he didn't get everything he wanted on Christmas Day.

Isabella only wished his father would be as easy to find as that of a bike and video game.

She was at a loss for how to respond to his most necessary thing. How was she to grant her son's yearning if Noah's father wasn't even remotely aware he was a dad?