Christmas came and went, year after year, and Kak knew each year that Joey would be at his grandparent's house on Christmas Eve until late. And that he would come home and fall asleep almost immediately, and that the next morning he would wake up and plow down the stairs to begin opening presents, and that he would spend the day marveling over his new gifts downstairs, and later that evening he would go back to his grandparents to spend Christmas evening there to receive presents from the rest of his family, and that when he came home late that night he would be exhausted and again fall asleep impatiently. The situation was similar for all holidays and Kak knew and accepted that during these times he would be left alone feeling much to be desired.
But this year was different. Perhaps it was that Joey was thirteen now, and had grown up to where he was less afraid of his parents. Maybe he had convinced them to let Kak come along. Whatever the reason, Kak knew he was going to the grandparent's house this Christmas Eve and it filled him with joy. The spirit was alive in him, at the moment he couldn't think of anything more exiting. His heart was boiling over, each beat spreading happiness throughout his body.
"I can't wait!" Kak blurted out as the shining black car backed out of the driveway. He was sitting in the back seat with Joey while Joey's father drove and his mother sat in the passenger seat. Kak could feel the heat blasting out of the vents up front; it warmed his skin to match his heart.
"Me neither!" Joey exclaimed, "I can't wait for dessert already! And maybe grandma will let me open a present tonight too!"
Joey's mother turn her head sideways for an instant in a half attempt to look back but gave up. She was a delicate woman with soft bleach blonde hair that fell just atop her shoulders. Large hoop earrings hung from almost invisible ears and powder white skin coated her like freshly fallen snow. It was a sharp contrast to the stiff and chiseled look of her husband who sat next to her. He had the shoulders of a bison and the face of a ram about to charge, but his appearance did not dictate his attitude, he was a man of great understanding and grace.
"Hush, Joey," the driver said softly.