The Mall SantabyDG Hear©
After high school, she went to college to become a nurse. She wanted to be a nurse ever since she was a little girl. During her senior year in college, she also worked at the local hospital and was in training. She met a doctor and began dating. He was nearly ten years older than her, but she felt she loved him. He asked her to marry him and she said, "Yes".
She then stopped talking for a few seconds and I could see tears in her eyes. "Harold was killed in an automobile accident six months after we were married. I was pregnant with Jessica at the time. Needless to say, she has never seen her father. I tell her he was a good man, but the truth is, he was with a prostitute when a semi-truck broadsided his vehicle. They were both killed in the accident."
"I'm so sorry, Sharon. I didn't mean to bring up any bad times for you."
"It's okay! I was always able to tell you anything. I really needed to talk about it. I know you noticed the nice house and furnishing. He was a good surgeon, and of course, I was left with his estate. Other than my parents, I've told no one about his past.
"I was his second wife. He told me his first wife cheated on, him but the truth came out after we were married that he was the cheater. I met his ex-wife at a party, and didn't believe her at first. She told me he didn't like kids, and she had an abortion. It was the worst thing she had ever done. Shortly after that, she caught him with other women.
"Anyway, I tell Jessica that her father was a good man and a surgeon that helped save people. I know people talk about him behind my back but it's okay. I don't date much; I guess I don't trust most men, besides I have Jessica. Enough about me; tell me about your life."
"I dated in high school, but was never serious about anyone."
"What kind of girls did you date?" Sharon was smiling. I would really like to know.
"Why? What difference does it make?" I asked.
"I always figured you liked women with big boobs. You always stared at them. Kind of made me feel self-conscious. I pictured tall blondes with big boobs and short skirts." Sharon was almost laughing.
While growing up, Sharon was average height; on the thin side but had a nice figure now. She wasn't big breasted but looked pretty good from what I could see through her dress.
"To be honest with you, I dated a lot of women since high school. I joined the Army, did two terms in Iraq, came home, and went to community college for a couple of years. Got the position at the mall and that brings us up to now."
"That didn't answer my question. What type of women do you prefer to date? Sharon repeated. "You're twenty-seven, how come you never got married or engaged?"
"I never found the woman I'd like to spend the rest of my life with. I began dating girls with red hair. Don't ask me why, I really don't know."
I didn't tell Sharon that in the service most of the woman were dark hair and on the thinner side. It was just about sex and like most every young man; I'd fuck anyone that was willing. I fucked them young and old, married or single. It didn't make much difference. I usually paid for it, sometimes with the husband watching.
For me, sex in the service was just fucking and trying to get off. I didn't want to get attached to any woman. I did feel sorry for many of them, but wasn't about to marry them and bring them home.
I knew I had stopped talking and Sharon brought me back out of my haze.
"Hey, Jeff, are you okay? You don't have to tell me if you don't want too."
"I'm sorry, I was just thinking about your question. After I left the service, and went to college, I did date some big-busted women, both blonde and brunette. I guess I just never got close enough to any to where I felt a special bond."
"Do you have a girlfriend now?" Sharon looked me right in the eyes, and waited for an answer.
"No, my sisters and other friends are always trying to fix me up with their friends. The women are nice, but I'm looking for that special woman."
We almost had a trance going between us when we were interrupted by the waitress asking us if we would like dessert. It broke the trance and Sharon said she needed to get home. She was going Christmas shopping and needed a few more gifts.
"I'll take you shopping!" I said. "I know the mall better than anyone." I know I was smiling.
"A man that likes to shop. You've got to be kidding me," said Sharon while smiling.
"I'm not that big on shopping, but I like being with you." We looked at each other but neither replied. I paid the bill and we headed to the mall.
Christmas was less than two weeks away. I was pretty much done, but I had never really put much thought in my gifts. I always kept the receipts so they could take whatever I bought them back.
We entered the different stores and I was really having fun. I would peek around the racks and scare Sharon. I would also sneak up behind her, wrap my arms around her and pull her to me. She smelled and felt so good.
She would laugh and say, "Jeff, Stop it! Do you want me to call security?"
We stopped and shared a cinnamon pretzel on the way out. I remembered as kids we shared everything; it was as if I was ten all over again. As I pulled into her driveway, she told me she had a wonderful time. I asked her if I could see her again.
"Of course, Silly, but it's Christmas time and I'll be pretty busy. Call me and we'll see what we can work out."
I walked her to the door and gave her a hug, turned around and waved goodbye. When I got home, my mom was there and asked me about Sharon. I told her all I knew and she said I should invite her over for Christmas.
Two days later, I called Sharon and asked her over for Christmas dinner. I mentioned that it was my mom's idea, but I would love for her to be there. I felt both sad and surprised when she told me she couldn't make it; that she already had other plans.
The first thing that entered my mind was that she had another boyfriend, which she hadn't mentioned. I think she could tell the slight hurt in my voice, and told me that she was having dinner with her parents and other relatives.
I felt a bit more relieved and asked her if I could see her on Christmas Eve since we wouldn't be together on Christmas. She and Jessica could come over and see Mom and Dad as well as my sisters and their families. We always had a big get together on Christmas Eve. I didn't tell her about our gift exchange because she probably would have refused to come over.
I talked to her twice before Christmas Eve. My family was excited that Sharon and her daughter were coming over. I had to laugh when Cindy said she gets the credit if the two of us get together.
"So, is it alright for me to tell her you got the information for me?" I asked Cindy.
"I don't know about that. Let's wait and see. I still think that was a crazy idea." We both laughed.
I went over to pick up Sharon and Jessica. I rang the doorbell and Jessica answered it. "Are you Mr. Warren," the pretty, little, curly-red-haired girl said to me.
"Yes I am," I replied. I didn't want her to know that I had already met her; after all, I was Santa. Sharon did tell me that she had a long talk with Jessica about life, dating, marriage and her finding a daddy. I did mention to Jessica that she could call me Jeff.
"Mommy's still getting ready. Would you like to come in and sit down? Mom said to talk to you till she was ready." I had to laugh on how forward this little girl was.
I sat on the couch and Jessica sat on the chair across from me. She was one pretty little girl. I asked her about school and her friend Gene. She talked a mile a minute telling me everything she did in kindergarten.
I couldn't help thinking how much she was like her mother.
Sharon came into the room looking as beautiful as can be. Both she and Jessica had the curly red hair. "Are you sure it's ok for us to come to your family gathering?" asked Sharon.
"My God, yes! You are just like family; only we've been separated for a number of years," I replied.
We got in my car and as I was driving, Jessica asked how we were family and she never met us. I listened to Sharon explain how we grew up together, and were best friends. Jessica kept asking questions, and Sharon did her best to answer them. I was busy driving and laughing.
When we arrived at the house, most of my family was already there. Everyone started greeting each other and Sharon and Jessica looked like they just belonged there. My sisters introduced their families and Jessica went and played with the rest of the kids.
There was a lot of talking about what everyone was doing, and Sharon talked about her life and the loss of her husband. Cindy quickly changed the subject to happier times. We all had drinks and ate the snacks that mom had prepared.
Sharon had brought a plate of cookies that she and Jessica had made. She looked at me and laughed; she knew what I was thinking. When we were kids, she would always try to cook and bake things. I was her tester, and most of her baked goods might have looked good but they tasted terrible.
I would always put on my game face and eat some of the concoctions she made. "They're good Jeff, I have learned to cook over the years," said Sharon. I couldn't help but smile.
My sisters would pull me aside and mention how nice Sharon was. I had to keep telling them that I knew that, I just didn't want to move too fast and take a chance on losing her.
"I'm pretty sure she really likes you, Jeff," said my sister Kim. "God knows why," she said as she laughed. "Her daughter seems like a sweetie too."
"I get it, Kim! I really do. I just don't want to blow it."
My sisters were making me a bit uncomfortable. I know they meant, well but I was going to take it slow and easy. After all, I'd never as much as kissed Sharon in my whole life, not even as a kid.
It was time to open presents. We all drew names and bought for the name we drew. I got one of my nieces and bought her a very nice doll. It wasn't some cheap doll but a collector's edition. Jenny, collected dolls.
Sharon felt out of place and told me she wished she had known about the gifts. She would have brought Jessica something to open. She might not understand why she didn't get anything.
"Don't worry! I got it covered. I bought her a couple of gifts to open." Sharon smiled at me and squeezed my hand.
Jessica was patiently waiting until her name was read. "To Jessica from a friend of Santa Claus," my Dad read the nametag and handed three big gifts to Jessica.
She smiled as she opened her gifts. I had bought her an ambulance, a dump truck and a truck with a crane attached. She was as happy as could be; it nearly brought tears to my eyes. Everyone was smiling.
"You bought my daughter trucks?" asked Sharon. I wasn't sure if she was happy or confused; she didn't seem mad.
I told her, "When we were kids and played in the sand, you always took my trucks. You said your parents bought you girly things, and you liked boy toys. Since Jessica is so much like I remember you being, I thought she would like some trucks."
Sharon smiled and with tears in her eyes, she hugged me.
Jessica stood up, came over, hugged me, and thanked me for the trucks. She said her friend Gene would be jealous. Her trucks were bigger than his were.
"Jeff, the card said you know Santa. Did he talk to you about anything?" asked Jessica.
I knew what she was thinking, and so did Sharon and my sisters. They all knew that she had asked Santa for a daddy. I had to figure a way to answer this one.
"Yes, I work at the mall and I talked to Santa. It wouldn't be right for me to tell you what we talked about." I stopped for a second to smile at her and put her at ease. "You do have to understand that he can't give every child everything they want for Christmas." Many want real trains and cars; things they can't possibly have. Other kids ask for things that affect other people. All that has to be considered." I didn't know if I explained it well or not.
She smiled at me, "I understand, Jeff, mommy told me the same thing. Thank you for the trucks."
"You're welcome, Sweetheart," I replied.
Dad grabbed a card out of the tree. "To Sharon from an old friend." She looked over at me, and I smiled back.
In the envelope were two tickets to the biggest New Year's bash in Columbus, Ohio. It was held at the Sheraton Inn and was usually sold out eight months before the event. They always had big name entertainment, and it was even shown on television; it was that big of a gala.
My boss Ray at work had gotten them through his contacts. He told me they were a gift for me since I did him the favor of playing Santa Claus when he needed it. I decided to give them to Sharon and hoped she would ask me to go with her.
It would be overnight and we would be staying at the Sheraton Inn. I wasn't sure how she would feel about it. The room did have two queen size beds, so we wouldn't necessarily be sleeping together.
"My God! Jeff, where did you get these tickets? This is the biggest New Year's gala in Ohio." She smiled at me. Then she said it, I knew she would. "I wonder who I could ask to go with me."
I didn't say a word but Jessica spoke up. "Mom, you should take Jeff, he gave you the tickets." I could have kissed that little girl.
"Jeff, would you like to escort me to the New Year's gala in Columbus?" asked Sharon.
"It would be my pleasure," I replied. Needless to say, my family all seemed happy about it.
On the way home to Sharon's house we discussed the party and we did mention the separate beds. She said she trusted me, and besides we were adults now. We decided that we would go earlier in the day and dress for the party later in the evening.
At the door, I gave Sharon our usual hug, and told her I would see her next week. I picked up Jessica and hugged her. She put her arms around me and kissed me on the cheek. I believe there was an unspoken bond building between us and she knew it.
"Thank you for everything, Jeff. Merry Christmas!" said Jessica.
"Merry Christmas to you too, Sweetheart." Our bond was building.
The week after Christmas was busy at the mall, mostly returns and people looking for special deals. The more people, the more we had to keep our eyes open.
I called Sharon every couple of days. She said it was very busy at the hospital, and she had to work late since she asked for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day off. Either her parents or her neighbor watched Jessica. Sharon said Jessica was asking all kind of questions about me. It just made me smile, our bond was working.
New Year's Eve:
I stopped by first thing in the morning to pick up Sharon. Needless to say, she wasn't ready. Jessica and I had a bowl of cereal together while her mother was packing her suitcase.
Jessica was telling me all the places she would like to go. It was normal things that most kids like. The zoo, amusement parks, and ball games were some of the places she mentioned. She said she would like her best friend Gene to go along.
I told her that I liked all those places too, and maybe we could go together. She said I would have to take her mother with us, which I agreed was a good idea.
Sharon came into the kitchen, and I told her that Jessica made me breakfast and that we were making plans for the spring and summer. Jessica told her about all the places we were going to go, and that she could come along. She even told her that I agreed that she could bring her friend, Gene, along.
Sharon just kind of shook her head, not saying much of anything. I couldn't believe she had two suitcases for one overnight stay. She told me she needed everything that she was taking. It was time for me to just shake my head.
We dropped off Jessica at her grandparents' house and I went in to see them. It was good to see them again. I always liked the Buckley's; they treated me like their own son. Sharon was their only child.
Mr. Buckley told us to have a good time, but to behave. It made us both laugh. Sharon hugged Jessica and we headed to Columbus. To be honest, I didn't know what to expect. Only time would tell.
I pulled up to the Sheraton Inn and the valet took our car. They brought in our suitcases and waited while we checked in. We headed up to our room and talked about having lunch and maybe going for a swim. They assured us that the water was always eighty degrees.
We decided to go to the pool first. I changed in the bathroom and Sharon in the bedroom area. We decided I would get the bed closest to the door. I asked her if she was ready before coming out of the bathroom. She had on a two-piece suit with a robe over it.
The hotel supplied the robes and I slipped one on as we headed to the pool. There were quite a few people there but I could only look at one person. She looked beautiful in her blue bathing suit. I'm sure other men as well as the women near the pool were looking at her also.
I told her how beautiful she looked. She laughed and we got into the water. I know most women would worry about their hair but Sharon's hair was naturally curly and she told me after it dried it would pretty much fall back into place.
We spent about an hour in the pool and hot tub and headed back up to our room to change clothes for lunch. Again, I went back into the bathroom to change.
As we headed down to the restaurant, we went by the party room that was being set up for the evening. It was gigantic! They were putting party favors on all the tables and the band was beginning to set up. We were getting excited as we headed over for lunch.
While eating lunch, Sharon noticed a couple of doctor friends and their female companions in the restaurant. They waved and the doctors came over and said hi to Sharon. They were there for the gala also, and asked us if we would like to join them that evening.
We cordially accepted and told them we would see them later. Sharon explained that one of the doctors, George, transferred to one of Columbus' hospitals last year. He was with his wife Beth. Harry, the other doctor, was still in her hospital. The woman he was with was one of the nurses and her name was Chris.
"Jeff, I need to tell you that I dated Harry a few times after the death of my husband. It was after Jessica was born; we dated for about six months. I just want you to know. I was always able to tell you anything and I want to keep it that way."
"Sharon, you can always talk to me. Anytime, anywhere, I still consider you my best friend ever," I replied.
"It's just that Harry is a player and I'm not interested in that kind of man. I don't even know why I'm telling you this." She shook her head.
"Because we're best friends! Let's leave it at that."
After lunch, we took a tour of the Inn and stopped to pick-up a souvenir for Jessica. It was just a little bear with a 'Happy New Year' ribbon on it. Like most kids, Jessica loved stuffed animals.
To pass some time we drove to one of the malls and walked around for a while. I'm not a shopper, but just being with Sharon was good enough for me. Deep in my heart, I knew I loved her but didn't want to admit it, or push her in anyway. I kept telling myself we were just best friends.
We headed back to the motel, and we began to get ready for the party. Sharon asked to use the shower first. I told her I would take a walk and come back in about twenty minutes to give her some privacy.
When I got back, she had her undergarments on, an old blouse and sweat pants. "Is that what you're wearing to the party?" I asked, knowing she just slipped something on.
"What! Of course not. I wasn't going to run around in my bra and panties in front of you."
"I wouldn't mind," I said with a big smile on my face. She smiled and slapped me on the arm. I grabbed it like it really hurt. She just shook her head.