The ball of Rosalie

Photo: Marie Lavoie
Everyone burst out laughing seeing me getting in my dress, but I managed to keep my seriousness.

Year-end gift to the reporters of the Duty, the series of Snapshots proposes that fictional texts inspired by archival photos of the Holiday season sent by readers to the editors. Today, the last two texts of the series, signed Laurence Clavel and Karl Rettino-Parazelli, from pictures provided by Guillaume Fortin and Marie Lavoie.

The fairy smiles at me and beckons me to approach the large chair of red velvet, on which is seated the father Christmas. The grand gentleman with the white beard smiled at me in turn, and helps me to climb on the podium, me for one of his white gloves.


I sit down on his knees, takes a picture, and then it goes to things serious. He asked me if I was wise this year and what I would like to receive for Christmas. I find it hard to make me hear, with the music that plays at the top of your lungs in the mall, then I approach her ear, a hockey game ” top corner “, the cassette of the film, Buzz Lightyear and a soccer ball.


He nods to show me he understood and he helps me down from the chair. I run to join my parents, more feverish than ever.


I open my eyes and I see mom approaching my bed. She woke me very gently to me whispering to the ear : “It is past ! “I go down the staircase, me holding on to the railing, dazzled by the lights of the christmas tree shining in the living room.


I inspected the plate of biscuits to see if I was telling the truth and when I see that there are only crumbs, I understand that I was not lied to. At the foot of the tree, gifts of all sizes and all shapes are packaged in red paper, green and gold.


Mom will look for an herbal tea, Dad picks a last time in the box of chocolates with the cherries and the fun begins. I’m going to look for a first packet, the biggest of them all. I tear frantically wrapping paper until I noticed the image on the top of the box. Ice skating rink plastic with figurines red and blue, exactly what I wanted.


This year again, father Christmas hasn’t forgotten anything. In the small box of gold, I discovered my favorite movie, and the large wrapped gift as a candy, this is indeed a soccer ball.


I’m going to get myself a glass of milk, and, when I return to the living room, I notice a ball that sparkles more than the others in the fir. A beautiful white ball that I hadn’t noticed before today.


When I asked my parents why the ball is different from the other, their gaze darkens. They tell me that it is for Rosalie. So you don’t forget.


Me, I don’t like it much, Rosalie. When my parents told me that it was coming, they were always smiling. They have painted the walls of the small room at the top for it, they bought him a bed identical to mine when I was a baby, but it never came.


Mom told me that if I am patient, I will have finally someone to play with, but I’m starting to find the time long.


The next day, before the hour of dinner, I have an idea. I put my pajamas in red and, after having put the hand on the white sweater who was in the bottom of the closet in my room, I run to the bathroom.


I put the hand on the bag of wadding that my mother keeps in the pharmacy, I tie a white towel around my head and voila : my beard is luxuriant. In the wardrobe of the entrance, I found my rain boots and the hat of the leprechaun I had set for the Christmas show last year.


No more than the letter. In digging through the workbook of dad’s, I gather a sheet of paper, an envelope and a felt-tip pen red. I climb on the chair has wheels and I started to draw, but, pissed as I am, I trace a line on the envelope without wanting to be. Not serious, it is the intention that counts.


In the kitchen, the guests are gathered around the island of the kitchen. There is Paul, my uncle, who has a funny nose, and Chantal, my aunt who always wears high heels.


Everyone burst out laughing seeing me getting in my dress, but I managed to keep my seriousness. I approach mom and I hand him the envelope. She unfolds the sheet, and throws a glance at my drawing. There are mom and dad that keep me by the hand. And in front of us, there’s a baby who plays on the ground.


“You’ve been wise this year, mom ?


— What ?


— Is this that thou hast been wise ? If yes, you can ask me what you want for Christmas. “


Mom puts the drawing on the floor, crouches down and takes me in his arms. Hot tears run down her cheeks, but she smiled. I don’t know why she’s crying. I hope that she don’t want to have taken all his cotton.


The snow has melted and I can finally try out my new soccer ball in the court. Today, my mother no longer cries. She is even happy to see that his clothes are too small for it.


She has a funny tummy, but the most striking are his eyes. Since a few months, they glow as the ball of Rosalie.