A Little New Year Surprise

By Audrey W. 



John Gage slowly made his way to the kitchen after waking up to the morning sun shining through a crack between the curtains in his bedroom window. It was New Years Day and the paramedic was still tired after a late night of celebrating with friends.


His partner Roy DeSoto had invited Johnny over to bring in the New Year with him and his wife and two children, though the youngsters didn’t make it past ten o’clock before they were asleep.


Gage smiled at the memory of the two yawning wide as the evening wore on, determined to stay awake so they could bang pots and pans together outside at midnight. But with each yawn, their eyelids grew heavier until they had to give in. Joanne carried little six-year-old Jennifer upstairs to bed while Roy helped a drowsy Christopher navigate the steps on foot.


Once the kids were in bed, the adults had enjoyed a quiet night watching the celebration in New York City’s Times Square on television, sipping on Champagne until the New Year arrived and they shared in a toast.


Coming out of his thoughts, Johnny reached for one of the coffee cups that was hanging on the cup holder tree the DeSotos had given him for Christmas. He stopped with his hand just a half inch away from it when he noticed the medium-sized plate covered with aluminum foil that Joanne sent home with him the night before.


Johnny smiled. “Oh yeah. . .”


“Don’t forget to take the cookies Jennifer made for you. She’d have a fit.”


He stopped at the front door and reached for the plate in Joanne’s hands. “I wouldn’t wanna disappoint the cook.”


“I’d probably be the one upset,” Roy commented with a grin. “She’d see ‘em still here and be wanting me to drive ‘em over to you first thing in the morning. I kind of prefer to start my New Year off at a slower pace when we’re off duty.”


Johnny nodded in understanding, a smile on his face.


“He gets his slower pace and I get a bachelor-style breakfast,” Gage said, as he got a tall glass out of the cupboard. “And nothin’ goes better with cookies than a big glass of milk.”


He poured the drink, then with it in one hand and the covered plate in the other, he made his way to the livingroom. He set the two items on the coffee table in front of the couch and walked over to the television where he turned on the Tournament of Roses Parade, which was already in progress.


Returning to the couch, Johnny sat and rubbed his hands together in anticipation; he was all set for his cookies and milk breakfast.


This can’t be any unhealthier than donuts. . .


Smiling wide, he lifted off the foil. The happy expression turned to one of puzzlement. Johnny picked up one of the cookies that was in a circle with others at the center of the plate. He turned it over as he checked out the size. It was no bigger than a quarter. All five of the cookies were about the same size, just not quite perfect circles.


“What the. . .? Man, I’m gonna be outta cookies long before I finish the milk,” he whined.  He examined the cookie again, his mind going back to Christmas Day, when Jennifer showed him her present from Santa: an Easy Bake Oven. ‘I’m gonna make you some cookies!’ she’d promised.


“Well, I guess I can’t complain. She did keep her word.” He looked at the cookie once more before opening his mouth, ready to munch it in one bite. Then another thought came to mind. With the treat still in hand, Johnny closed his mouth and brought the tiny cookie up to his teeth, just a slight gap between his uppers and lowers. He took the smallest bite he possibly could without causing it to crumble, then had a swig of milk.


By the time the first cookie was gone, he had the routine down to a science. Sitting back on the couch, he sighed in content as he watched the parade floats on TV while enjoying his tiny breakfast.


 “Guess this is what Mom meant when she said ‘you’ve got to appreciate the little things in life. You’ll find that very often they mean more than the big ones’.”


He had to agree. They sure did.



This is dedicated to Chelsea, for all the little cookies we've made together and still do on occasion. :o)



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