Radio Wish

Posted On December 22, 2008

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Dana twisted the phone cord as she listened to her favorite radio station. She figured they played their own station so that who ever called in would turn down their radio.

“KKLZ Lazy Radio, Good Morning!”

The voice belonged to her favorite deejay, the one she woke to every morning. Her mouth opened but nothing came out.

“They tell me you have a Christmas Wish, ma’am.”

She let the breath out, “I do.”

“Give it to me. Can’t grant it if you don’t tell me.” The chipper voice came across.

“Alright.” Her courage was building. “I have a friend that is new to the area. He’s only lived here a few months and he is missing his family back home very badly.”

“Worse with the holiday’s setting in, too.” Stan insightfully added.

“As you can image, yes. My wish is that he gets to go home. He’s broke from moving with his job and I’d love to pay for it myself, if I wasn’t any worse off myself.”

“Everyone is feeling the crunch this year.” She could picture Stan leaning against the desk and shook it from her head.

“Which is why your Christmas Wish program is even more special this year than most.”

“And how do you know this friend?”

“He’s my neighbor.”

“And he’s just a friend?”

She took another deep breath, “That’s all.”

“How do you think he would spend his holidays if we can’t grant the wish?”

“Alone.” That’s how she would spend hers. That’s how she spent every holiday and she didn’t want to see a dear friend spend his that way too.

“Well, give your information to my assistant and we will see what we can do.”

“Thank you, hope you have a Merry Christmas.”

“You too, dear.”

 

Stan forwarded the call and went straight to commercial. The call sounded a little too close to home. He’d been here eight months and just couldn’t afford to make it home. Even when his father had a heart attack three months back, he couldn’t get home to spare his mother some of the grief. Dad was recovering nicely but wasn’t well enough to make the trip to him yet.

Two brothers, one sister, six nephews, and three nieces would gather at Mom and Dad’s on Christmas day. He would be the only one missing. What was he to do? When a large station called and asked you to be the morning guy, you went. No one could pass up an opportunity like that. Still, every day since he moved, he’d put in applications with stations back home, but no one was hiring.

Stan pushed the call and his family from his mind as he got the countdown from the manager that it was time, and back to the phones he went, granting everyone’s Christmas wish but his own.

 

Stan went through his show, then off to another personal appearance. Showing up for a grand opening paid well but still not enough. Then again, what else did he have to do with his time?

He pulled the mail out of his box and re-locked it. He’d thought more than once about dating. Every time he went out though, he was swamped by fans of the morning program. They thought he was insightful, friendly, and had a sexy voice.

There were women in his apartment building too. Four that kept making eyes at him, three divorcees’, and one that never looked at him twice. Of course, the last had to be the one that interested him most.

She was quiet but held her end of the conversation the few times they’d run into each other in the hall. The last time they’d talked, she had that look in her eyes. The one that said he was a sad little man.

He’d locked his keys in his apartment and borrowed her phone to call the super. She’d fixed him a drink and they kicked into the ‘casual’ conversation they had before. When they started talking about family though he couldn’t help but be sad. He missed his so very much. Not that she understood, she admitted to not having any herself. Raised by her grandfather who’d passed away a few years before.

She was a beautiful lady, kind and friendly. He’d thought she’d be perfect for him until he got that look. He knew it was never to be.

He thought of his morning caller as he unlocked the door and hoped that she would get her wish. He hoped some other poor person would be with their family this year, even if he couldn’t.

 

 

The Christmas Wish program at the station started at Thanksgiving and ran through Christmas Eve. They wanted to give every person a chance to call in and make their wish. The problem was trying to decide where the money went to and how many they could really grant. Their loyal listeners helped too whenever they could, donating time or the special item that would make someone’s year a little better.

Stan received the requests for the items the station just couldn’t handle. One had been a little girl who wanted to fix her great-grandmother’s car so she could keep driving back and forth to church. Three auto shops called in and one dealership. The lady got a new car to drive and the old one fixed and off to another charity.

Three people couldn’t find a store that carried what they were looking for that their child had begged for, calls came in abundance that morning, and everyone was helped.

Slowly he forgot about his own issues with not going home and smiled with all the good he and the station could do this year. He even donated his extra time to several of the wishes himself.

 

He stretched from the chair thankful for a day off. Christmas would be taken care of by on tech with lots of Christmas music to play. Then he’d be at work each morning while everyone else was with their families. It didn’t upset him anymore, he smiled at all the wishes.

“Stan, Mr. Gilmore wants to see you before you go home.” His manager Greg said through the mic.

He gave a thumbs up. Then pushed on the mic button back. “Have a Merry Christmas Greg.”

He walked down the hall watching everyone pack up for their time off. There was a sign on Mr. Gilmore’s secretary’s desk.

“Gone for the holiday.”

He knocked on the door.

A loud ‘come in’ came through the closed door.

“Good to see you, Stan.” The boss didn’t get up.

“Greg said you need me?”

“That I do. You have the rest if the day off right?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Good there is one more Christmas Wish that I need help with. Think the girl lives around your way was hoping you could drop it off to her.”

“Sure.” Stan answered wondering why one of the interns hadn’t done it. “Why so late with this one?”

“It’s just one of those last minute deals that we didn’t think would happen.”

“Glad someone came through then.” Stan smiled taking the package. The address wasn’t just near him, it was his building. His quiet girl across the hall that thought he was sad. Great, he thought, she’ll get another look at him, knowing he didn’t make it home for Christmas.

It was still a Christmas wish.

 

He went to his apartment, cleaned up, and put on fresh clothes. If he could avoid that sad look from her he would. With the envelope in hand he stood at her door and waited for an answer.

“Hello Stan, did you get locked out again?”

“Not today. You made a wish to my radio station and I’m delivering your wish.”

The sad look was there again with a bit of confusion.

“I made a wish yes. I didn’t expect. . . .” She ran her hand across her hair.

He handed her the package.

“Would you like to come in?” She smiled through her befuddlement.

He stepped in. The room smelt of cookies and a fresh tree.

“Would you like a drink?”

He thought about the last time. “No thank you.”

She carefully opened the package and pulled out a letter and another envelope. He waited patiently while she read the letter. When she looked back at him her eyes glimmered. Not with tears but with a certain amazement.

“I believe this is for you.” She handed him the full package.

“What do you mean, Dana?”

She smiled, with her cheeks turning red. “Merry Christmas, Stan.”

He opened the package to find a letter from Mr. Gilmore explaining that Dana was his morning caller with the neighbor that couldn’t make it home. Everyone jumped up to offer one day of their vacation so he could make it home. The airline he’d done a grand opening for in September had offered two seats.

“You called?” It was his turn to look confused.

“You looked so sad when you were talking about Christmas with your family that I had to figure out something. Even if I could come up with the money, I knew you hadn’t been there long enough to have vacation. The only hope I had was to play on the sympathies of your boss with the holidays. A few tears didn’t hurt.” She looked ashamed of herself.

He was actually speechless. He tried to put the gratitude he felt in words, he tried to simply say thank you. Nothing came out.

She closed her eyes.

“You don’t like that I interfered.” Her eyes came open but didn’t meet his. “The first stroke my grandfather had, I would have paid anything to make it to see him, but I was in about the same position you are. I took me six months to get home and I cried for the first hour when I finally saw he was doing so well. It broke my heart that you were going through that.”

“What are you doing for the next week?” He finally spit something out with his chest feeling like it was full of helium.

“I’ll be here.” She hesitated.

“The airline gave me two tickets. I want you to come with me.”

“Oh. . .No, I couldn’t.”

“You shouldn’t be alone anymore than me and they would love to have you. And I figure a few hours on a plane would give me a chance to find the right words to say thank you.”

“Not necessary.” The color was returning to her cheeks.

“I assumed you thought I was a pathetic person with the way I was going on about my family. I didn’t realize you were sad from the memories I was bringing up. I’ve been avoiding you because of it when I wanted to spend more time with you.”

He watched her take a deep breath.

“I’ll let you think on it. I don’t leave until the morning.” He realized he was gushing over her and slowly backed toward the door. “Goodnight, Dana.”

 

Stan had shocked her by inviting her to go with him. She’d had no idea what to say. Dana wiped off the counter of her kitchen tapping her foot to the Christmas jingle pouring from the radio.

The deejay piped in as the song ended. “Last call for Christmas Wishes. Seems like most people have had their wish granted already this year but I’m here for those last minute happenings. Hey Stan you there?”

“Evening Mitch.”

“For those listeners that live only at night, Stan the Man is our morning show. Did you get your Christmas package, Stan?”

“That I did.”

“Stan’s not from around here fabulous listeners. I know, such a sad thing, but his neighbor wished that he could go home for the holidays and we granted her wish.”

Dana stood before her entertainment center worried about what he might say.

“It was an easy decision for the station manager with all the time Stan put in on granting other’s wishes.”

“I’d like to grant one more this year.” Stan said. “But I have no idea what she would like and since I just made a huge fool out of myself again in her presence, I can’t ask her. I seem to do much better talking to her over the radio. I do it every morning when I speak to my listeners. I image that she is the one listening since I can hear her radio go off in the mornings when I’m not working, I know she listens to my program, too. So I’m going to make a wish this year myself. I wish that she would have a wonderful Christmas full of wonderful people like her and a personal wish to come true.”

Dana took a hard seat on the couch. A wish for herself? She didn’t need anything. Didn’t really want anything either. Did he really think of her when he was on the radio? Why hadn’t he said anything before? Probably for the same reason she didn’t. Her grandfather had been the only good relationship in her life.

That was sad, wasn’t it? She looked to the door. Didn’t mean she had to be afraid of new relationships. She’d taken the leap to get him home to his family. She could take the leap to be in his life.

 

“Merry Christmas.”

Dana reached for her alarm.

“Sounds not coming from there.”

She looked into the eyes of her favorite deejay, the sound of his nieces and nephews running down the stairs filling the room.

 

 

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