It was my friend, Denise Dufour who told me that there was no Santa. It was Christmas day and we were in front of my house building a snow fort when she said, “Did you notice that Santa was Mr. Simoneau. I knew it was him,” she said, “because of his crossed eyes.”
Mr. Simoneau worked for my father at his restaurant and he had hired him to play Santa at my house and also at Denise’s house. Denise’s father was Roger, my father’s best friend.
I had been more excited about the miracle of Santa appearing at my house and the presents he brought than to notice his crossed eyes. And even if I had, I don’t think I would have made the connection. I was much too enchanted by the fantasy to notice that behind the Santa beard and the Santa suit there was a real man. A Mr. Simoneau. And so when Denise reveled to me this truth I was crushed and I at once lost all interest in fort building or being with Denise. In my child like mind I wondered if I could still be her friend.
I stomped home and flung my red rubber boots unto the kitchen floor not caring if I dirtied it. My father was sitting having a cup of coffee. It was rare that I saw him at home, especially in the middle of the afternoon. But this was Christmas day and his restaurant was closed.
“You lied to me,” I shouted. “There’s no Santa.” I told him about Mr. Simoneau’a eyes and began to cry. Continue reading