It was a cold day in Springfield, Massachusetts, early in December. Marash Boy was five years old. He was walking to the grocery store with his mother Azniv (Medz Mama, as her grandchildren know her) when, in the window of the resale shop set up next to Jimmy's grocery store, he spied a little red car with pedals, perfect for a five year old. "Look at that car!" he said to his mother. "Wouldn't it be wonderful if I could have a car like that?" His mother didn't answer him. Two weeks later, he accompanied his mother to Jimmy's, the neighborhood grocery store; he was excited to see the red car with pedals, but when they got to Jimmy's, there was nothing in the window of the resale shop next door. Swallowing his disappointment, he dutifully followed his mother into the grocery store and helped her gather the groceries they needed for that week.
Christmas Day arrived. Marash Boy came down the hall from his bedroom (he shared his bedroom with his grandmother) and into the living room, and there, in front of the Christmas Tree sat the very car he had seen in the window of the resale shop. The red car with pedals. He was joyous. He rode that little car up and down the hallway (which ran the length of the house) for two days, stopping only long enough to eat his meals.
On the third day, Marash Boy went into the living room looking for his little red pedal car. He looked everywhere in the house, on the back porch, on the front porch. The little red car was nowhere to be found.
That next week, he walked to the grocery store with his mother when, passing the window of the resale shop, he spied the little red car with pedals, perfect for a five year old.
December is the cruelest month.