The Things We Don't Do
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Let me tell you a story about a fairy. She was a tiny, but beautiful fairy, with wings dusted in gold and hair the color of the morning sun. Her name was Layla, and she lived in a small hovel, far away from any human civilization.

When she was just a young fairy, her grandmother would make her these delicious cookies. Nothing could compare to them, their taste was amazing! Layla loved to spend the day with her wise grandmother, listening to the tales she had to pass on, and munching away on her wonderful cookies. As Layla got older, and her friends grew more important to her, she wasn't able to visit her grandmother nearly as often, but the times when she was able to go, she cherished.

When Layla was only 18 years old something terrible happened, her beloved grandmother passed on leaving Layla devistated and the one thing that may have comforted her, her grandmother's cookies, were lost to her, a secret recipe never shared.

Layla wished she could find a copy of her grandmother's recipe, she felt as though baking the cookies, and carrying on her grandmother's tradition would bring her closer to her grandmother's spirit. She hoped that one day she could sit her own granddaughter on her lap, and feed her the cookies of her grandmother, while she recounted amusing stories. Unfortunately the recipe was nowhere to be found.

One day, after Layla had spent three hours cleaning out her grandmother's old attic, and searching for the recipe to no avail, she threw herself onto the grass-covered earth and began to weep. She desperately longed for this one last link with the woman whom she had grown up longing to be like.

Suddenly there was a loud rumble, and the skies grew gray, the wind began to tumble through the trees and rain spattered down. Poor Layla was blown about in the wind, she looked for shelter but could find none. A bolt of lightning shot from the sky and Layla shrieked as it burnt the ground she had only moments before been standing on. She was frightened beyond movement.

And then the clouds above Layla parted, and were rimmed with a silver lining, and the sun shone down on her, making her hair sparkle like fire. As she stared up at the phonomenom, with the storm still raging around her, she thought she saw a figure descend from the sky.

Warmth engulfed her as she stared in awe into the face of her grandmother, whose outer appearance had been taken back to her highest peak of beauty, at the age of twenty-five.

"Nana?"

Her grandmother smiled with all the beauty of the world, and Layla realized she was looking at an angel.

"Dont cry baby girl, it breaks my heart." She raised a glowing hand to softly wipe away Layla's tears.

"Nana why did you have to leave me? It isn't fair?!" Layla cried passionately.

"Nothing is fair my child, but I want to give you a present, I don't want you to hurt anymore."

"I just want to have something of yours grandmother, to take with me always and to pass on to my granddaughter someday." Layla saw her grandmother's eyes moisten.

"When you go home today, look under your pillow, I will leave something there for you." The golden form of Layla's grandmother began to fade and tears coursed down Layla's cheeks once again as she reached out to grasp thin air.

"Nana! Don't leave me!!"

As the storm closed in around her again Layla made out her grandmother's last words, "I'll always be with you."

Layla rushed home, she flew past her parents and up to her room to check under her pillow. Sure enough there was something there. Hastily she pulled out one single sheet of paper.

Nana's Double Chocolate Cookie Swirls

She clutched the paper to her and whispered, "Thank you."

A voice from somewhere began to swirl around in her head.

"I never knew.." "If I had known maybe..." "Why didn't you tell me you liked my cookies so much?" "I thought you hated them!" "You stopped coming to visit me." "You never told me you liked them." "I would have given you the recipe."

"All you had to do was tell me."

Layla broke down into tears for the last time over her grandmother's death.

When was the last time I told her I loved her?

How had I last shown her I cared?

She began to wonder if her grandmother had felt alone when she'd died. What she wouldn't give to tell her she loved her. Layla cursed herself for stopping her routine visits to her grandmother, there were so many things she'd done and said that she wished she could take back now. But then she realized, it wasn't the things she had done, but the things she hadn't done, that had caused the misunderstandings, she'd thought her grandmother knew.

She cried and cried, and let all her grief come out, and once again the voice touched her, "It doesn't matter, I love you, I'll always be with you."

"I love you!" Layla yelled, "I love you Nana.."

Her voice faded away, and took Layla's last tears with it. Layla knew that would be last time she would hear her grandmother's voice, until the fateful day when they would meet face to face again, in heaven. She felt as though her soul had been cleansed.

Within moments she was downstairs, hugging her parents and telling them how much she loved them. They never could account for the change in their daughter that day, or where she found the recipe for her grandmother's cookies, but what they did find out was the feeling of knowing someone cares about you, or appreciates your hard work and likes what you've done.

Consequently Layla's parents passed the message on to their friends, and soon everyone in their little hovel made sure to let their friends and family know how much they appreciated them, because you never know if that may be your last chance to tell them, or if your few simple words might be the ones to make someone feel good about themselves when they are in need of it most.

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