December 30, 2012
We walked to the store and bought two: one for me and one for her. She knew the guy working and he gave us a lighter and wished us luck. We left the store, walked over to the grassy field and carefully unwrapped the first one. It was yellow and the paper was thin and when we unfolded it, we noticed it had a small hole. We lit the candle anyway, careful not to burn the paper, and waited. But it wouldn’t fill, and we decided to try the other one, the red one, and I stepped on the candle and smothered the flame. We unfolded it, checked for holes (no holes) and carefully lit another candle. The flame flickered and grew in the wind, warm air filling the lantern’s paper chamber. It got big and round and once it started to float, we let it go, slowly rising and bobbing in the wind. We stood there in the dark and made wishes—Christmas Eve—watching our bright red lantern float away with the other lanterns drifing in the hazy-night sky.