Christmas prank at the toy fair

December began, although the exact date is blurred in time. I clearly remember the unforgettable adventure I shared with my cousin, he was 15 years old and I was barely 6.

That day, my cousin arrived at my house in Jesús María, Lima. We were alone, and from the window, he excitedly told me that the Christmas fair on Grau Avenue was already open. Instantly, I remembered the nighttime rides in my father’s car, along that avenue full of people, flashing lights, and the festive bustle of the season.

We decided to embark on an adventure and visit the Christmas fair together. However, we were facing some logistical challenges: my parents and siblings were not home, and the door was locked. The only option was to leave through the window. Somehow, I managed to get out, and thus began our journey towards Grau Avenue.

We took a bus that took us through the districts of Lima: Jesús María, Downtown Lima and La Victoria. Night fell as the bus entered the avenue, and in the distance, we began to glimpse the lights and the festive bustle.

As we got off the bus and crossed the street, we immersed ourselves in the fair. On both sides of the avenue, stalls displayed their products with bright lights and tempting offers. Among so many toys and trees, an astronaut helmet caught my attention. A salesperson was proudly showing it off to other customers, so I cleverly posed as a couple’s son being served and tried it.

With the padded white helmet and a transparent sight glass with light, I turned to my cousin asking him how I was doing. The hustle and bustle of the fair faded thanks to the helmet, and although I couldn’t hear well, the excitement was present.

We walked through the fair until we reached the San Marcos Medical School, where the lights and the crowd dwindled. It was the sign that it was time to return. We observed that, in addition to toys and trees, panettone was the star of sales; most shoppers carried one or two, some even whole boxes!

The return is blurry in my memory, but what I do remember is that no one noticed my absence, since the house was empty. Tired but full of memories, I fell into a dream where the longing for that astronaut helmet lasted.

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