At 42, Raena Meinhardt has lost everything. Only two years ago, she’d been a senior partner at Crast and Moore, a New York wealth management firm, and had taken a sleek town car to work every morning, reading the Wall Street Journal over a customized coffee, headset permanently clipped to her ear, manicured nails tapping impatiently on the leather interior. But a series of late-term miscarriages, expensive IVF treatments and a botched Somali adoption derailed her career and ruined her second marriage. When Conner finally moves out on Christmas Eve, taking most of the furniture with him, Raena pickes up a bottle of vanilla vodka and a chocolate cake, sits in front of her still undecorated faux tree and begins to drink herself to death. She doesn’t hear the first ring of the doorbell, but the second pulls her up from her stupor. Stumbling, bleary-eyed onto the front porch, she finds a sleeping baby, bundled tight against the wind. And a note pinned to the carrier which reads:
My Dear Raena,
Meet Farah. She will be yours for the next 365 days. When I return next Christmas Eve, she will disappear and you will once again be a childless suicidal alcoholic! Or…behind door number two…you can be that good little mommy you always wanted to be and run, run, run!
Oh, you better watch out
(Because I’m watching you!)
You better not hide
(Oh, please do Raena! I love a good game!)
You better not shout
(Don’t you dare tell the cops. I will kill you BOTH.)
I’m telling you why
(Raena, are you listening?)
Santa Claus is coming to town
(You have a year to plan your escape! Think of all the options!)
He sees you when you’re sleeping
(You moan in your sleep Raena. Did you know?)
He knows when you’re awake
(Your robe is open Raena. Cover up, you whore!)
He knows when you’ve been bad or good, so….WATCH OUT RAENA!!! I’M COMING FOR YOU!!!
Your Secret Santa
There's nothing to decide. Raena sweeps her eyes over the circular drive, then tucks Farah inside her robe, nuzzling her soft cheek and backs into the house. She doesn't have a lot of time. She needs help and there's only one person who might be able to save her and Farah. She picks up the phone, dreading the call, and starts dialing.