Alone For Christmas

By: Ashley John

Noah scratched at the tight reindeer ears in his ginger hair as he cast an eye over to his boss’s office. It had been twenty minutes since Chip Harington’s soon to be ex-wife had stormed into the office demanding to see her husband, and things were suspiciously quiet.

“I wonder if she’s killed him,” whispered Amy in the next cubicle. “They’re usually arguing by now.”

“Don’t say that,” said Noah. “I wouldn’t put it past her.”

“I was joking.”

“I wasn’t.” Noah pursed his lips and arched a brow down at Amy, his best friend and only fellow redhead in the entire office. “She’s probably holding him upside down and shaking every last coin out of him.”

“Like the second wife, you mean?” said Amy with a smirk as she resumed typing her email. “Don’t worry. I think your lover boy will live to see another day.”

“He’s not my lover boy,” said Noah, the blood rushing to his pale cheeks.

“But you wish he was.”

Noah regretted ever telling Amy about the crush he had on their boss. She brought it up every chance she got, making him realise how stupid he was for spending most nights imagining them in bed together. With a boss as attractive as Chip Harington, it was impossible to imagine anything else.

The door to Chip’s office suddenly opened and Noah swiftly sat down and started typing. Sasha Harington reappeared with black mascara streaks running down her rouged cheeks. Noah had never liked her, but even he didn’t like the thought of somebody being that upset two days before Christmas. With her long blonde hair cascading down her face, she headed straight for the door.

Noah looked down at the gibberish he had been typing before looking up again, just in time to catch Chip’s hazel eyes, before he slammed his office door and closed the blinds.

The sound of heavy typing suddenly stopped in the office and it was replaced by hushed whispering. Amy popped up over the wall of his cubicle, her red hair draping over the pictures of the two of them on various nights out in London.

“Tonight’s Christmas party is going to be interesting,” she whispered with a devilish grin. “That’s if he even shows up.”

Noah grumbled his agreement in his throat as he deleted the nonsense typing one letter at a time. He glanced over to Chip’s office again, wondering how somebody so handsome could be divorcing for a third time before the age of forty.



By the time the clock struck five, the office was almost emptied. Amy stood up and stretched out before wrapping a thick, yellow scarf around her neck and pulling on her trench coat.

“Fancy a quick drink at the pub?” she asked as she pulled her reindeer ears out of her red curls. “I can probably spare half an hour before I need to start getting ready.”

“I’m going to finish up some things here first,” he said without looking away from the screen as he continued to type. “I’ve got to finalise Johnny Wood’s contract before the new year and I’d rather finish it before Christmas.”

“Your funeral,” she sighed as she pulled her cigarettes from her handbag. “I’ll see you tonight.”

“Yeah,” he mumbled. “See you later.”

Amy flicked off her cubicle light, placed a cigarette between her lips and headed for the door. When it closed, Noah stopped typing and looked around the office. The only light was coming from his cubicle and Chip’s office.

He looked back at the publishing contract. The words blurred together as he let out a long yawn. The thought of having to spend the night drinking with his co-workers in a bar didn’t interest him tonight, but he knew he couldn’t miss it.

Half an hour later, he finished proofreading the contract for the third time, and when he was satisfied, he sent it to the printer. Standing up, he stretched out and yawned again as he looked at Chip’s closed office blinds. He hadn’t resurfaced since Sasha had run out of his office crying and Noah hadn’t been able to think of much else all day.

When the printer spat out its final piece of paper, Noah gathered the contract and enclosed it neatly in a cardboard sleeve. He quickly scribbled ‘Johnny Wood’s Revised Publishing Contract’ on the front and turned off his computer.

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