Mr and Mrs(34)

By: Alexa Riley


“Okay. I’ll send the file right over.” I try to keep my tone just as causal as his, but I’m still chewing on the fact that he has a lot going on tomorrow. It’s Christmas, so I should expect him to be busy. All I have planned is a TV dinner and Netflix.

“Have a merry Christmas, Noelle.”

“You too, Alex.” I hit End on the call, promptly wanting to disconnect from him. I drop the phone onto my desk and bring up my emails. I want to go ahead and send the file, but my internet won’t connect. After restarting the modem and my laptop, I make my way over to the window while everything reboots.

It really is a perfect Christmas Eve. Snow has already begun to fall, and the Christmas lights on my tree behind me reflect in the window. It’s as if they’re mocking me. My house is decorated like I’m hosting a Christmas party tomorrow. There isn’t a spot that isn’t covered in some kind of Christmas decoration. Why I do this to myself, I have no idea.

I’m an introvert and always have been. I made a couple of friends in college, always preferring to have my nose deep in a book. But since then they’ve dropped off one by one, slowly losing contact over time. No one wants to be friends with the girl who rarely leaves the house.

Who knows where my parents are this time of year. No one likes to travel more than they do. I still have no idea how I came from such social butterflies. I like things small and intimate, and I always wanted to spend a Christmas like that with my parents. When I was a kid, my mom would go all out, kind of like I did in my own home, but she always filled the day with people I hardly knew.

It’s almost laughable now. I hate how she’d do that, but now here I am in a house all made up for Christmas and not one soul to spend it with. I’m not sure which is worse.

My mind wanders back to Alex, wondering what his plans might be. Would he have a special person to spend his Christmas with? The thought sends an irrational surge of jealously through me.

Maybe I can come up with a reason to get in touch with him, or just call to wish him a merry Christmas. I chastise myself for the silly idea. Considering how fast he got off the phone moments ago, he probably has plans tonight.

Growling at myself, I pull my hair from my ponytail to relieve some of the tension I’m feeling.

Pull it together, I tell myself. I’ll finish this project for Alex, get into my Christmas pajamas, eat those cookies I spent all day baking and decorating, and watch my favorite holiday movies. I will not let myself have a pity party.

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