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The Christmas Party...
What do you get for Christmas for your best friend who has everything? A date with her forever-crush, right? Aaron and Patrice have been best friends since high school. This year, instead of a bottle of perfume or a new scarf, he has the supreme surprise in store for her – movie star and high school chum, Damian Wood.
Aaron’s bringing him to Patrice’s Christmas party expressly to meet her. Never mind Aaron had once crushed on her. Putting aside your own feelings to make someone else happy is a sign of true friendship, isn’t it?
Little does he know Patrice has cooked up a mighty big surprise for him, too. All is revealed at the Christmas party, where things may not be what they seem in this sweet rom-com, feel-good short story.
Here's an excerpt:
An apartment on the West Side of Manhattan
Aaron North had the best Christmas present humanly possible for his best friend, Patrice Linden. Signed and sealed—the only thing missing was a bow. He’d be bringing Damian Wood to her annual Christmas Eve party.
Damian was a star of stage, screen, and Patrice’s dreams since they were fifteen. Aaron and Damian had kept up a sort of friendship since they attended McHugh High School. The actor had been in town to audition for Broadway, and while they were at lunch together, Aaron had brought up Patrice.
“The flat-chested girl with the skinny legs?” Damian sipped his latte.
“She’s changed.” Aaron had whipped out a picture and slid it across the table. Damian choked.
“Holy shit! This is Patrice Linden?”
“Yep. She’s having a Christmas Eve party, and I want to bring you. As her date. You’re her biggest wet dream.”
Aaron nodded. “Come on. You’re not dating anyone now, are you?”
“Well. Let me check my schedule. I’ll text you tomorrow.”
Damian had agreed. Aaron couldn’t stop smiling.
Every year Patrice would rope him into helping out with planning and decorating. He’d be doing the tree with her this year. And ordering the liquor too.
His girlfriend, Crystal, had stopped over after work. They ordered a pizza and watched a movie. Now, he’d press her into service too.
“I need to order the champagne, wine, and vodka. Call these liquor stores, Crystal. Get prices and delivery schedules, okay? We need the booze there by noon on Christmas Eve.”
“Okay.” She perused the list. “This is a lot of work for one lousy party.”
“It’s going to be a great party. The most monumental party in the world.”
“Just a Christmas party.”
“Not just a Christmas party. A liberation. You’ll see.”
She sidled up to him. “Are we getting engaged at Christmas?”
Aaron avoided her question. “Go on, get started.”
“Don’t get your knickers in a twist.” She picked up her phone and plopped down in the kitchen. His phone rang. It was his father.
“Your text said you’re inviting me to a Christmas party?” he Christmas party. I want you to be a witness.”
“Witness to what?”
“Them meeting at the party. Then it’ll be over.” Aaron cradled his cell phone while he pulled a beer from the fridge.
“Over for who? Her? Or you?”
“She’ll have the man of her dreams.” He popped the top.
“Come on, Aaron. I know you’ve had the hots for this chick for like fifteen years.”
“You’re crazy. We’re just friends. She’s always wanted to be with Damian. And now she’ll get her chance. He’s finished with his last…can I say relationship? No, probably not. With his last whatever. And when I told him about Patrice and showed him her picture, he went nuts. I couldn’t believe he actually remembered her from high school.”
“So she wants to be with him, and he wants to be with her?”
“Sort of. She’ll finally get her chance.”
“For a smart man, sometimes you can be so stupid.”
“What?” Aaron reached into the cabinet and snatched a bag of potato chips.
“When are you going to make your play?”
“Never. I have Crystal.”
“I hope you’re not going to propose to her.”
“She expects it.” He grabbed a handful of chips and put them on a paper towel.
“On Christmas? Why don’t you just put coal in my stocking?”
“She’s not that bad.”
“Yes, she is, and she hates me.”
“She doesn’t hate you.” He munched on a chip.
“Are we talking about the same girl? The one with the big boobs?”
“You’re throwing away your chance for happiness.”
Aaron paused before he said, “Patrice wants Damian.”
“Did she say so?”
“She spent five years talking about Damian Wood, constantly, like he’s some kind of god. I got the message.”
“And now?” his dad asked.
“Okay, maybe not so much now.”
“At all now?”
“Well, no. But I know how she feels. She’s marking time with other guys.”
“How do you know?”
He took another sip of his beer before answering, “Said she’s waiting for the right one. She means Damian.”
“You’re an idiot. I can’t talk to you. Go ahead. Throw happiness down the toilet. But don’t come crying to me. I’ve gotta go. Neighbor lady is bringing a casserole.”
Aaron snickered. “Hot and cold running women. Mom would be ashamed.”
“Mom would be thrilled. Of course, I’d rather it was her, but she’s gone. Go ahead. Be a fool. Just don’t tell me about it.”
The phone went dead.
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