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Let’s Merry Christmas
Author/Writer of Book/Novel:
Meeting a woman like CeeCee is the last thing I expect on Christmas Eve.
**Previously published in the We Wish You a Naughty Christmas anthology.
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With a peppermint mocha in one hand and a rolling carry-on suitcase in the other, I maneuver through this ridiculously crowded airport, full of irritated travelers wanting to get to their destinations before Santa arrives.
I’m just as irritated.
No one wants to hear about some bitter girl who’s all jaded — who can’t see the joy in Rudolph or Frosty. It’s just this entire month has been a cluster-fuck, and this crowded airport is the icing on my gingerbread man.
The fact that it’s December doesn’t help anything. Of course, I want to be cozy in front of a fireplace reading a new book on my Kindle–I just downloaded Mistletoe Mountain and would much rather be digging into that than fighting to get to the front of a ticket line.
I want to be drinking hot chocolate with the man of my dreams who may or may not be naked. Okay, of course, he would be naked. He would invite me to sit on his lap and I’d willingly oblige.
I am normally a very nice person.
Just not on this Christmas Eve. Right now I need to focus on getting on that plane so I can get to my dad’s house. Being there for Christmas this year is super important. My mom died a year ago, and of course, I don’t want him to be alone for his first Christmas without her.
I’m already running late. It started when my boss, who promised me a Christmas bonus, chose to give me a fruitcake instead.
Which sure made me feel like an invaluable part of the fucking team — though the main issue with the lack-of-a-bonus was that I’d planned on hitting up H&M after work to get some cute holiday clothes.
But my debit card was looking pitiful without that extra cash, so, instead I had to rush home to do laundry.
Only, my roommate managed to lock me out of the apartment when I was down in the basement getting my clean clothes. Finally packed, I realized I didn’t have time for public transit, so I had to splurge on an Uber yet somehow managed to get a driver who got us lost on the way to the airport.
Peppermint latte. Determined smile. I can do this. I can so do this.
I just need to get on the plane and put the day behind me.
Getting to the counter I see the reader board blinking.
My flight has been canceled.
Fuckity. Fuck. Fuck.
Stepping forward I look at the woman behind the counter, smiling tightly, in an effort to not completely lose my shit.
“It’s not delayed?” I ask, knowing how important this Christmas is at my dad’s house. I should have flipped my a-hole boss the middle finger and not gone to work today. I’m a receptionist at a PR company, which sucks considering I have a PR degree that is doing literally nothing for me.
Whether or not I show up for work is not life or death, especially when a promotion doesn’t exactly seem to be on my horizon.
But showing up at my dad’s tonight is really important.
“Are you sure it’s canceled-canceled?”
She smiles smugly as if she not-so-secretly thinks I’m an idiot. “The flight has been canceled. Which is why it says canceled.”
I tuck a loose strand of my brown hair behind my ears, mustering all my strength — so I don’t lose my cool with on this woman who has probably had a rougher day than I have –and ask, “Is there another flight I can take? It’s Christmas Eve. I need to get home.”
The woman’s eyes narrow. “Yes. I know it’s Christmas Eve. I know that because I am the one working right now, darling; you are not.”
I widen my eyes in surprise. “Okay,” I say, raising my hands in defeat and look her in the eye. “I get it. You’re the one working on a holiday. I’m sure you have places you want to be, too. I’m really sorry. “
The woman exhales as if no one has acknowledged her all day. She moves her fingers quickly across the keyboard and then surprises me.
“The best I can do is get you on standby for another flight leaving in thirty minutes, it has a layover, but you’ll get to Phoenix before tomorrow. After that, the next flight doesn’t leave for three hours.”
“Three hours?” I shake my head. That means I wouldn’t get to my dad’s place until late into the night. “Thank you,” I tell her, knowing I could’ve been nicer from the get-go. “And Merry Christmas.”
I toss my empty latte in the trash and resolve to be a little bit nicer during whatever is left of this holiday.
And then I run to security.
What a fucking zoo.
Standing at the gate, I run my hands over my beard, really wishing I had just told my mom that coming to her place for the holidays was too much.