“Happy New Year, Austin!” The Devil said excitedly as he raised his champagne flute in a toast.
He was dressed in an impeccably tailored tuxedo, a cashmere scarf, and top hat, and looked like he had just come from a party at Gatsby’s.
“Happy New Year, Lucifer!” I replied as I raised my flute of Snapple and tapped his glass in a toast.
I shivered in my heaviest winter toga and Nite Show beanie, and looked like I had just gone through the garbage behind Gatsby’s mansion.
“I bet when you moved to Maine, you pictured sharing many a romantic New Year’s celebration with your wife,” The Prince of Darkness mused as he sipped his bubbly.
I chugged my Snapple and nodded.
“That was the plan,” I admitted. “I also imagined New Year’s Eve with the kiddos begging us to let them stay up until midnight, and our always relenting because we’d want the family to be together the second the new year began.”
Satan must have sensed the sadness in my voice because he immediately reached for the bottle of Snapple that was chilling in the cooler, and refilled my glass.
“For sure,” I sighed. “Of course, it would’ve been selfish of me to do anything but encourage her to chase her dream. But, yeah, I could’ve seen myself welcoming every new year with her at my side.”
“And this year, I know you were planning on Melissa having moved here from Ireland in time to kiss you at midnight,” The Devil offered innocently as he refilled his flute.
“You know that was the plan, but I think I’ve done a very good job of blocking that from my mind,” I snapped back at him, suddenly upset with the direction of our conversation. “What’s this all about, anyway? Are you trying to ensure my new year gets off entirely on the wrong foot by bringing up all my failed relationships?”
I shot him an icy glare, which was really stupid of me looking back at it, because it only made it that much colder out on the porch.
“I just think it’s ironic that you’ve ended up with me on New Year’s,” Lucifer replied with a hint of a Devilish grin.
“I’m not sure if ironic is the word you want to use,” I quipped. “Maybe pathetic would be the better choice.”
I down the rest of my Snapple in one gulp and reached for the bottle.
“I thought it ironic given how much you like Love Actually,” The Prince of Darkness retorted, and this time, the Devilish grin was out in full force.
“That’s one of my favorite flicks,” I said, not at all liking where this could be headed. “How do you intend to ruin that movie for me?”
“I was merely thinking that our being together on New Year’s Eve, watching the snow fall, and toasting the arrival of the new year, was like Billy Mack’s realization that his manager Joe was the love of his life all along. And that’s why he decides to spend Christmas with him, rather than at Elton John’s party.”
I shot up out of my chair with a start, as if an evening’s worth of New Year’s fireworks had just been lit under my ass.
“First of all, you will never be the love of my life,” I stated with enough conviction to make even Doubting Thomas believe it. “Secondly, we’re only together on New Year’s because it falls on a Sunday and you have somehow managed to take over my Sundays as if they were your personal visitation days.”
Satan laughed so hard that the top hat fell off his head, and he turned a shade of red much similar to the tone of his skin before he takes human form.
“The look on your face was priceless,” The Devil gasped as he fought for breath and wiped away the tears. “I knew that one would get to you, but I had no idea it would get under your skin so deeply. Have a seat and cool off a little.”
Embarrassed at my outburst, I handed Lucifer his top hat, and then sat down.
“That’s perfectly understandable,” The Prince of Darkness forgave me as he placed his top hat back on his head. “I get it.”
“Next year, for sure, I will spend New Year’s with the woman I love,” I resolved.
“I guess that means I’ll have to find a date, so I’m not a third wheel,” Satan shot back with a charming smile. “I’m sorry if I ruined Love Actually for you.”
“That’s okay,” I responded with a chuckle.
“Look at it this way,” The Devil suggested, “at least I didn’t compare us to the couple who met on the set of the porn flick…”
Happy New Year, Modern Philosophers!
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