He was dressed in a tuxedo and looked quite dashing, but he was more concerned with peeling the label off his beer bottle, than he was about making an impression on anyone else.
She wandered over and sat down next to him. “Do you mind if I sit here?”
He looked up from his intricate label work, flashed her a half smile, and shook his head.
“James Bond?” she asked after taking a sip of whatever kept her red Solo cup half empty or half full. She was leaning towards half empty at the moment, but the night was still young.
“Excuse me?” he asked and looked over at her again. This time, he took a longer look. She was very attractive, and he made the executive decision that she was more deserving of his time than the beer bottle.
“Your costume,” she explained her question. “Are you James Bond, or just completely overdressed for this little shindig?”
She smiled and he chuckled.
“Wow!” was all she could think to say.
“What about you?” he asked hoping to shift the focus onto her because he sensed she wasn’t impressed by his reply. “Did you forget this was a costume party?”
She feigned horror, and then stood up and did a quick spin for him. She was wearing jeans, sneakers, and a stylish shirt. She looked great, but not at all Halloweeny.
“This is my costume!” she insisted as she sat down again. “I’m a time traveler.”
He scratched his head, and quickly looked her up and down to try to find any clue that explained the costume.
“I don’t get it,” he finally confessed.
“I’m from the future,” she told him. “When I left my present day, it wasn’t Halloween. Hence my not wearing a costume. It’s a bit of a thinker…”
She smiled, pleased with her creativity.
“So does Halloween not exist in the future?” he pressed. “I mean, otherwise, wouldn’t you have been aware that October 31 of any year was Halloween?”
She raised an eyebrow like she was impressed. “You’re the first person to question that. Everyone else just nods like they get it and walk away. Gold star for you.”
“A gold star is a real treat, and not at all a trick,” he responded with another smile.
“To be honest, I’m not really a Halloween person,” she shared and took a sip of her drink. “My friends insisted on coming, and I agreed after hours of browbeating, but only if I didn’t have to wear a stupid costume.”
She quickly realized her mistake. “Oh…no. I didn’t mean you…”
“You’re right, though,” he agreed. “I came to this party in hopes of finding a potential date, but it’s hard to do that after you explain that your costume means the mere idea of marriage scares the hell out of you.”
“Then tell them you’re James Bond,” she suggested with a wink.
“I’m Sebastian,” he offered because she was the first woman all night to not run away after he discussed his costume.
“Wow!” she said again. “Did your parents want you to get bullied?”
They both had a good chuckle at that, and he took a long chug of beer.
“I’m named after my Dad, who’s named after his Dad…”
“So you’re Sebastian, III?” she quickly did the math. “How much time did you spend stuffed inside of lockers and recovering from wedgies?”
“Not as much as you’d think,” he played along. “I was remarkably fast, and once the track coach picked up on this, I became a star sprinter. And no one bullies the jocks.”
She tapped his bottle with her cup. “Cheers to your ability to outrun your name.”
“Now you’ve got to tell me yours,” he informed her. “And I have a sneaking suspicion that your concerns about name bullying mean that you have a problem with that very issue.”
She blushed slightly and tapped her nose with her index finger.
“I’m Nicki, and I was named after Santa Claus,” she admitted with a heavy sigh. “My parents were obsessed with Christmas, and wanted nothing more than a baby for the big holiday. They’ve told me, on numerous occasions, that they went at it like jackrabbits every year right after St. Patrick’s Day in hopes of knocking up Mom so she would deliver the ultimate Christmas present.”
His jaw dropped. “Please tell me you weren’t born on Christmas.”
She shook her head. “I’m a June baby. They didn’t get the timing right, and they didn’t get a boy they could name Nicholas, so I was christened Nicole, but dubbed Nicki so I could remind them of their jolly idol as much as possible.”
“At least they didn’t name you after Rudolph, or one of the other reindeer,” he tried his best to make her smile.
“I’d make a hell of a Blitzen, though!” she announced with a giggle.
“You want to get out of here?” he asked impulsively. “Neither of us seem to be a huge fan of Halloween or this party.”
She nodded and blushed. “I’d like that. For the record, I’m in no hurry to get married, either, so I think your costume is hilarious. And there’s no way I’d ever hang Sebastian, IV on a baby, so if that’s a deal breaker, I’ll just get back in my time machine…”
“I agree with you on that one,” he assured her. “And Christmas is actually my favorite holiday, so I’m taking this whole name thing as a sign from the Fates.”
“Fa la la la la la la la la…” she sang as she took his hand and they headed for the exit…