As always, they were on benches on opposite sides of the path with their masks at the ready. It might have been a gorgeous Autumn day, but that didn’t mean the Coronavirus had taken a holiday.
There was no one else around, so they sat in silence. Holly sipped her coffee, while Aaron amused himself by reading the fact printed under the cover of his Snapple.
While he could enjoy the quiet forever, she was not a fan.
“Have you watched the new episode of The Mandalorian yet?” she asked hopefully.
He was a consummate Star Wars nerd, so any mention of anything from that galaxy far, far away was destined to get him talking.
“Of course not,” he snapped as if he had turned to the Dark Side. “I’ve watched nothing but CNN and MSNBC since Tuesday.”
Holly nodded in understanding because she had experienced a very similar TV viewing pattern this week. However, she had managed to find the time to pull herself away to check in on Baby Yoda and her favorite bounty hunter.
Aaron took a long sip of his Snapple before he replied. “That’s exactly the kind of thing Trump would have wanted me to do. Had I turned my attention away for just a moment, he would have pulled some ridiculous little trick to steal away the election.”
She looked at him in confusion, unclear if he was serious or just crazy paranoid.
He finally chuckled to let her off the hook.
“I’m just messing with you,” he informed her with a sly smile. “I was too stressed, distracted, and on edge to give the show my full attention. I didn’t want to ruin it, if that makes sense.”
Holly nodded in understanding of her best friend’s logic.
“Totally,” she assured him. “They did declare Biden the winner yesterday, though. You didn’t want to watch it then?”
“And miss all the history, the wild celebrations, the chance to see Trump embarrass himself one last time with some wild rant about how the election was stolen from him?” he replied with snark as if she had asked the most insane question.
“Those celebrations were pretty awesome, weren’t they?” she beamed so brightly that he could feel the warmth all the way over on his bench.
“I loved the celebration outside the White House the most,” Aaron admitted. “You know Trump had to hear that. Unless, of course, he went to hide in his bunker.”
Holly snorted in delight.
“I thought the celebration in Washington Square Park might remind you of your college days,” she suggested with a knowing smile.
“We did raise a lot of ruckus in that park back in the day, but nothing as wild as yesterday,” he said with envy. “Back then, we were just blowing off steam between classes. Yesterday, those folks were celebrating America’s escape from an inevitable fascist future. Hell, they might have been celebrating avoiding the implementation of Purge Night and The Hunger Games in Trump’s second term!”
Holly let out a huge sigh of relief as if she hadn’t realized how close they’d come to a dystopian future. “President Biden,” she said aloud to assure herself that all was going to be okay.
“This is the way!” he assured her and smiled confidently.