Holly sipped her coffee in silence as she stared across the path at her best friend.
They had eaten so many Thanksgiving leftovers that it had left them both groggy and quiet. He was fine with the silence, but she found it absolutely maddening.
“How’s the writing going?” she asked. “You haven’t given me any new pages of your novel to read lately.”
Aaron sighed, returned his mask to the ready position, and turned his attention from the water to his beautiful friend.
“I haven’t been working on it,” he admitted glumly.
Holly raised an eyebrow in concern. “Why’s that? You were really on a roll. It seemed like you were giving me a new chapter to read every few days.”
Aaron shrugged. Holly was allowed to ask him anything, but he hated when she called him out for not writing. It wasn’t because he was mad at her, but because he was upset at himself for slacking off and disappointing his biggest fan.
“What do you mean?” she pushed because that was what best friends did. “Your story is about a couple that meets during the holidays and falls in love. Inspiration should abound.”
She hadn’t meant anything bad by the comment, but it had obviously hit a nerve.
He reacted by sitting in silence for the longest time before replying.
“It’s pretty difficult to write about falling in love when I have absolutely no prospect of a relationship in my own life,” he revealed with a little attitude in his voice. “Can’t exactly write what I know, can I?”
Love, dating, and relationships: the Holy Trinity of conversation topics that could get Aaron to retreat into his shell and remain silent for days.
“Well, you are a fiction writer,” Holly quipped.
Humor was often the way to go to snap Aaron out of a funk. Sometimes, she made him laugh, and other times she annoyed him with a bad joke, which launched him into a tirade that broke the silence.
Holly pulled down her mask so that he could see she was sticking out her tongue.
“Maybe you should write a letter to Santa Claus and ask him to bring you a little inspiration for Christmas,” she countered before replacing her mask.
“Why stop there?” Aaron questioned. “Why don’t I just ask Santa for a girlfriend?”
“You can’t ask Santa Claus for that,” she admonished him. “He can only bring you things made by his Elves at the North Pole, so unless you want a blow up sex doll under the tree, you’d better make another request.”
He couldn’t argue with that logic, so he went back to staring at the river…