The only two people around sat on benches on opposite sides of the path.
He sipped his Snapple, while she nursed her coffee. They stared out at the river in silence, until as if on cue, they returned their masks to the ready position and dove into a conversation to entertain the readers.
“I finally finished my Christmas decorating last night,” Holly bragged with a smile that could not be seen because of her mask. “Are you going to put up anything this year so your neighbors know your house hasn’t been abandoned?”
Aaron flipped her the bird from his bench before he replied.
“I hung my stocking the other night,” he informed her proudly. “There’s a hook on the wall next to the TV, so now when I watch a show, a little bit of Christmas creeps into my peripheral vision. If I look in any other direction, however, there is absolutely no sign of the holiday that play games with my heart and mind on an annual basis.”
“I know you resist the Christmas Spirit, but isn’t 2020 a year when you’d want to make an exception, and just give yourself over to the magic of the holiday?” she made her case with her severely stubborn best friend.
“Quite the contrary!” he countered. “Now more than ever, I want to fight off that feeling of euphoria that Christmas brings. This is no time to let down my guard. That’s how the virus gets you. You feel empowered by the Christmas Spirit, believe the stories about the Magic of Christmas, and you suddenly feel immune to everything.”
Holly hung her head. She knew she was fighting a losing battle trying to get her best friend to lighten up and allow Christmas to warm his cold and oft broken heart, but she kept trying anyway.
Maybe it had something to do with her name, but she felt so connected to the holiday that he defiantly refused to embrace.
“I’ve even bought a self testing kit to make sure I don’t get infected by the Christmas Spirit,” he explained. “I test myself everyday, and if the result ever comes up positive, I will immediately use my Do It Yourself Home Exorcism Kit to exorcise that unwanted spirit from my body.”
“You are hopeless!” she declared as she threw her hands in the air in surrender.
“All isn’t lost, though,” he assured her. “I did watch Love Actually last night. That movie always gives me hope for this time of year.”
“It also inspired me to write a song, based on the one Billy Mack sings in the flick…”
I feel it in my fingers
I feel it in my toes
Covid’s all around me
Cover your mouth and nose…
“You are ridiculous!” she roared as she tossed her empty coffee cup into the trash bin next to her bench.
But then she giggled because the song was kind of funny.
“I’m not sure if that will make it to the top of the charts,” she informed him, “but maybe Dr Fauci will like it and sing it at a press conference.”
She rolled her eyes because he was a handful, but she would never give up on him because someone had to keep an eye on him. Especially during the holidays…
Aaron and Holly wish you all a Merry Christmas. Please remember to wear a mask, practice social distancing, and fight the urge to lick those giant candy canes people put on their lawns as decorations…