“Before you ask, I will not be participating in whatever ridiculous shenanigans you have planned for New Year’s Eve.”
He lowered his mask, smiled smugly, and took a sip of his Snapple.
From her bench on the other side of the path, Holly shook her head.
“You waited for me to take something to drink before you sprang that on me,” she correctly deduced. “Thinking that if I couldn’t immediately reply, that meant I had somehow forfeited my right to protest.”
“Something like that,” he replied with a wink as he returned his mask to the ready position, and placed the Snapple bottle next to him on the bench.
As usual, they were the only ones on the river path this early on Sunday morning, but they still maintained all proper social distancing protocols.
As a result, Holly was forced to scowl at her best friend from her bench on her side of the running path.
“I’m not engaging in any shenanigans this year,” she informed him. “I’m going to be responsible, listen to our Governor, and not host a large gathering. Of course, it’s not the Governor’s wrath I fear…”
“You fear my wrath!” he exclaimed excitedly. “That might be the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me, Holly.”
Holly shrugged. “I am here to help you maintain your sanity. And as paranoid as you are about the virus, you do have managed to keep me from catching it with your over the top behaviors and insistence on following such strict protocols.”
“Quite frankly, I’m stunned that the Governor hasn’t named me to the state’s Coronavirus Task Force at this point,” he quipped.
They both had a good chuckle at that, even though they both knew he was only half kidding about that statement.
“So no New Year’s Eve party this year,” she brought them back to the original topic.
“Excellent call,” he agreed. “I don’t get the big deal about New Year’s Day. Hurray! The planet completed another revolution of the sun. Big whoop. It’s not like that minor accomplishment magically clears the slate, and everything starts anew. 2021 will still inherit the worst possible preexisting condition from its predecessor.”
He took a long drink of his Snapple to wipe the taste of that thought from his mouth.
“Now that’s worthy of shenanigans. Of course, they still won’t be allowed because of the virus and all, but it’s a much bigger deal than circumnavigating the sun.”
Holly nodded her agreement. “Are you going to make any New Year’s resolutions?”
“Of course not,” he snapped before she had even finished getting out the question. “That would lend credence to the misconception that the world somehow magically restarts on January 1. It doesn’t. Life just goes on, and we inch another day closer to death. I suppose you’ll make resolutions, though.”
Holly nodded and sipped her coffee to fight off the December chill.
Holly laughed hysterically.
Aaron did not.