ANOTHER YEAR LATER
“So you never actually told me if you’ve officially replaced Nick or not.”
Jonathan looks up from his books. They're both back at his college this year; it's his last before he goes to med school, and he wants to make it count. Anna's been watching him study for the past half an hour and hasn't said a word - which she's actually quite proud of, although if she voiced these thoughts to Jonathan, he'd probably point out that the plate of cookies in front of her (which are chocolate chip this time!) were probably helping out.
“You never told me,” Jonathan repeats, closing the textbook he's making notes from. “Have you just taken the job off Nick, or...?”
“Ah, yeah, about that...” Anna shifts uncomfortably in her seat opposite him, unwilling to look him in the eye.
“Is there something you aren't telling me?” Jonathan's eyes narrow.
“Well...” she trails off, then sighs. “Nick may have actually got up to do the job tonight. And he may have actually gone to do it. And I may have remembered that we have a spare sleigh. And I may have decided to take the spare sleigh. And I may have driven that spare sleigh here,” she looks up at him for the first time during her word-vomit. “Maybe. It's possible.”
“That's a lot of may haves,” Jonathan says, eyes twinkling. “You got any actual definition in that explanation?”
Anna blushes. “I just...really wanted to see you.”
“And now you can stay the whole night,” he grins. “Sure you don't have any ulterior motives?”
She didn't think it was possible to blush any more than she is already, but her theory is quickly disproven. “W-what?” she says quickly. “No!”
“It's okay if you do,” Jonathan responds lightly, returning to his notes with a knowing smile on his face.
“That's my name, don't wear it out.”
“How dare - wait, what?”
“Wear it out?” Anna frowns confusedly. “How can you...”
“As in, don't use it too many times,” he looks back up from his work to explain. “It's just a weird phrase we have.”
“You have lots of weird phrases,” she murmurs into the cookie she picked up while Jonathan was talking, taking a bite.
“We do,” he agrees with a chuckle. “But back to what we were originally saying...”
“Which was completely wrong,” she cuts him off with a warning in her voice.
“Was it, though?” Jonathan smirks.
“I - yes!” Anna cries, but when Jonathan's smug smile doesn't detach itself from his lips, she huffs and rolls her eyes. “You are incorrigible.”
They lapse back into silence, Anna watching him as he continued to make notes. “You have nice handwriting,” she comments after a while, eyes roving over the thin delicate characters as he scribbles them onto the page.
YOU ARE READING
Twelve Ways To Spend One's Christmas EveShort Story
"Anna dislikes being stuck three-quarters of the way down a chimney. She really does. Not to mention, she's still going round North America, and there's, like, three continents still to get through in about as many hours."