Well, first task is to actually find the staff room, Anna thinks ruefully to herself, glancing around the darkened hallway to glean some insight as to how to do so.
A clue comes in the form of two hospital staff walking in the same direction, talking in tired voices about a coffee break. She follows them quietly, being sure to stick close to the walls, until they come to a door marked with the words "staff only" so boldly that Anna feels stupid for missing them.
She watches the two nurses stop to converse briefly at the door, and it doesn't go past her, the way one looks at the other. Anna feels her eyebrows raise slightly. Romance in the hospital, she thinks to herself, wry. She glances down briefly at the list in her hand and wonders which names match up with the two. Hm...he looks like a Rory, she thinks as she eyes one of them, eyes flitting back to the list briefly. Definitely a Rory.
Rory (oh come on, he is totally a Rory), it seems, has been the object of his colleague's affections for a long time, because she appears very content to let him blush and stutter his way through most of his words. Curious, Anna tunes into the conversation, still hugging the wall at the end of the hallway.
"I mean, not that - you don't have to, I just, uh, thought it might be a nice idea, I mean - only if you want to! You don't have to, obviously, you probably have way better things you could be doing, like, I just, thought, maybe - "
"Rory," the woman says softly. I knew it, Anna thinks to herself triumphantly. "I...think I'd really like that."
Like what? "Really?" Rory looks like he might just float off the ground.
"Really," Rory's now-officially-date laughs quietly, tugging at a lock of her deep red hair. Oh my God, redhead sisters, Anna thinks to herself, mirroring the gesture in the darkness.
"You really would?" Rory clearly cannot believe his luck. She isn't sure why. He seems very endearing. Redhead sister goes up onto her tiptoes to press a kiss to Rory's cheek, and Anna resists the urge to squeal to herself (one that she hasn't felt in a very long time).
Cuteness overload. I did not sign up for this.
Anna stops listening before the two of them can do something else ridiculously cute like declare their undying love for each other, trying desperately to ignore the throbbing pain that makes itself known at the sight of the two of them smiling happily each other, hands intertwined as they stand in the doorway of the staffroom. She hasn't seen humans in an entire year. Just her luck that the first actually awake ones she runs into are two of the cutest, most adorable things she's laid eyes on possibly in forever.
Anna glances back down at the list again. Rory Fisher, it reads. She lets her eyes skim over to the Christmas wish column, and feels her heart almost melt then and there at the typed letters.
A yes from Jessica Clarence.
"This is too much," she groans under her breath, letting her head fall back against the wall with a gentle thud. By this time, Rory and Jessica have gone inside and come back out again, both bearing steaming polystyrene cups and atrociously wide grins. At least someone is happy on Christmas Eve, she thinks wistfully as she watches them make their way down the hallway and disappear round a corner.
The staff room door has been left slightly ajar, and after a furtive glance around the now empty hallway, she moves closer. Anna peers hesitantly through the crack, and, upon observing what seems to be an empty staff room, pushes the door wider, wincing slightly at the creak it emanates when she does so, and slips inside.
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."