2. 9PM

Judith was handing out the presents, one by one. She no longer had a wine glass in hand, but now she did have a Santa hat on her head.

I wasn't even waiting for my own gift. I was just watching John unwrap his. A signed, first edition copy of his favorite book. Our favorite book. It was the first thing we'd ever spoken about. On his first day, I'd told him how I wanted a tattoo that represented the book, he'd told me how he'd always dreamt of meeting the author.

He tore open the wrapping paper (with penguins on it. His favorite), raised an eyebrow, and then scrunched his face up. I couldn't hear him from across the noisy room, but I could read his lips: "I already have this."

That wasn't the point. The point was that it was a first edition. A limited copy. A signed copy. I would've kept it if I knew he'd react that way.

Judith was standing in front of me now, holding out a small, square box that wasn't even wrapped.

"Thanks," I said, trying to ignore the urge to look back at Jonathan. Then I opened it to find a pair of green cutout mittens with an elf on them.

"I hope you like them," Judith said. "I bought the same pair for my niece."

"Oh." I faked a smile." So you got me?"

"Technically John did. But I just did his shopping for him. You know how men are."

I blinked. Then I blinked again.

"I'm sorry, are you..."

She placed a finger against her lips. "Don't want the boss to get mad at us for breaking policy."

"Oh." I felt like an idiot. "I'm happy for you two." So so stupid. "How long have you been--"

"Sorry to interrupt," Steven said, cutting me off by handing me a small, flat gift.

"It's no problem," Judith said, looking between us and giving me a wink.

Once she had walked away, I looked down at the gift and asked, "What's this?"

"I wanted to be your Secret Santa, but I wasn't. But I'm a rebel, so I got it anyway. Well, made it, technically."

He was waiting for me to open it, so I did as expected. When I lifted the lid, I saw a beautiful sketch of a stack of books wrapped with an olive leaf.

"You always talk about wanting a tattoo of that book series you like," he said. "So I read them to see what they were all about. And this is what I came up with. It needs some work, but--"

"It's incredible," I said. And just like that, as soon as I looked up at him, I realized I was looking at him like I used to look at John. "Thank you. Really. Thank you."

And I thanked him once more on our way out, when I made sure to stop him under the mistletoe.

Sometimes you're so obsessed with one guy that you don't see how wonderful other men are! That's the end! I hope you enjoyed the story! Happy holidays, everyone!

Comments:

SofiaWasHere
This was something I bet every girl needed to read at some point in her life
notshell
Yesterday i read it but the '8pm-part' wasnt there so i didnt really understand why everyone liked it that muchπŸ˜… now i do, since the story is complete, love all of your sotries!:) xx
Shannon Bauer
I what that
Shannon Bauer
I what that me and jimmy kiss
Jidakhani
love your stories holly! they bring me so much joy :D
iamn06
Very well writtenπŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌβ€οΈ
Erin
This was precious
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