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Secret Santa

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Secret Santa | story.one

He dipped his spoon into the cinnamon spice mix and gently stirred his coffee. His father used to mutter about his childish way of drinking hot beverages. According to him, coffee had to be dark and unsweetened. He shuddered and warmed his palms on the cup with the faded print of a logo from a local amusement park. Somewhere in the office a radio was playing Driving Home for Christmasfor the third time today. One of his colleagues had brought a mixtape of their favourite Christmas songs and it went on repeat. He took a sip of his holiday-style coffee – a perfect blend of bitter coffee and sweet and spicy cinnamon.

Oh, I can't wait to see those facesI'm driving home for Christmas

In fact, he wasn’t driving home for Christmas. It hadn’t been long since he moved to the big city. His father had remarried and that woman – Call me Andrea, my dear– was exhausting. Too loud and chatty while having nothing worth saying. But his father was happy and that was all that mattered in the long run. His mother was working God knows where in Africa, providing medical assistance in some rural areas. This year it would be him and his cat and a big pot of eggnog. Eggnog went well with some pizza, right? To say he was bad at cooking was an understatement. He sighed. Then he noticed a small, wrapped box next to his keyboard. He sipped his coffee, studying it thoughtfully. It was the second gift this week from his Secret Santa who had been very active thus far.

He himself was not a good Secret Santa probably because he was unlucky to have drawn that person.Michael Petersen – racist, sexist and homophobe in one lovely cocktail. So far, he had given him a card. A free postcard he had found in his mailbox handed out by some charitable organisation. Maybe he should give him some sweets. Maybe he didn’t like sweets. Who cares.He began to unwrap the gift. His long fingers were toying with the bright red ribbon. Inside the box was a lollipop, strawberry flavoured, with a neatly cut-out tag.

Do you remember,it said.

He didn’t. What was there to remember? He glanced at the desk next to his and saw a pile of colourfully wrapped caramels, on top of that pile was a little “have a nice day” – card.

Nice and not creepy.

Admirable.

© Sabrina Billing 2022-10-02

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