Another Fucking Christmas Party


Another Fucking Christmas Party

For years, Emma had dreaded the annual Christmas party in her office. All the bosses and their partners, all the coworkers with their significant others—all of them dressed up, acting all perfect, making her feel even more out of place. She’d go, smile and wave, and slip away as soon as possible.

This year was different, though. She was five years deep into a career here now, and had seen folks come and go. She’d made her own friends, earned her own respect, and had her own place in the office. This year, she had even decided to bring a date.

John wasn’t from the office, but he was funny, handsome and confident. Everyone would love him. Well, maybe not her bosses—he was the complete opposite of her buttoned-up coworkers. He was simply never seen in a suit. He was an artist, someone who was passionate and unpredictable, which was a perfect tonic to the stifling, corporate atmosphere.

The party started the same as usual. Every conversation was polite and shallow, everyone looking the part and trying to collect gossip about the latest project. Everyone, that is, except for John. He was different. As soon as he arrived, he seemed to take to the party as if it were a celebration, humming Christmas tunes and getting into conversations about what everyone was dreaming of for the New Year. He completely transformed the vibe of the party, and Emma found herself smiling, nodding, and—for the first time ever—enjoying the Christmas party.

The atmosphere shifted eventually, once the obligatory work talk fizzled out, and the alcohol started to flow. Emma had always been a bit of a lightweight, and found herself feeling the effects of the champagne quickly. It was time to keep a lid on it, she figured.

That’s when she spotted John heading to the bathroom. She followed, her heart pounding. This was it, she thought. She’d decided earlier in the evening that if things presented themselves, she was going to be bold, and try to kiss him tonight. She knew she wanted to.

In the bathroom, John was looking in the mirror, a smirk on his face. Emma came up behind him, and right before he noticed her, she quickly leaned in and kissed him on the cheek. His smirk widened, and he turned around to face her. She quickly locked eyes with him, as if magnetically pulled. Without saying a word, he leaned in and kissed her.

That kiss sent waves of electricity through her body. The thrill of being naughty and bold was coursing through both of them, and suddenly the bathroom seemed much warmer. Before the kiss could deepen, though, the door to the bathroom opened, and Emma quickly broke away, embarrassed.

They exited the bathroom, both of them blushing and trying not to make eye contact. As soon as they were back in the party, though, they looked at each other and started to laugh. John smiled, and simply said, “Well, that was unexpected.” It was the perfect thing to break the tension, and they both laughed again.

The evening started to wind down, and everyone said their goodbyes and made their usual promises to keep in touch. John and Emma were the last two to leave, but had no intention of saying goodbye there. In hushed tones, they agreed to meet up outside, in the park across the street, to continue the evening when the party ended.

Hand in hand, they strolled through the park, the winter air crisp and energising. There was no fireworks show, or a romantic carriage ride, but the rhythm of their breathing, the crunch of the snow beneath their boots, the twinkle of their breath in the air—it all left them feeling like they were in a dream. They stopped on a bridge, under the dimmed lamppost, and kissed again.

This time, the longing between them was palpable. The electricity that they’d felt in the bathroom had grown to a spark, and seemed momentum to grow on its own. Neither of them wanted to rush it, so they followed the moment, helped it grow, let the storm of emotions take over.

They eventually made their way to Emma’s place, and it was the same—each touch, each kiss, seemed to be amplified by the anticipation that lingered from that first kiss in the bathroom. When they finally made their way to bed, it seemed like a dream.

The next morning, Emma awoke to the sun streaming through her window and a warm body next to her own. John stirred and snuggled in closer, and it all hit her—last night wasn’t a dream. Emma resituated herself, and as if to confirm it, they kissed again.

The day was cold and grey, but they didn’t care.