Clearly Magda has no idea about the Christmas party. Thank God for small favours. That embarrassment would be too much to live down.
Nick, with his inside joke that has my boss in stitches, is referring to the man behind the origin of Santa Claus – St Nicholas. A man sainted for his generous spirit.
This particular Nick fulfilled my fantasy last December to have a tryst with Santa and showed up at the office Christmas party in full regalia. I didn’t know it at the time, but my boss had arranged for the whole thing after a letter I wrote to the real Santa made its way back to our office and he opened it and read it.
I still haven’t forgiven him for the invasion of my privacy. He actually had me believing that Santa WAS real.
Someone grabs Magda’s attention and she leaves the three of us together, my boss still giggling and Nick looking clearly amused. I stand there frozen, not sure what to do with myself.
“I think I better join Magda and leave you two to get reacquainted,” my boss says sheepishly and walks off.
“Soooo…” Nick says. “How have you been?”
I take a sip of my drink.
“I’m fine,” I respond. This is awkward. I really need to move away from this situation. How do you make small talk with a stranger you had a one-night stand with?
“What’s with the outfit?” he asks, flicking his finger on my collar. “I know you’re into role playing.”
Low blow. Whoa. That’s probably the only thing he knows about me, and he’s wondering why I’m not dressed in something skimpy like every other girl in this costume party.
“It’s a rather hilarious story,” I say. “I thought my boss wanted me here for a different purpose.”
I’m not sure why, probably the awkwardness of the situation, but I proceed to tell him the whole story. Telling it out loud makes me feel better. How silly I was, thinking my boss was summoning me here for some hanky panky. Nick finds the whole thing quite funny and let’s out a loud and boisterous laugh.
“My friend is many things but he never cheats on his wife. Look at them…” he says, waving his glass in their direction.
Magda and my boss are a striking couple, and they always lean in towards each other, even when others are speaking. Their body language shows they can tune out an entire room and show interest in each other, subtly, without being rude. I’ve never really noticed that before, but he’s right. That’s not a man likely to stray.
“Please don’t tell him.” I plead.
“Your secret is safe with me,” he responds. “Besides, any man would be crazy not to want to sleep you, this outfit notwithstanding.”
“Flattery will get you everywhere with me,” I say, appreciating his effort to re-build my ego.
I think back to the Christmas staff party and what I was wearing when he took me to my office and did all manner of crazy things to my body.
“What do you do when you’re not fulfilling strange Santa requests?” I ask him.
“I’m a developer,” he responds.
The life of a developer is about as interesting as what I’m wearing, but I let him talk about his business. It gives me time to collect my thoughts. It looks like he’s a friend of the family. Perhaps he’s also a partner of sorts with my boss, who is known to dabble with real estate. Either way, it seems to be his passion, and I pretend to be interested as he drones on.