David rolled out of his chair, stretched his 6 foot self as he stole a glance at his watch 5:55 PM above his head.
He hurriedly switched off his computer, gathered his paperwork into a neat pile, locked them in the drawer, grabbed his jacket, briefcase and made for Victoria’s desk. Wearing a professional demeanor, Victoria stood up ready to serve him.
“Hello David, how may I help you?” She asked with a pleasant smile.
David always approved of how professional Victoria was. As the Relations Officer, her interpersonal skills were astounding. It was puzzling how socially awkward she could be off the clock.
“I sure hope you can… Is the drinks offer still on the table?” he asked.
“S-sorry?” She stuttered as a fine line of sweat broke out above her shapely brows.
David noticed and mentally kicked his butt for ambushing and putting her on the spot.
“I’m sorry Victoria, but you stuck a note on my computer asking me out…”
“Yes, sure. Where would you like to go?” She pulled herself together, cleared her desk, grabbed jacket and purse ready to go.
“We wouldn’t want to be caught in this traffic. Let’s just stroll down to Boulevard, we’ll come back for our cars later,” he suggested.
Cleopatra winked at Victoria as they walked by her desk.
Victoria couldn’t believe that this was happening. She was walking side by side with David. Her David.
She thanked her practicalness for choosing shoes that could handle a walk. Many girls tend to walk these streets as wobbly as newborn calves. It would be so embarrassing if she had to walk like that next to David…
Victoria nearly jumped out of her skin when David lightly touched her small back as they arrived at the Zebra Crossing ready to lead the way. She had been so lost in thought, she didn’t realize how far they had gone. Victoria hoped she didn’t come off a weirdo walking in total silence. She smiled her thanks when they reached the entrance of the restaurant.
One efficient waitress opened the door, smiling in greeting while the other led them to the far end of the restaurant to the olive green cushioned seats. Victoria especially loved these seats for the bit of privacy and great lighting they offered. A woman deserves to be seen and admired under great lighting, she mused.
“What’s the joke?” David asked as he set himself comfortably.
“I beg your pardon?” Victoria hoped she didn’t look as flustered as she felt.
“You were smiling to yourself, I don’t want to be left out. Spill.”
Victoria laughed, “I was just thinking what a great day it’s been.”
David chuckled, relieved and crossed his fingers that she remained comfortable with him the rest of the evening.
“I would like to thank Secret Santa for bringing us together,” he joked.
Victoria easily caught on, “And here I thought it was because I asked you out.”
“Speaking of which, I really thought you tossed off that note without reading it…” Victoria probed.
“Nah. I read it, very quickly. I knew you were watching me, I didn’t want to embarrass you by framing and displaying it as sundry.”
“How very considerate of you.”
“I aim to please. What are you in the mood for?” David asked as a waiter appeared to take their order.
“I’ll have a half turkey sandwich on a brown baguette, cream of tomato soup and a pot of spiced black tea.”
“Great choice,” said David approvingly, “Make that two please,” he ordered.
“So Vic. Can I call you Vic?”
“OK. Vic, whose Secret Santa are you?” he asked, leaning in attentively, chin in palm.
Victoria laughed so heartily it was music to David’s ears. He took time to appreciate the sound, her elegant neck and how her eyes lit up. Has she always been this beautiful? He wondered.
Victoria got conscious and covered her mouth to stop the laughter, her eyes were filled with mirth.
“I’m sorry for laughing so carelessly but I simply remembered someone who told me it was Secret Santa for a reason.”
“I don’t understand the secrecy. I would prefer someone to tell me they chose me and ask me what I would want for Christmas. That way, they don’t waste their time and money buying me something I would have difficulty keeping.”
“Oh wow! So, whose name did you draw?” Victoria asked.
“That was fast. Thank you.” David thanked the waiter as he placed their food on the table. David tasted a spoonful of his soup and made approving sounds.
“This was a great choice Vic. What made you order it?” he asked.
“I see you totally ignored my question…” She observed with a smile.
“I’m curious, I would never have made such a choice,” he continued.
“OK. If you really must know, I like that it gives me the best of 3 worlds – the sandwich, salad and soup. It’s light, yet filling meal for dinner. As for the tea, well, it’s a little late for coffee but any time is tea time!”
“Ah. I see. I’m Cleopatra’s Secret Santa.” David announced.
“Oh?” Victoria could feel her heart dropping to her feet.
“What would you like for Christmas?” Victoria asked sullenly.
David swallowed, placed his cutlery down and looked at Victoria matter-of-factly, “Honestly?”
“By all means,” she said.
“Victoria, I would like to do this more often with you.”