When Cordi booted up her laptop to work from home the following morning, having been snowed in from the overnight snow storm, her thoughts kept wandering to the night before, to Russ and his infectious smile. It put her in a good mood, and she hummed along with Christina Aguilera crooning on her living room Bluetooth speakers, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, as she logged into her company’s network.
It wasn’t long before a notification popped up at the bottom of her screen, a video chat request from Marta. She clicked Accept, and her friend’s expectant expression immediately appeared.
“Well? How did it go last night?” Marta asked.
“It went fairly well, considering your guy never showed up,” Cordi answered, crinkling the skin between her eyebrows.
“What? That’s not right. Jake talked to Graham last night and he said he had just gotten home from his date. He said he really hit it off,” Marta explained in a defensive tone, shaking her head.
“I don’t know who he hit it off with, but it wasn’t me. Graham never showed up to the diner last night. I sat there alone for a while, and ended up chatting with another guy who came in by himself to eat some pie. He still wasn’t there when I left around nine-thirty.” Cordi shrugged, matter-of-factly.
“That’s crazy. I just can’t believe Graham would stand you up. He always seemed like a pretty nice guy from all the times he’s hung around Jake and me. I wonder if he just lied about it, or if he went out with someone else.” Marta was looking down and away from the computer screen, and it seemed like she was talking more to herself than to Cordi at that point.
“Hey, Marta, it’s really not a big deal. Besides, the guy with the pie was great company,” she admitted, not realizing she was smiling at the memory of Russ and their playful banter.
“I know that smile! Tell me more about this pie guy,” Marta urged, eager to get the scoop.
“There’s nothing to tell, really. He came in, sat at a table next to mine, ordered pie, and offered for me to join him while I waited on my blind date to show up. We just kind of talked and laughed until it got late and the snow storm started moving in. Then he offered to drive me home so I wouldn’t have to walk in the cold,” Cordi recounted with nonchalance.
“He drove you home?” Marta asked, digging for more details.
“Hey, I wasn’t going to turn down a warm ride! It was snowing already, and the wind was freezing,” Cordi said.
“So, then what? Did you invite him up?”
Cordi laughed at her nosey friend. “Uh, no! I just met the guy. Anyway, I’ll probably never even see him again. He was just a nice stranger who kept me company while I was being stood up by your so-called nice-guy friend,” she said in an accusatory tone.
Marta’s face contorted in a cringe. “You didn’t even get his number? Seriously, nothing?”
Cordi shook her head no. “Marta, how could I ask for his number when he knew I was waiting on a date when we met? I mean, what would that have looked like? I wanted to. Don’t get me wrong. I just… it wouldn’t have been right.”
Marta wasn’t sure who, between the two of them, Cordi was trying to convince.
“I guess,” was Marta’s response, though it was clear that she didn’t agree.
“I’ve got to get to work. Call me later,” Cordi said as she reached her hand toward the mousepad, ready to end the video chat, but waiting for Marta’s goodbye before she hit End and got back to work.
When she came to a lull in her duties after a couple of hours, she decided to get up and grab a snack from the kitchen. Again, her thoughts went to Russ and the previous night.
Why hadn’t she asked for his number? She would like to see him again, but it wasn’t like he had asked her for her number, either. He was probably just a nice guy, and she would’ve looked like a desperate clinger if she had assumed his friendliness was anything more than that.
But would it have been so wrong to ask?
No, she did the right thing, she thought. She didn’t want to look desperate. At least, not any more than she must have already, considering she was sitting there all alone, waiting on a date who never bothered to show up, when they had met.
When Last Christmas by Wham! came on over the Bluetooth speakers, she couldn’t help a slow nod of her head, relating to the message of the song. She sang along, coming to terms with her utterly-single status, and vowing that the next guy she decided to give her heart to would, undoubtedly, have to be someone special.
As she sat back down to her laptop to get back to work, she felt hopeful. After all, she thought, it was the season for miracles. She was completely clueless to the fact that her luck was about to change.