Twenty minutes later Amy was staring at herself in the mirror of the ladies bathroom at work. She stayed until Sheila from customer service walked in and then Amy pretended to mess with her hair before finally walking into the party.
The room was packed and Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas” was blaring from the office speakers. Several of the people from her department had huddled near the Christmas tree and Dave was cracking jokes while the others laughed just a little too hard at them. Amy made her way across the room to where the drinks were set up and poured herself a diet coke before settling in a corner to people watch.
Liam was the center of a group near the food table being dazzling as usual. Amy sighed as she watched him throw his head back to laugh, her eyes trailed him from his golden, tousled hair to his chiseled cheekbones down to the very smart yet casual vest, tie and pants he wore. He was drinking his customary vodka and ice and every once in a while he stopped talking to take a sip, swirl the cubes in his glass and then go on with what he was saying.
“These parties are always lame don’t you think?”
The voice startled Amy and she blinked before focusing on the man before her. Slicked black hair, glasses and a suit with jacket, it was Micheal, the new guy.
“They’re not too bad, I guess. I don’t usually come to them but I didn’t have anything else to do so.”
“Well I’m glad you’re here, I didn’t know which group to try breaking into when I saw you. You don’t mind the company do you?” He got closer to her and leaned his back against the wall, sliding down a little. He took a sip of egg nog that she had been tempted by but avoided because it smelt so strongly of whiskey.
“I don’t mind but I’m not really the best conversationalist. ”
Micheal smiled and they watched the others for a minute, Amy braced herself for him to say”Well it was nice talking with you” and then walking away but it never happened.
Susan walked in to the party then, stylishly late of course, she was wearing a metallic, sequined mini dress that bounced the lights off her as she walked. Her hair was perfect, like something from a shampoo commercial and Amy smiled to see a mistletoe headband nestled there among the red waves. It didn’t surprise her to see Susan walk straight to Liam’s circle or to see someone run to fetch her a drink.
“If this was highschool, those two would so be the prom queen and king.”
Amy smiled as she kept her eyes fastened to Liam,”I know, they are slightly irritatingly perfect but at least Liam is nice, Susan not so much.”
Liam happened to look over at that moment and flashed her one of his 100 watt smiles. Amy was frozen until he looked away and flashed the same smile at Susan who had been fiddling with her drink before that. Amy felt silly and really, really hoped that she hadn’t turned red like a school girl with a crush. She took a big gulp of her soda and chewed on an ice cube.
Micheal hadn’t missed the moment. He had watched as Amy’s green eyes sparkled with Liam’s recognization of her and then saw them fade as he looked away.
“Can I get you another drink? What are you drinking anyway?”
“Thank you, If you could get me a Crown and coke, that would be really,really great of you.”
Take it either direction, but let’s have those holiday office party stories (outside the office is fine also.) There’s a certain level of cheer or disgust that comes with the conversations during these gatherings. Make us feel it.
Limit is 600 words. Link back up on Thursday.
Dam Burst – Good, bad, joyous or depressed, take us with your character to the holiday party or festival. Use as much internal or external dialogue as you can. (Fiction or non-fiction is your choice)
Wet Feet – Practice drawing your inspiration and details from personal experience, but write it in a way that does not make it you in the story. It doesn’t have to be fiction, but if this is based on you, write it from the perspective of someone else in the room. This will be a challenge for some of us, but it will be a helpful trick to use for other writing you may want to do. Try to use some dialogue in the piece.