Claire’s office was nice and warm, betraying the weather that raged outside its walls. She had cranked the heat up, brought in a couple of poinsettia plants and a cheery holiday wreath festooned the outside of her door. Bing Crosby Christmas music played softly in the background while Claire hummed along, dreadfully out of tune. Her vacation from the paper column and the fact that all of her Christmas shopping was done, wrapped, signed, sealed, and on its way to being delivered only added to her good mood. Not even Trevor would be able to bring her down from the natural high she was on. Sitting behind her desk she mused about the last couple of weeks.
Two weeks had gone by and not even a peep out of Trevor in regards to the wooden box that had been found. Claire was surprised and even a little shocked by this uncharacteristic behavior from him. In fact, whenever she had gone into Taggerty’s he was always a little subdued and definitely not quite his brassy self. If she didn’t know him better she would almost swear that he was up to something. But from all of her checking, sneaking around, and barraging Champ about his roommate’s activities could not clue her in to any scheme that he had up his sleeve. She didn’t want to take this new side of Trevor at face value, as she knew she should.
Looking at her watch, she watched the seconds tick by, waiting for Trevor to breeze through her door. As her watch hit the 2:00pm mark her door opened and there was Trevor. This was the fourth time he had shown up on time for an appointment with her and she could still not get over his punctuality.
“Hi Claire. Ready to shrink my head, peer into my soul, and tear down my delusions of god-like proportions?” he said, fully shutting the door and plopping down on the seat directly in front of her desk.
“Trevor, have you been feeling alright? This is not the Trevor that I have come to know…”
“and love…” he interjected.
“No, not love. Its just I haven’t seen you being your matchmaking self and I was wondering if something happened to sway you from that?” she said, turning her customary tape recorder on.
“No, Sparky, not at all. I am still Cupid, if that is what you are getting at. I have just changed my modus operandi a little. I am trying out a new approach.”
“What approach is that? You have never been very subtle in your dealings with people.”
“But that is just it! I was lying in bed one night and it all of a sudden hit me! People’s perception of me being Cupid was marred by today’s ideology and bad press. I just haven’t had the best public relations people out there. They all wanted to work for my mom of course. It just seems to me that if I were to tone it down a little I could get better results.”
“And have you, Trevor?” Claire asked, jotting down that the old Trevor still lurked under the surface, easy to pop back up.
“Oh, gods, totally. In the last two weeks I have matched a bakers’ dozen of couples. I have been hanging out at this computer coffee bar place and received an email from someone who had a brilliant idea. His idea was to put up mistletoe everywhere around the city. Well, I kind of forwarded it to everyone I know. I have gotten reports all the way from here to Norway. The man with that idea is going to have a place up in Olympus when I get home. That was pure genius!!!”
“And just how many people have you matched with this hair-brained scheme of yours?” Claire asked crossing her arms.
“In all total, 24 couples. Beads are flying every which way, baby!! At this rate, I should be home by New Year’s!!” Trevor said, skipping about the room and doing a merry little jig.
“Trevor, stop that.”
“Don’t like the Riverdance? Can’t handle my tush-push boogie?” Doing a pirouette then a little jump into the air, he landed on the chair opposite Clair with a big thud. Grinning impishly, he bowed his head waiting for his standing ovation from Claire.
“Nicely done, Barishnikov.” Claire said, not even looking up from her paperwork. Shaking her head, she glanced up at Trevor and stared him down. “What?”
“What what?” he responded.
Biting her lip and looking frustrated, Claire shook her head and mentally counted to 10. “Trevor, is this going to be a wasted session or are we going to talk about anything productive today?”
“Whenever we talk its always productive, Claire-bear.” Trevor said happily.
“I am not so sure.” She said, picking up her pencil and tapping it on the desk. “You haven’t asked me about the box.” She said, biting on the tip of her pencil.
“Actually, I have been meaning to bring that up with you. Can we please open the box, please.” He finished the last please on bended knee in front of her, arms outstretched, pleading.
Taking the pencil out of her mouth, she looked from Trevor to the clock on her wall and then back to Trevor. Standing up, she walked past Trevor to the coat rack. Slipping her jacket on, she turned and faced Trevor. Tapping her foot, hand on her hip she said, ”I have no plans, its two days before Christmas, Alex and I are, well, we are. And he isn’t coming here and I am not going there. Let’s open the box and see what’s inside.”
Clapping his hands and jumping up from the chair, he was instantly at Claire’s side, opening the door like a perfect gentleman. “Allow me.”
Giggling in spite of herself, she stepped through and ran smack dab into a bush. Brushing it to the side and growling, she looked at what she ran in to. “Mistletoe. I should have guessed.”
“The last time you reminded me you were a couple’s councilor. I just wanted to help you out a bit. But since you are standing there and ‘tis the season and all…” he said, puckering up and leaning closer to her.
She smacked his lips with the mistletoe and started walking down the hall. Not missing a beat, Trevor swung the bush out of the way and skipped down the hall to catch up to her. Throwing his cap on his head and cocking it at a jaunty angle, he fell in step with her. As they reached the car, he started shouting, “Shot gun! Shot gun!” at the top of his lungs. Watching him, Claire rolled her eyes, unlocked the doors, and started the car.
The ride seemed extremely long to Trevor. Snow was falling and even though the Winter Solstice had just passed Trevor noted it was still not getting any lighter earlier. Watching Claire maneuver through the snow he started to grow annoyed at the 15mph rate she was driving at. He took his hat off his head and fiddled with the band on his hat, trying to ignore how slow she was going.
Claire, paying no attention to her passenger, kept focused on her goal: getting home in one piece. The airport had been closed for the better part of two days, this she knew because she has spent her mornings checking on Alex’s flights. She had driven these streets more in the last two days more then she had in the last few months and every time she started her car and pulled away from the curb she knew that it was going to be a battle. She had been almost hit every time that she had taken to the road and today’s drive would be no exception. Swerving out of the way of a semi-truck that was careening around a corner she held her breath praying that they wouldn’t be hit. Narrowly escaping, she turned on to her street. She slowed down to pass the children who were playing in the snow. She noticed the two children catching snow on their tongues once again.
Trevor looked up from his hat long enough to see that they had finally made it to Claire’s house. Looking down the street he could see an old man, smoking pipe in hand, watching them from the front porch of his house. Getting out of the car, he also noticed an old lady bundled up, drinking from a coffee mug, watching the children with a far away look. Trevor followed Claire into the house and softly closed the door behind him.