Daniel is guilt ridden over an incident at the company Christmas party.
"Merry Chrishtmas!" she replied, giggling, pointing at the small green leafed twig with white berries dangling above our heads.
"Um, yeah, back atcha," I mumbled and stepped away from her, feeling embarrassed. Her red lipstick was smudged all over my mouth. I retreated to the bathroom to clean my face. Dale came in behind me.
"Dude, do you know who that was you were kissing?"
"Blair Comstock, John Bailey Comstock's wife." He said it in such a slow, deliberate manner.
"Oh, crap," I whispered, rubbing my face with my hands. John Bailey Comstock owned the company for which we worked. "I'm so screwed."
"Yeah, more than likely. Hey, but at least you had fun. Nice knowing you." He laughed as he left the bathroom. I decided it was time to go home and update my resume.
While at home, I called my brother John, who's two time zones away. He's a pastor by trade, just like Dad.
"Hey, Danny, what's up?"
"I kissed my boss's wife at a Christmas party."
"Are we talking peck on the cheek or full on tonsil hockey?"
"So, why would you--"
"I was standing under mistletoe at a Christmas party and she kissed me."
He started laughing, "Okay, you kind of set yourself up for that one."
"Do you think I'm fired?"
"I don't know. What did your boss say?"
"I haven't spoken to him yet. I'm sure it's a foregone conclusion."
"Maybe not; unless. . . ah, you enjoyed kissing her, didn't you?"
"Well, she was my first kiss."
"Really? Your first kiss? I had no idea! Wait, was she drunk? I mean, she had to be--"
"A woman has to be drunk to want to kiss me?"
"I didn't mean it like that. She wasn't acting like a married woman; she was intoxicated. Look, just go to work as if nothing happened; I think you're making too much of this, baby bro."
Monday morning came and I readied myself for work. When I walked into the office, no one seemed to notice me. Feeling relieved, I sat at my desk, put on my headset and began to work, taking orders for product. I was three hours into the workday when I got a call from Jeanette, Mr. Comstock's administrative assistant, saying Mr. Comstock wanted to see me in his office at four forty-five. It was an agonizing wait until the time came for me to go upstairs. At twenty minutes 'til; I took the elevator to the second floor, which housed the executive suites. Mr. Comstock's office was the corner office on the south side of the building. Jeanette greeted me, cheerfully.
"Go on in, Daniel. He's expecting you."
I swallowed hard, then walked into his spacious office.
Mr. Comstock was a tall, big man with graying brown hair. He was sitting at his desk, feet propped up, talking away on his cell phone. When he saw me, he ended his call.
"Come right in, sit."
I obeyed. He began shuffling papers around on his desk as if he were looking for something. I saw Blair Comstock's photo on his computer screensaver, her lovely green eyes twinkling. She looked even lovelier on the screen. I could still taste her lips against mine.
Jeanette came back in and handed him a folder, then left. He opened it, placed it in front of me, then spoke, "Hello, I don't believe we've formally met."
"No sir, we haven't."
"Well, let me cut to the chase: I've been observing the sales figures and you consistently sell more product than any of the other salespeople; and I've been hearing good things about your integrity and work ethic, which is why I'm promoting you to sales manager and trainer. The change will take effect immediately and you'll need to move to your new office up here. As you can see, you will be making twice what you're currently making and HR can fill you in on all the other perks. Any questions?"
I was completely dumbfounded and elated all at once. Everything was starting to fall into place. Still, I couldn't let what happened last Friday lie. "I kissed your wife at the Christmas party," I confessed.
He looked at me with his brow furrowed, then laughed heartily. After he stopped laughing, he replied, "That was you? Blair told me she kissed some guy at a party while she was drunk; she felt just awful about it."
"I'm sorry, Mr. Comstock."
"Call me JB. No need to apologize. You're a good, honest guy, Daniel; probably honest to a fault. C'mon, let me take you out to dinner."
Later that night, I lay in bed, thinking about the way the day turned out. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd be promoted this soon. One thing still nagged at me, though: Why couldn't I get Blair Comstock off my mind?
The Writer's Cramp Entry Winner (tie) 12-9-18
Beginning sentence: I was standing under the mistletoe