Holly hates Christmas. She hates it because she’s named for it, obviously, and because her birthday comes so hot on the heels of it, but she also hates it because all the sparkle and glitter of it – all that light in the darkness – it just makes her feel more, well, dark inside.
And so at Christmas, she fucks. Anyone, anywhere. Which makes tonight unusual. Tonight she picked a guy up in the pub, but rather than fucking him in the loos, or in the street, as would be typical for her, she lets him take her home.
There’s a reason for that, though, a good one. The guy – Pete – has a kid, a kid who lives with him, and a babysitter who won’t stay later than midnight.
‘I wouldn’t normally do this,’ he says, ‘I don’t like to introduce him to people until I’ve been seeing them for a while. But, y’know, it is Christmas.’
‘Oh, don’t worry,’ Holly says. ‘I’ll sneak out long before he wakes up.’
‘You don’t have to do that,’ Pete replies.
She laughs. ‘Maybe not. But I will.’
She keeps her word. When they fuck, she keeps her screams to a minimum, so as not to wake the kid. When she creeps to the bathroom down the hall to pee, she puts her dress back on, so as not to be accidentally caught in the nude. And then, in the early hours, once Pete is sleeping, she creeps down the stairs.
In order to get out, she needs to find the keys. That would be her excuse, if he ever asked her why she did it (although he won’t; he doesn’t have her number) – that she was searching for the keys and she saw it, and she was what … starving?
But that isn’t why she did it.
That isn’t why she ate the chocolates in his son’s advent calendar.
Every. Single. One.
She did it because she hates Christmas.