By Cynthia J. Cordell
The music continued at the coffee house. A local band was performing their way through small eateries to get that one on one experience with the town folk. Gary knew that he couldn’t stay for the band’s second set, even though it was only the noon hour. He had a smattering of places to visit still, in order to do some last minute shopping. It was five days before Christmas and he wanted to finish wrapping up all the presents for Cher, before she got home from visiting her folks.
It had started raining and he still had a few places to go to. At the photo shop he had an electronic picture of himself and Cher sitting in their living room, enlarged. He also had the owner of the shop, who was an expert with manipulating graphics, add some whimsical swirls and colorful sprites to the photo. After the picture was the way he wanted it, the technician emailed the photo file to the shop that sold frames of all shapes and sizes.
He phoned Cher on her cell phone.
“Hi Cher, when does your flight come in?”
“My plane lands at the airport there, in two hours. I can’t wait to see you,” Cher said excitedly.
“I’m picking up some food, so that we can have an early dinner tonight. What would you like to have?” Gary asked.
“You know, I’m really hungry for some turkey spaghetti, I know that you wanna buy us some dinner, but I like the way your homemade turkey spaghetti tastes,” Cher replied.
“I suppose I can pick up all of the ingredients and stock the refrigerator before I pick you up from the airport,” Gary said.
“I can take a taxi home Gary, that’ll free your schedule to cook your amazing dinner, how does that sound?” Cher asked.
“Nothing doing, I’ll be there to pick you up, not to worry,” said Gary.
After Gary hung up with Cher, he picked up the mounted photo print and had it wrapped up at the mall. Then off, he went to the local market to pick up all of the ingredients for his famous turkey spaghetti. After he picked up all of the things that he needed, he went directly home and put everything away. At that point, he had forty-five minutes to get to the airport on time.
Just as he was about to leave the house, Cher called him and asked if he could drop her off at the office after picking her up. It seemed that her boss, at the last minute, wanted her to look up some numbers. Cher’s company sold bonds and there were some very loyal customers that did business with them. Therefore, when something would come up at different times, they were more than happy to put in the extra time for those customers.
It seemed that Mr. Jones, one of their best customers, always bought bonds when they were at a discount. He always bought bonds at a twenty to twenty-five percent discount. Of course, those same bonds had a higher face value and it was that face value that was earning the financial interest. Well, it seemed that Mr. Jones wanted to make some last minute adjustments to his portfolio, by setting up a partition for his nephew and his nephew’s wife and children. Mr. Jones was feeling festive and had decided during the last minute before Christmas to have this done.
Gary arrived at the airport just as Cher’s plane touched down. He met her at the arrival gate.
“Hi Gary, I can’t wait to tell you about my trip. Everybody there, wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. My suitcase is filled with gifts, from them to you, and the ones that couldn’t fit in my suitcase, I’ve had delivered to the house, and of course I have a lot of pictures that I took with my electronic camera,” Cher said.
“Well, I’m glad that you’re back. That band that we’ve both been following was playing at the local coffee house today. I urge you to see them play again, before they become too famous,” Gary said.
“Oh absolutely, I love their rhythmic music. It’s like a mix of reggae and a contemporary style that I have never heard of before. Okay, so not to change the subject, but could you drop me off at work from here?” Cher wanted to know.
“Absolutely, not to worry. Everything is under control. I’ll cook the turkey spaghetti while you are at work, and by the time I pick you up, everything will be ready for our dinner,” Gary gallantly said.
At the offices where Cher worked, after Gary had dropped her off, she used her security clearance code, to gain entry to the main building at the compound-like premises of the Securities Brokerage Firm where she worked. She knew what she had to do to make Mr. Jones feel like he was their number one customer.
First of all, Cher got access to the physical bonds that would be expedited to Mr. Jones before Christmas day. Then she added a computer account, for his nephew, whose name was Edward. She spent a good two hours, making sure that everything was up to date and she even sent an in-mail message within their company’s computer network to Mr. Jones, to inform him that everything had been set up for his nephew Edward, and Edward’s wife and kids.
A half hour more passed and then Gary was waiting by the pick-up zone to take her home. After they were both safely home, Gary was thinking to himself, that he wasn’t dome shopping. After Cher got settled in, he knew that she wasn’t kidding about the number of presents for him, from her family.
The next couple of days before Christmas, Gary got Cher some Winter sweaters and other items for her wardrobe. He also got her a single-cup-at-a-time coffeemaker. He filled her stocking with chocolate bars (her favorite) and stocked the refrigerator with egg nog and pumpkin pie. After all had been said and done, Gary ran some last minute errands, like donating extra Christmas ornaments to the coffee house and the flower shop and produce market. He also bought packets of Thank You cards that he was going to personalize for all of Cher’s relatives, to thank them for all the presents they sent him through Cher.
When it was Christmas Eve Day, they went and visited Gary’s side of the family, and there was an endless bag of presents for both he and Cher.
“Cher, I’ll bet that you’ll never guess what that tall present that I got you is,” Gary said.
“Well, it seems to me that it’s something that has been framed and personalized,” Cher guessed at it.
“Well, you’re right on both counts,” Gary said.
On Christmas Day, the first gift that Cher opened was the large mounted picture of the two of them, that had been turned into a graphic poster. She was absolutely in love with the picture. All of the whimsical swirls, sprites and play of color, really brightened her day. It was by far the best Christmas present ever. In return, Cher gave Gary concert tickets to that Indie Band that they had been following, complete with two backstage passes!