To: Laura Dixon, Project Manager — Gideon Vermont
From: Sabrina McKenna-Marquez — Vice President, Gideon International, Project Development
Date: December 9
RE: Christmas Break
Actually take one! As in DON’T WORK. New construction cannot start in December. Look outside, I know I’m right. Therefore, come home to New York. Or enjoy the hotel through the Christmas holiday. Whatever vacation you decide on, I order you to enjoy it.
Laura, allow the General Manager to do his job because I’ll be assigning you a new project come spring. And he won’t have you to hold his hand. And if you don’t follow my order, I will send Cynthia up after you.
We’ll talk after the new year. Have. Some. Fun.
“What does she mean ‘don’t work’? That’s what I do! I work and then I work some more. I like it—it’s fun!”
Laura Dixon blinked down at the words that should make perfect sense; after all, they weren’t all that difficult to understand, what with the all-caps DON’T WORK screaming at her. Still, a sudden panic manifested at the thought of not having something to keep her busy over the holiday.
“But what does she mean, have some fun?” Laura mumbled, still stunned. “And what am I going to do in New York? Stare at four walls and the Charlie Brown Christmas tree I’d buy at the corner market?”
Images of a solitary Christmas with a sad-looking tree and A Christmas Carol playing on repeat in the background did not make the idea of being in New York for the holiday any better. With sudden dread, she realized if she was in New York there was absolutely no real way she could avoid it.
The dreaded family dinner. She’d have to spend the holidays with her family.
Dismay moved through her at the thought, and she closed her eyes as if to deny it. Her fingers clenched around the memo, wrinkling the edges. Staring blindly down, Laura carefully smoothed the creases and took a deep breath.
Christmas was a magical time. She loved the season, all of it: the decorations and scents and music and movies; eggnog and Christmas pudding and the scent of sugary nuts from those vendor carts scenting the cold air. The colorful lights and brightness that lightened up the dark December days. She listened to Christmas songs for months and never tired of them.
She loved every single aspect of the holidays—so long as she didn’t have to sit through endless familial lectures on her weight, her job, and her singleness. Singledom?