“Okay, I get ‘the joy of Christmas’ or whatever, but this is ridiculous.” Cole deadpanned to Crystal, gesturing to the many blinding rows of strung-up decorative lights in the break room.
“Who even had the time to put these up?” He questioned.
Crystal put a finger to her chin and thought out loud. “Well, who else was voted the most cheerful worker on the site? And who cracks the most jokes, even when we’re on dangerous missions?”
Speak of the devil, and he shalt appear, Cory sauntered into the employee break room, wear an obnoxious Christmas sweater and carrying a box overflowing with lights, ornaments, and decorations of all kinds.
“Oh hey Crystal! Hey Cole! Are you guys here to help me decorate?” The jolly camera-faced man said with a smile.
“Oh uh, not really, we—“ Crystal started, “Actually Cory,” Cole interrupted, “Why do you like Christmas so much? It’s the presents, right?”
Crystal shot him a look for being so callous.
Cory paid them no mind, and set the box down on a nearby table, carefully unpacking the goodies inside. “Oh ya know,” he waved a hand dismissively. “There’s a lot that I love about the holiday season,” he looked up, “and not just the presents!”
“I love caroling, sipping hot cocoa with a LOT of marshmallows by the fire,” he listed off with his fingers. “the general cheerfulness and joy that gets spread around,” his voice wavered a bit. “Snowball fights with friends, seeing someone’s eyes light up with joy when you get them what they’ve been saving up for...” he slowed down. “And the hugs we shared together... And when he always laughed at my dumb jokes...”
Cole and Crystal exchanged worried looks. Cory snapped his head up. “Um-!” His uh, lens? was shinier than normal, and he turned away from the two inquisitive partners, back to the decorations on the table. He pulled them out with a bit more force, and refused to make any more eye contact.
“Cory?” Crystal pried. “Are you—“
“I’m fine.” Cory stopped her. “I don’t want to talk about it.”
They left the matter alone for another day, but resolved to help Cory feel better in some way. Maybe a party would help the hard worker cheer up some?