I took the letter, which was more of a note than mine had been.
I paused, glancing over at Nikki. Very few people knew her real name. I wasn’t surprised by Nick knowing it, but it was still jarring to see it in print. I knew it would be even more jarring for Nikki.
She nodded at me. I continued reading.
I never had a way to reach you before; I’ve missed you. But that’s changed thanks to our mutual friend. You may not be able to sit on my lap any longer—not because you’re too big or too old (I’m older than you, ha!) but for other reasons—but you can always write me a letter. Matt can help you with that, and I’ll be sure to get it.
P.S. You could be a little Nicer in the coming year
I read it again, picking out a few details, filing them for later, not about Nikki, but Nick. The guy was still an enigma to me.
“Wow,” I said.
“I have no idea what to write, Matthew.”
“Well, we have plenty of time,” I sipped my hot chocolate.
“I suppose so.” Nikki stared at her mug, unaware of the whipped cream moustache we both wore.
“You seem lost in thought.”
“The implications in this, Matthew. Nicholas is real and has asked me to write him a letter. He intimates that he misses me, and that he wishes I could sit on his lap like all the other little girls of the world. What am I supposed to make of this?”
I shrugged. “Welcome to my world. I find it’s better if we don’t obsess about the good stuff. This has to be a good thing, Nikki.”
“And what of yours? Is that a good thing?”
I shrugged. “It’s a job. I get to help you, at least,” I grinned. “But you could be nicer, particularly to me.”
“I have not heard you complain about my naughtiness.” Her voice became smoky, and she sat up thrusting her chest out and putting a hand on her hip. “‘I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way,’” she quoted.
“Right. I’m going to petition Nick to get that kind of naughtiness moved over to the Nice list.”
I clinked my mug to Nikki’s. “Merry Christmas, Nikki.”
“And to you, Matthew,” she smiled.