Part 7 Christmas challenge

Hey,

So I don't know who all is reading along with my journey, feel free to leave an emoji or comment so I can see you😉 But I hope whoever is reading is having a good time. I take it as a good sign that I laugh out loud while writing it, not generally my go to writing emotion. 

Enjoy!

 

☃️

Scene 7: Scrooge

 

Scene: Basement IT 

Tuesday December 11

3:40 p.m.

JACK leans against GABRIELLA’s 

Cubicle wall silently staring.

GABRIELLA stiffly ignores. 

 

JACK
Where did Santa and the reindeer go?
GABRIELLA
I’m gonna bet, to the north pole to get ready for Christmas. 
JACK (snorts)
Did he need the elves that used to stand on your monitor too?
GABRIELLA
Huh. Looks like. (beat) What do you want?
  JACK
Just thought I should remind you to work on your slicker (leans down, whispering) before someone else gets a clue to Santa’s secret identity.

 

GABRIELLA indicates slicker

on back of chair.

 

GABRIELLA 
I did work on it.

 

JACK walks behind GABRIELLA

carefully lifts the slicker, dotted with 

Sequins and snowflake stickers. 

 

GABRIELLA (dryly)
Its a snow storm.

 

JACK covers mouth with slicker

Silently shaking with humor. 

JACK leans head down next to 

GABRIELLA’s.

GABRIELLA holds perfectly still.

 

JACK
You can do better than this. Aren’t you even going to try? Someone will notice. 
GABRIELLA shifts to face 
JACK.
GABRIELLA
Not to sound conceited, but how would it look if I pressed and pressed to get that prize and then I won it?

 

JACK beams. Leaning close, lays

Slicker on the back of seat, leaves 

Fingers brushing GABRIELLA.

 

JACK
That does sound conceited. And I’ve never liked you better. And honestly I’d bet the big guys would respect that sort of move too. 
GABRIELLA (heavily)
Well, I wouldn’t. And there is nothing wrong with that. 

 

Beat. GABRIELLA stares at JACK’s 

Hand.

JACK straightens. Nods at 

nutcracker.  

JACK
Were you able to fix him?
GABRIELLA (sharply)
No. But I like having him here.
JACK
I am sorry about that. Seriously. I got a little defensive when you were upset, but I shouldn’t have you know…(fumbles)
GABRIELLA
Broken him? Been in my cubicle?
JACK (playfully)
I was going to say shouted at you. But sure whatever you need an apology for.   
 
GABRIELLA
Whatever I need an apology for? Are you kidding me? (stands) You broke my property. After invading my space. Now you want to make it out like I’m unreasonable for expecting you to take responsibility for your actions?
JACK
Not really. I just wanted to see how long it would take me to piss you off again. Oh, by the way, I came over because Debbie called, Coleman wants to see us both in his office. 
GABRIELLA (irate)
When? 
JACK (through laugh)
When she called probably.
GABRIELLA
And you wasted all that time?

 

GABRIELLA marches towards 

elevator. JACK follows casually.

 

JACK
Not wasted. I used it exactly as I meant to. 
GABRIELLA 
To make me look as lazy as you.
JACK (nodding sideways)
I’m not lazy, I’m just not…desperate to be noticed. But, yeah I was slowing you down. So you don’t look so hungry.

 

Elevator opens. JACK 

And GABRIELLA enter.

 

JACK
Mr. Coleman’s the sort you should play hard to get with. 
GABRIELLA (seething)
I have no intention of being gotten.
JACK 
Sure you do. If you ever want a promotion. Which honestly I don’t get. You’ve gotta be bored here. And that promotion would only mean less of the work you like best. The code you wrote to change my wallpaper, that was way above this place. I had to unravel it one line at a time like…
GABRIELLA 
Knitting (proudly) Yeah. I know. 

 

JACK (laughs)
Why aren’t you at a tech firm or opening a cyber security company? Creating apps?

 

GABRIELLA opens mouth 

Wide eyed. Elevator dings 

Doors open. Beat. 

GABRIELLA exits elevator 

At a rapid march.

 

GABRIELLA
Hurry up.

 

JACK smirks at camera. 

Cut to conference room 

JACK.

 

JACK
I was disappointed not to get pranked today. Thats why I was riling her up, and because its just fun. She gets this hungry, crazy crocodile look like she’s literally going to take a bite out of you. Dunno why but its so much fun to watch. Dangerous. I really wanted to see how far she would take the whole pranking thing. It was bound to be an intense ending.

 

Beat. Unheard question. 

 

JACK
Yeah, I want that. (laughs) Its like walking right at the edge of a cliff. You know you shouldn’t. You know its dangerous, but damn isn’t the view so much better when your that close to being completely destroyed.

 

Cut to COLEMAN’s office.

Modern furnishings. Expensive

But cold. Nothing about the 

Room says doll company. 

 

COLEMAN
You’re doing a great up job with Secret Santa, Gabby. Everyone is happy with it. I knew you were the perfect choice. 

 

GABRIELLA
Thanks you, sir.
COLEMAN
And roping in Jack as a helper was great (laughs) a real hoot. I trust it worked out well. 
GABRIELLA
I—

 

GABRIELLA’s mouth hangs open.

 

JACK
Oh it worked wonders. Everyone got a kick out of it. And now I know everyone’s Christmas wishes.       

 

GABRIELLA shuts mouth. 

 

COLEMAN
Terrific! Thats why I want the pair of you to take care of the party as well. 
GABRIELLA
Party? I didn’t think—
COLEMAN
Krissy’s sells are terrific! We’re gonna have a little bash on the twenty-first, the last three hours of the day. Come up with another of your cute little Christmas games. Jack can help you with anything too difficult. 

 

GABRIELLA stiffens.

 

JACK (joking)
Like sitting  around looking pretty while everyone tells me their wishes. 
COLEMAN (winks)
Exactly.
GABRIELLA (carefully)
Sir. This is great, of course. But I really think the staff might prefer getting that half-day off with pay, or—

 

COLEMAN holds up a hand. 

GABRIELLA stops talking. 

 

COLEMAN
Again with the bonuses? (shakes head) Look Gabby you’re not an accountant. We really cant afford to give out money right now. 
GABRIELLA
Of course. I understand. (beat) But the party is going to cost extra, for food, decoration, and clean-up. And you’ll be paying everyone to be there. Giving a half-day off seems cheeper. 

 

COLEMAN (sharply)

Work on the assignment you’re given, Gabby. Stop getting ahead of yourself, alright?

 

GABRIELLA pulls shoulders

Up and nods tightly.

 

JACK (bro to bro style)
Gabriella and I are just passing along the number one request whispered in my ear. Over and over again it was “I want more time off," “I want a bonus.” Just thought we should let you know. 

 

GABRIELLA looks at JACK

In shock. 

COLEMAN looks between 

Pair and forces a smile. 

 

COLEMAN
Well consider the message received. And officially rejected. Debbie will give you the budget and the numbers of caterers we prefer. Get me some plans by Friday, alright?
GABRIELLA
Yes, sir.

 

JACK nods. Both exit.

Cut to conference room.

GABRIELA. Long silence. 

 

GABRIELLA (picking nails)
Don’t get ahead of yourself. (nods) So Mr. Burns told him I asked about my resume. Guess that was my official rejection. Anyway, I got a different promotion, I’m the company party planner! (sarcastically) As long as its easy stuff. 

 

Cut to elevator.

JACK and GABRIELLA stand

In silence. 

 

JACK (jovially)
You know—
GABRIELLA (interrupting)
Look, thanks for sticking up for me. But (beat) please just don’t say it yet.
JACK
Don’t say what? (laughs) You don’t even know what I’m going to say.
GABRIELLA
That you told me so. That I should “lighten-up” (snidely) That I’m trying too hard and I shouldn’t take it personally when he treats me like a child. 

 

JACK
All really terrific points for me to make. I agree with me. (nods playfully) But actually I was just going to say how happy I am that you’ve stopped worrying so much about your wardrobe in front of Coleman.

 

Beat. GABRIELLA looks

Down. She is wearing a 

Christmas tree sweater 

With racing lights. 

GABRIELLA fists hands, 

Breathing deeply. 

 

GABRIELLA (heavy sigh)
Perfect.

 

 

Cut to conference room 

JACK.

 

JACK
She is sort of creepily perfect. But I don’t think she sees it any better than Coleman does. Everyone calling her Gabby is really starting to bug me. Its like they use it to make her feel immature while they’re knocking her down. She ought to be in their faces about calling her by her actual name. And about respecting her work. Not about getting something nice for the rest of the staff who don’t even notice her enough to have realized that she didn’t get the first three gifts. Do you know no one brought her a cookie on the cookie exchange day. Really? 

 

 

Long silence.

 

JACK
Okay, maybe I have a little thing for Gabriella. 

1 comment

  • I am loving these so much!! I can’t wait for the next chapter ❤️

    Yenthe Joline

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