Comfort through Trials - Thankful
Archive: If you want it, take it. Just let me know where it's going.
Author's Notes: Sequel to "Comfort through Trials - Stress". This
is part of a series I am working on.
Disclaimer: They're not mine, I just borrow them to play with.
She isn't coming. All month I've waited for this, waited for her to spend
Thanksgiving with me, and now she can't come. I supposed this means I'm
spending the day with Josh and Toby watching football. Suddenly, I hate
I offered to bring pie. I don't know why, but I just figured, maybe it
would feel more like Thanksgiving with pie. CJ make a turkey, well, a
tofu turkey. I just don't know what happened between her and the turkeys,
but she's suddenly not in the mood for turkey. That means the pies are
even more important for creating that Thanksgiving mood. Of course,
making pie seemed easier before I started.
I've gotten to the part about making the crust, but now what? Maybe I
should have bought one of those premade kinds at the store. I know Lisa
can do this. I watched her one year, so it can't be that hard. It didn't
look that hard. Maybe I should call her.
I pick up the phone, and dial from memory. It's been over a week since
I've seen her, and I've been working too late to call her at night, so
I'm looking forward to hearing her voice, even if she's only talking me
through the baking of a pie. One ring, two.... "Lisa?" It's not Lisa's
voice saying hello. It's not even a woman's voice. Didn't she tell me she
didn't work from her loft, that it was her safe zone? Then who just
answered her phone.
Whoever it was, he's handing it off now., and Lisa asks who it is. "It's
me." She's quiet for half a beat, then she gushes. I suppose she might
have missed me too, I just wish she'd tell me who that guy was. Wait,
that's what she's saying now. So that was Warren. What on earth is he
doing in her apartment? Should I ask her that? No, I trust her. I'm not
going to do that to us.
"How do I make pumpkin pie?" She's laughing now, and how I've missed that
sound. She just sent Warren packing, and she's talking me through it now.
Nutmeg? What's nutmeg, and where do I find some on Thanksgiving? What do
you mean everything's closed today? If I need nutmeg, then I need nutmeg.
Lisa's offering to bring nutmeg. "How on earth are you going to bring me
Okay, Sam. Control yourself. Just because she finished the Exxon deal
doesn't mean anything. Wait, now she's saying with the deal over she's
going to be able to fly down. Calm down. I'm telling her it's great, and
leaving her to pack and catch her flight. Warren is going to water her
plants. Is she really going to be here that long? I hope so. Okay, I've
hung up. Walk slowly across the kitchen. Nope, I can't manage it. Time to
do the dance of joy in the middle of the kitchen floor.
The phone's ringing again. Please don't let it be Lisa saying she can't
come. No, it's mom. "Yes, I'm spending the day with people, mom." I miss
my parents on days like this, but I can deal. I'll be with Josh, and with
Lisa. They're almost better than family. I tell her that, and mom's
gushing. She's still delighted over Lisa and I patching things up. Now if
only dad could be as happy for me. For us. I mention that Lisa's bring me
nutmeg - from New York, and mom laughs at the idea of me baking a pie.
Fine mom, I get the picture. I can't cook. I know it.
She hands off the phone, but first she reminds me to take my medicine.
I'm not five years old anymore mom. I can remember things like that,
well, except for the time I left my pills in Lisa's coat before she left
for New York. Not the smartest thing I've ever done. I won't tell her
that though, that would just worry her.
Sara's on the phone now. She's there with the kids, and Michael probably.
You know, I love my sister, but right now, I'm glad I'm not there. She's
be asking me about when I'm getting married and giving mom and dad some
more grandkids. Yeah, right. At least over the phone, she shows some
restraint. Some, she still mentions it two or three times, so I casually
mention that Lisa and I are back together. She squeals and I have to
wonder how a grown woman can make a sound like that. I remind her to tell
the kids Happy Thanksgiving. Dad says hi, but he won't leave the TV long
enough to get on the phone. That's fine by me.
By the time I get off the phone, I decide it's time to get dressed.
Within two hours, Lisa's knocking at my door, and we only have a couple
hours before I'm supposed to pick up CJ and go over to Josh's. Just
enough time apparently, because she doesn't blink when I tell her we have
CJ is actually fairly relaxed when we pull up outside her apartment. I
can't remember seeing her this relaxed, not since the shooting anyway.
She's got this big covered platter in her hands, and Lisa slides out to
take it so that CJ can get buckled up. Then she hands it back to CJ and
hops in. The smell of tofu turkey in my car is actually pretty
disconcerting, but I'll get over it. We managed to make three pies, and
called her parents before we left, so it's looking up, and I did find out
what nutmeg is.
She and CJ make small talk all the way to Josh's and I have to wonder why
Josh lives so far from the rest of us. Maybe he thought it would help him
to..... actually, I don't have a guess, and I better stop thinking so
hard because Lisa and CJ are already knocking on the door. Josh opens it
and when he sees Lisa, he launches himself at her. If I didn't know how
close they were, I might actually be jealous.
Might be jealous, but now CJ's gone inside, lecturing Josh about being
out in the cold. She actually sounds worse than my mother. Josh has card
tables set around the living room, and Lisa wrinkles her nose at him.
Tell me about it. But it's, well, it's not typical Josh, but it'll pass.
CJ brought the turkey substitute, and Lisa and I made pies, well, Lisa
made pies, I supervised. Josh is telling me about his adventures with
mashed potatoes, and Toby brought a can of cranberry sauce and melted
some marshmallows over yams. It'll pass for Thanksgiving.
Lisa's busy taking over Josh's kitchen, with a little help from CJ. Okay,
help isn't the right word, but CJ's trying, and that's what counts. The
bell rings and I look around the room trying to figure out whose not
here. Josh must know who it is, because he almost knocks me over in the
rush to answer it. Donna. Donna carrying bread stuffing. Yes!
We all sit down with food by half time. CJ and Toby are arguing over the
virtues of the half time show, and Donna's trying to convince Josh that
yams are his friend. I could care less about the game, or their
arguments, because even though Lisa's busy defending Donna, she's sitting
next to me, practically in my lap, and feeding me stuffing. If it were
anyone else, I couldn't stand anything this sweet. With Lisa, I
appreciate it when I can get it.
During the commercial break, CJ glances around the room. "Why don't we
all tell what we're thankful for?" Oh. My. Serious stuff. We all glance
at each other. Lisa speaks up first. Josh, she's thankful for Josh and
for me. Donna nods. She says she's thankful Josh is still around to whine
about a lack of coffee. I can't help but remember the looks they wore
when Josh.... took a turn for the worst. They must be thinking of the
same thing, because Donna reaches a hand for Lisa, and they squeeze hands
before CJ jumps in and says she's thankful that Aaron and Troy are still
alive. I can't help myself. I ask 'Who?' Oh, the turkeys, right. Then she
adds in Josh.
Okay, so the women are more open. Toby and Josh look like they're
plotting their escape and I jump in. Lisa. I'm thankful for Lisa. Josh
already knows how thankful I am that he's still around. To say it.... to
say it would hurt to much right now. He shrugs in my direction, and I
know we understand each other. Toby's thankful for Andrea, and the first
amendment. We smile. It's about time he admitted it. Josh is trying not
to.... actually, I don't know what he's avoiding, but he looks at Lisa
and says, "That." She knows, and Donna nods. I guess the rest of us will
stay in the dark.
It doesn't matter. My family might be together in California today, but I
get to be with my other family. The people that know me best.