Thanksgiving scene from Unforgiving Ghosts
She looked like a movie star with her long hair softly flowing past her shoulders. The elegant black and white pants suit enhanced her dainty figure. A hush fell over the room and every eye watched her move down the stairs. Steven proudly waited at the bottom of the steps to escort her. After reaching him, she put her small hand into his and nervously smiled.
“Why is everyone staring at me?”
“You look so beautiful no one can keep their eyes off you.”
“I think your exaggerating.”
Steven gently guided her through the crowd of people who smiled and nodded in her direction. She bashfully smiled back.
“You look beautiful, dear.” Deloris gave her a hug.
“Thanks. You look wonderful yourself.” The simple blue dress brought out her eyes.
“I must say, Deloris certainly knows how to shop. You look like a million dollars.” Grant brushed a fatherly kiss on her forehead.
“It probably cost that much,” Megan teased. “You look very handsome too.” His double-breasted navy suit matched Deloris’s dress.
“Megan, this is my husband, Antonio,” Rosa introduced.
“This is the Megan I hear so much about.” He smiled underneath his dark handle bar mustache. “It’s a pleasure to meet you.” His dark eyes sparkled.
“It’s nice to meet you too, Antonio.”
Rosa also introduced her oldest son, who was almost twenty, and her seventeen-year old daughter, who resembled Rosa. The youngest boy was eight, but he’d disappeared, playing with Billy somewhere.
“My, my, don’t you two look nice,” Tiffany remarked as she and William approached the crowd.
Megan couldn’t read her tone and didn’t know if she was being sarcastic or not. “You look nice too,” she hesitantly offered. Tiffany’s dark hair had been artistically styled up while her purple pants outfit sparkled like the diamonds she wore on her ears.
“Thank you. This is a new outfit.”
“Every outfit you wear is new. You need a warehouse to keep your clothes in,” Steven scoffed.
“I wouldn’t talk if I were you, big brother; I’ve never seen this suit before.” Tiffany smiled triumphantly.
Megan’s eyes roamed across the expanse of his chest, admiring the cut of the black suit, which accentuated his tall frame and semi-wide shoulders. “You do look dashing tonight.” She swiped the lapel of his jacket, brushing something off and looked right into his smoldering eyes.
“My goodness where are my manners?” Deloris asked. “Would you like something to drink, Megan?”
“No, thank you. I better get in the kitchen and get dinner ready.” It wasn’t long before Steven joined her.
“What are you doing in here?”
“I came to help.”
“You’re the host. Get out there and mingle.”
“I’m not the host, my parents are. Now what can I do?”
“Putting the turkey on the platter would be a big help.”
“Can I do anything?” Rosa bustled in.
“Sure, check the croissants in the oven.” Steven put her to work and soon all three were busy getting the last minute preparations done.
They brought the food to the table and the guests began to take their seats. Everyone clapped when Steven brought out the turkey.
“This turkey looks like it came off the cover of a magazine,” Deloris cooed.
“I didn’t do it by myself,” Megan commented. “I don’t think dinner would be ready at all if Steven hadn’t taken over.” Looking at Rosa, she added, “The table looks beautiful.”
“Gracias. It was nothing.”
William whispered to Tiffany, “I told you she would be good for Steven.”
“I do have to admit I’ve never seen him look so happy. And I have definitely never seen him do so much work in the kitchen.” Tiffany gave William a sideways glance, “Does that mean I’m going to hear I-told-you-so?”
“Not now. I’ll collect later.”
Grant gently tapped his fork against the side of his crystal glass causing a hush to fall over the room. “First of all, I’d like to thank you all for coming and sharing this special day with us. I’d especially like to thank Megan for all her hard work in preparing this feast. Now, if we could all bow our heads I’d like to thank God before we eat.” He closed his eyes, bowing his head.
“Dear Lord, we are gathered today in your presence to give thanks for the wonderful blessings you have bestowed on us all year. I pray that you would be with every one of us through the coming year and give us strength to face our trails, wisdom to know how to handle life, and above all, I pray for happiness and love to be found in abundance. Thank you. Amen.”
Megan got rave reviews from everyone including Tiffany. After dinner the guests retired to the living room, while Megan stayed behind to clear the table. She busied herself with taking the food back to the kitchen and putting it away.
“What are you doing in here?” Steven asked.
“Cleaning up.” She put some containers in the refrigerator.
“Come join the party.”
“I have to put the food away before it spoils.”
Steven gently spun her around to face him. “Megan, what’s wrong?”
“You wouldn’t be keeping yourself busy unless you were trying to bury your feelings.”
“I don’t know,” she said exasperated. “I just feel so…I can’t explain it. I’ve been so down lately.”
“Oh, sweetheart, you’ve been through so much. It’s a heavy burden to bear alone.” He put his arms around her.
She tried not to cry, but in his arms she always felt safe enough to let go of the pain. “I’m messing up your jacket.” She wiped at the tearstain.
“Don’t worry about it. I think your make-up is messed up more than my jacket.”
“I probably look like a raccoon.” She dabbed at her eyes.
“You look beautiful, no matter what.” He brushed a light kiss on her forehead. “Now go fix yourself up. We’re playing charades.”
“Charades? I haven’t played that since I was a kid.” Her mind drifted back through the years to a time when she played games with her brothers and sisters. The memories of those times brought a pang of guilt. She had never been away from her family on any holiday. “This is my first Thanksgiving by myself.”
“You’re not alone. There’s a whole house full of people who care about you.”
“You and your family have been great. I just miss my family, that’s all.”
“Why don’t you call them? It will help ease the homesickness.”
“Maybe later. We better get in there before they start without us.” She quickly walked away.
Steven realized that she’d shut everyone out of her life including her family. He’d hoped that after facing the past, she would be free to open up completely. But it was obvious she still held on to the fears. He felt helpless knowing he couldn’t do anything. It was all up to Megan now.