by European Orchid
Written for the What_Did_You_Do? prompt meme on LJ
The prompt was "Thanksgiving"
Posted a week before actual Thanksgiving, as per the lovely Cindyls1969's suggestion.
NOAH MAYER’S RECIPE FOR A PERFECT THANKSGIVING
(If steps are not precisely followed, results may vary)
Quickly turn off your alarm at 7.30 AM, before your boyfriend wakes up and gives you attitude for being an early riser. Like he does every. single. morning.
Get out of bed and look at your boyfriend sleeping peacefully. Marvel at his beauty. Resist the urge to wake him for some early morning lovin’. Instead, go into the bathroom, take a deep shaky breath because after three years almost to the day you still can’t fathom the miracle of having him back in your life, and splash some water on your face.
Write a note explaining that you have gone to run errands. Ad an endearment to the note. Sneak out of the apartment.
Raise your eyebrows at the sunshine and the palm trees. Realise the LA weather and surroundings are just plain wrong for a proper Thanksgiving.
Get into the truck you should have traded in for a fancy hybrid years ago. God knows you have the money now, with an Oscar nominated film under your belt. Although the huge amount of space in the truck bed will actually come in handy today. Smile at the memories of the other things that truck bed came in handy for.
Drive to the first store and pick up the smallest parcel on today’s errand-list.
Drive to the Whole Foods supermarket and load what feels like a ton of groceries into the back of the truck.
Feel proud of yourself because you thought to order everything well beforehand and all you have to do now is pick up the delivery. Feel like an idiot when you realise you could have had everything delivered to your apartment in the first place.
Drive to the hotel near your apartment and confirm the four rooms booked for two nights.
Drive home and unload the ludicrous amount of stuff from your truck. Swear you hear the elevator of your building groan under the weight of it.
Walk into the apartment with the first batch of groceries, to find the love of your life curled up on the couch with his laptop, that cute wrinkle in his forehead indicating he’s working on his next novel. Resist the urge to entice him into some late morning lovin’. Instead, ask him to help you get the rest of the items into the kitchen.
Smile at the—expected—huff your request brings forth. But don’t give in. Pull him close to you and kiss his hair when he walks past you to the hallway, complaining but complying.
Retrieve a manila envelope from the desk in your office. Feel a pang of anxiety as you realise you’re about to cook Thanksgiving dinner for ten people and Emma is nowhere to be seen for a word of advice or a helping hand with the recipes she provided.
Preheat oven. Cut. Slice. Dice. Sweat. Fret. For once in your life feel grateful for being an army brat, as it allows you to work methodically.
Prepare and stuff the turkey. Put the 14 pound bird in the oven. Feel relief at getting this part done.
Look into the living room and find your boyfriend on the couch again. Resist the urge to carry him into the bedroom for some mid-day lovin’. Instead, ask him to set the table and clean out the dishwasher. Tell him, if he keeps huffing like that you’re taking him to the doctor to have his respiratory system checked.
Get out some folding chairs from the storage cupboard and place them around the table.
Go back into the kitchen but keep an eye on your boyfriend as he—too languidly for your taste—readies the rest of the table and the apartment as per your pre-written checklist.
Pick your battles, and therefore choose not to pick a fight when your boyfriend adamantly refuses to execute item 37 on that list: vacuuming the living room.
Leave your boyfriend to complete items 38 to 51 in his own time, and resume cooking.
Burn the top of your hand on the oven, when you baste the turkey. Curse.
Realise there is an upside when your boyfriend hurries over and kisses first the burn, then you.
Worry if Emma will still love you if you mess up the turkey. Or the sweet potatoes. Or the cornbread. Or the green beans. Or the maple-glazed carrots. Or the asparagus. Or the cranberry relish.
Wonder which idiot decided to invite the Snyder/Walsh family over for Thanksgiving dinner instead of travelling to Oakdale. Remember it was you. Shrug and continue the food preparation.
Thank your lucky stars Emma promised to bring both desert and a supply of oatmeal raisin cookies, as that makes for two less things to worry about.
Set all the prepared dishes aside for impending consumption. Tell your boyfriend that, if he tries to steal any more asparagus, not even D.B. Russel will be able to find the body.
Take a shower before everybody arrives. Resist the urge to ask your boyfriend to join you there for some afternoon lovin’. Instead, make him promise not to tease Faith about her crush on the new boy at Java.
Finish tying your shoes at the exact moment the doorbell rings.
Greet John. Get a peck from Lucinda. Hug and kiss Lily. Intend to shake Holden’s hand but get pulled into a bear hug instead. Kiss Faith on the cheek. Gently kick your boyfriend in the shins as a reminder not to tease her. Ruffle Ethan’s hair. Notice Natalie has grown from girl to young woman in the four months since you’ve seen her, but don’t tell her because she might feel embarrassed. Receive a long embrace from Emma. Lean into it.
Feel like you belong.
Sneak Emma into the kitchen and quietly ask her to check on your cooking. Get the Emma Snyder seal of approval. Get an extra batch of oatmeal raisin cookies, just for you.
Take a moment to get used to the noise, and all the people. You love them, but they are a lot to handle for an introvert such as you.
Resist the urge to lure your boyfriend into the pantry for some clandestine pre-dinner lovin’. Instead, ask him to help you get the food out to the living room.
Notice Emma’s proudly glowing face as she views the table set with Thanksgiving fare. Watch Holden carve the turkey.
Eat. Laugh. Lament the absence of a Hubbard Squash (but secretly feel relieved Lucinda wouldn’t allow one on her jet). Hold hands with your boyfriend as his little brother says Grace. Feel warm, and safe, and loved.
Clear out the dishes and the leftovers and put them in the kitchen to deal with later. Make a pot of coffee big enough to drown an elephant in.
Serve coffee to the adults and Faith. Serve hot chocolate with marshmallows to Ethan and Natalie, 70 degrees outside temperature be damned.
Wait for everybody to settle down and sip their beverage. Swallow your nerves. Clear your throat.
Hand your boyfriend a black velvet box. The one you wrapped in a newspaper article that reports on Illinois passing a Marriage Equality bill. The one that has been burning a hole in your pocket since you picked it up this morning.
Let out a breath you didn’t realise you were holding when you hear a gasp, a scream and a very loud “Yes! Oh my God! Of course! YES!”
Put your hands around your fiancé’s face and kiss him, forgetting all about the other occupants of the room.
After ten seconds, reluctantly let go of your fiancé and yield to the onslaught of family members wanting to hug and kiss you both. Notice that most of them are crying. Notice you—uncharacteristically—are too.
Spend the rest of the evening in a haze, and the warm glow of the realisation that you and the man you love more than your own life will be getting married at the farm in the summer of next year.
After everybody's left, spend some time cleaning up, running the dishwasher’s first load, and rinsing tableware, despite your fiancé’s insistence this could all be accomplished tomorrow. If you don’t do this now, the thought of all that gravy congealing on the plates will keep you up for the rest of the night.
Go to bed.
Resist the urge to sleep. Instead, engage in a passionate bout of late night lovin’.
Fall asleep in each other’s arms in the wee hours of the morning. Feel like the most blessed man in the history of, well, ever.
Chapter End Notes:
Happy (early) Thanksgiving, Nukies!
Thanks for reading!