What She Was Thankful For

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Gay and Lesbian  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a story about a woman named Heather is confronting the end of her marriage and the beginning of new relationship with one of her friends.

Submitted: May 13, 2014

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Submitted: May 13, 2014

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What She Was Thankful For

 

She sat in dining room staring at all the familiar faces around the table. It was Thanksgiving. This was a hard time of year for Heather MacDonald. Fall in New Hampshire was beautiful, but bittersweet. The trees lost all their multi-colored leaves reminding the locals about the long, cold, and dark winter ahead. The tourism industry slowed down, and gave the locals a much-needed break. The room was filled with laughter and conversation. Heather was thankful for her close friends.

There were about 10 of them in all. There was Gina; she was 5 feet tall, short peppered brown hair. She was dressed in baggie jeans, a men’s sweatshirt and work boots. Gina worked landscaping and she worked just as hard as the men do. She was a fierce and rough lesbian. Kristy was there; she was petite girl. She was blonde, in her mid 30’s and she was a hairdresser. Heather and Kristy were inseparable. Ron was in attendance. He was tall and slender. He was actually too slender to be a chef who graduated from Johnson’s and Wales. Heather looked across the room at Ben. Ben was average height for a man, baldheaded and was very muscular. Ben was covered in the tattoos he received while he served time at Grafton County Department of Corrections. Two of John’s friends from work are also there, Jason and Jamie. They all work together at Wise Guy’s Automotive. Heather also has some friends from work there, too. Heather worked at the local pub, The Old Town Tavern with her friends Michele and Ericka. Ericka was loud and she was a little rough around the edges. They were all screaming over each other, passing wine bottles back and forth and watching the Dallas Cowboys destroy the Detroit Lions.

“Ahhhhh, that should have been a pass interference,” Ron yelled at the T.V. and he threw his fist into the air.  Michele looked right back at him with a smirk on her face, “No way, he didn’t even touch him.”

John - Heather’s husband, was in the kitchen checking on the turkey that had been cooking since 9 a.m. The entire house smelled like a feast fit for the kings. There was a warm smell of apple pie, the onions and the celery that emanated from the stuffing, the vanilla and cinnamon of the oven baked pumpkin pie, and the sweet smell of fresh baked bread in the oven.

“Heather, you mind coming in here and giving me a hand with the mashed potatoes? - Dinner will be ready in 15/20 everyone – get ready!” John had shouted from the kitchen.

She stood up and everything felt so surreal; it felt as if she were watching television. She looked over at her friend Gina. Gina was already drunk, challenging her friend Ben to wrestle.

“What’s the matta Pussy, you think I can kick your ass – well come on, bring it,” Gina shouted at Ben.

She looked over at Kristy; her head was buried in her iPhone. She was frantically typing text messages back and forth to her ex-boyfriend. She watched Ron and Michele quibble over the football game. Then, she really began to look at Michele; her long brown hair was loosely tied up exposing her neck. She was wearing a Pittsburgh Steeler’s shirt and a pair of tight fitting boot-cut jeans. Her glasses were square framed. She never wore any make-up. Her freckles were the only things of beauty she needed on her olive skin-toned face. It had been 2 days and 20 hours since the last time Heather had felt the caress of her lips across her skin and she was aching to feel it again.

“Heather – the potatoes?” John asked again.

Heather finally realized that someone was speaking to her. She immediately snapped back into reality, oh, shit, ya that’s right, my husband, “Yup, mashed potatoes, coming.”

She walked into the small kitchen. Every counter was covered in food, pots with boiling water, mixing bowls, and sheet pans with bread. She could see all the desserts cooling on the porch railings, used for extra storage.  She reached into the drawer and pulled out the hand held mixer. She began to look for the beaters.

“Do you know where the beaters are?” Heather asked

“You used them last,” John replied, and took a sip of his Bud-Lite.

“Jesus Christ, I asked you for one thing and you can’t even help with that?”

“What’s you’re fucking problem?”

“Nothing – nothing, don’t worry about it. I’m sorry”

“Where’s your head been today?”

“I just have a lot on my mind, projects due, bills – ya know, stuff.”

“What I know – it’s Thanksgiving and we’ve invited all of our friends here to celebrate with us. So, maybe you can stop worrying about things you can’t change today and enjoy yourself,” he took another drag off of his can of beer.

“Ya, sorry – I’ll try,” her mind had already begun to wander off, listening to their guests in the other room. She began to add the remaining ingredients to the mashed potatoes: milk, butter, garlic, salt and pepper. She turned on the mixer and it slowly drown out the noise around her and her mind wandered off.

“I’m going in the living room to catch some of the second quarter, can you make sure the gravy does not boil?” John asked.

“Ya, sure,” she replied, nodding her head.

John left the kitchen. On his way out he grabbed a can of Bud-Lite out of the refrigerator before he ducked around the corner and disappeared.

“Hey stranger, I was hoping we could get a minute alone,” Michele enters the kitchen.

“Hey,” Heather looks down at the mashed potatoes and avoided eye contact. Her heart started to pound and she could feel the blood rush into her cheeks. Just standing in the same room with Michele was becoming extremely difficult.

“Hey – hey is all you can come up with? I miss you,” Michele looked at Heather a bit puzzled.

“I’m sorry, I don’t know what you want me to say? I was a little taken off guard when you actually showed up today,” Heather fidgeted with the beaters. She tried, unsuccessfully to remove them off of the mixer. She reached across Michele to put the beaters into the dishwater and she brushed up against her arm. Even the act of barely touching her arm sent a tingling sensation throughout her body. She reached for her martini and took a sip.

“You invited me, remember?”

“Of course I remember, but that was before –well, umm, you know.”

“You mean before you ripped off all my clothes and went down on me like you were about to go to the electric chair?” Michele had a menacing grin and a sparkle in her eyes.  She reached over and ran her hand along her arm.

“Stop it and be quiet, John is right in the other room.”

“He can’t hear us and I can’t help it. I need you.”

Heather wanted her there. The truth was that she could not stop thinking about her for the past 3 days. She had wanted Michele for months and fought against the feelings as long as she could. The most alive she had felt in over a year, was the time she spent with Michele. She had looked forward to all her shifts at the pub. She had also started playing golf with her and would often go out for drinks.

“If you are gonna stay in here, you should at least help,” Heather finally looked up at Michele and smiled. “Grab me that bowl for the potatoes.”

Michele handed her the bowl and took a sip off her drink. The two of them continued to prepare dinner, finding reasons to touch each other as much as possible. Heather lost all track of the company that was in the other room. Heather wanted nothing more than to stay in that moment.

“Heads up, John is getting pretty shitty, I think he is gonna come back in here soon girls,” Kristy walked into the kitchen.

“Thanks hun, of course he is – what’s fucking new?” She looked at Michele, and gave her an apologetic look.

“The two of you need to get your shit together – or he is going to know soon.”

“You just can tell, because you know.”

“She knows?” Michele asked.

“Of course she does, I needed to tell someone”

“Don’t worry, I’m not getting involved in this shit,” Kristy left the kitchen.

As soon as Kristy left the kitchen, Michele reached over to touch her arm. As soon as her hand touched her arm, John walked around the corner. As he walked into the kitchen he stumbled slightly to the right, and caught his balance.

“Are you guys ever gonna serve this shit or you gonna just stay in the kitchen gossiping all day?” He reached into the refrigerator and grabbed another beer.

“We’ll be right out with the food shortly,” Heather responded.

“I’ll help you in a bit, there’s only a few minutes left to the end of this quarter.”

“Don’t worry, we are all set,” Heather replied and was remembering the last time he helped. The last time they had dinner guests John dropped an entire casserole dish of homemade lasagna on the kitchen floor. He was trying to balance his beer in one hand and the hot dish in the other. “Can you send in Kristy and Ericka?”

“Ya, fine, I will let the women handle it,” he growled back at them.

She could hear John in the other room; “Ya, she doesn’t want my help – I guess I’m not good enough. I guess I’m gonna have to pay for Easter for the rest of my life,” John rambled on.

Ericka and Kristy walked into the kitchen.

“What can I do?” Ericka asks.

“Just start grabbing food and bringing it to the troops.”

The girls each grabbed some dishes. Ericka has the stuffing in one bowl and the mashed in another. Kristy walked in with beans and rolls. Gina walked into the kitchen and grabbed the sweet potatoes and corn. Everyone started to gather around the table and Heather walked into the room with the turkey. The television was pretty loud in the living room and John, Jason, Jamie and Ron still stood in front of the television watching the game.

“Come on guys, grub is on,” Heather shouted into the living room.

“Yup,” John replied.

Jason, Jamie and Ron came into the dining room and sat down. John walked right by and directly into the kitchen. She could hear the refrigerator door open and the crack of a beer can being opened. John joined the rest of the company around the table and knocked into the chair as he reached for it to sit down. The table was set for 10. The table fits 6 people comfortably and there was a small card table at the end of it for extra people. Heather placed a large white disposable paper tablecloth across both tables for uniformity. There are 6 wooden chairs and 4 gray metal folding chairs around the edges of card table. She was using her finest Chinet paper plates and plastic utensils. There was a pumpkin, Indian squash and some lit orange candles on the center of the table. Everyone began to pass the food around the table.

“Thank you so much for having me,” Kristy said as she was passed the potatoes to Ericka.

“Our pleasure,” Heather replied.

“Ya, thanks – the food smells fucking great!” Jason chimed in.

Raising his beer, Ron stood up. “To John and Heather for having all of us misfits today – cheers!” Everyone began to clink his or her glasses and cans. Soon after you could hear the forks and knives clinking on their plates.

“Did you see Charlie the other day on the course? He was with that bitch again. I am so ready to tell Katie about her. The nerve,” Gina looked right at Heather and Michele as she asked.

“No, I must have missed it,” Heather replied.

“Me too,” Michele says while took a bite of her food.

“It was Tuesday, the last day the course was open.”

“I wasn’t there on Tuesday,” Heather said while she took a sip from her martini. She could feel the heat returning to her cheeks and she felt a bit light headed.

“Huh, I thought I saw you and Michele there on the 7th fairway?” Gina asked.

“Didn’t you go see your sisters in Burlington on Tuesday?” John asked. He started to pay attention to their conversation.

“Ya – ya, of course it was,” she was hoped this topic would drop.

“Maybe it was someone else I saw on the 7th? I know Michele was there, cuz her Jeep was there. I was gonna scrape that stupid Steeler’s sticker off,” Gina said while she was laughing.

“I don’t remember what day I was there. But, I can’t believe that Charlie has not got some kind of disease yet?” Michele was tried to change the subject.

“It couldn’t have been Heather, she took Tuesday and Wednesday off from work to go visit her sisters cuz they couldn’t be here today,” John was looking right at Heather.

“I was in Burlington – visiting Trish and Yvonne,” Heather said. At the same time she was thinking; was he going to call them? Should I call them and ask them to cover for me? Was it fair of me to ask them to get involved? She quickly changed the subject back to Charlie. “Charlie and Katie came into the tavern the other night while I was working. He was such a dog. He completely ignored Katie while he was drooling over some little college girl half his age.”

Michele tried to help, “Was it the girl with the blond hair and that whole Barbie thing going on? She was wearing a pink top and yoga pants. The same girl filled out an app too. Who does she think she is? She must be high.”

“Ya, it was. She is so - Charlie’s type. She should go fill out an app with him. The only requirement he has is the ability to suck a good cock,” Heather added.

“Every man looks for that in an employee,” John laughed and took another sip of his beer.

Heather was relieved that John seemed to take the bate. The conversation moved off of her. She looked over at Michele and caught her staring right back at her. Michele winked at her. It was becoming increasingly difficult to maintain the charade. The only thing Heather could think about was grabbing Michele’s hand and running right out of the house. She looked over at John; he was drunk, unshaven, smelled like a stale cigarette and was slurring his words. Heather looked over at Michele and did everything she could, to keep the tears from running down her face.  

“Where did you get the recipe for these sweet potatoes? There are so fucking good,” Jamie reached across the table and picked them up for a second helping.

“Would you like help with those?” Ericka handed them to Jason for the pass.

“I swear I saw the two of you together,” Gina wouldn’t drop it.

“What the hell are you talking about, Gina?” Heather stood up from the table and started to clear the leftovers. She reached across Michele to grab the turkey and the smell of hair was so intoxicating.

“The two of you were there on the last day they were open,” Gina persisted.

“Oh, Gina, as usual you have no idea what you are talking about,” Heather replied and she walked into the kitchen.

“Hey, Gina – you wanna have a butt with me out on the front porch?” Kristy came in for the conversation save.

“Just gotta grab another beer,” Gina answered.

Dinner came to an end. Jason and Jamie exhausted all of the auto parts conversation that one could possibly have in one day. They talked about how local garages had unrealistic expectations of when they could get their parts delivered. They groaned about lugging heavy battery cores to the back of the store. They went on and on about the multi trunk phone system being a pain in the ass. They yelled over each other and insisted the worst part about the POS system was trying to find the most updated customer account. John would chime in and insist they all needed a raise and their boss was an idiot. After John would say that they all would chug their beers and hoot and holler some more. All the time that they hemmed and hared about their trivial jobs, Heather just rolled her eyes.

Heather, Michele, Kristy and Ericka cleared all of the leftovers and the dishes from the table in the dining room. John, Jason, Jamie and Ron were in the living room watching the start of the Washington Red Skins and the Baltimore Ravens game. Gina was passed out from drinking too much in the spare bedroom at the top of the stairs.

Ben enters the kitchen, “Hey girls, I gotta get going. I have long day ahead of me tomorrow. It is the start of ski-season tomorrow.”

“Oh, come on stay. It won’t be busy tomorrow,” Ericka said. She wiped her hands on the kitchen towel.

“Ya, stay – don’t leave us with the meatheads,” Kristy said with a smile. She scraped stuffing into an old plastic whipped cream container.

“It’s not going to be busy, but we need to do our opening procedures,” Ben answered. He started to put his coat on. “Do you want me to take the garbage to my dumpster?”

“That would be freakin’ fantastic Ben, thank you,” Heather put down the dishes she was holding and walked toward the garbage can. “Thank you so much for coming to dinner today.”

“My pleasure, thank you.”

“Hey, Ben – we will walk you out,” Ericka said. She and Kristy needed an excuse to go outside and smoke a cigarette.

It was now dark outside. Heather walked over to the kitchen door to turn on the outside light. Ben opened the door to leave and the cold air rushed into the kitchen. Heather welcomed the cold air on her face. It has been long and exhausting day. All the clean up was almost done. She was kind of looking forward to her company leaving so she could catch her breath. She looked around the kitchen for Michele and did not see her. Heather started to walk into the living room to check on the guys. Just as she passed the bathroom off the kitchen, Michele grabbed her arm and pulls her in.

“What are you…” Heather began to ask, but was interrupted.

Michele kissed her. Kissed her passionately. She held the back of her head gently in one hand and pulled her in by the waist with her other. Her lips were soft and parted just enough for her to feel the warmth of her tongue. Heather closed her eyes, moaned and reached her arms around her neck. For a brief moment she lost herself in her arms. Reality set back in. She pulled herself from Michele’s arms against her own will.

“I can’t do this,” Heather whispered.

“Yes, you can. Why do you want to stop?” Michele asked.

“Umm, let’s see – this is where I live with my husband.”

“And?”

“He is right outside the door.”

“He is so drunk and pre-occupied with the football game, he’ll never notice.” Michele replied.

“I want to kiss you. Fuck, I want you. I just don’t want you like this.”

Michele reached over and touched her face. “Do you really want this?”

“I think I do.”

“I’m not asking if you want to leave John. I’m asking if you want to use this as a reason or if you want me?” Michele was now staring right into Heather’s eyes and she pulled herself up and sat on the edge of the sink.

Heather walked over to her and positioned herself right in between Michele’s legs. She has one hand on her leg and she used her other hand to gently pull the hair away from the side of her neck. They kissed again, slow and light caresses. Heather closed her eyes and placed her forehead on Michele’s and began to cry.

“I can’t stop thinking about the other night. Its never felt so right,” Michele whispers in her ear and it sends chills throughout Heather’s body.

“Me too, everything seems so surreal. I don’t know what to do.” Heather took a deep breath and kissed her again.

“I want you,” Michele was caressing her neck.

“I want you. I want this. Just not right now,” Heather could hear the guys in living room, being reminded of reality.

“You can’t have it both ways Heather.”

“It’s just hard.”

“I know this is new and I am confused too,” Michele was clearly becoming aggravated and reached for the bathroom door handle.

“I’m not confused about how I feel about you. We’ve ben friends forever,” Heather fidgeted with her make-up on the sink and looked down.

“I just don’t know if I want to be pulled into your mess,” Michele looked directly into her eyes

“I fucking love you, is that what you need to hear. I love you,” Heather pleaded.

“Not like that,” Michele left the bathroom.

Heather stood behind and splashed cold water on her face from the sink. She gathered herself and left the bathroom. Michele was nowhere to be found.

“Where is Michele?” John asked.

“I think she had to leave, umm, something about her dog,” Heather answered. She was looked around the living room to see who was left. “Did Jason and Jamie leave?”

“Ya, they figured they should get going. We all have to work tomorrow,” Ron relied. He was also grabbing for his coat to leave. “Thanks for dinner. It was pretty fucking good.”

“Thanks. Gotta thank John too – he helped,” She responded as she was reached over and gave him a hug goodbye.

“Well then, thanks asshole,” Ron looked over at John with a smirk.

“Ya, get the fuck outta here – will ya,” John slurred back.

John and Heather of them were finally alone. Each hour of the day had felt 20 times longer than it should have. She was exhausted, sunken, desperate and done. She looked over at John. Heather desperately tried to remember what it was she married him for, and she couldn’t. They had been together for over 20 years and he felt like a total stranger to her. There was once love, friendship, trust and respect. That was all washed away with adultery, lies and alcoholism. They had fell into this not-so comfortable, familiar living arrangement. He seemed oblivious to how she actually felt. Heather reached the end of her rope. She could no longer live in this day-to-day torture that was supposed to resemble a marriage.

“John, I want a divorce.” She took finally took the deep breath she had been waiting all day to take.

 

- End

 


© Copyright 2017 Stephanie Lindroos. All rights reserved.

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