Here's a snippet scene of Thanksgiving at the Parker's that was posted during the blogtour I thought you'd enjoy.
“I’m stuffed,” I said as I patted my tummy. “I don’t know how it’s possible, but this Thanksgiving dinner was better than last year, Auntie Jo. Thanks.”
Dad, Luke and Uncle John followed in a chorus of praise to the cook.
“Oh, it was nothing.” A blush crossed Jo’s glowing cheeks. “And I’m the one who looks like she ate the whole turkey.” She chuckled.
Uncle John reached over and rubbed Jo’s pregnant belly. “Oh, the Buda-belly.” He purred. “Not much longer, Mommy”. They exchanged a tender moment, and then Jo removed his hand and stood, taking her plate to the kitchen.
I caught Luke’s horrified expression and rolled my eyes. The corner of his lip crinkled up. This wasn’t the first time Uncle John got inappropriately mushy over Jo’s burgeoning stomach.
“Josie, don’t you dare. You’ve done enough today.” Dad cast his glance in our direction. “Luke, Julia, you need to clean up the dishes.” He took his plate to the kitchen then ushered Jo into the living room. “After you, Sis.”
Moments later, I heard the TV come to life.
“Yes, Sweet-pea. You go rest your little tootsies. The kids and I will clean up.” John said behind Dad, exuding jealousy. I guess he wanted to follow them and watch the game instead.
The cutesiness did me in, though, seeming to be in overdrive since Jo’s pregnancy. I bit my lip to stop from smirking when Luke reflected the same annoyance. We exchanged glances and stood up at the same time.
“You get the table?” Luke asked under his breath.
I nodded and scurried to start scraping the excess food onto one plate and stacking the others. We’d cleaned up together so many times, we had the process down to a science. The faster we worked, the quicker we could get to watching football and do pass interference on Uncle John, the King of awkward questions.
“So, Luke. How’s school?” John asked while fastening a “kiss the cook” apron on over his own pudgy stomach. He obviously had packed on a few sympathy pounds on Jo’s behalf over the past few months.
“Great.” Luke shouldered around John and looked in the cupboard. “What should I put these left-over potatoes in?”
“Just put them in a Ziplock,” Jo said from the living room. “I don’t have much room in the fridge.”
“Good idea, Dear.” John said, planting himself against the counter as Luke tried to work around him. “Taking any interesting classes?”
“Yah…. Dude, where are the Ziplock bags?”
“Oh.” John fumbled around, opening drawer after drawer unable to locate the bags like he’d never set foot in the kitchen before.
“In the left-hand drawer next to the silverware, Hun.” Jo said.
“Ah. Found them. Thanks, Beautiful.”
I was in Pergatory.
Jedi mind trick. Jedi mind trick. I’m not here. Don’t talk to me.
I kept to myself in the dining room, working as quickly as I could while Luke averted John’s questions one after another until his curiosity landed on me.
Ahhh… Run Forest, run!
I muscled past John with a heaping stack of plates but he followed, empty handed.
“What’s new in the boy department?”
Who says “boy department”?
“Everything can go in the dishwasher, but the plates need to be hand washed,” Jo called over our conversation. “Please.”
“Got it,” Luke called back. The sink was already filled with soapy water and I set the plates directly inside.
Luke washed. I dried and put away like we were being timed.
“Oh, I just wondered,” John continued, this time actually pulling apart the turkey and storing the meat in bags. “I would think they’d be lined out the door. Do you flirt enough? Give them hints you like them?”
My cheeks burned and I wanted to sink into the tiled floor.
“I’m doing fine in the boy department, John. Seriously. How’s work?”
And as if I’d just turned on a toy train, John unloaded on us from his frustration with his micromanaging boss to his insubordinate workers.
And like two whirlwinds, Luke and I cleaned up the rest of the kitchen in a snap, “aha-ing” and “oh-wowing” at the appropriate times.
Within minutes we were finished, all accept the turkey pan John labored over, stripping every last scrap of meat off the carcass.
We stood nearby and waited for him to finish so we could wash the pan.
“Oh, don’t worry. I’ve got it,” John lied. He obviously wanted us to insist we wash the pan for him. Luckily, I knew not to fall for it—emotion reading bonus.
“Cool,” I said and tossed my wet rag in the drainer. Luke followed suit and we abandoned poor Uncle John in the kitchen, alone with only his naked turkey to consol him.
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