Josh and Luis were scheduled to get there any minute. They were on holiday for Thanksgiving and it had been decided that Josh would come eat dinner with their family as his parents usually went on a cruise during this time of year. He would stay in the guest room that night and Luis, Lucy and he would go camping the next day and the next day after that if all went well.
Lucy always helped with Thanksgiving and the night before she had helped Janie make five different pies and her signature fruit salad with rice in it. This morning she had woken up early with her mom to get a start on the turkey and whatever else they could get started. Janie was still in the kitchen finishing up the last of the dishes.. Lucy would have been in there too but as the hour for the expected arrival grew closer, her hands grew clumsy and she was finally sent out of the kitchen to watch the parade with her dad.
Lucy was excited to see her brother again but he wasn’t the reason why she kept checking out the windows and pacing in the front hallway. Even her father noticed. He said that he would change her nickname to Grasshopper if she didn’t quit jumping up every five minutes. Every knock on the door made her rush to answer it, but so far it had only been her sisters and their families. Her eagerness for them to get there started to turn to worry, what if something had happened? She felt over warm and decided to go outside to wait instead. She had just put on her sweater and was headed out when she heard her cousin Martha calling out to her.
“Hey Lucy, I wanted to introduce Brian to you officially.”
Lucy gave both a big smile and firm handshake as she had always been taught to do. Martha’s eyes never left Brian’s face and her hand never left his arm, she looked blissed up and in love. This was a good thing, Lucy’s cousin had always been a good friend but had turned really boy crazy as she got older which had distanced them somewhat.
She had just returned with drinks for them when she saw Josh and Abel come into the living room archway. Josh was just as good-looking and charming standing there in her living room as he had been in her dreams. She watched him make his way into the room in an elegant but easy stride, stopping to be introduced when necessary. Lucy loved how he kept bending down a bit to be more on a level with those who came to say hello to him.
“And who is that nice looking fellow with Luis, besides a man who you are crushing on?” Martha’s voice brought her back to herself.
“Oh don’t be silly. That’s just Josh, he’s Luis’s good friend from San Antonio.” Lucy tried to sound unmoved by it but felt her face burning hot and excused herself to use the upstairs bathroom. She had been in such a hurry for Josh to get there but her cousin’s lucky guess made her want to just hide herself away for the rest of the day.
Instead she returned to helping her mom out in the kitchen. By now her sisters had started helping out too and she struggled to find something to do. The first tray of rolls had already come out of the oven but Lucy knew that they would go fast. She told them all that she would be on roll duty. Lucy pulled a tray full of the white mounds of dough and popped them into the oven and took out another tray and left them to rise in its place on the counter.
She stayed in the kitchen while her sisters took the rest of the food out and placed it on a buffet table they had set up in the dining room. Everyone would grab a plate and serve themselves and then find a seat among those scattered throughout the house. There was even a table set outside, as it was usual for the family to bring extra guests at the last-minute.
Once the timer dinged Lucy opened the oven to check on her rolls. The blast of heat that hit her face always made her turn away at first, but then she adjusted her eyes and when she saw that the rolls were golden and perfect, she took the out quickly.
The smell of freshly baked bread always made her sigh with happiness and she took a deep breath to calm her nerves before shaking the rolls off of the tray and into the napkin lined basket she had waiting.
She waited a few more seconds at the doorway and then walked out into the dining room. Everyone was in the middle of waiting in line and talking or serving themselves from the buffet. She thought of leaving the basket and then heading back to the safety of the kitchen for a minute. This is silly, she told herself, I’ll wedge my way to the table, set down this basket and then get in line. A familiar voice interrupted her thoughts.