She loves this song. But she’s not sure where it is from.
Then she remembers. It was the beach house. Every Christmas. Her parents would dance to this in the kitchen whenever it played on that half-assed light rock FM station. She’d wish they’d get a room.
Bread’s “Baby I’m-A Want You.” That’s what it is.
She makes her way over to her laptop and tries to turn up the volume with her elbow.
It doesn’t go well.
She uses her food-coated finger. What’s one more stain?
This is their first Thanksgiving away from their families. She is going to make it perfect.
She catches her reflection in the retro toaster. The one he said should belong to Mrs. Cunningham. Which caused her to ask who that was. Which led to him explaining that it was a Happy Days reference. Which made a “Happy what?” expression form on her face.
And he cried a little inside.
She is wearing a dress. A fairly rare occurrence, but she likes the holiday. And he likes her legs.
She normally waits until she’s done to get dressed, since her kitchen sometimes resembles downtown Fallujah while she cooks. But she figured she was far enough along in the process to risk it.
She also put on a little make-up. For her. He won’t notice. He always looks at her the same way…
Like Christmas morning.
That look might be the thing she is most thankful for. Every year.
Her hair, on the other hand, hadn’t gotten the memo. She tried to do something different with it. Something special. No dice. Ponytail. His favourite anyway.
For some reason, people never expect her to be a good cook. (Or a better baker.) But she is. And she’ll tell you so, while nodding emphatically, in case the rising volume of her voice doesn’t make her point.
She glances at the table. Fancy plates and utensils. Candles. Wine glasses. A far cry from their usual two iPhones and pizza out of the box configuration.
She’s pretty proud of herself.
She returns to the stove to continue working on the gravy.
She hears the front door close.
“Is that you, babe?” she asks without looking back.
Footsteps approach down the hallway towards the kitchen.
She tastes the gravy. “Needs more pepper.” She reaches for it…
She feels lips on the side of her neck.
Large hands land on her hips.
She let’s out a “Hiiiiii” and basks in that familiar smell.
She feels lips kissing her neck more intensely.
The back of her neck.
She arches her back a little.
She feels hands on her thighs now.
Taking the bottom of her dress with them.
The lips start kissing the other side of her neck.
She grabs the counter with both hands to keep her balance.
Suddenly her underwear is roughly pulled to the side.
With kitchenfloorsnuggles in full effect, she brushes her hair out of her face and takes a deep breath. She always does that when she is about to speak.
“I feel like I should admit something…” she begins.
“You can tell me anything, baby.”
“The stuffing is Stove Top.”