Chapter 18: Thanksgiving Day
Thursday, November 27
Edie dreamed that night about pies. In her dream, the bottoms of her pumpkin pies had, unbeknownst to her, burnt clear through, so that when she cut into them they stank and fell apart, and the entire pie tasted awful. Everyone made fun of her for not knowing how to bake pie and Thanksgiving dinner was ruined.
When she woke up, she had to take several deep breaths and assure herself that her pies were perfect (they were) and that dinner wouldn’t be ruined even if she had burnt them before she could get up.
She just had cereal for breakfast—she didn’t want a huge breakfast when she was going to be eating a huge meal later in the day—and brought it into the living room to watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade with her dad and her brother. Her sister was still asleep and her mom had gone to Bubbe’s house already to help her get ready. Normally Edie got along with her sister the best of anyone, but it was nice to just sit around with her dad and brother, being quiet except for occasional comments on the floats or the music. Besides, later they’d be watching football, and that was boring.
After she got tired of the parade and Leah had come down for breakfast, Edie went back upstairs to get dressed and read for a while. She was still making her way through the pile of pagan books Corrie’s mom had lent her. They were reading some in their book club, of course, but that went very slowly with just a chapter a week, so she was reading the others on her own. It was nice to have some time to just sit and read without worrying about homework or running off on another dangerous adventure with her friends and girlfriend.
The thought of her girlfriend made her stomach churn. It wasn’t Leila herself, of course. It was her family. She was out to all of them, hard as that had been, but she knew that no one except maybe her immediate family actually accepted that she was a lesbian. What if her bubbe or her aunt asked if she was dating anyone? What was she going to say? She couldn’t lie, but if she said she had a girlfriend, that would just be an opening to a lecture or at least some criticism.
Maybe she could just ignore it. And of course, she probably shouldn’t be worrying about it at all. Chances were they wouldn’t say anything. Corrie wouldn’t be worrying, would she?
Edie alternated between worrying and trying to read until her dad called down to her that it was time to go. Reluctantly, she put down her book and joined the rest of her family. They climbed into the car and drove off toward her grandmother’s house, a couple of towns over.
The small place was already full, hot and stifling, when they got there. Two of her mother’s siblings, Edie’s aunt and uncle, were there with their families. Her uncle had a daughter Edie had always liked, but she wasn’t there; she’d moved to the Midwest a couple of years before to work as a veterinarian. Her aunt had two sons, one a year younger than Jacob and the other the same age as Leah, and thus perfect companions for her two younger siblings. Unfortunately, that meant they were much too young for Edie to have a good time with. With no one her age there, she was resigned to boredom. She’d tried bringing books in the past, hiding them under the table to read, but she’d always been caught and punished with no dessert, so she wasn’t trying it this time.
Thankfully, dinner started shortly after they got there. Edie had been trying the vegetarian thing while she was at college, but she’d already decided that it wasn’t worth fighting with her family over at Thanksgiving—and it also wasn’t worth missing out on her bubbe’s fantastic turkey and stuffing. She loaded up her plate with those, the cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and two biscuits as everything was passed around. Then she looked down at the plate, pushed things around to make room, and served herself a heaping pile of salad with no dressing.
As it turned out, no one asked her if she was dating anyone. The only questions directed to her were about her classes, which she was happy to answer—she was doing well in all of them, and unlike her extracurricular activities, none of them involved magic. She really wished she could show off her new magic skills (she could probably light the candles in the middle of the table), but she knew that could be dangerous, and anyway, it would freak out her family.
For the most part, she let the conversation wash around her without paying much attention to it. With her fairly large family, she’d gotten used to doing that. And the food was worth paying attention to, even if she did find, to her surprise, that she couldn’t finish what she’d taken.