Thanksgiving kicks off in Peace!
This is the first time that Devan will have had anything to do with the celebration of Thanksgiving. Being born and bred in Britain, he is experiencing something rather new and different as he makes his home on Peace. Montana. There will not doubt be some new traditions developed as Devan continues to build his life in Oakview.
2017 Copyright Punam Farmah
“You didn’t shoot the damned thing, now did you?” Aditi’s words rose to a squeaky crescendo of incredulity.
Devan tutted, shaking his head. “God, no!” he exclaimed. He had moved his ‘phone from his ear slightly. There was a sharp scratchiness in Aditi’s voice.. “I just drove out to the farm; must have window shopped for at least forty minutes,” he continued closing the ‘fridge with his elbow. He was making tea and needed milk. “Did my best to look for the one that looked the least psychopathic-”
“I want that one!” squeaked Aditi; she was now chortling quite loudly over the line.
“Pretty much,” Devan agreed. “Waited in the café type place; I read the paper whilst it was, you know, despatched.” He pulled a face at the thought of the turkey being sent to meet its maker. He was a dipped in the wool omnivore, but had never thought about what went into killing his dinner before. “All I wanted was fresh turkey. I wasn’t going to get a frozen butterball thing that if I got it wrong, would give me food poisoning.”
Aditi was now laughing almost uncontrollably; her chortling crackled across the miles between them. “Food poisoning versus ethical eating, you’ve lost me on this one,” she said drawing in a deep breath to compose herself. “I once tried to go vegan, only I fell down at scrambled eggs and a full English.”
Devan chuckled quietly as he filled a kettle with freshly drawn water. “That I remember,” he stated placing the kettle on its base and dropping a tea bag into a mug that he had set aside on the worktop. “I deliberately asked you how you wanted your eggs.”
“Wasn’t the eggs entirely, sweetheart,” Aditi chimed in. “I caught the scent of smoked bacon wafting up the stairs from the kitchen, and that was it. It was Goodnight, Vienna. What is your plan then; this turkey day a dry run for Christmas, proper?”
“Sort of,” he replied. “I didn’t plan to use it all, since it’s just me home alone. Might do now, though, all this talking of food. I’m here, you’re all the way over there.” Devan let out a deep, resigned sigh. As he exhaled, he felt the twang of his figurative heart strings. “Christmas proper, would have you being here. You, I would roast the whole stupid thing for, throw in the trimmings. This turkey day is all about being thankful. Thankful, and not in the typical, British, stiff upper lip, tea and biscuits way either.
Devan jabbed a teaspoon into the teabag that swirled around in his mug. Unscrewing the top of a milk bottle, he poured a splash into his tea, stirring it until golden. Clinking against the ceramic, the sound of the teaspoon briefly punctured the silence between them.
“Is there much going on in town?” asked Aditi, her words gently breaking what felt like a cloying heaviness.
“Probably,” Devan replied, lifting his mug to his lips and noisily taking a mouthful. “I haven’t got a clue to be honest. My plan is to stay at home, watch all the Thanksgiving movies that I can find. Eat myself into oblivion; drink my way through leftover bubbles.”
“Hardly thankful then!” shrilled Aditi; there was even a rather loud snort of derision. That’s moping, Devan. You made it through Halloween, give this a shot too. Try being thankful properly. Be thankful, that you and I claimed one another. Be thankful, that the nurses at St.Vincent’s didn’t brain you for being a stroppy patient. Be thankful that you are happy, healthy and have a home in Peace. Dunk that biscuit in your tea, Coultrie.”
“Now that’s an idea,” Devan laughed and put his hand to the biscuit barrel next to the kettle. “And yes, dear, no, dear; whatever you say, dear. Oh, look, a gingersnap.” Smiling to himself, Devan did as he was told. He dunked the biscuit and munched half of it. “I am thankful for all of the above; especially for the item at the top.”
He heard Aditi stifle a yawn across the line. “You, Ms.Rao,” continued Devan, the second half of the gingersnap dunked and thrust into his mouth. He took a moment to savour the flavour being gulping it away. “I’m thankful, and for you. I don’t think I have ever been so thankful for a fellow human being.”
“Not just a fellow human,” tutted Aditi, suddenly sounding very awake. “I’m the one that you pledged your whole life to. Not as romantic as ‘I love you’, but I’ll take it.”
“I do,” whispered Devan, his memory harked back to Halloween. “I love you. More than I can say. Slush and I, Aditi, aren’t exactly bedfellows, hence the clumsiness.”
“No, but you and I are,” Aditi whispered back. “Just keep that in mind for me. I don’t actually have leave left for Christmas, what with the extended sabbatical.”
“Christmas,” repeated Devan. “I hope you do make it, the whole family is coming. You, Aditi, are part of the family, a big part of it. I’ll get through this first. I will practice being thankful. I’ll roast the bird, see how much of it I can eat. You ever had turkey burgers, or turkey curry for that matter?”
“No, yet, no,” there was an altogether way tone in Aditi’s reply. “I will imagine from a safe distance. I will try, Devan, to get to you for Christmas.”
Feeling his stomach flip, Devan could feel a tight knot of sadness form and sink to somewhere near his ankles. “It’ll be lonely this Christmas,” he said softly, “And without you.”
He heard Aditi yawn again and bit his lip. “I should go, and play with the bird,” Devan quickly cleared his throat, once more slurping his tea. “The free-range, not so cuddly one,” he added, closing his eyes tightly as the line crackled with tears.
“Give it a good stuffing,” sniffed Aditi, her words were only just audible. “That much you have my permission for. Provided you save all the cuddles for me. Go, go be thankful. I love you.”
Unable to respond, Devan quickly hung up. He too was about to start sniffling. He knew that Aditi was right. There would be no moping. Draining his tea, he planted his mug firmly down upon the worktop.
“Okay then, turkey,” he said loudly as he rubbed his palms together. “Standby, I am coming to get you.”