Title: Thanksgiving

Author: Latisha C

Genre: General

Rating: T

Upload: Saturday, March 18, 2006 at 12:37 AM

Thanksgiving Dinner…Finally

"Is it time to eat yet, Cita?"

"It is now that you're here, Rey," Sari commented. Smiling, she handed Rey the basket full of bread sticks as well as other little goodies and a huge bowl full of ice.

"Do me a favor and put this stuff in their places on the table."

"Do you have any particular spot on the table where you want them to be placed or can I just put them anywhere?"

"Just put them anywhere but in the center. That place is reserved for my beautifully cooked turkey."

Rey laughed and pushed on the swinging kitchen door. "Do you want me to send in Jesse and Shawn to help you?"

Sari paused to look around the kitchen. "Um…yeah, that would be great actually," she answered, before waving Rey out of the kitchen.

Sari took out her mother's favorite blue ceramic dish and slowly began to scoop the candied yams into them. Placing them on the table she used her tablespoon to place a scoop of marshmallow fluff in the middle, before topping it off with some brown sugar.

"Those candied yams look good sis," Jesse commented, standing beside her.

"They should, I used Mom's recipe to make them," she commented, already moving towards the stove with another blue dish in hand. This time she scooped in collard greens, making sure to get a few neck-bones and ham-hocks in there too.

"So Rey said you wanted some help?"

Sari nodded, placing another dish onto the table. "Yeah I do. I need you guys to place these dishes on the table for me," she answered, pointing to the never-ending stream of full dishes on the table.

"Are you sure we need all of this for only 18 people, ourselves included?"

"Dad, I'm trying to make almost every dish available to people seated on both ends of the table. If someone is on the left side of the table and they want something that's on the right, people are going to have to start moving dishes around to get it to that person, thus screwing up my entire table arrangement," explained Sari.

"I'm sorry what," Shawn asked, making a face at his daughter. "Table arrangement would be what exactly?"

"Well, I placed people according to the dish I know they'll go for first. Joey, Ruthie and Benjy all happen to go towards the fresh corn cobs so they'll be together. Vince, Linda, Matt and Rey happen to like the macaroni and cheese, so that's where they'll be sitting. Kevin and Scott like the candied yams so that's where they'll be. Stephanie and Shane will be seated in front of the collard greens. Sara and Paul will be in front of the bread basket and Steve and Mark in front of the drinks and desserts."

"What about you, me and Jesse?"

"Well as usual you'll be seated at the head of the table with Jesse and I, each on one side of you."

Shawn let out an exhausted breath. "You should be an event planner oh beautiful obsessed daughter of mine."

"Was that supposed to be a crack about my table placements?"

Jesse, who had just walked in, stopped and looked at her. "Obviously, otherwise he wouldn't have said it," he commented, before picking up the drinks. "By the way, was it necessary for you to label where the food and drinks are to go?"

"Hey, I planned and practically cooked the entire dinner. So if I want things to be a certain way, then that's the way it'll be. Get it? Got it? Good." Then picking up a tray filled with pies she walked over to the kitchen door. "Now come on, they're all waiting for us out there."

Shawn and Jesse watched Sari exit the kitchen. "Obsessed child for a thousand, Alex," commented Jesse, before pushing open the door.

"She just wants this dinner to be perfect for everyone, Jess."

"Yeah well, didn't anybody ever teach her perfection isn't everything?"

Shawn walked past Jesse and together they made their way through the hallway, finally stopping at the entrance of the dining room. "Look, do me a favor and just make sure this dinner runs as smoothly as humanly possible. Okay?"

"You're the boss," Jesse agreed, before entering the dining room.

"That's right I am the boss. So open this door so I can finally put this large turkey down already."

Jesse did as he was told and opened the door. Shawn stepped through and Jesse followed him. "Okay you can stop cursing us for taking so long to bring in this great looking turkey that my sister made," joked Jesse.

"Hurry up you two and take your seats already," ordered Sari. She watched as they took their seats before speaking once again. "Would someone care to say grace?"

"I'll do it," spoke up Mark. He waited until everyone had grasped hand to begin speaking again. "Lord, we are here to say thanks. Thank you for allowing all of us to remain in good health. Thank you allowing us to come together and celebrate another Thanksgiving dinner. We ask that you bless this food that we're about to eat and that you bless…Jesse, Shawn and Sari so that they forever stay strong. And we also ask that you take care of the woman who is missing from our table this year. Amen."

"Amen," they chorused in unison.

"That was beautiful Mark," Shawn commented, with tears in his eyes. Placing a hand each on Sari and Jesse's shoulders he said, "Let the consuming of this delicious food begin."

Grinning, Steve took the carving knife and began to slice the turkey. "So, tell me what part of the bird you want and I'll pass it down to you," he called out.

"I need a spoon to scoop out the stuffing," Sara said. "Can someone see if there's one on the table?"

Sari stood up. "I knew I forgot to bring out something," she spoke to no one. "Um, I'll be right back. I forgot to bring out Mom's big spoons."

Without waiting for a reply from her father, she hurriedly left the room. The truth of the matter is, she really wanted some air and so the missing spoon excuse gave her the perfect reason do to so.

Mark's words really hit home for her. Ever since the day she found out about her mother's death, she hadn't shed a tear. Even as she watched the coffin being lowered into the ground she didn't cry. It wasn't because she couldn't cry, but rather she wouldn't let herself cry.

She didn't like for people to see her cry. She didn't like when other people cried, because it made her uncomfortable. She didn't like when she saw herself cry. Sari detested crying because she always viewed it as being a weakness. Her motto was, instead of crying, suck it up and keep moving on with your life.

The problem with that motto of hers though is that you can't do that after having someone close to you die. And eventually, all of those bottled up emotions would burst inside of her, giving way for the release of her unshed tears. So naturally after months of not crying, it was fitting that Mark's speech would be the thing to break the barrier walls inside of her.

Four minutes later, that's how Shawn found her. Sitting on the kitchen floor, doing something she should've done months ago, crying. Kneeling down beside her, Shawn enveloped her into his arms.

"I was wondering when you would finally break, Princess," he whispered, rubbing her back in a circular motion.

"I'm sorry. I tried to not cry for the longest time. I tried everything under the sky to keep from crying. Even putting everything I had into making this dinner perfect," she confessed, pausing to breath. "But then last night, when you told the story of how you and mom got together, I almost lost it. But in the end it was Mark and his speech that got to me."

"Honey, I'm just glad that you're finally crying now," Shawn spoke. "Do you know how worried you've had me since the day I told you about her death?"

Sari shook her head. "No, but why would you be worried for," she asked.

"You didn't cry. I figured maybe the news hadn't fully sunken in yet and so I was prepared to console you the next day. But when you didn't cry then or even after the funeral, that's when I began to worry about you."

"Is that why you've been hanging around me all this time so much?"

"Yeah, sweetheart, because I knew sooner or later, when you least expected it, everything would catch up to you."

Sari wiped away the tears on her face. "I thought I was supposed to be brave for you and Jesse, by not crying," she quietly spoke, before adding, "…and maybe I was protecting myself a little bit too."

"We appreciate the thought but by not crying all you did was hinder the healing process, which most of us endure after losing a loved one. See crying helps to heal the soul, and by taking on all of these extra tasks and not giving yourself the time to grieve, you weren't allowing yourself to heal properly, darling."

"The thing that always rings true where I'm concerned is that, I hate crying. It always makes me feel weak."

Shawn shook his head and began smoothing down her hair. "Funny, because I always viewed crying as being strong and showing that you're human," he commented. "Are you not human?"

"I am human, Dad."

"So then, what's the problem with crying?"

Sari sighed, pressing her head further into Shawn's chest. "I guess nothing then, since you claim that crying makes you human."

"So are you okay with everything now?"

Sari was quiet for a moment. "Not fully, but I will be," she answered, pulling away from her father and standing up. Turning around she picked up, the two big spoons and turned around to face her father. "You ready to go now?"

Shawn nodded and they began to walk back through the hallway though this time at a slower pace than before. "Sari, do me a favor and just talk to me if you feel like things are piling up on you. Because that's what I'm here for…to be a father to you."

Sari smiled at Shawn. "I know you are Dad and I promise to remember that. It's just I have a hard time talking about how I feel and stuff to people."

"But I'm not people, honey, I'm daddy."

"Well, I know that now," she conceded, giving him a hug. "And I'm glad that you know that now too."

Shawn held her in the hug for a minute more, before they both pulled away. Taking a deep breath he slung an arm around her shoulder. "Now, I think we're both ready to go in and celebrate Thanksgiving."

"I couldn't agree more, Dad."

Okay, so here it is: my first fully completed story. Again sorry for the long wait but I've only just gotten my stable internet connection and computer back running online again. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the chapter, because I promised that as an early birthday present to myself, I'd finish this story so Icould say I actually saw one of my many stories, published and unpublished, through to the end.

Oh and please excuse any spelling or grammar errors that may have been spotted in this chapter.