Thanksgiving This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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We no longer eat together in my family. I am the only one who still sits in the kitchen. I sit alone, the yellow walls smiling at me and the green clock on the oven smothering a laugh. The microwave clock does nothing because it is trying desperately to catch up with the one on the stove. It sits, also alone, its time one or two minutes behind, left in the dust. The microwave does not mock me. It heats my food and I scrape off the grease and other mysterious stuff that builds up on the roof of its mouth.

We left our old house a couple of years ago, and we forgot to pack Thanksgiving. The whole family came. I ate on the couch with my cousins, and the grown-ups were in the dining room. Together we watched the holiday specials on television that I no longer care about. I was 12, and that was our last ­supper.

Those are the lost years. I sit alone in the kitchen. My sister has moved on. She left me for another family, a better family, her boyfriend’s family.

I sit alone in the kitchen and I can hear the faraway shouts and squeals of my mother and her “friend” a couple of feet away, a million miles, same difference. It does not bother me that they watch football. It does not bother me when he cheers. What bothers me is the fact that my mother cheers too, in a high-pitched squeal, just half a beat after his booming shout. Half a beat too late to be genuine. In a televised game far away from here, on plastic green turf in an arena – filled with those lost souls without families to come home to during the ­holidays and those who pigheadedly believed her when she said, “Sure, go to the game on Thanksgiving, sweetheart. I don’t care” – some millionaire athlete scored a touchdown.

I sit and stare at the empty chair across from me and tell it what I’m thankful for.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

tweedle dee said...
Dec. 8, 2008 at 6:28 pm
yah, what joy said. this sounds kind of like my family, cept my imidiate family still eats together, but not my grandparents and great grandparents and aunts and uncle and cousins anymore... family stuff. but yah anyways this made me want to cry. i love your writing, please send in more so i can read it!!!
 
Joy said...
Nov. 3, 2008 at 2:25 am
Jeez; you know how to pull on people's heartstrings. This piece was extremely well-written, and it just about killed me from the emotions.
 
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