Anna and Casey stood in the door way as Jonah and I walked up the porch steps. It was Thursday morning and after a little persuading Jonah convinced me to come spend Thanksgiving with his family.
I was planning on going home but my parents decided to extend out their business trip through the holiday. Which would have been fine since I could have gone to Kadie's mom's house, but even Kadie wasn't going home this year. Her mom was flying up to New York and they were spending the day with Adam's family.
“Happy Thanksgiving!” Jonah and I chirped back.
Casey took our bags and Anna embraced us into a warm hug.
“Oh, it seems like it's been forever!” She pulled us inside, “How have my babies been?” She looked over our shoulder and was distracted by what she'd seen. She let go of us and walked back to the front door. “You two must be freezing! There's warm drinks in the kitchen.” She said to shoo us away.
Jonah and I looked at each other and laughed, confused by her behavior.
“My baby's home!” She shouted as Mandy had just walked up to the front door.
“Wow, we got demoted pretty quickly.” Jonah wrapped his shoulder around mine and we walked into the kitchen.
“Alright” I pulled off my coat and scarf and laid them over the breakfast table's chair. “What can I help with?” I rubbed my hands together as I looked around the kitchen.
“Easy” Casey held up her hand. “You two need to take these hot cocoas and relax.”
“But...” I tried to debate.
“Mom and I have most of it covered, don't worry!” Casey cut me off. “Plus you're going to need to save your energy for the other guests”
“Oh” Jonah shivered. “The other guests...”
I couldn't help but laugh. “Who are 'the other guests'?”
Casey looked at Jonah “Aunt Maureen”
“Is it a leap year?” Jonah asked.
“She's our dad's cousin. Every few years she decides to come here for Thanksgiving and no one knows why.” Casey shrugged her shoulders in confusion. “No matter how friendly she gets don't go into details with her.”
I nodded my head.
“David's coming this year too. He's Aunt Maureen's son.”
“Oh god, David” Jonah shook his head.
“Ella and Janice are coming in from Rhode Island.”
“Is it too late to leave?” Jonah asked.
Mandy and Anna walked into the kitchen.
“Hey Lynn” She gave me a hug. “What's the secret meeting about?”
“Just warning Lynn about the other guests.” Casey grimaced.
“They're coming this year?” Mandy shouted. “Mom! You didn't tell me!”
“You two knock it off. They're not that bad!” Anna tried to down play the situation.
“I swear to God if David doesn't stay at least ten feet away from me at all times I'm kicking him out the house!” Mandy proclaimed and Jonah and Casey laughed.
The doorbell rang causing everyone to grow quiet.
“That must be Diane and Jodi!” Anna excitedly exclaimed as she went to answer the door.
I looked back at Casey questioningly. “They're safe.” She smiled. “They're mom's sisters”
“Aunt Jodi!” Mandy cheered as a tiny little brunette walked into the kitchen. “Aunt Diane!” She said as a taller blonde walked in after.
“Amanda Loraine” Jodi and Diane crowded around her. “You lost some weight didn't you?” Jodi turned back to Anna “See this is what happens when you send your daughter across the country to college. She's skin and bones, Anna!”
“New Hampshire is one state over, Aunt Jodi! Besides, Mandy could lose some of this chub” Jonah teased his sister as he pinched her cheek.
“Asshole” She whispered as she turned around to punch him in the arm.
Casey laughed but then pushed Jonah's shoulder when Mandy gave her the stink eye. “Jonah! Why do you have to be so mean to my baby all the time!” She walked over and wrapped her arms around Mandy.
“Well, if it isn't Mister Big Shot!” Diane said as she nudged Jodi.
“You mean Mister Too Good To Come Visit His Aunties That Use To Clean His Dirty Diapers.” Jodi said to Diane. I laughed as I looked at Jonah's ears turning red.
“And who is this?” They both turned to me when they heard my laugh.
“This is Jonah's girlfriend, Lynn.” Anna said as she stuck her head between her two sisters.
“Ooh” They both sang. “Nice to meet you, Lynn.” They looked at me like I was some new species of human.
Jodi put her hand up to the side of her mouth so Jonah couldn't see, “He hasn't brought a girl home in so long we were all starting to get a little worried, if you know what I mean.” She wiggled her eyebrows.
“Okay” Jonah interrupted, “Can you honestly look around the room and blame me for not wanting to bring a girl home?”
Jodie and Diane were quiet for a second as they pursed their lips then, at the same time, shook their heads. “He's got a point” The room grew with laughter from their response. “She must be a special girl”
Before anyone could say anything else there was sounds of people walking into the house.
“That must be Albert and the boys”
Casey leaned into my ear to fill me in. “Albert is Diane's husband and Jacob is her son. And Mason and Nick are Jodi's sons.”
The guys walked into the kitchen and we were all introduced to one another. Anna poured out some drinks for everyone and the adults sat around the breakfast table.
Jonah, Mandy, and their cousins went into the living room to catch up. I stayed behind in the kitchen to help Casey. After some debating she finally gave me the most juvenile job she could find, peeling the potatoes.
The doorbell rang again. This time it was Robert, Anna's brother, his wife Stacey, and their kids Jennifer and Cody.
Once they arrived Jodi, Diane, Stacey and Anna began making the sides for dinner. Casey and I decided to let the moms work and headed out onto the deck where Jennifer and Mandy joined us to watch the boys and their dads play football.
It was late in the afternoon when dinner was finally ready and the other guests had arrived. Because there were so many people around the table that hadn't seen each other in a while, there was little to no attention on me. I was happily eating my food hoping things would stay that way. But, of course, they didn't.
“So, Lynn, how did you meet Jonah any way?” Ella had taken a liking in me since the moment she arrived.
For the first time everyone stopped talking and looked at me. I stopped chewing my food and swallowed immediately. After clearing my throat I tried to answer the question without sounding crazy. “Well, it's kind of a funny story...” I laughed to myself and Jonah smiled. “I had just moved to New York that week when I decided I needed to go shopping for my apartment. So, I went to Soho where I ran into Jonah. He was handing out fliers for a show he was doing.”
“Here's the funny part” Jonah cut me off. “I wasn't handing out fliers. I was actually walking out of the venue when I saw her. The promoter from the event had given me a flier to show me how it looked and I still had it in my hand. I was completely dumbstruck when she walked right by me. So, I handed her the paper in my hand and pretended like I had been handing them out just so I would have a reason to talk to her and she'd have a reason to go to dinner with me.”
“Really?” I smiled. I felt butterflies in my stomach knowing he'd gone out of his way just to approach me. Just hearing him tell his side of the story made me feel so beautiful, like I was the only girl in the world.
Jonah's cheeks flushed pink “Yes, really.”
“Oh my God” Ella and Jennifer both covered their mouth with their hands. “That's so cute!”
“Well” I continued. “It didn't actually stop there. We decided we were both at different points in our life and we figured if we were meant to be together the universe would somehow bring us back together.”
“Cut to a month later when she was out for a jog and ran into some guy walking out of a coffee shop that I happened to be in.” Jonah laughed at the memory.
“Yeah” I laughed along. “I was drenched in coffee when Jonah came out and saw me.”
“That's great and all” Mandy said from across the table. “But, I'm trying to eat my dinner, not throw it up” She squinted her eyes at Jonah in a teasing way.
“Yeah, yeah, you dweeb” Jonah threw a dinner roll at her.
Anna smacked Jonah on the shoulder, “Behave you two!” She turned to Stacey “You'd think they'd have some manners at their age!”
Everyone started talking to one and another and the room was filled with chatter once again. I felt Jonah's hand on my thigh as he gently gave me a squeeze. I looked up at him and smiled as I leaned over to kiss him on the cheek. Ella and Jennifer shrieked quietly as they had still been watching us. I suddenly felt shy.
After dinner, when everyone was cleaning up, I headed upstairs to Jonah's room to grab my phone charger. I was planning on calling my parents, but my battery was almost dead. I moved a few things around and finally found an outlet. After plugging it in I walked out of the room and caught Jonah walking up the stairs.
“Did you find the charger?” He asked.
“Yeah I found it”
I felt myself being bold as I grabbed his arm and pulled him in close to me. My fingers wrapped around his face as I kissed him. I could tell he'd been wanting to do the same thing by the way we skipped the slow kiss.
“So you liked my story huh?” Jonah manged to say between kisses.
I laughed “Is it that obvious?”
“I love you” He whispered “So much”
“Oh yeah” I looked him straight in the eyes. “prove it”
He picked me up in his arms and walked me into his room, locking the door behind him, and gave me every reason to believe he was madly in love with me.