NOWHERE LEFT TO HIDE / An extract for Thanksgiving
Natasha loved the concept of Thanksgiving, everyone coming together to give thanks. She appreciated the meaning of it upon finding out what an important holiday it was in America. Many guests had invaded Tyler’s house, all very friendly. She already knew some of them, like Judy, the neighbour from across the road who was a regular visitor to the house.
Here it didn’t matter if she was shy, people were interested in her and actively sought out her company. There was no ice to break in California, unlike at home where you could have stood in your little corner for ages with no one to talk to.
The usual British questions flowed in a regular stream, curiosity abounded. ‘You’re a gutsy lady,’ commented the woman she’d been talking to. ‘Imagine, coming all the way over here on your own, not knowing a soul.’
Funny, thought Natasha, how all these people referred to her as gutsy. A word she had never even heard of before coming here. What was so brave about her, she wondered. Not one of them had a clue what she had been running away from.
Natasha and Tyler had helped Susan decorate oranges with cloves the night before, setting the scene for the celebrations ahead.
The feast prepared by Susan centred not around a turkey, as tradition called for, but a crispy roast duck accompanied by a spinach salad and mashed potatoes. Susan explained she had wanted to do something different. Wasn’t one turkey enough in a year? Who wanted to cook one for Thanksgiving and then again for Christmas?
Natasha, sitting between Tyler and Judy, was so inundated with questions, she didn’t feel like eating, rather she nibbled like she often did.
When it came to puddings though, Natasha couldn’t ignore the sounds of her tummy rebelling at the lack of food. She politely declined the pumpkin pie. Traditional or not, it didn’t appeal to her. Her eyes rested on the more familiar apple and pecan pies before settling on a slice of chocolate meringue pie. Good choice, she thought and well worth going hungry for, as the pastry melted in her mouth, oozing chocolate.
Mike and Kirsten arrived as they were finishing their desserts and the four of them retreated to Tyler’s bedroom to chat and listen to music, but not before Mike helped himself to a generous portion of pecan pie.
‘Let’s hit the shops tomorrow Nat, we can get our pressies sorted,’ suggested Kirsten excitedly.
‘Yeah right, not on Black Friday,’ said Tyler, rolling his eyes.
‘What on earth is Black Friday?’ asked Natasha puzzled. Surely it had nothing to do with Black Monday.
‘One of America’s greatest traditions, that’s what it is. Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving and marks the start of the shopping season.’
‘You mean for Christmas?’
‘Yep, that’s right.’
‘Kirsten, you can’t take Nat to the mall on that day, it’s murder out there.’
‘Oh come on Ty, you’re exaggerating.’
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Thank you, hope you all have a great Thanksgiving.
- Nowhere Left to Hide Review (elleamberley.co.uk)
- Stay out of the Mall on Black Friday (eternalsnow.com)
- Black Friday Cyber Monday Alternative: Charities That Stretch Your Dollar The Most (huffingtonpost.com)
- Importance of the holidays is not money, but family and friends (globalcogitations.wordpress.com)
- “Black Curtain” Friday (autopilotlegs.wordpress.com)
- Take on Black Friday with SCRIP (preciousbloodscrip.wordpress.com)