Paths - Chapter 17

I loved the way he wanted to cherish the memories.

My bed still creaked the same.
My sheets still smelled the same.
The birds outside the window still woke me at the same time.

I glanced at the clock beside my bed: 7:30. Getting up from my bed, I looked out the window to find the sun just above the trees, causing the pond to glisten.

I went to take a shower, singing to the radio whose volume I kept low, not knowing if anyone else was awake. I slipped on some jeans, my boots, and a button up flannel, letting my hair dry itself in waves. Peaking into my brother's room, where Mother put a blowup bed for Elliot, I see Elliot passed out, and my brother's bed empty. I quietly skipped down the steps, pushing the screen door open, I smile at the Louisiana morning. I went out to the shed to meet up with Jason. I couldn’t keep the smile off my face.

"Happy Thanksgiving!" I sit on the stool. Jason rolls out from under the car.

"Happy Thanksgiving to you too." He smiles at me.

"So, how was your first night with your new roomie?" I curiously ask.

"Good. He’s a nice guy, Taylor." He tells me, cleaning off his hands with a rag.

"Your room wasn’t quiet till later hours."

"Yeah, he was telling about how you two first met and some other funny stories. I told him some pretty embarrassing stories about you as well." He pokes fun.

"You did not." I glare.

"Trust me, he laughed." Jason picks up some tools from the ground, where he was working, cleaning them off.

"You better go inside and clean up before breakfast. Mother will need help today." I tell him. He agrees, so we go back inside. While he takes the bathroom, I go to wake my sleeping boyfriend.

"Please say you have pants on." I open the door. He moans, rubbing his eyes and rolling over to look at me.

"Why, yes. Yes, I do." He chuckled. I laugh and come to tackle him.

"Happy Thanksgiving." I beam.

"Happy Thanksgiving." He told me in return, holding me. He tried to kiss me but I pushed him away.

"Please shower and brush your teeth first."

"As you wish." He rolls his eyes, pushing me off playfully. An hour later, Mother had sent me and Elliot into town for the morning, claiming that her and Jason had the Thanksgiving meal covered. So, my duty was to show Elliot the town. We parked on main street before hitting up some of the local businesses.

"Record store?" He asked pointing to the building we were walking next to. I nod and he pulls me inside. Flipping through the records, walking up and down the aisle, I could tell this was where Elliot felt comfortable. We held up albums we loved. He showed a lot of interest in the Beatles and Queens plus CD’s from Coldplay and Muse. I tend to love the same stuff.

We continued our journey down main street, hand in hand. We made a stop at the local thrift store where we tried on different outfits that Cindy would have been ashamed of.

"I feel as though my father would have worn this to work if we lived in the 70’s." He sported a yellow and green plaid suit.

"Is this 50’s or 60’s?" I comment on my mustard colored sundress.

"It’s not complete." He shakes his head. Running up to one of the accessory counters, he brings me back a pair of red, heart-shaped sunglasses, placing them on. "There." He nodded.

"Now I’m perfect." I laugh. He pulled out his phone, reaching out his arm to capture a picture of us. Looking back at it. He’s kissing my cheek and I look shocked.

"Posting that to Twitter," he messes around on his phone before saying. "Send."

"Let’s go." I laugh, turning back to the dressing room.

Our adventurous day continued with visits to the bakery for lunch and park to swing. He couldn’t stop taking pictures of us together. Which, I didn’t mind much of. I loved the way he wanted to cherish the memories. When we got back to the house, I took him out on the pond in our boat.

"How much would you pay me if I went into the water?" Elliot glanced between me and the splashing water against our boat.

"Nothing! You shouldn’t go in. It’s freezing." I warn him. He gives me a cocky smile before standing to rip off his shirt. He took a giant leap from the water, making a huge splash. I squealed as the water hit me.

"Elliot! Are you crazy, man!" Jason called from a few yards away, safely on the shore.

"No! Come on in Mate! It feels great." He challenges Jason. Jason shakes his head before ripping off his shirt and running into the water to swim over to us.

"Ah! It’s frigid!" Jason tells us, as he doggy paddles over.

"You’ve never experienced London winters." Elliot laughs.

"You joining us, Tay?" Jason asks.

"No, I’m nice and dry, thank you." I shake my head, hugging myself. They glance at each other before reaching for my arms. I had no chance against their strength. I came up from the water, breathless.

"Oh my gosh," I gasp, pushed both of them away. "I can’t believe you just did that!" They looked at each other and shrugged.

"You children!" Mother called from the porch, making us all laugh. "Get your rear ends, in this house and dry off."

Inside, Mother had the table covered in food. Elliot and I came downstairs from changing into dry warm clothes. Jason was already poking at the fire to warm the home and Mother was fussing over the food.

"You do know, it’s just the four of us, not an army. Right?" I point at the table.

"You do know, two of the four of us are growing teenage boys. Right?" She dishes it right back.

"Fair enough." Elliot shrugs.

"Come away from that fire, Jason. We are eating." Mother tells him. We sit around the nice smelling table, our tummies empty and eager for food.

"Now, let’s pray," Mother holds out her hands. We all take each others, but when I turn to Elliot, he looks slightly hesitant, but takes our hands. I bow my head and listen to Mother as she prays for good health and thanks to be given. I peak over at Elliot, who has his eyes shut tightly and focusing on Mother’s words. When she finishes with "amen" we all repeat, but Elliot was a little bit slower than the rest of us, making it obvious it was his first time, praying.

"Let’s all say something we are thankful for," Mother smiles at us, as we dish food onto our plates.

"Come on Mom," Jason rolls his eyes.

"No, I’m serious Jason Lee." She snaps. "I’ll start. Obviously I’m thankful for my children, well... most of the time." She laughs a little at her own joke. "I’m thankful for the good health and fortune that we have received, as well. What about you Taylor?"

"Well, I’m thankful for a supportive family as I made a very tough choice to move to London. I’m thankful for the opportunity I got from the Academy." I take Elliot’s hand from under the table, making him look at me, "I’m also thankful for such an amazing boyfriend."

"Elliot?" Mother moves along.

"Well..." He stop to think for a long time. "I’m thankful for the things I’ve been able to experience. The places I’ve been able to go, the people I’m able to meet. The chances I get. Obviously the lads in the band. They mean a lot to me as well." He pauses again, "I’m also thankful to be here. With Taylor, having the honor of being her boyfriend, but also with you guys, Charlotte, Jason. It means a lot."

In that moment I realized how strange it must be for him being here. He doesn’t have siblings or a real home, so he must be really enjoying this weekend.
Published: 6/30/2012
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