***Alert!!*** This post is a prequel to my story Smile. For Part I of that story click here, for Part II click here, and for the Follow-up Character Interview, click here. For Part 1 of My Last Thanksgiving, click here.
3:40 PM, Thanksgiving day
Mommy walks over, bending down and pulls my thumb away from me.
“You’re a big girl, honey. Don’t suck your thumb.”
The stupid other kids run by playing and I cover my ears. “It’s too noisy!”
“Why don’t you play with them?”
“They have booger breath.”
She smiles. “So does the dog, and you play with him all the time. Maybe you can teach your cousins to roll over like you taught Rover—”
“Elizabeth! Something is bubbling over in here!” Aunt Karen yells.
“Be a sweet girl and help me by going outside to play with the others.” She kisses my cheek and runs back to the kitchen.
I don’t want to, but if it helps Mommy… I hug my teddy and go outside.
“Stay out of the way,” Ashley says. My cousins run by and push me out of the way.
My lip wiggles, but I make it stop. “Can I play too?”
Nikki laughs at me. “You’re too little.”
“Look!” Ashley points at me. “Her thumb’s all red and pruned. She still sucks it!”
I try to get away, but they push me into the corner laughing.
“I’m telling my daddy!”
“Tattle-tale, baby.” Ashley yanks my hair.
They keep calling me names, but I run away like Mommy always told me to when kids are being mean.
There are people all over, laughing and smiling, but I don’t know a lot of them. Mommy says they’re family, but she also says I shouldn’t talk to strangers so I go to my Daddy’s office. He’s at his desk working. As quiet as a little mouse I open the door and go and sit beside him.
“Why aren’t you enjoying the party, little bug?” He looks over his glasses at me.
I don’t want to be a tattle-tale… “Will you play with me?”
He pats my head. “Can’t right now. I need to get a few things done before dinner is ready.”
I go find Mommy in the kitchen. “Will you play with me?”
“Honey, I told you I can’t.” She waves a towel at me. “Go play with your cousins.”
I take Mr. Jingles and try to find some place quieter. Smiling, I hide behind the coats hanging by the front door. I peek out and watch everyone laughing. Why can’t I have fun too?
Uncle Berry sips his bubbly juice and starts talking so loud that my hands don’t even block him out! Why do grownups get so loud when they drink bubbles? Would some bubbly water help me have fun?
“We’re almost out of wine!” He says.
Grandpa puts on his hat and stands his old bones up. “I’ll make a store run. Will three bottles of wine get us through?”
“Go, Dad! Dinner is almost ready!” Mommy says.
The grownups are having so much fun that they don’t even see me follow Grandpa outside. I tug on his coat.
“Button? What are you doing out here?”
“I want to go with you.”
“Nope. Back inside you go!”
“No.” He turns me around and pats my bum. “Into the house little missy.”
I run away giggling and hide behind the big bush in our front yard. I like it outside. I watch Grandpa drive away and set down to play in the grass.
“I wish I had a someone to play with, Mr. Jingles.”
“Hello, little friend, would you like to play?”
Looking up, I see a clown walking down the street with a bright red nose and funny colored pajamas. “I love clowns, but Mommy says I can’t talk to strangers.”
“I’m no stranger.” He sits down beside me. “I’m a friend of your Daddy’s.” reaching out his hand, he smiles at me. “I have lots of games we can paly. Would you like to?”
Picking up Mr. Jingles, I take Mr. Clown’s hand.
Thank you for reading everyone. I’m sorry this post was late, but I trust all my USA readers had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I thank everyone for your patience and I sincerely hope you enjoyed this post. Because this story was a prequel I will not be doing follow-up interview, but if you have any questions I am happy to answer them if you leave them in a question below.