Time passed, and Thanksgiving was upon the girls. And at this time last year, they had both been confused over starting at a new school, and being overwhelmed with confusion. So much had changed.
Jocelyn’s parents had still been happily married. Or at least that is how they were perceived to be. Lily Korp was still alive. And Nadine Hart had been in love with a gay teacher.
There was so much more knowledge now. If only they could have just gotten a glimpse of their future. But the present isn’t anything to be afraid of. For it is the people who are with us in the present whom we should fear.
Nadine was to come over to Jocelyn’s house. Paul Summers was introducing his new girlfriend to Jocelyn, and she didn’t want to be alone.
Originally, only Nadine was invited over, but with Nadine came her parents, and within one short phone call, Thanksgiving had changed from a quiet dinner to a dinner party. Jocelyn was happy.
It was something to distract her from the meeting with Cecile. She had seen pictures, and she seemed like a nice woman. She was a nice woman. Cecile wasn’t the type of bitchy woman who would be in a children’s movie. You know. The one who is dating the single dad and turns out to be a total... well, let’s just call her a bitch.
But what Jocelyn had not been aware of was how at home Cecile felt in the Summers household. I’ll explain later...
The doorbell rang. “I’ll get it!”, announced Jocelyn.
She smiled before opening the door, “Hi!” she had been expecting Cecile, but it was just Nadine’s father with the drinks.
It was pretty much a tradition that the Hart family brought drinks. The Summers were the cooks of the friendship, and the Harts were the ones who knew how to mix drinks.
Nadine walked up the steps and entered the house which was pretty much her own. She had grown up here. The people, the art, the stained furniture, all the things that made this a place of coziness and warmth were part of her childhood.
The girls were on their way to Jocelyn’s room to talk when Paul stopped them, “Girls, could you stay in the living room?”
Jocelyn felt bad. She knew that it wasn’t because he wanted them to be included in conversation. He just knew that there wouldn’t be any conversation without them. The girls insured no awkward silences and good entertainment for the Harts.
Nadine and Jocelyn were setting the dinner table now when the doorbell rang again. Jocelyn looked up from the silverware and to Nadine. Jocelyn’s eyebrows automatically raised and her eyes opened wide.
“She’s here,” Nadine spoke softly.
“Are you ready?” this was something that Nadine constantly asked Jocelyn. And Jocelyn always answered with silence, because that’s just it. Jocelyn Summers never was ready. The comfort in her silence however, filled the dining room with an eerie warmth, and Nadine asked again, “How about now?”
Paul yelled from the kitchen, “Joss, get the door!”
Nadine answered for her, “We’re getting it!”
Nadine put her hands on Jocelyn’s shoulders and they walked to the door. Jocelyn in front, and Nadine pushing her from behind.
The doorbell rang again.
Nadine opened the door and gasped.
How had Paul Summers managed to get this woman? She was absolutely stunning, and wearing all white. Not a cream white - but a pure stark white. Her hair - red, and stick straight sitting right on her shoulders as if it had just been trimmed. Nadine was sure to like that.
“Hi, you must be Jocelyn,” she said in a warm voice while motioning to Jocelyn with her perfectly manicured fingers.
Most of the time people would confuse the two girls if they had not perviously met, but Cecile had gotten it right on the nose.
“Yeah,” Jocelyn said through a big smile.
I know that appearances aren’t supposed to be good judges of things, but you know those people who you just know are good? Like Lily to Jocelyn and Jocelyn to Nadine. Cecile was one of them.
Cecile smiled back at Jocelyn. Nadine saw that Jocelyn was stunned and saved her from an awkward moment by allowing Cecile inside, “Here, I can take your purse,” Nadine offered.
“Oh, that’s okay dear, I have to get out a few pictures that I brought to show Jocelyn.”
Jocelyn smiled even bigger. There was something ever so maternal and warm about Cecile. Apparently she’d never had children, and had never been married. And come to think of it - hadn’t her father said that Cecile was two years older than him? Goodness. He was 51. That means that...
Cecile was 53 and perfect. What a dream. She looked like she couldn’t be a day over 40, but at the same time it didn’t look like she’d had any work done.
Dinner was about to be served when the doorbell rang yet again. Jocelyn looked up from the childhood pictures that Cecile had been showing her. She raised her left eyebrow and her father excused himself from the table to get the door.
Cecile had tainted her perfect streak.
How could her father not have told Jocelyn about this? Cecile and himself had invited no other than Sharon Reynolds over to Thanksgiving dinner.
She waved at Jocelyn, and a look of embarrassment flew over Jocelyn’s face. How could someone who had been so important and good from Jocelyn’s past disrupt the present so much? Someone who had been the maternal figure was now interrupting a new and happy family, and the most shocking part of all...
... Cecile smiled at Sharon, “Hi Sharon! I’ve heard so much about you!” Jocelyn’s eyebrow was still raised.
Sharon hid the distaste and horror from her face with the same false smile that Nadine often used, “Cecile! It was so very nice of you to invite me!”
The water which had previously been in Jocelyn’s mouth now all over her napkin. The most perfect addition to their little pathetic family is what ruined it. No! How could this be? Nadine looked to her. They weren’t sitting together.
Since they met, they were always sitting next to each other, but because Jocelyn had been so interested and in love with the idea of having Cecile as her step-mother, Nadine had figured that sitting apart just this once would be of no problem. But she had figured wrong.
Nadine wanted so badly to put her hand on Jocelyn’s knee to comfort her inconspicuously and pull the anger and confusion from her body, just as Jocelyn had always combed Nadine’s hair. It was the same type of gesture.
Jocelyn bit her tongue as she smiled at the woman who had given birth to her, and looked down at her plate in disgust. “Damnit,” was all she could think. Over, and over, and over again.
Nadine’s heart was hurting. Not in a physical way. She didn’t have heart problems or anything, but she wanted to help Jocelyn so badly. She could see her best friend on the verge of tears, but couldn’t do anything to stop it.
The one night that was supposed to be perfect and wonderful, now shattered into a million pieces, and the girls’ hearts with it.
Just a girl...