The Graced Change
She doesn’t think too much when Thanksgiving comes ‘round the corner.
After all, Halloween was just a few weeks ago and Christmas is coming up soon. Between the two festive holidays that provide her treats and gifts—and not to mention finals that’ll be the death of her soon—Gracelyn hasn’t had much time to think about the holiday where massacring turkeys is joyous.
Not that she’s a vegetarian. Gracelyn just doesn’t love Thanksgiving as much as her family does nor will she over glorify it like some of her friends.
“You have to be thankful, Gracelyn,” her friends tell her, “How can you not love Thanksgiving? Your namesake is Grace!”
Another reason for her to dislike the holiday.
She doesn’t hate it, definitely not. How can she hate it when it gives her three fifths of her week off from school and a shopping sale the following day? And of course, the food.
However, some part of Gracelyn just wants to shout out that no matter how American Gracelyn feels from living in America or writing the word “Gracelyn” on her homework paper does Gracelyn want to celebrate Thanksgiving as if it were the divine gift of all.
Gracelyn kicks a stone in her path at the thought of their family’s Thanksgiving reunion dinner tonight.
Friends, families, relatives that barely remember her name but apparently won’t forget how squishable her cheeks can be (Which is to say, not very. It hurts, seriously.) will come to her house. Her boots fall over a cherry blossom leaf that doesn’t let Gracelyn go until it gives that crunch sound.
Her brown eyes glance at the dead leaf. Then, without a second thought, Gracelyn hops up her home’s front steps and unlocks the door.
Gracelyn takes a sip of her apple cider. The fizzy liquid sits elegantly in her wine glass and Gracelyn fees absolutely exquisite. Nevermind she isn’t of age but she looks like it and appearances are everything.
It’s finally Thanksgiving, it’s finally the reunion dinner, it’s finally time for Gracelyn to stop giving a damn.
“Gracelyn, come over here.”
The look in her mother’s eye is apprehensive and filled with sadness—disappointment, was it?
Gracelyn doesn’t pay attention to her mother’s look too much since it’s always like that anyways and just heaves a sigh before standing up from the couch.
The wine glass Gracelyn had so daintily carried drops out of her fingers. In slow motion, she watches from the corner of her eye the long stretch of the orange fizzy liquid falling through the air before surrendering to gravity. The glass cup—thankfully—lands softly on her carpeted floor, though harmfully staining the fluffyness and purity of their floor. But Gracelyn isn’t thinking about that.
Her voice sounds distant, far away.
“Your classmate—Dean Cortland—passed away a few days ago. It happened when he was on vacation in Asia and ran into a motorcycle whilst waiting at the bus stop.”
Gracelyn can’t believe it. Dean was just sitting several desks away from her the other day in History, Dean just asked her if he can borrow a pencil last month, Dean wasn’t—can’t be dead.
So she just repeats “what?” until she thinks her mother’s reply will change.
But it doesn’t.
Gracelyn never thought much when Thanksgiving rolled around. She had decided it was a boring holiday that was squished between two other dates that were much more important than some Thursday to murder millions of turkeys. Being thankful: Gracelyn had scoffed at the tradition; there was nothing but corruption left in the world.
But now—now, everything changed.