HAPPY THANKSGIVING all you Turkey Gobblers. Also, HAPPY HANUKKAH since it starts today. It's such a fun week to be alive. I know for my family, we get our Christmas tree this weekend and start putting lights up. I'm a sucker for the holidays and can't wait to start playing holiday music.
In honor of Thanksgiving, I have a prompt which is inspired by the Turkey Day. Enjoy and I hope that everyone has a safe and wonderful holiday. Don't worry, even though I'm going out for Black Friday, I'll have some sort of teaser Friday and announce the winners of my giveaways.
Prompt Fourteen: Thanksgiving 2013
Write a story beginning with the following, I never realized how grateful I was to have a home until... No limits, no timers, just write. Make sure it has to do with Thanksgiving though because that just makes it all the more fun. BUT I'm not limiting you. Enjoy!
I never realized how grateful I was to have a home until I met Derek. I don't know what I'd call Derek to me. He's a friend, for sure. Probably my best friend. I've only known him for a few weeks but what we have is comfortable, easy yet tantalizing. I kind of think I love him.
I was on my way home but I couldn't get him out of my mind. He rarely talks about his family which leads me to believe something's off. I just can't place it. I have this urge to bring him home with me but I don't know if we're at that level yet. We're in the grey area between friend zone and something more.
But my worry over whether, he'll eat or be with family or if he has somewhere to go takes over. I just want to make sure he's okay so I make a split second decision and go to his apartment on seventh. It takes me twenty minutes since I was already on my way to my parents house but I never once regret it.
I knock on the door three times and stand fidgeting with myself as I wait for him to answer. Finally he does. But it hardly looks like him. "What happened to you?" I reach for his cut up face and cradle it in my palm. I push past him, going into nurse mode and drag him into the bathroom. I guess I forgot to mention that Derek is a fighter...
I have him sit on the toilet lid, which I rummage through his bare cabinets in search of tools. This is the second time I've seen Derek like this and it definitely doesn't get any easier. I don't understand the fighter appeal, it only terrifies me. But it's Derek and I guess I just have to accept it.
"It's Thanksgiving, Derek. You couldn't take a day off? Why aren't you home or something?" I rattle off as I stitch up his eye. He's lucky I know what I'm doing and I'm not some bimbo that he usually drags about without a brain.
"I'm not going home." He briefly answers as he pulls away from me. I frown down at him to sit still so I can finish and bandage him up.
"Why not?" I ask while I have him stuck with me. He usually changes the subject, walks away or just ignored me altogether but he needs me to bandage him and I'm definitely going to use that to my advantage.
"Seriously, Riley. You want to do this now? Why aren't you home, then?" He counters just like I knew he would.
"I am going home, right now." I tell him, raising my eyebrows. "You're coming with me."
"No, I'm not." He tenses up on the seat and I know I've pushed him into the uncomfortable zone. He hates discussing or expressing feeling. The guy is like a stone wall, refusing to break. Whereas I grew up in a house of three girls plus my mom. Feelings are kind of my thing and I'm not ashamed of it.
"There you go. All set. Get dressed. I'll drive." I say as I pull the latex gloves off my hands and toss them into his overfull can. I rinse the needle in the sink while Derek just sits next to me in awe. "What? Let's go or we'll miss dinner."
"Riley. I'm not going." He says, dropping his bruised head in his bruised hands.
"Seriously though. You are. It's just my sisters and parents." I tell him, trying to sway him. Knowing he has nowhere to go kills me and I will stay here and cook him a damn meal if I have to. But I'd rather be home so he's coming with me. "Please, Derek." I pull out my last card, begging. I drop on my knees in front of him and reach for his hands. I lace my fingers with his and give him my best puppy dog eyes. He glares at me but a twitch of a smile turns up at the corner of his lips.
"Damn, Riley. I really hate you sometimes." He says in retreat as he goes to his bedroom. I hear him moaning and groaning but I know it's just for show. he's a sucker at heart.
"Hate you, too!" I yell while I finish cleaning the bloody bathroom.
* * *
I've never seen Derek look so good. He has on a collared shirt and a sweater over it so just the collar and the sleeves are visible. Derek has dark green eyes but since he's wearing a green shirt, they look bright, for the first time ever. I almost had to double take when I saw him.
He's wearing khakis and nice shoes. I swear, this isn't the person I know. I tried to tell him it's casual and he doesn't have to do this but he just shook his head and hopped in the passenger seat. Now we're pulling into my driveway and I'm starting to feel nervous. I've never brought a boy home, let alone one like Derek.
My parents are very welcoming and would never say anything about his appearance but I know they're going to be thinking it. I don't care. Derek deserves a family and I'm going to give him one. I don't bother knocking on the door when we get to it, I just open it and barge into my family home.
"Mom!" I yell to get everyone's attention. Scurrying comes down the stairs and I know my sisters are going to barrell through at any moment. I'm the oldest of the three of us so both my sisters are still in high school. They kind of look up to me but don't tell them that.
"Rilllleey." Kasey, the youngest of us, squeals as she jumps into my arms. She's taller than me but she acts like one of those huge dogs that's convinced it's a lap dog. She's adorable though. "What the fuck?" She mutters over my shoulder at the sight of Derek.
"Jesus, Kasey. Watch your mouth." I scold her, pushing her off me playfully. "This is Derek. He's, uh, having dinner with us." Dear god. I almost said he was my boyfriend. That would have been a nightmare. Derek would definitely run for the hills.
"Kasey, the best looking of us all. Nice to meet you." She holds out her hand. Derek looks over at me and I nod my head. He tentatively takes her hand and shakes it lightly. Kase pulls him in for a hug and he stands there awkwardly tense. "Let me guess, the other guy looks worse." She jokes with him.
"Damn, Kase. Get out of here. Where's mom?" I grab Derek's hand and pull him along with me to where I'm guessing mom is in the kitchen.
"Riley, you said it would be no big deal. They're freaking out. Did you tell them I was coming?" Derek looks panicked.
"Well, no. I didn't know if you'd come." I reveal, wincing because I know he's going to freak. He drops my hand and groans realizing what mess we're in. "I'm sorry." I tell him. I stand on my tiptoes and wrap my arms around his broad shoulders. Like usual he tenses up but I know he needs this, he'd just never say it.
"I hate this kind of shit." He says into my shoulder as he gives into the hug. He wraps his arms around me and holds me tight for the first time ever. He never willingly touches me. I think it freaks him out.
I pull back so we're face to face so he can see how sincere I am. "I should have told them. We can go whenever you want. I just want you to be comfortable."
"It's fine. Let's just get the introduction over with." He whispers out.
"Thank you." I tell him, planting a soft kiss right on his cheek. I've never done anything that forward before but I feel like he's trusting me. He let me take him to my family. That says enough.
"What was that for?" He pulls back, his eyes wide.
"I dunno. I kind of like you." I shrug making a joke, my go to defense. He looks down at me skeptically as if gauging what to say. I just stare back, wishing he'd swoop me up and kiss me senseless. But that's not my Derek.
"I guess I kind of like you, too." He says back, the words so foreign from his mouth. "God, I feel like I'm fifth grade." He mutters into my neck. I laugh at that because we sound so juvenile. But I don't care. Derek just admitted that he kind of liked me. That's huge.
"Riley!" My mom's sing song voice rings out. I jump back from Derek but the gleam in my mother's eye tells me she heard and saw that. I don't care but I know Derek would be embarrassed beyond belief. She rushes to my side and wraps me in a hug. "You must be Derek, Riley's told us so much about you. Welcome!" She turns and hugs him also.
"Can he stay for dinner, mom?"
"Of course. He's part of the family. Let's get you something warm to drink, son." She leads Derek into the kitchen with her arm around his shoulder. She's at least a foot shorter but he lets her. I stand back and watch the two. Derek looks completely out of his element but he goes with it.
I can honestly say that I've never been more grateful for my crazy family before. This is my mom and I guess I was just too naive to realize that other people don't have the luxury. My family is amazing and other people can't say that. I've taken this life for granted and I vow to myself that I never will again.
© Taylor Lavati 2017
What Readers Have to Say...
"An absolutely heart wrenching read that shows us that at times no matter how much we hope, darkness will find its way to win. "
-Blogger's From Down Under for A Reliant Love
"So this book is the ultimate love story. I like how two ordinary people who is so different and still so alike in so many ways can overcome everything together."
-Angelica Berglund for For The Love of Hockey
"I never thought I would read a "zombie book", much less love one. The Last Legacy really surprised me. Even with the whole people-eating-people thing, it was a fantastic book"
-Melannie S for The Last Legacy
"I could not wait to start book two. If this book was as good as book one, then I knew I wouldn't be disappointed. It wasn't as good as book one...it was better. "
-Keely Retchloff for Finding Sam
"The powers, the love, the excitement, the drama kept me so enthralled. If you are looking for a GREAT series about true love and mythology, look no further... I wish I could rate 10 stars! Definitely recommend this whole series to all my book loving friends!"
-The Book Blog for A Curse Books Trilogy
"For the Love of Ash" by Taylor Lavati was a rare 5-star read for me. I honestly find many typical romances rather dull and predictable. This was not the case at all here; there was nothing average about the romance, overall storyline, and the long list of supporting characters."
-Summer's Book Blog for For The Love of Ash
"Wingless isn't what I would normally pick up and read, but thought I'd try it out and I am so glad I did. The characters and "worlds" she creates are done so well that you can actually picture them and feel like you are there right along with the characters."
-JLH for Wingless
For The Love of Hockey | January 2016
The Price of Love | 2017