Julie kept smiling as the children kept telling her what they were thankful for. She was certainly impressed with her students' writing skills.
"What are you thankful for Miss J?" one of the students asked, but the bell rang before she could answer.
The holidays were bitter-sweet to her. She didn't know if she'd be doing anything for Thanksgiving this year. Actually, she'd never cooked a turkey. It would be work. Maybe she'd stay in and catch up on the Dog Whisper.
Yes, it would be good to be in her flannel bottoms, all by her lonesome on the couch. She wanted to think of happy thoughts. Perhaps she'd get a Thanksgiving Sandwich from the sandwich shop, not so far from her apartment.
It was going to be OK.
She gathered her things, as not to bother Irwin. Yes, they helped each other out from time to time, but it was best to let him do his own thing with his class. She didn't want to bother him, all the time.
Just as she was leaving with her empty thermos and lunch box, she noticed a woman at the doorway.
"May I help you?" Julie was startled.
"You, you..don't remember me..I guess." The woman looked at her blankly.
"Afraid not." Julie winced, hoping this didn't mean trouble. "Have we met?"
"A long time ago." The woman stepped into Julie's empty classroom. "I..I knew ..your father."
Just her words gave Julie and ache in her ears. She wasn't sure she heard her correctly.
"I see." Julie was certain her eyes swelled with tears as the woman went on to tell Julie about a little brother Julie didn't know she had.
"He's in high school now." She gave her a picture of a boy that Julie couldn't think they'd be related.
"I know, its a little late..and all..you probably have Thanksgiving plans." The woman sighed. "But, I'd be happy if..if you... could join my family for dinner." She said it was later in the day, about 5 p.m. "Dewey helps out at the homeless shelter with his girlfriend at noon." The woman told her she'd been busy making pumpkin pies for Dewey to take to the shelter.
Julie felt a bit startled, but somehow she couldn't say no. She didn't want to miss this chance. Since she knew she'd been kept in the dark far too long.
"Bring a date." The woman named Betty gave her a card with her address on it.
Julie only nodded. She might have to bother Irwin, after all.