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Thanksgiving

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She was pacing. She knew she was pacing but she couldn't help it. Jenna and Becky looked at her funny which only further proved she was pacing. It was close to closing so there was no one in the diner but them and Cal. She rushed to the bathroom pulling her hair out of her little ponytail pulling a little case out of her pocket and sitting it on the counter along with her glasses pulling the tiny gel films out of the case and attempting to put them in her eyes failing a few times before successfully putting them in.

Jenna came into the bathroom behind her watching the scene unfold in shock. "Honey, are you putting in contacts?" Dawn nodded. "You're leaving for your folks tonight aren't you?" Dawn nodded again sighing. She loved her family but they stressed her out. She was the black sheep of the family and always tried her best to fit in when she was around them. Which meant she wore her contacts and left her hair down despite being uncomfortable without her glasses and hating when her hair fell on her face. When she was younger she even asked her mother to cut her hair off so she didn't have to deal with it but was told it was unladylike thats when she started wearing the ponytail.

"Honey you need to learn to be calmer around them instead of spending all this time trying to be something you aren't." She shrugged. "I don't know why I do it... I just do. They say less to me that way and besides, I have enough to deal with on this visit anyway." Jenna looked at her confused. "What do you mean?" "I'm taking Ogie." "WHAT!?" "Yeah....." "Oh my god why didn't you tell us!? This is a big step for you two!!" She shrugged nodding. "Because I'm not so sure it's the right thing. My Ma talked me into it and I'm a little weary. It's a holiday! My whole family is gonna be there!" Jenna chuckled and nodded. "The best time to bring a man because even if someone doesn't like him there'll be someone to back you up because you do."

She nodded. "I know Tyler will accept him but I don't know about anyone else and thats just because Tyler gets along with everyone!" Jenna nodded. "It'll be fine Dawn. Ogie is lovable. He grew on all of us pretty quickly." "You don't know my family Jenna." "I may not know your family but I know you, Dawn." "I'm nothing like any of my family Jenna! My mom is a neuroscientist and my dad is a heart surgeon!" She shook her head squeezing her eyes shut tightly. Jenna placed a hand on her shoulder. "If they care about you at all they'll accept him." She nodded. "I don't wanna go! Maybe I should just cancel! Spend the holiday with you Becky and Ogie. Just us!" She nodded and Jenna giggled. "As much as Id love that sugar Earl would never let me get out of cooking Thanksgiving dinner." Dawn nodded sadly.

"Are you gonna be ok this year Jenna?" She looked at her confused. "Why wouldn't I be?" "The baby, cooking an entire meal on your own, Earl." Jenna chuckled. "I've been cooking for Earl my entire life. The baby might make it a little harder but I'll be ok don't worry about me." Becky came into the bathroom looking for them seeing Dawn with her hair down. "Date night Dawn?" Dawn shook her head quickly. "No, I'm going to my parents for the week." Becky nodded understanding. The week before Jenna came to town and started working at the diner Dawns parents had come to see her at the diner. Becky saw how nervous they made her and made it apparent to keep her away from them as much as she could while they were there.

"Not only that but shes taking Ogie!" Jenna grinned and Becky's eyes went wide. "Girl What!" "I said the same thing!" Dawn groaned. "You two aren't making me feel any better about this!!!" Becky smiled. "Girl was your best friends we aren't supposed to make you feel better we're supposed to pester you until you hate us!" Dawn groaned again. "Well, you're succeeding!" "Aw no, you love us." "Do I really???" "Yes!" "Why are you always right?" Dawn pouted and Becky shrugged. "Anyway, I'm sure it'll be just fine Dawn." "YOU DON'T KNOW THAT!" "But I do. What they think isn't gonna change how you feel about him is it Dawn?" She shook her head. "I guess not..." "Then there's your proof. It'll be ok. Now Cal sent me in here to get you two so we could close come on!"

After she got home she got her stuff together. Trying to get out of the house quickly. She rushed out the door with her bag and to her car shoving her bag into the backseat. Driving quickly to Ogies place about twenty minutes away and knocking on the door. He opened it quickly stopping in his tracks when he saw her and grinned goofily. "You aren't wearing your glasses?" She giggled blushing slightly. "Nope. I really don't do a lot of things around my parents and contacts take a while for me to get used to so I put them in before I left the diner." She smiled and he pulled her inside as she giggled. He was still getting ready to leave so she helped him get his stuff together helping him decide on a few nicer shirts for when her family was around and a few of his usual plaid shirts for when they weren't.

They got out quickly he put his stuff in her car and they were on the road. It only took about an hour for them to get to her parents but he was fidgety the whole time taking small puffs from his inhaler the entire time. She noticed his worries taking his hand in hers and squeezing it gently as she drove. He seemed to calm down after that and she smiled. When they got there she was hesitant getting out of the car but still doing so quickly. They got their stuff and headed inside. He was still nervous and she could tell. She squeezed his hand before opening the door to which she heard her brother shout from the living room "DAWNS HERE!" before he ran to greet them.

She laughed seeing him. "Hello to you too twerp." He was her favorite of her siblings. He was the youngest of the four and the only boy at 18. (They were all born pretty spaced out) He laughed seeing them. "Since when do you bring people home Dawn?" She smirked deciding to get him back. "Aw, You showered today." He scowled. "You didn't answer me." She laughed. "Do I need to? Because it doesn't seem like I do? Wheres Mom and Dad?" "Moms upstairs and Dads not home yet." She nodded grabbing Ogies hand and sticking her tongue out at her little brother. Leading him upstairs they dropped their stuff off in her old bedroom. She went down the hall knocking on her parent's bedroom door.

"Mom! Mom! We're here!" The door opened quickly revealing their mother who quickly threw her arms around Dawn's neck smiling wide. "Oh! It's been too long darling!!!" "Momma I just saw you a few weeks ago! Please let go of me! You know I hate this!" Ogie snickered and the attention was averted from Dawn to him. Dawn grinned trying to fix her hair and giggled her mother turning to him. "You must be Okie." He chuckled. "It's Ogie Ma'am." She nodded turning her attention back to Dawn. "Your father should be home soon. I have to go start dinner." Dawn nodded smiling. "I'll call you down when he gets here. I assume you wanna take a minute to put away what needs to be put away." She walked down the stairs leaving them alone once more.

She smiled at him nervously. "So much for acting like a functional family." He laughed. "Aw, you're perfectly functional." Now she was the one to laugh. "Trust me you'll see when my sisters get here. We are the least functioning family you will ever meet and it gets worse with Coraline's sons!" "Coraline is?" "Older sister married a doctor and thinks she's better than the rest of us now." He nodded. "So there are kids coming??" "Yes, why?" "I Came prepared!" "What?" He pulled her back to where they left their suitcases. He unzipped his and pulled out a small duffle bag unzipping it to reveal an assortment of magic tricks and she giggled at his excitement.

He shrugged. "I knew it was a family thing so I thought there might be kids coming." "All that I know for sure are coming are my sister's boys and one of them is too young to understand." He shrugged. "It'll still be fun with only one kid." She giggled. "I guess thats true. I'll be there too!" He laughed and she sat next to him on the floor resting her head on his shoulder. He smiled taking her hand in his. "So everything's going ok, right? I haven't messed anything up yet have I?" She shook her head. "I don't think so, but my parents can be pretty hard to read." He nodded resting his head against hers.

They stayed like that for a little while until Dawn heard the front door open followed by her name being called. She practically ran down the stairs dragging Ogie behind her. She giggled as her father pulled her into a tight hug smiling wide. If you asked him hed deny choosing but Dawn was his favorite. Ever since she was little he had always loved her quirky tendencies. She smiled taking a step back towards Ogie and she introduced them. He smiled and nodded trying not to show his discontent. "Ogie. Thats quite the name?" Ogie nodded. "Short for Oklahoma. My mother is quite the character." She giggled smiling wide grabbing Ogie's hand to reassure him. Luckily there wasn't too long of an awkward silence before her mother called them into the kitchen for food. Everyone decided it was time to get ready for bed.

As they were getting ready to go to sleep she could tell there was something on his mind. She sat next to him on the bed putting her arms around him feeling glad her parents weren't too old fashioned that they couldn't be in the same room alone so that she could comfort him. "Whats on your mind Ogie? I can tell somethings wrong." He nodded. "I don't think they like me, Dawn." She frowned hugging him tightly. "They've only just met you. There is so much more to you than they've seen. They'll love you by the end of the week! I mean I do and they love me so~" He smiled wrapping his arms around her and she laughed kissing his cheek. "It'll all be ok. I promise." He nodded. "Ok." They fell asleep holding onto each other smiling wide.

Over the course of the next three days, her sisters showed up. (Her little sister also bringing a boyfriend hopefully taking the spotlight off of Ogie) A few cousins as well. Eventually, Thursday came. Thanksgiving. The day most of her family would be under one roof, could she have possibly chosen a worse time to bring him. She sighed as they got ready to face the family Ogie pulling out his magic duffle bag and setting it on the bed. She giggled at how excited he was as she finished getting dressed she slipped her glasses in her bag putting in her contacts in once more.

He smiled at her and she smiled back. "Be prepared for a level of dysfunction that isn't even on the level chart." He laughed. "Something makes me think you're exaggerating." "I'm really not." "Oh well, we'll see." He smiled pulling her close to him. "Oh, you'll see alright." She smiled as he grabbed his bag and they headed down the stairs to see Dawn's aunt and younger cousins had arrived. Ogie was happy to see that kids had come. Dawn hugged them smiling and introduced them to Ogie. The kids giggled and asked him what was in the bag and he was very happy to show them. She watched him smiling wide.

A few minutes into his act she went to the kitchen to get something to drink. Only to be stopped by her mother smiling wide. She looked at her puzzled proceeding to the fridge to grab her drink to leave to again only to be stopped by her mother who was smiling weirdly at her. "Momma what are you doing I wanna go sit with the others." Her mother nodded. "I know Dawn I just wanna talk to you a minute." Dawn nodded sitting on a stool at the counter island.

"Your friend. He isn't what your father and I exactly imagined when you said you'd finally found a boyfriend." Dawn went to say something but she continued before she could. "But then again your entire life hasn't exactly turned out the way your father and I imagined and we are ok with that, you have your own way of doing things and thats a good thing." Dawn nodded and her mother grabbed her hands. "But I do need to know something." Dawn looked at her confused. "Are you happy?" Her eyes widened and she nodded quickly. "Yes! Of course! My friends are amazing and as much as you guys hate it I love working at the din-" Her mother cut her off. "But do you love him. Thats what I'm asking Dawn. If you're really happy with him I will accept that." She smiled widely nodding quickly. Her mother nodded. "Good. Now your father might be a little tougher to crack than I am but you pester him enough I'm sure you'll crack him. You were always the one that was able to." She giggled. "Now go." She nodded going back out to sit with the family watching Ogie perform for the kids stopping every now and then with a simple trick that he would explain how it was done.

She smiled even wider seeing that her nephew (who usually had his face in his mom's phone playing Minecraft) was watching as he performed and entertained. She watched this go on for about half an hour before her sister plopped down on the couch next to her smiling. "Dawwwn. So when are you gonna tell me about your friend." She laughed. "There isn't much to tell Coraline." "Really I'm sure there is a lot more to him than a close-up magician. Stuff like how did you meet personal interests... ~really personal interests~" Dawns eyes went wide at what her sister was implying and she swatted at her arm. "Well, we met online and then about a week later we went out and it ended horribly. A few days later he came to the diner to try and smooth things over and well- he succeeded." Her sister nodded smiling wide. "Anything else?" "Well, he's a poet he does competitive dancing and he does war reenactments if thats what you're asking."

"You know~ He seems to be really good with the kids." This made Dawn turn a bright shade of red. "I-I don't t-think we're really at th-at stage yet Cora." Coraline laughed at her sudden embarrassment. "I know you aren't yet but I'm saying when you are." She nodded smiling and looking back over at Ogie. He saw her looking at him and grinned at her goofily before going back to his act. Getting up from her spot on the couch and going to sit on the floor next to him she squeezed his hand gently resting her head on his shoulder smiling wide. He smiled and continued on as if she weren't there she smiled watching him do his tricks from up close. Even some of the adults got interested and started watching him which prompted him to do some of his earlier tricks again. (the kids were still amazed by them even if he had already done them) She smiled and he even showed her how to do a few of the tricks herself (she only understood how to do a few of them but he still showed her).

Pretty soon her mother called from the kitchen saying everything was ready and they all went to eat. Most of the family left after dinner which meant it got a lot quieter. Dawn beat her brother to the tv remote and turned on the history channel to his disdain sitting down next to Ogie and curling up into his side at which he smiled and put his arm around her. She smiled widely suddenly feeling as if it were 10 degrees warmer. It was a nice feeling she decided and she lay her head on his chest curling up into a little ball within herself. He kissed the top of her head and she suddenly felt bubbly but she didn't know why, being it had never happened before.

She squirmed slightly moving her head to rest in the crook of his neck. He grinned looking down at her she smiled back at him wide. He held her close and began watching the tv closely. She grinned to herself. Maybe he wasn't so wrong when he told her they were soulmates after all. A few hours later they decided to go to bed she fell asleep clinging to him the same bubbly feeling rushing through her. They left the next morning and there still seemed to be something bothering him. She asked him what it was and he claimed it was nothing.

About halfway through the drive home, she asked him again and he shrugged it off. She wasn't gonna give up that easily. She grabbed his hand and smiled softly at him. Asking it what it was. "I don't think your dad likes me." She laughed. "You aren't exactly what he expected." "WHATS THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN?" She laughed again. "It doesn't matter, everyone else absolutely adores you. Even my Momma and I thought she was gonna be the hard one to crack." "Thats not what I'm talking about!" "Listen. Ogie. It doesn't matter what my dad thinks. My dad doesn't even like that I work at a diner. Besides I'm his daughter, he's not gonna like anyone I bring home. The important thing is that you're who I decided to bring, and thats a special thing. My family stresses me out and you helped me stay calm the entire time we were there and no ones ever been able to before. So who cares what my dad thinks. I like you and thats what matters." He smiled widely at her and she blushed. She squeezed his hand gently. The rest of the drive home he held her hand in his.

The next day she started back at the diner, Jenna and Becky attacking her with questions as she laughed. They got mad that she wouldn't tell them anything while Cal was around to interrupt. They dragged her into the bathroom during the morning lull and she told them everything as they squealed. Jenna talked to her a little longer as Becky went back out to start bussing tables. "So was I right or was I right." Dawn nodded. "I guess it was ok. I was kinda worried about nothing." "Kinda worried about nothing, Dawn, you were definitely worried about nothing." She laughed and nodded. "I guess so..." She looked down at the floor sighing. "Is there something on your mind Dawn?" She shrugged. "I don't know... Maybe." "What is it?"

"I think I love him, Jenna..." She looked down at the ground and Jenna's eyes went wide. "I don't know. I Just. Ever since yesterday, I've just had this bubbly feeling and I don't know what is but it won't stop! Maybe I'm just getting sick!" Jenna laughed. "Dawn I think you do love him. I also think this feeling isn't gonna stop anytime soon. I had that feeling once a long time ago. It may have faded for me but hopefully, It will just get stronger for you Dawn." She nodded smiling wide. Jenna grabbed her hands and smiled. "I have high hopes for you two, don't prove me wrong Dawn."

Dawn nodded still smiling wide. "I won't Jenna. I promise." Jenna nodded and they went back to work just in time for the lunch rush. Cal was cussing them for being in there so long and they laughed. They worked the rest of the day and went home about an hour after closing because they were too busy talking to each other about Dawn's trip. About Jenna's first trip to the doctor that the girls squealed about but Jenna was not amused. Dawn went home happy, and for once in her life she was calm. She got home and curled up on her couch happily watching her tv.

There was a knock on her door about an hour after she got home which confused her because she wasn't expecting anyone. She went to answer the door and smiled to herself when she saw Ogie there grinning. She giggled letting him in. They sat on the couch together barely saying a word. There was a strange awkwardness to it. Not the kind of awkwardness like you'd think. It was the kind of awkwardness you'd expect from a first date with an old friend. There was a tension that neither of them knew how to deal with. Neither of them knew what to say. They were sitting on the opposite ends of the couch their hands were together in the middle of it though.

They weren't even watching TV at this point. They were just sitting there staring off into space with the silence. They both wanted to be closer but for some reason or another, they couldn't find their words. She decided to make the first move scooting closer to him. He looked at her smiled and scooted closer to her and pulled her close to him and she smiled widely. The bubbly feeling returning to her. She put her arms around him smiling wide. He kissed the top of her head. "I didn't mean to come unannounced but I wanted to see you." She nodded. "Thats ok. I wanted to see you too." He smiled. "I got something for you." She giggled. "You did?" He nodded. "I saw it and it made me think of you so I got it." He shrugged pulling a small box out of his pocket and handing it to her. She smiled opening it and gasped when she saw what it was.

Inside was a small ring the metal carved to make it look like a rope that came together with metal fashioned to look like a knot on the top of it. "It's a knot ring. Meant to signify a knot that has not yet been tied but has every intention of being tied." She smiled widely putting it on. It was a little bit loose but she didn't care. Her eyes watered slightly and she smiled wrapping her arms back around him curling up into his side. He smiled holding her close and she giggled.

They were going to last.