It's Tuesday evening, following Thanksgiving and Ember is in her kitchen preparing for guests. Her mother, Fatima, and Aunt Tandra have already arrived.
Ember: I am. I thought having food would be good just in case anyone gets hungry or we take longer than expected. Syren is picking up little dessert, but that's it. I just need to put out cups for the drinks.
Fatima: What kind?
Ember: Just some Lime-Aid stuff and some tea, in the green pitcher.
Fatima: Can Erwyn have some dessert?
Ember: Not tonight. She's upstairs and it will be bedtime soon. I don't want her to have sugar this late.
Tandra: I didn't bother to tell them. You reminded me your place is just big enough for a small group. I'll let them know what we decide later. They'll be fine with that.
Ember: Okay. Henna told me she can't make it either. We'll just catch everyone up and let them know what we figure out. By the way, you look really nice this evening.
Tandra: You are so sweet. You know I must look my best. That reminds me (reaching for her handbag) I need to freshen up my lipstick.
Ember: You look fine.
Fatima: You know that doesn't matter. Just let her be.
Tandra: You see? I needed just a little more.
Fatima (laughing): I see it. You know what you're doing.
Tandra: I know you poke fun at me, but I look beautiful.
Ember: Yes, you always look good.
Fatima: I'll give you that, you do.
Tandra (shooting Fatima an annoyed look): Sweet and smart. I love you my niece. So, who else is coming?
Ember: Cyann and her friend Avery. You'll like her.
Ember: The following would be good. I'll get her packed up and ready. Just let me know what time you'll be here to get her.
Tandra: I should go with you and take Tylyn. She's getting older. She may like that.
Fatima: Okay. Make a decision soon. We need reservations.
Ember: You haven't made them yet? Well, I guess not if you're just now asking which weekend is best. It's going to be expensive to book now.
Fatima: Don't worry, I have it covered.
The doorbell rings. Ember goes to get it and Tandra and Fatima follow her to head to the living room. It's Syren at the door. Ember lets her in and then goes upstairs to check on Erwyn.
Syren: Hi, Aunt Tandra. Mom, I brought the best cream puffs ever. You'll have to try them.
Tandra: Give me my hug and then we can talk sweet things.
Syren (laughing): Yes, ma'am.
Syren hugs her aunt and then her mother and has a seat. They chat until Cyann and Avery arrive and enter the living room.
Syren: Aunt Tandra, this is Avery. Avery, this is my Aunt Tandra.
Avery: Hello. It's nice to meet you.
Cyann introduces Avery to Fatima and then they both have a seat. Aunt Tandra insists Avery sit by her. Ember comes into the room to get started planning.
Cyann: I love the idea. You know I'm always up for a party. Gray can't protest because it's not costing him much.
Syren: I'll be there, of course. (singing) It's Party Time. Oh, it's Party Time.
Fatima (laughing at Syren): You know Tandra and I are here just for this reason, so you know our answer.
Avery: I think that's a great idea. Just let me know what my assignment is. Craig shouldn't have any issues with coming. Can my mother and father come if they are here?
Fatima: Of course they can.
The group starts chatting about what they will bring. After preliminary assignments and volunteering for what to bring, they chat a little amongst each other. Tandra turns to ask Avery a question.
Avery: Yes, I think it's possible. My father usually comes. Perhaps my mother will too.
Tandra: That's so nice.
Avery: I think it would be. Aviana just loves her grandfather.
Tandra: Oh, so you already have a child. When are you expecting this new little one to arrive? It's exciting to be having another baby, yes?
Avery just pauses for a minute. Everyone else hears the question and they stop. Cyann, Ember and Syren are surprised. Fatima just smiles.
Cyann: I'm sorry, Avery. You'll have to forgive Aunt Tandra, sometimes she just says what comes to her mind. She doesn't mean to insult you.
Tandra (to Cyann and Ember): Are you saying she is just putting on weight? That is not what I see. I am not confused or insulting her. (to Avery) I'm sorry, I did not know you not tell anyone yet.
Ember: But, Aunt Tandra, she's not pregnant.
Fatima: Umm, Ladies, I think you are jumping the gun here. Maybe you see what you want to see, but I see what Tandra sees too. If we are both wrong, we will apologize. Besides, Avery hasn't said a thing yet. Let her talk.
The room is silent for a few seconds.
Tandra: Thank you. I could tell. Look at your lovely skin and that belly so easy to see on such a slim girl. I know these things. I looked right at my own daughter and told her she was pregnant, even before she took a test. I know these things.
Syren: Uhuh. Remind me to hide from you if I'm ever pregnant and don't want anyone to know for a while.
Syren: Ooooo, Ember. You chastised your aunt and you were the one who was wrong. Oooo.
Ember (blushing): I'm so sorry, Aunt Tandra. I should not have said anything. I apologize. That was wrong of me.
Tandra: It's okay, Baby. I forgive you. You didn't know I was right, although you should know I'm right. But I forgive you.
Cyann: I'm sorry too. I was just as wrong. Please forgive me.
Tandra: Of course I forgive you. But next time, just know I am right. I know these things.
Fatima: I'm just surprised she's your good friend and you didn't pick up on it before we did.
Cyann: I guess you're right. We see what we want to see.
Ember: Congratulations, Avery!
Syren: Yes, congrats.
Cyann: So tell us everything. Give some details. I have another party to plan now. Shower time!
Syren (singing): It's shower time, Oh, it's shower time.
After Syren finishes her little song, Avery shares some information about being pregnant. After a while they wrap up their meeting and everyone heads home.
Well, for some reason Avery hadn't told Cyann yet about being pregnant, but the cat's out the bag now. I guess Ember and Cyann have learned their lesson about doubting Aunt Tandra.
May your season be bright. ~ Jaye