On Wednesday all of our family was arriving for Thanksgiving. We didn't normally all get together for Thanksgiving, but after the fight that Mom and Dad had had with Rex when he was visiting over the Summer, they decided that they wanted to try to make a special effort to get the whole family back together and talking again.
Jill and Joy were both attending Cal Tech, and would be arriving together during the day on Wednesday. Kathy and her husband Bob and their kids had already arrived the day before, but they were staying with Bob's family in Provo. Bob was an only child for some reason even though he was raised Mormon, so his family agreed to have their big family dinner on the day after Thanksgiving so that Bob and Kathy could have Thanksgiving dinner at our house.
Rex and Lynn were coming in on a late-afternoon flight and wouldn't be arriving at the house until after the time I had planned to be at the party, so I knew I wouldn't see them until the next day. This time they agreed to stay at the house with the family. It turned out that the reason they had stayed in a hotel the last time they had visited here was that Mom and Dad had insisted that if they stayed in the house they'd have to have separate bedrooms. Rex wasn't happy about that because he felt like that sort of thing was none of Mom and Dad's business.
This time Mom and Dad agreed to let them share a room. It was kind of a compromise really because now Rex and Lynn were officially engaged. So Mom and Dad could say that they weren't okay with them sharing a room when they were just living together, but that it was okay now that they were engaged.
My school day passed uneventfully enough right up until Math class, which was my second-to-last class of the day. I was really excited about the party, and I knew Joe would be too. When I came into the classroom and saw him though he seemed upset.
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"Is something wrong?" I asked him.
"Yeah, I just got some bad news," he said.
"I just got off the phone with Tom's mother, my boss. Tom had told me I needed to call her urgently. It turns out that the person who was going to cover for me at work tonight suddenly took sick and so did the one other person who was on for tonight's shift. Every single other kitchen grunt is out of town because of Thanksgiving. So I can't go to the party, I have to work."
"Wow, that's harsh!" I said.
"I know. I'm so disappointed! It was the only fun thing I had planned for this whole holiday weekend. I tried to convince my boss to let me get out of it, but she said that she absolutely needs me tonight, and if she can't count on me, she'd have no choice but to replace me with a college student she can rely on. Obviously I need this job, so there's nothing I can do."
"That's too bad," I said.
"Can you give them my regrets when you get there, and tell them what happened?" he asked.
"Okay, no problem," I said.
I felt like an evil person for it, but I was secretly almost kind of glad that Joe wouldn't be at the party. Of course I wanted to get together with Andrea at the party myself, and it would just be that much easier if I didn't have a rival to deal with. I didn't want my friendship with Joe to be ruined by competition over a girl, but at the same time I couldn't bring myself to just step aside and leave her to him. I was in love with her!
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