One hot August afternoon, Zayora checked her mybook friend requests. She had one from her old pal Tim. Zayora looked at her sister Sarah and proclaimed that she was going to marry Tim. Sarah just smiled and nodded; no doubt thinking Zay had finally gone crazy. Zayora accepted Tim’s request and the two of them played e-tag until one day Tim left his phone number for Zayora to call him. She did and the two of them began to have marathon phone conversations every night.
Tim told Zay up front that he only wanted to be friends. Even though Tim couldn’t see her, she shook her head and smiled thinking to herself, “Friends make the best husbands.”
Zayora’s kids often wondered just what they got to talking about each and every night. The two of them did not seem to have much in common other than going to the same high school. Tim had never married and had no kids. Zayora was divorced with four kids-and a grandchild. Tim was a deeply religious man, while Zayora steadfastly believed in God but not in organized religion. In spite of their differences, they had one very important thing in common that even Zay’s kids could not deny. They both sure liked to laugh a lot! Zay seemed to laugh non-stop whenever she was talking to Tim and he would get so carried away in turn that he could be heard laughing right along with her over the phone line.
After months and months of talking online and on the phone, Zay got the urge to see her old pal face to face. After all, he only lived a couple of hours away. The visit went well as the two friends played face-to-face catch up. That is, it went well until nature took over.
Tim looked deeply into Zay’s eyes and asked her if he could be frank. Zay replied that he could as long as she could still be Zayora. When Tim didn’t laugh, Zay got worried.
“I want to kiss you,” he said.
“I wish you had just gone ahead and done it without saying anything.”
At that, he kissed her and a heavy make-out session followed. Zayora came to visit several more times, and each time, Tim made a move to kiss her and they made out-never getting any more physical than a couple of shy teenagers. Summer turned to fall and Zay made plans for a joint birthday party for the two of them. When she informed Tim of her rather romantic plans, he restated that he only wanted to be friends.
Zayora was livid. “You know what? I just won’t come to visit you anymore. We’ll just talk on the phone so there’s no more confusion about who wants and does not wantwhat.”
And they did. They talked on the phone for over a year and became the best of friends and neither of them brought that other business up again. That is, until Thanksgiving rolled around and Zay (in her infinite wisdom) invited Tim to come and have dinner with her and her family.
“I don’t know. Your kids are noisy.”
“They’re just kids home from school playing their music.”
“Yeah, well that grandkid of yours is noisy.”
“He’s ten months old. He’s supposed to be noisy.”
“Yeah, well nothing. Just don’t come. I don’t care. Have Thanksgiving dinner all by yourself and see if I care.”
“So, I’ll be there.”
And he was. And the kids were noisy and the baby was noisy and nobody cared. It did Tim’s heart good to see what a family holiday looked and felt like from an adult’s point of view. And it did Zay’s heart good to have Tim there with her and her family. Somehow, everything just felt right. She didn’t burn the turkey. She didn’t overcook the ham. The cheese in the broccoli and rice casserole was nice and creamy. The potato salad had no lumps in it. The meatballs were perfectly formed and mouth-watering. The baked beans smelled and tasted delicious. There was not too much sugar in the homemade macaroni and cheese. The piecrusts were not singed and the fillings were scrumptious. None of the cakes fell. Even the iced tea was sweetened just right. Zay got to thinking that it would be wonderful if every holiday could be this good-if every day could be this good. She felt the reigniting of a buried urge deep in her heart. While the kids were lost in their music and the baby was taking a nap, Zay called Tim into the kitchen.
She took a deep breath.
“Are you having a good time?”
“Yes. I really am. I don’t know which one I’m more thankful for-that you invited me or that I came”
“Don’t you want more good times like this?”
“Then kiss me,” Zay said raising her arm.
“There’s no kissing on Thanksgiving.”
“Sure there is. I’ve got the red berries hanging right over your head.”
Tim looked up to see what Zay was holding.
“Those are cranberries.”
“They’re jellied cranberries.”
“They’re in a can.”
“So. Kiss me anyway.”
And he did. Amidst the baby snoring and the young people playing Music Master and all the noise and glory of the holiday, he kissed her. And he kissed her every Thanksgiving after that-standing in the middle of their kitchen underneath a can of jellied cranberry sauce. Zayora was right. Friends really did make the best husbands!