I wake up from my afternoon nap to the wonderful intermingling smell of several aromas wafting from the kitchen. That, and my father’s voice calling my name. Emily. Emily. 

Each aroma calls out to me, tempting me, weakening my resolve.

I get up from bed, and put on a pair of jeans, a blue tank top and over that, a gray sweater that reaches mid-thigh. I comb my dark, unruly hair and slip on a hairband. On my way out the door, I slip on my flip-flops.

I walk toward the long table, my mouth watering and my eyes widening at all the edible goodness present before me. All the food set on the table is too much to even comprehend. And I suddenly thank whoever came up with Thanksgiving Day because all the food is so worth the thanksgiving.

My family members–aunts, uncles, grandmothers, grandfathers, cousins, nephews, nieces–are all in the living room, except for my mother, who is cooking in the kitchen. There are warm greetings, kisses and hugs exchanged while we wait for mother to signal that it is time for dinner. I cannot think of anything else but the food, though. It is always about the food.

Minutes later, my mother exits the kitchen with the very delicious-looking main course: the turkey.

I am the first person to be seated at the table. I regret nothing when I say that I will always be the first to be somewhere when there is food present. When everything is set and after we say a prayer to thank the Lord for this special occasion, I serve myself as much of the food possible. First come, first serve. (At least, that’s how I live my life. And it applies most especially when food is involved.)

I dig in and eat everything on my plate. I don’t even look up. All my attention is on the food and by the time I finish eating and look up, I finally notice that there is no more food left.

It saddens me.

I excuse myself and make my way to the kitchen, heading straight for the refrigerator. I find a slice of leftover cake from last night, and my eyes widen in glee at the sight of the sweet treat.

I make sure that no one notices the scrumptious cake in my hands as I make my way to my room.



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