He sat in the car staring at the house. He glanced at the clock. Ten thirty. That should be about right. He didn’t want to go inside too early, Beth was always in a foul mood when she cooked Thanksgiving dinner. He didn’t want to be too late, either, though. Then he would suffer her wrath for holding everything up and letting dinner get cold.

He scanned the driveway. Her parents were already here, which meant that her aunt Trudy was probably with them. The other car was new, but he guessed it was Beth’s sister and brother-in-law. When did they get an Audi? They must be doing pretty well.

There was nothing about the next few hours that interested him. The small talk. Hearing about Fred’s job. Hearing for the hundredth time about the year that Beth, as a child, knocked the turkey off the table. The only saving grace was that there would be sports on tv to distract him. Well, that, and the fact that his brother, Chad, couldn’t make it this year.

Come to think of it, he guessed he did have stuff to be thankful for. In addition to not having to listen to Chad, he had a busy, well paying job that gave him an excuse to leave the house and avoid the craziness of Thanksgiving morning. Not that he actually went to the office. He had been pleased to find a few “working girls” were still working on the holiday.  She had turned out to be a real treat. With a sigh, he opened the car door and headed toward the house.

******

Amber walked faster as she neared her house. The wind was too cold for her short skirt and loose fitting top. Her jacket helped, but it was more ornamental than functional. The day had gone even better than she had hoped. Thanksgiving morning was not usually a busy time in her line of work. Many of the other girls had stayed home, which had no doubt helped her get selected. Thinking about it, she had a lot to be thankful for today. Not only did she find some work, but the guy wasn’t a freak – and he had given her an extra hundred dollars for basically no reason.

“Mom? I’m home!” she shouted as she entered the house, stopping to latch several locks on the back of the door. “The pharmacy was still open so I was able to get your medication. I’ll bring it right there.”

She rinsed a plastic cup in the sink and filled it halfway with water. She examined the label on the prescription even though she would have no idea if it was the right thing or not. It had her mom’s name on it, so it must be right. She took two capsules and the water to the house’s lone bedroom.

“Here you go mom. Can you sit up? This should make you feel better. I’m sorry I couldn’t get it yesterday. Today was a good day.”

The far away look in her mom’s eyes made her sad, but she kept her voice as cheerful as possible. “I was able to get your meds and I bought us some sliced turkey and bread so we can have sandwiches. You remember how we used to do that on Thanksgiving? I also got an electric heater; it’s supposed to get really cold tonight. On top of that I should even have enough for us to pay some on the power bill tomorrow and make sure they don’t cut it off.”

Her mom seemed to smile a little bit as Amber held her up and fixed her hair with her fingers. She fought back tears as she wrapped her arms around her mom. “I love you, mom.” Even if her mom couldn’t respond, Amber knew she had a lot to be thankful for.