Miracle Beans: A Christmas Story. Part 3

Part 3

Pizza for Thanksgiving

“Is there anything that I can do to help,” Linda said. “Yeah, me too. I’d like to help out in any way that I can,” John said. “No, we knew this was coming. The pandemic has really been tough for business, but we are old, and we still have our retirement funds in place, so we’ll be okay. 

It’s time to say goodbye to this old place,” Mrs. Osborne said, before hugging Mr. Osborne. He kissed her forehead. “God will work things out. I don’t know how, I don’t know when, but we have to keep the faith,” he said. “Amen,” Mrs. Osborne said.

A day before Thanksgiving, Linda saw John, Abby, and John’s parents at the grocery store. “Hi, Ms. Linda!” Abby said. “Hello Abby,” she said. “Wow, we just keep running into each other,” John said. “It’s a small town, but yeah, how are you?” Linda said.

“I’m good,” John said, before his mother interrupted by clearing her throat. “I’m sorry, Linda, these are my parents, Josephine and John Sr.” “Hi, nice to meet you,” Josephine said. “Nice childbearing hips, and I see you’re not married,” she said. “Excuse me?” Linda said. 

“What are you doing for Thanksgiving? You should join us,” Josephine said. “Oh, well. I kinda have a lot of work to do. I’m just going to eat this pizza and catch up on work tomorrow,” Linda said, while holding up a frozen pizza. 

“Put that down,” Josephine said. Linda eased the pizza back into the cart. “Pizza for Thanksgiving. That’s unheard of, especially frozen pizza. Now, don’t be silly dear. 

Accept the invitation. Dinner begins at four o’clock. We’ll see you tomorrow,” Josephine said. “Okay,” Linda said. “Sorry,” John mouthed. 

“Nice to meet you again,” John Sr. said. The four of them headed to checkout, and although Linda was finished shopping, she pretended to be interested in the battery section, until they left. She didn’t want things to get more awkward than they were. “Are you sure that I don’t need to bring anything?” Linda said. John had her on speakerphone. 

He was busy putting up the tree with his father, while Abby and Josephine made sweet potato custards, and a red velvet cake. “Tell her, the only thing she needs to bring, is her hiney,” Josephine said. “Oop. Okay, bringing my hiney,” Linda said. 

“We’ll see you soon,” John said. “Okay, bye,” Linda said.  “Well, I see where Abby gets her feisty personality from. Linda looked through her closet to find something to wear. She choose a red wrap midi dress and some pumps. 

When she got to John’s home, John was holding Abby on his shoulders, so that Abby could put the star on top of the Christmas tree. “Hello, welcome,” Josephine said, as she opened the door. “Hi, you’re just in time,” John said, before putting Abby down. “Let me get your coat,” John said. He placed Linda’s coat and purse on the coat rack. 

“What a beautiful home,” Linda said, admiring the Colonial style home with a mid century update. There were various paintings of African American art throughout the house. “These paintings are beautiful,” Linda said. “Thank you. My late wife was an amazing artist. 

She passed away five years ago, when Abby was only two. She had cancer,” John said. “My God. John, I’m so sorry. I can’t imagine how difficult that must’ve been, or how difficult it must be, even now,” Linda said. “

“It’s been rough, but I’m okay. I’m grateful for Abby. She reminds me so much of her mother,” John said. “Is this her? She was stunning,” Linda said, admiring a picture of John’s late wife. 

The sun kissed her skin just right, in a way that made her brown eyes and bronze skin glow. “Yes, that’s her,” John said. This is my favorite picture of her. “Wow, Abby does look like her. She’s her spitting image.

John Sr. blessed the food, and everyone ate. They shared good conversation, laughs, and John Sr. and Josephine shared a dance or two. When dinner was over, John plugged up the tree, and everyone applauded at how beautiful the tree was. “Well, I must get going, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Thank you so much for having me,” Linda said.

“You’re welcome. It was a pleasure having you,” Josephine said. “We enjoyed you, Linda. Drive Safe,” John Sr. said. John walked Linda to her car. 

“Thank you so much. I had a great time. It really felt like home. I miss that. I haven’t been to Brazil, or seen my family in almost two years, since right before the pandemic,” Linda said.

“I’m sure you’ll see them soon,” John said. “Yeah, I wouldn’t mind flying home for Christmas, but I have so much work, and the Osbornes. I can’t leave them hanging, knowing their cafe is in trouble. Do you know that they’re set to auction on Christmas Eve?” Linda said. “What? 

That’s insane,” John said. “I’m going to figure something out though. Thanks again for Thanksgiving dinner,” Linda said. “You’re welcome. Hey, would you like to have dinner with me on Friday?” John said. 

“Sure. I’d like that a lot,” Linda said. John opened Linda’s car door and she got in. “See you Friday,” she said. “Okay, call me when you get home, so I’ll know you made it safe,” John said.

Linda decided to create a go fund me to save Miracle Beans. She didn’t tell the Osbornes, because they made her promise not to worry about them. She couldn’t help but to worry. She’d lived in Black Mountain for fifteen years. Before she became a big time marketing executive, she even worked at Miracle Beans part time, for a short period of time. 

The goal was to raise thirty thousand dollars by December 23. John donated three thousand. Linda donated two thousand, but they still needed twenty five thousand to save Miracle Beans. The Black Mountain community loved the Osbornes and Miracle Beans, and we’re glad to help. Two weeks before the auction date, and they had raised a total of twelve thousand dollars.

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