It's the beginning of November and Fabian is looking to make plans to visit his family with his lawyer boyfriend, Michael, for Thanksgiving week. But when Fabian shows up at Michael's office during the workday, Michael is rude and unreceptive to the idea, so Fabian breaks up with him.
Making the trip to San Jose by himself, Fabian is welcomed home by his loving Italian family who are just eager for him to come home for good. Fabian is set to make the best of Thanksgiving, single and all, but maybe a special visit will help to make his heart thankful once more.
The thing about being part of an Italian family was that they were, well ... boisterous.
As soon as I pulled up in front of my parents' house close to eight that Tuesday night, the door opened. I was pretty sure that meant my mother had been watching for me.
This was not the home I had grown up in, which had also been in San Jose, but one that my parents had bought as an "upgrade." My sister was a real estate agent and had helped them with the purchase.
"Fabian! There you are!"
I was enveloped in a hug guaranteed to knock you off your feet if you weren't prepared for it. I was, fortunately.
"I thought you'd be here much earlier!" She stepped back, but still clutched at my arm as I made my way to the trunk of the car to take out my bag. "I thought you were leaving in the morning."
"Not early morning. And you know how traffic is. Had to stop for gas and something to eat along the way, too."
"Eat? I have food waiting for you."
"I know, I know. This was lunch. I'm hungry, don't worry."
Mama practically dragged me inside the house. There my father gave me another hug, this one like a bear had hugged me.
Then I went through my sister, her husband, and the two kids. By the time I sat down at the table with a plate of pasta in front of me, I was already exhausted. I was the introvert of the family.
I wasn't surprised, not really anyway, when the three of them, Mama, Pop, and Denise, all sat at the dining room table while I ate. Denise's family had disappeared into the room they were staying in. I couldn't blame them. I wanted to do the same.
"So." This from Pop.
I ignored the subtle approach and put another bite of pasta in my mouth.
"How was the drive?" Denise asked.
"I bet. All that driving and traffic. And LA. Crazy." Mama paused. "Which is what we want to talk to you about."
"Uh-huh. Got any garlic bread?"
She rolled her eyes. "Do I? Didn't you grow up with me as your mother?" She rose and went into the kitchen, then brought back a basket filled to brim with garlic bread.
"Denise told us about that boy."
"Man, Mama. Michael's no boy."
"Eh." She shrugged. "You divide us all into girls and boys, he's a boy. A stupid one if you ask me."
Nobody did, and I wasn't about to point that out or she'd box my ears.
"The point is, Fabian, now that you have no man and no job --"
"I have a job."