It's morning and it's ugly outside. It's not even sun that pours through my blinds just a filthy gray light that casts a gleaming glare on my brown carpet. It's literally freezing as I step out of bed wrapping a blanket around me. I limp to the shower and turn the water to warm. I look at the calendar on my bathroom wall and cross yesterday out with a fat, red X. Today's date has a poorly drawn turkey wearing a pilgrim hat. Stripping my clothes off, I haul myself into the shower so I can be presentable when we go to the Prior's house later today. Yay...

Thanksgiving is a stupid holiday. Why is there one day when you're thankful for everything? Isn't the point of, I don't know living, to be thankful for what you have. Don't get me wrong, even with a life as screwed up as mine I'm thankful for, you know, food and the necessities of living. I've got great friends, good grades, a sport that I love. Hell, I'm healthy and that should be good enough.

It's not.

Somewhere, deep inside of me there's a little boy still yearning for his father's approval. I'll never catch a big enough fish. I'll never score enough points for the team. My grades will never be absolutely perfect. My friends will never be up to his perfect standard with languid laughs and discussions about politics in his party's favor. My girlfriend isn't tall enough. She isn't curvy enough. Her face isn't pretty enough all according to him.

As I lather my body in soap, I know that nothing will ever be good enough for him. He's a bottom feeder that controls all the other fish. Makes them do his dirty work. Maybe it was Mom's death that sucked the love and life from him. A whole that should have been replaced with love for his family, his only son, was filled with hatred. Martin Luther King Jr. said something about how darkness can't drive out darkness only light can do that and then it gets me think to the sciencey side. There is no cold only an absence of heat. Is there no hate only an absence of love? His love is cryptic. Twisted. Mutilative.

I step out of the shower and wrap a towel around my waist. Love is often depicted in fairy tales as this happy-go-lucky perfect fantasy of sparkles and glitter. Wish I could X that idea out like my calendar. When you turn on a light, you leave a shadow puddled with darkness and horror in a corner of the attic that's yet to be explored. Sometimes we think that talking about these things would make it better. Some people get therapists or friends. Some people tell strangers and loved ones.

Tris is my loved one and I told her.

I almost wish I hadn't. It's not because of me, like, she doesn't look at me like I'm a lost puppy on the side of the freeway. It's how she looks at Dad, at Marcus. The anger furry behind her eyes sometimes make me weary of stand so close to her. She's stalking her prey and just waiting for the right time to pounce. It's a turn on in a sort of needing,hot, possessive sort of way.

Tossing on a collared shirt and sweater vest, I walk back into the bathroom to cut off the light. I feel like a dog shaking out my hair and towel drying it quickly. Snagging my cellphone off the nightstand, I slip it into my pocket. Jogging hurriedly, I make my way down stairs and find Marcus leaning on the island with a bottle of whine and casserole that Dana, the maid, cooked last evening, "Good morning, Tobias." His words are fluid and velvety.

"Morning," I say looking at the clock. 11:54.

He straightens up and buries the bottle of wine in the paper bag, "Ready to go to the Prior's home?"

I give a small nod and take the casserole, "Yes sir."

"I expect you'll be on your best behavior?" He says beginning to walk in that brisk businessman sort of way.

"Yes sir," I repeat. It's my only word and I'm a record stuck on loop.

He pats me on the back and I wince like a mistreated animal, "Good."

Mrs. Prior opens the door with the sweet smile most mother have, "Come in! Come in!" She says opening the door widely. Feet clomp down the stairs heavily and Tris smirks when she sees me.

She's in a mint green sweater that hides her hands except for her black nails and a short floral skirt that swishes when she walks. Her flat shoes are nude and she fiddles with a heart shaped necklace. I want to absorb ever detail about her but it's too much at once. If it's Friday then she's my favorite song on the radio. She steps past her mother respectively and grabs my hand. I don't know where we're going and I don't care.

"Hey Mr. Eaton," she forces out, "Hey Tobias," she whispers. We run up the stairs and down the hallway to Caleb's room like kids afraid of monsters, "He's here." She says jumping into the big red beanbag on the floor.

"Hey man," Caleb says facing a computer. He's typing something furiously and listening to Carole King, "What's up?"

I shrug my shoulders and plop next to Tris. "Happy Turkey Day." I say to both of them.

Tris smiles and wraps her hand in mine, "Right back atcha." She kisses my chin then my lips and rests her head on my shoulder. I wrap my arm around her and feel her warm green sweater against my skin. She's mine and she's perfect. It's hard keeping sane when we're curled up together in this huge beanbag chair and she's pressed into my side. Caleb, thanks for keeping things PG and ruining my opportunity at the same time.

"Dinner's almost ready," Caleb says hitting the pause button. "We should get down there, I'm starving."

"Isn't it like 4 o'clock?" I ask dumbly.

"Dad comes from Virginia and in the south they traditionally had five meals, breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, and supper." Tris says, "So when we say Thanksgiving dinner we don't mean supper dinner we mean 4 o'clock dinner." She pauses, "Does that make any sense?"

I shrug. "Yeah, I get it."

She hoists herself up and I walk down with her. "Something smells delicious!" Caleb yells as we stomp down the stairs.

"Good!" Mrs. Prior says as we appear around the corner. "Beatrice, why don't you set the table and Tobias and Caleb can go talk with Mr. Eaton and Dad."

Tris breaks away from me. "Are you sure there's nothing I could do to help?" I ask Mrs. Prior.

"You can set this mighty bird on the table." She says pulling off a pair of oven gloves and nodding her head to the bird.

I'll gladly take the turkey to the table, especially if it means not having to sit and stare at Marcus. "Need some help?" I ask Tris who's balancing five empty water glasses in her hands.

"Yeah," She says handing me a few.

"Oh Tobias, you're such a help." Mrs. Prior says as Tris walks back into the dinning room for more. "Tris is absolutely crazy about you."

A smile plays on my lips as Tris walks back in with a pout. "Mom!"

"What?" Mrs. Prior says defensively while pulling a pan out of the oven. "After every time you see him I could cut your leg off and you'd still be giddy."

"Mom." She groans.

"Don't think I don't hear you up on the phone all evening and I know that you don't talk about things like that with Marlene and Christina." Mrs. Prior says with a knowing glance and now it's my turn to blush.

"MOM." Tris complains.

Mrs. Prior laughs, "I'm just kidding, Tris. Lighten up."

I laugh and greet everyone in the dinning room and wait for Mrs. Prior to begin grace. She's a good woman, good to Tris and good to Caleb. Sometimes I wish she was my Mom but I'm not so lucky.


I don't even know what this chapter was but I did enjoy writing from Tobias's POV because it was requested. I FINALLY HAVE A SCHEDULE. This story will be updated MONTHLY (hold your butter knives) on the second Thursday of the month. Thank you for all the support and birthday wishes (being older is exciting I suppose). ALSO thank you Ella Weber (123lovestory) for reading this chapter for me in that god awful technology class. Read her stuff because it's perfect. You should review because it makes me happy and I (as well as other writers on the website) really appreciate when you take the time to give us feedback. Thank you friends for reading and I will see you in a month (I almost wrote moth. No one tell Christina).

AJ xo