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Tortilla pie

Alexandra Tyminski
MSM Class of 2015

(11/2012) Iíll never forget the day I spent Thanksgiving with Judy Caplinger and her two German Shepherds. Freddyís Fast Food Kitchen was not the most ideal restaurant to be eating at.

I slid into the seat next to the door and watched everything take place: the couple by the back corner arguing over whose family they are going to visit for Christmas, the older bearded bikers with bandanas and gladiator sunglasses behind me, some young teenage girls huddled around a table chatting about which prom dress they will get in the spring, and a young with what seems to be mid-30 year old woman. She was dressed in a sophisticated outfit: a yellow blouse, a black blazer, and high heels that probably made her as tall as a professional basketball player. I wondered why a classy and stylish young woman found herself in a fast food hangout on Thanksgiving, though I was in no place to judge because I was a big eyed, brown-haired, freckled 21-year-old college student stranded here, too.

"Are you ready to order?" the short plump waiter asked me.

"Uh, um no not really, but can I have an iced tea?" I said hesitantly. The waiter left, and I brought myself back to reality. Suddenly, I jumped out of my seat because I was so startled. My phone read "DAD" in all caps.

"Hey dad!" I tried to sound like everything was going ok.

"Sasha, where are you? You were supposed to be home for Thanksgiving two hours ago," he said worriedly.

"Look dad, there um well you see," I began to stutter. I could feel my nervousness start to surface. "There was traffic!" I said eagerly, as if that was a great explanation for my lateness.

"Is everything okay? Do you need someone to come pick you up?"

"No, no Iím fine. Iím a responsible adult I can handle getting back home on my own. I wonít be too much longer," I said, lying through my teeth.

"Okay, well your brother just got here and his girlfriend is arriving sometime later. Just make sure that you can try and get here before she does," my dad said seriously.

"Yeah yeahh, Okay well I have to go, and donít worry. Iím going to make it," I assured him.

I shut my phone before he could even say goodbye. I grabbed a napkin from the napkin holder and pulled out a pen from my backpack. I started to write down my next steps, and I slowly found myself reading these steps out loud.

"Call tow truck, call friends to complain to them, call my brother? No, that doesnít seem right. Okay letís try this again. Call tow truck, eat, and take a bus." I had a hard time concentrating when the bikers behind me kept talking about the cute waitress at the front counter. Ugh, my dad finally bought me my first car and told me that I had to take care of it, and I didnít. If I call him now, he is definitely going to take the car away from me. Not to mention, I would not hear the end of my irresponsible road trip. I fiercely ripped up the napkin, and dug my head into my forearms. I began to cry. Why did I think I could handle this road trip on my own? I felt bad for whoever had to clean up after me because they had to clean up my obvious puddle of tears.

"Here is your drink, mam." The waiter finally brought my tea back. I rubbed my eyes, but refused to look up at him. This was so embarrassing.

"Thanks," I said in a low voice. I suddenly picked up on a scent that I easily recognized. My roommate in college smelled the same way. And Iím not talking about a gross greasy not-showered smell, but rather a clean and refreshing one. It was most definitely Bahama breeze.

"Can I sit here?" a sweet voice asked. I was hoping it was the voice of an angel about to tell me that everything was going to be okay. I glanced up after I composed myself and instead it was the fashionable could-be model from the back corner near the bathroom.

"Great, just what I need, a pretty pity party at a time like this," I mumbled. She stared at me with a puzzled look on her face. "I mean yeah, go right ahead if you really want to," I finally answered her question.

She sat down in front of me, with her curly Irish hair and big green eyes. I could not get enough of this girlís facial features. She looked so much like someone from a movie entitled "Kites, Knights, and Leprechauns," who secretly desired to play the role of one of Ron Weasleyís siblings from Harry Potter.

"I noticed you started to cry, and I just wanted to check up on you," she said nicely. "Are you okay?" She seemed concerned for me.

"Iím fine," I said in a short tone. I sipped my iced tea and pretended she wasnít there.

"You donít seem fine, and Iím also wondering why a pretty young girl like you is hanging out at this place on Thanksgiving day," she kept persisting.

"Ya, I could say the same thing about you," I could feel my voice getting sassy with her. "Look, sorry. I just have been having a rough day. I go to school in Southern California, and I am driving home for turkey day, and my car broke down. I donít want to tell my parents because they bought me this car because they think Iím responsible enough to handle it. I only live two more hours away, but I need to get home!" I blurted out in hysterics. "Hi, Iím Sasha Wollencomb by the way," I said.

She stared at me blankly as if that was more than she wanted to know.

"Letís start with this. Hi, Iím Judy Caplinger. Since youíre wondering why Iím here, I am traveling to a friendís house for Thanksgiving, and Iím actually headed towards a small town called Ocean View. Iíve never been there, but Iím taking a short break before I hit the road again," She replied openly. Wow, this lady was extremely nice. Why wasnít everyone like this?

"Wait, you are? Thatís where I live! What a small world! Do you think I could possibly get a lift with you? Iíll pay for gas," I was hopeful that she would say yes.

"Yeah, sure thing, I donít actually usually talk to strangers, but you seem like you could really use some help. Iíll call my friend and let him know I will be running a little late," she said.

"Oh my gosh! Thank you!" I instantly lit up and gulped down my iced tea. I slid out of the booth and grabbed my purse. "Oh wait, first of all, you donít drive fast, do you Judy? Oh, I can call you Judy right?"

"No I donít, you will be fine! And yes, you can call me Judy," she chuckled.

I left to use the restroom and came back to find that Judy had paid for my iced tea. We piled into her turquoise green Subaru, but it was hard not to notice her two German Shepherds in the backseat.

"Uh Judy, what are those dogs doing here? Are they yours?" I asked her.

"I work for an animal shelter, and I asked my friend if I could bring them since I have to take care of them this week. The all-white one named Juno and the colored one is named Kulu," she said nonchalantly as if everyone brought their rescue dogs to their friendís house for a national holiday.

"Well, he must be a good friend to let you bring those dogs over for Thanksgiving," I said sarcastically.

"Oh he definitely is," she replied with the biggest smirk on her face.

We pulled out of the parking lot and on our way we went. I didnít know what to talk to this woman about. Should I ask her about her life? Or is that too personal? She seemed pretty open.

"Sooo yeah I seemed to catch that you referred to your friend as a Ďhim.í Whatís that about? Just friends or best friend? Dating?" I felt a bit nosey.

"Boyfriend. We have been dating for about a year now, and Iím going to meet his family." She seemed excited.

"Wow, well thatís fun. Hopefully, you arenít too nervous. I mean, you have been very nice to me. Iím sure they will love you!" I didnít quite know what to say.

"Thanks Sasha," she said. So, Iím guessing that was the end of that conversation.

"Hey, Judy, Iím just going to take a nap. Wake me up when we get to the bridge or if you need any help. Thanks again for everything," I told her.

"No worries, I will let you know when we get there!" Judy responded in that sweet voice of hers.


"Weíre here, Sasha, wake up!" I heard Judyís voice say. Wow, did two hours really go by that fast? I immediately felt the cold wet dog tongue on my face and arose to big white fur of my new German shepherd friend Juno. I opened my eyes and somehow thought I was in a dream.

"Wait. Thatís Mr. Jayís apple tree, and the Jonesís beat up mailbox that has gotten hit too many times to count. And that is most definitely my," I could not even speak. How did Judy know where I lived? I didnít give her any directions to the exact location of my house. She pulled directly into my driveway. I looked over at her stunned, and she stared back at me.

"I am so sorry Sasha, I had to stop at my boyfriendís house because I wanted to drop the dogs off first before I took you home," she said. My jaw dropped.

"This is my home," I said seriously. My older brother Wyatt walked out of the front door and behind him was my dad. Oh no, they are going to see me with this stranger. What did I do? Why am I with her? And why does she think her boyfriend lives here? She got out of the car, and so did I.

"Hey Judy!" my brother yelled looking so happy to see this complete stranger. "Dad, this is my girlfriend. Sasha, we are so happy you finally got here!"

"Hi Jeff! I brought you and your family some Tortilla Pie, just thought we could eat it together for Thanksgiving," Judy gave him the food.

I stared at my brother in total shock. So, I was going to have to explain that I just spent two hours with a total stranger who rescues dogs and happens to be my brotherís girlfriend. Not to mention, she thinks that tortilla pie is a proper party gift for Thanksgiving dinner. Only two things ran through my head: this must be what a dream feels like, and that tortilla pie better be good.

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