"Can't we sleep a little more" Sarah groaned but Emily wouldn't let her rest. As Sarah began to groggily sit up, Emily ran into Tina's room to wake her up as well.
Emily ran down the stairs like an excited child as the two Pinkertons sleepily followed. "YAY! Look at all the gifts!" Emily shouted from in front of them. Emily's eyes sparkled at the amount of gifts that were under the tree. Several of them were addressed to her, and a couple more to Forrest. She didn't wait for the two Pinkertons to arrive, she started ripping into the presents. Tina had bought her some coloring books and crayons, which Emily seemed to want to start coloring right away, and a cute diaper bag. She had also bought some onesies for Forrest.
Emily cheerfully opened the gift that Sarah had gotten for her. Sarah tensed up, hoping she would like it, and Emily started cheering as she opened it "YES SARAH YES!" Emily hopped up and down looking at the box in her hand. "A camera! Now I can take lots of pictures when Forrest is born." Emily smiled brightly.
"It can also take movies" Sarah said, happy that her present was so well received.
Emily was also excited to see the onesies and matching socks Sarah had bought for Forrest. "Ohh! They have monkeys on them! For my little monkey."
Sarah was so happy to see Emily opening her gifts with so much enthusiasm, that she almost forgot she had gifts herself. She opened the gifts she had received from Emily, secretly wondering when Emily had time to buy them. She got a pet rock, and a her own hair straightener. "Cause you look so cute with your hair straight!" Emily declared. Then she opened the gift from her mother, which was a gift card to buy some books for her book reader. This thrilled Sarah, she wanted to go buy some new books right away. She hadn't been doing much reading since Emily had moved in, so she had a bunch of new books she wanted to get.
Tina, with a cup of coffee in hand started to open her own gifts. Sarah had gotten her a foot soaker, which she would put to good use after all her long days at Macy's. When she opened Emily's gift, she almost began to cry. "Aww Emily!" Tina said hugging the small girl. Emily had gotten her a t-shirt and mug that all said "World's Best Mother". It was a truly thoughtful gift, and Tina was so happy that Emily thought so highly of her.
They spent the rest of the happy Christmas watching old Christmas movies on television, and at Emily's request, singing some Christmas Carols. Emily took a picture of everyone with her new camera, in front of the tree, saying she never wanted to forget the best Christmas ever. It had truly been a magical day.
The next few days until New Years Eve went by quickly. Work had been slower now, although Jenn had her dreaded returns to do. Customer's seemed more cheerful now, many of them coming in the store with shiny new gift cards to spend.
New Year's Eve arrived, and Jenn was over at the Pinkerton's house. Her mother, Hana, was going out with her new boyfriend, and her father and Marisol were going to a party. So Jenn and Dennis were invited to celebrate with them. Dennis went into a corner of the living room and started playing on his phone again. "Does that kid do anything else?" Sarah asked quietly to Jenn.
"He's in his 'I hate everything and no one understands me phase'," Jenn sighed. "But don't tell him it's a phase or he'll get really angry."
The three girls sat on the couch in front of the televison, watching the show in Times Square. Tina made them some snack, which included potato skins with bacon, some cookies, cheese and crackers, and lastly some sparkling apple cider for them to toast at midnight.
Feeling awfully brave, Sarah decided to try and get Dennis in on their fun. He was being rather antisocial, and it reminded Sarah of how she used to be. She sat down on the floor next to him and asked "What are you doing?"
"Playing a game." Dennis said flatly.
"What kind of game?" Sarah asked, trying to get Dennis to open up to her a bit.
"It's an RPG." Sarah wasn't sure what that meant, she never played a lot of video games.
"Don't you think it would be more fun to come over with us?" Sarah pointed at Tina, Jenn, and Emily who were all dancing to the band that was currently playing on the television.
"No." Dennis said a bit indifferently.
"Oh come on! Dance with me Dennis!" Sarah smiled. Dennis blushed slightly.
"Al...alright." Dennis took her hand, and joined her. They went to the center of the living room where everyone else was dancing, and Sarah took Dennis's hand. She twirled him around a few times like a ballroom dancer. Dennis started to laugh.
"Hey bro having fun?" Jenn smiled.
"No!" Dennis said, but he kept on laughing.
Soon they all got tired of dancing. They all sat on the couch eating more snacks and talking. Even Dennis joined in, he seemed to have forgotten all about the game on his phone. Soon the countdown to the new year began, they all watched in anticipation as the ball started to drop. Emily started the countdown. "TEN! NINE! EIGHT! SEVEN! SIX! FIVE! FOUR! THREE! TWO! ONE!"
"HAPPY NEW YEAR!" Everyone shouted, except for Emily who screamed loudest of all "HAPPY BIRTHDAY WORLD!" They all toasted their sparkling apple cider. It was the beginning of a wonderful new year.
Soon after all the excitement died down, the three girls and Dennis all decided to get some sleep. Jenn and Dennis rolled out their sleeping bags on the floor, while Emily took the couch and Sarah took the recliner. They didn't fall asleep right away, they all talked quietly about their new year's resolutions.
"I want to get a girlfriend this year." Dennis said, blushing, sneaking a peek a Sarah.
"Aren't you a little young for that?" Jenn chuckled.
"No! Todd and Billy have girlfriends already." Dennis pouted.
"Well alright then. I want to go to college this year. I've been saving up some money!" Jenn said happily.
"I just want to be the best mommy to Forrest EVER!" Emily gleefully said.
Sarah thought for a moment, she didn't really have a resolution this year. "I guess I want to keep being less socially awkward." Sarah laughed.
"You already are doing great at that!" Emily declared. "Pick something else."
"Uhhh well I really would like a boyfriend. I've never really had one." Sarah said quietly, and Dennis looked at her with smile.
The three girls all laughed. "No you don't want a boyfriend! You'll end up like me!" Emily joked.
They all fell asleep soon after that, thinking of how they were going to make this year the best year ever.
The days started to fly by again, and now everyone's attention was focused on the up coming wedding between Tim and Marisol. The wedding was going to be a small affair, but it still had a lot of planning. They were going to be married in small chapel, and then have a bigger reception afterward. The girls went to help Marisol pick out a dress after work one day. It turned out that Marisol was indeed a teacher, like Sarah had thought. She taught second grade at the local elementary school. Marisol told them about telling her students about how her last name was going to change now, and laughed about how confused they all were. " 'So you aren't going to be Miss Hong anymore?' To which I said, nope, from now on I'm going to be Mrs. Castell."
"Oh well that would confuse me too!" Emily nodded her head.
They all laughed a bit, and Marisol continued to look at the wedding dresses. She found a cheaper one, it was a strapless white dress, which came down to halfway between her knees and ankles. "What do you girls think of this one?"
"Try it on! TRY IT ON!" Emily prodded her towards the fitting room.
Marisol came out looking as beautiful as a bride could. The dress fit her perfectly, it flowed out from her waist and was classy yet not too overly fancy. "Oh I like this one!"
Marisol got the dress, happy with her decision. The three girls then went to get their bridesmaid dresses. They all wanted to match, but then found that would be hard considering how pregnant Emily was. She looked like she was about to pop. They decided to get a dress for Emily first, and then try to find dresses that matched hers. They all went to the maternity store to look for a dress.
Emily spotted a light blue dress that would come down to her knees. "OH I like this one!" She grabbed it and went to try it on. She came out looking almost like a model in it. "I even have enough boobs now to fill it in!" Emily laughed. The dress curved cutely around her huge stomach, and was simple enough to not outshine the bride. They all decided it was perfect, and went to find dresses for Jenn and Sarah that would match it.
They found some dresses that were slightly longer, and a shade darker than the dress Emily had gotten, and decided to get them. Sarah wasn't happy with how the dress fit her, she thought it made her look fat, but the other girls told her she looked wonderful. "I bet Jeff would think you look downright SExY." Emily said.
"Jeff again?" Sarah sighed. Her friend had been bringing him up every once in awhile, as if she was trying to jog Sarah's memory. "I still don't remember."
"Oh you will. He was your not boyfriend!"
"But if he was that close to me, why hasn't he tried to contact me at all? I don't even have a Jeff in my contacts on my phone." Sarah sighed. She almost didn't want to believe this Jeff character existed and was purely a figment of Emily's overactive imagination, but Jenn backed her up. They walked to the front register as Sarah contemplated this boy she couldn't remember ever being in her life.
The next day after Sarah drove Emily to work, she herself sat down at her computer. She had decided that she had to figure out this mystery of Jeff once and for all. It was really beginning to bug her that she couldn't remember this boy. If Jeff had ever existed, there had to be some sign of him somewhere in her life. Asking her mother had been less than helpful, Tina had said she didn't recall Sarah talking about Jeff much. So Sarah's next search began on her computer.
She went through her photos, trying to see if she had ever taken a picture with this Jeff. Her photos lacked any males, in fact it was pretty barren except for the few pictures she'd taken with Emily and Jenn. Then Sarah searched through the videos she had.
There she found several videos she hadn't remembered about, all from the Dreamsight she had almost forgotten she owned. She began to watch them, and she didn't recognize any of the things that had happened in them. They didn't seem real, Sarah didn't remember any of her dreams after all. Yet she recognized her own voice, and the person she was addressing in the dreams, well Sarah was awfully surprised to hear the name Jeff.
She paused the video, looking at the young man. He looked to be about her own age. He looked, startlingly familiar as well. Sarah couldn't place where she had seen him before. Her mind whirled as she tried to figure out where these dreams had come from, and who Jeff could be. If Jeff had been someone she dreamed about, why did her friends talk about him like she had met him before? Sarah decided to ask them about it when she went to pick up Emily from work.
Sarah drove her car through the winter wonderland that now surrounded her. It had been beautiful out lately. The snow wasn't too deep out, and it made everything look pure and new. Sarah didn't really like winter all that much, but even she had to admit that it was very pretty. Sarah picked Emily up, and went to meet Jenn at the Starbucks, the place where they so often met up.
Sarah asked them about Jeff, and how they knew him. Emily was the first to reply. "Well I first saw him when you showed me one of your dreams!"
"I don't remember that happening." Sarah pouted.
"Oh well that's okay. But you did! I was all excited over your Dreamsight, and you showed me a dream where Jeff gave you a cute lil stuffed kitty and you watched fireworks with him."
"Hmmm." Sarah sighed. She remembered watching that dream on her computer, but she couldn't recall such an event taking place.
"Yes, and then the day before you fell into a coma," Jenn continued from where Emily left off, "You called us and wanted us to met you at the hospital. We saw Jeff there, he was in a coma too."
"Eh?" Sarah totally didn't recall that happening. She was confused. She was mad at her own memory for lying to her. She asked "What happened to him? Is he still in a coma?"
"Well I went to go tell him his not girlfriend was alright, but when I went to his room, he wasn't there anymore." Emily smiled, sipping her juice. "I was really more worried about you at the time so I didn't really go searching for him."
They all sat in silence. Sarah tried her best to dig through her memories, to find something that reminded her of Jeff. She almost caught a faint glimpse of herself, holding the hand of the young man from her dreams, but that was all. Sarah was frustrated. No one seemed to have any answers. Who was this Jeff, and what did he mean to her? Sarah was beginning to feel like she was missing an entire part of her life. Sarah had so many questions, and no one to answer them.
Sarah spent the rest of the day in a sort of daze. She brought Emily home. They sat on the couch watching television and Emily yammered on about how she was so hungry and other things about Forrest. Sarah let her words sweep over her. Her mind was focused on Jeff. She hadn't let her memory loss bother her that much, but now she wanted answers. Sarah couldn't focus on anything else. Suddenly an answer came to her. She would have to find this Jeff and ask him about everything. He was sure to remember her. He would have the answers.
"What was Jeff's last name?" Sarah interrupted Emily's ramblings.
"Oh starting to remember?"
"Well it began with a D." Emily pondered. "Hmmm. Durmin? Durglam? Oh man I'm not good with names."
Sarah sighed. It was a start. She told Emily she would be right back, and ran up to her room. She went on her computer. She searched through the names Emily had given her, trying to find any sign of Jeff. There was no Jeff Durglam's that Sarah could find, and although there was a Jeff Durmin, he lived in Alaska and was almost fifty years old. Sarah sat her computer desk, thinking for awhile. While Jeff could possibly have a different last name, Sarah couldn’t think of what it might be. She felt like she had hit a brick wall.
Sarah rejoined Emily back downstairs. She tired her best to not think of Jeff, and focus on what was happening on the television. Even if she found him, would she be brave enough to talk to him? To ask him about herself? To admit she had forgotten everything? Sarah decided it might be best if she just let it go, and forgot about Jeff entirely.
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