Sarah rushed to the bathroom and quickly tried to make herself persentable before she ran out the door to help Emily. Her hair had started to curl back up again, and the make-up Emily had put on her face the day before was smeared down her face. Sarah quickly splashed her face with some water and washed the make-up off her face. She pull a brush through her hair and ran out the door.
Sarah drove quickly to the apartment Sarah and Joey had shared. She knew Emily was probably very scared and nervous. Sarah knew that Emily loved Joey and she was going to do whatever she needed to do to help them get back together. She wanted Emily to be happy, yet somehow in the back of her mind, she felt a bit sad. The last couple of days had been amazing, and she didn't want Emily to leave yet. But her friend's happiness came first, over her her own selfishness.
Sarah drove to the apartment, and she had forgotten the numbness she had felt all day. Now she was focused on Emily and Emily alone. It felt like an emergency, even though it really wasn't. She didn't want Joey to leave before they could talk to him, or have Emily face Joey alone. She drove faster than she had ever driven before. She wanted to help fix this.
Sarah pulled into a parking space next to Emily's car. Emily was in her car still, looking up towards her apartment. Sarah knocked on her window, and Emily jumped, looking around with a shocked expression on her face. Emily opened the door and quickly sprung out and hugged Sarah. "I'm so glad you are here. I didn't want to talk to him alone. I'm scared. I don't know what he'll so or what he'll do. What if he doesn't want me anymore?" Emily's lip quivered.
"Don't worry Em, I'm here for you. We'll do this together." Sarah took Emily's hand and lead her up to the apartment door. They climbed the stairs to the apartment Emily and Joey shared, and with in a bout of nervous energy, Sarah forcefully knocked on the door.
"I'm coming," came a grumpy voice from inside. The door opened and Joey was standing before them. He looked at the two girls standing there, and for a second he didn't say anything. The silence seemed to be a palpable force between them all. Then at long last Joey said, almost indifferently, "Emily."
"Joey, I..." Emily trailed off. Sarah squeezed her hand to comfort her. "Joey can we come in? I want to talk."
Joey backed up a few feet to let them inside. Sarah looked around the apartment, it was cramped and tiny. Joey shut the door behind them and muttered out "What?"
"Well you see...I well..." Emily seemed unable to say the things she wanted to say. Joey looked on, with an expression Sarah could only describe as disgusted. Sarah's heart began to pound faster and faster. Could Joey really still be mad about Emily turning off his video game? It didn't seem like such a serious thing. Was there something else going on that Emily hadn't told her about?
"Joey, do you think we can work this out?" Emily finally managed to say, her eyes getting teary again.
"I don't see how!" Joey's expression turned from disgust to anger. "You always have to have YOUR way. If it's not your way then it's nothing. I can't take it anymore!" Joey throw his hand up in the air.
"I'm sorry Joey. I won't have things my way anymore. Please forgive me." Emily looked so unlike herself at that moment. Sarah didn't like this, any of this. It all felt so wrong.
"Um Emily, you don't have to say that." Sarah blurted out before she knew what she was saying. "This is a relationship right? Don't you both have to make sacrifices for each other sometimes? You can have your ways sometimes..." Sarah's sentence petered out, her shyness getting the better of her again. It didn't seem to matter, Joey and Emily didn't seem to hear her anyway.
"HA! That's unlikely Emily. You are so demanding all the time." Joey lashed out.
"I'm sorry Joey...I love you..." Emily seemed to be less and less sure of herself all the time. "Joey you have always been there for me, even when I got pregnant and my parent's disowned me. You were there for me. I just want us to be together. For our baby."
"You know what Emily?" Joey started to move closer to the two girls. "You ruined my LIFE. You think I wanted to have this baby now? You think I didn't want to do other things? No now I have to give up everything for you BABY."
Emily started to break down crying. "But Joey I..."
Joey sneered angrily, "I am so tired of your BULLSHIT." Joey raised a hand as if to slap Emily, but something inside Sarah broke and in an instant of movement she let go of Emily's hand and grabbed Joey's hand an instant before it made contact with Emily's face.
"What the HELL!" Sarah screamed. "Who do you think you are? Were you going to HIT HER? What the FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?" Sarah seethed. Sarah had never been so angry with another human being in her whole life. "You don't deserve to be with Emily. Emily we are leaving RIGHT NOW!"
Sarah grabbed Emily's hand and stormed out of the apartment, her heart beating so fast in her chest it felt that it would leap out of her throat. Emily was sobbing silently as Sarah pulled her out the front door. Joey hadn't even tried to stop them, to say he was sorry, to do anything. Sarah couldn't believe it. She couldn't believe that Emily had ever wanted to go back to such a terrible man. Sarah couldn't help but to ask, "Has he hit you before Emily?"
"I..."Emily's tears poured down her face. They said all the things Emily could not.
"Oh that son of a BITCH." Sarah was sure she had never sworn this much in her entire life. "You are not going back there. Not ever. You can't. I won't let him hurt you anymore." She put her arms around Emily. "I won't let him hurt Forrest either."
"Sarah" Emily managed to say through her tears. "Thank you."
"Oh Em." Sarah released the hug and smiled down at her small friend. "I would do anything for you. Come on let's go home."
Sarah put Emily in her own car, knowing that Emily was probably too stressed out to drive for herself. Sarah had no idea that Joey had been treating Emily like this. If she had known she would've done something far sooner, but Emily hadn't said a word. Emily had always seemed so happy and cheerful. Sarah felt a bit of guilt at not realizing her friend was in such a bad position, but quickly dismissed those feelings. She hadn't even known Emily that long, only a few weeks. She couldn't possibly be expected to know. The street lights started coming on as they drove back. Emily stared up at them, no longer crying, but not saying anything either. Sarah knew she just had to give Emily some time. Emily had loved Joey, even if he had treated her like crap. It would take a long time for her to recover from this broken heart.
They got home and Emily slouched down on the couch, much like Sarah had done the entire day. Sarah went into the kitchen to make her a cup of tea. She also texted Jenn while she was in there, explaining quickly what had happened and that Jenn should come over after work to have a sleep over with them. Sarah thought it would be best if Emily was surrounded by all her friends tonight. Jenn was closing at the store tonight, and wouldn't be out until after nine, but that was okay with Sarah. As long as she would be there.
Tina came home to find a depressed looking Emily on her couch, with Sarah's arms around her. "Is everything ok?"
"Ma, we need to talk about Emily staying her more permanently?" This wasn't Sarah's house, even though now that she had a job she helped pay the rent. She wanted her mother to be alright with this, and accept Emily into their house, at least for now.
"Of course she can!" Tina smiled. She remembered when she was younger, and her own mother doing much the same thing for one of her brother's friends. It seemed it was in her family, in her blood, to help out all the children around her, even if they weren't her own. "Emily don't even worry about it. You can have the spare room we haven't been using. Everything will be alright." Tina sat down next to Emily and hugged her as well.
"Thanks Mom." Emily said, sounding a bit more happy.
"Sarah, come with me to the kitchen, let's make some dinner for us." Sarah followed her mother into the kitchen.
"Ma, is it ok if Jenn spends the night here tonight too?" Sarah asked nervously, afraid she might be asking for too much.
"Not a problem. But what happened?" Tina said, concerned.
"Her boyfriend, he...he's just awful. Emily tried to make up with him today, and he just yelled at her. He...he....he tried to hit her!" Sarah felt the anger in her heart welling up again.
Tina felt a similar angry in her own heart. "Emily can't go back there! She should get a restraining order! I can't believe it! She always talked so fondly of him." Tina almost wanted to cry. She felt so bad for Emily, the poor girl seemed to have gone through so much. Now Tina wanted to protect her, mother her.
"Don't worry Ma, I won't let her. She still loves him, but he's doesn't deserve someone as sweet as Emily in his life!" Sarah said repeating what she had said to Joey earlier. "Emily is much better off here."
Tina agreed, and started to make dinner. They didn't have leftovers again, instead they had some fish sticks and french fries. They fixed a plate for Emily, with way more food than the both of them combined, and they all sat in the living room and ate dinner. After dinner they all sat and watched some television. Occasionally Emily would begin to cry silently to herself, but Sarah was quickly there to offer her a tissue and a hug.
Around 9:45, Jenn showed up, carrying a sleeping bag and a backpack. She ran over to Emily and hugged her. Emily looked surprised at her arrival, Sarah hadn't told her that she was coming. "Jenn?"
"Guess what Emily?" Jenn told her. "We are having a sleepover tonight." Jenn tried to smile in a comforting way.
"Oh?" Emily said, a sight grin starting to form at the edges of her lips.
"Oh yes, and I brought some nail polish so we can paint each other's nails, and a scary movie to watch! And of course some popcorn." Jenn said, taking items out of her backpack and putting them on the coffee table.
Emily leaned forward and started to look at the different colors of nail polish. There was a startling neon pink one, and Emily picked it up and examined it for a moment. "Oh yes I want this one!"
"Alright!" Jenn smiled happily. "I want this blue one, which one do you want Sarah?"
Sarah pondered over the colors. She had never had a sleepover before, and she had certainly never done girly things like paint her nails before. She picked out a rather demure looking blue color.
"Alright! I'll paint your nails first Emily." Jenn held Emily's hand gently and masterfully started painting her nails the bright happy pink.
Sarah looked on with awe at how easily she painted Emily's nails, not getting a bit of color on her skin. "You are good at that!"
"Oh well I practiced a lot on my brother, when he was going through a phase and wanted black nails all the time." Jenn giggled.
After she was done, Sarah felt like she should try out her own skills. She asked, "Can I paint your nails Jenn?"
Sarah was awful at painting Jenn's nails, she was sloppy and put the coat of polish on way too thick. Jenn giggled and told her to just take her time, and to make sure there wasn't too much polish on the brush before she started. By Jenn's second hand Sarah had gotten better, and was slightly proud of herself.
Emily's nails had dried and she took it upon herself to paint Sarah's nails. She gently took Sarah's hands and painted the so quickly that Sarah barely had time to realize what was going on. She looked down at her nails, they glittered slightly in the light. Sarah thought they looked pretty, and that she should perhaps buy some of her own nail polish to do this again.
The girls chatted amoungst themselves and Sarah and Jenn waited for the polish to dry.
"My dad's getting married." Jenn said suddenly.
"What?!" Emily and Sarah both said at the same time.
"Yup. He called me today. He's gonna marry his new girlfriend. And you know what else? She's pregnant!" Jenn looked a bit happy, but also a bit confused.
"Oh wow!" Emily exclaimed. "You are gonna be a big sister again."
"Yeah. But I dunno. I'm happy for him, but I'm just starting to get to know him again. Is he trying to replace the family he abandoned for another one?" Jenn looked down sadly.
"I don't think so." Sarah said quietly. "If he wanted to replace you, he wouldn't have tried to get back in contact with you in the first place. He wants you and your brother in his family."
Jenn smiled slightly. "You always make me feel better Sarah. I always have these doubts, but you make them go away. He told me on Thanksgiving that he always regretting leaving me and my brother. He missed out on so much of our lives. He just couldn't be with my mom anymore. He wants to do anything he can to make it up to us. I don't know what he can do, but it's felt nice to hear him say it."
"Can we meet your daddy and his girlfriend?" Emily smiled brightly for the first time all day. "When she has her baby Forrest can play with them!"
Jenn laughed a bit. "Of course you guys can. He's been saying he wants to meet my friends."
"Oh and Sarah can bring her BOYFRIEND." Emily laughed out. Jenn looked towards Sarah with shock, and Sarah felt just as shocked. She had almost forgotten the events of the night before with everything else that happened today.
"You have a boyfriend?" Jenn's eyes were wide.
"I um...errrr...you see..." Sarah couldn't find the words to say what she wanted to say. In fact she wasn't entirely sure what she wanted to say in the first place.
"Aww you are so shy Sarah. You can tell us about him when you are ready." Jenn smiled. Sarah smiled back, relieved for the out. She started to feel the feelings of doubt and confusion sink back into her brain, but she shook them out. Now wasn't the time to have her own pity party, tonight she had to be there for Emily.
"Can we watch that movie now? I heard it's really good. It's about these kids and they are being stalked by something that they can't even begin to comprehend! A faceless monster that won't stop until it gets what it wants. THE TERROR! Also I think there is a doggy somewhere in there." Emily picked up the movie, and smiled. "It is probably the BEST MOVIE EVER!"
Sarah went to make popcorn as the trailers played. She put it in a big bowl so they could all share, and thought to herself that Emily would probably be eating most of it anyway. The three girls snuggled together on the couch and watched the movie. It was pretty scary, and at one point Emily jumped up and ran behind the couch to hide in her fear. Jenn had to coax her back out by offering her a candy bar. Finally the movie ended on a bit of cliffhanger with none of the questions about the monster really answered. It was past midnight by that point, so the girls decided to go to bed, since they were all working the night shift in the morning.
Jenn rolled out her sleeping bag, while Emily took the couch and Sarah got some blankets and took a recliner. The other two girls seemed to fall asleep quickly, but now in the dark and quiet, Sarah was left alone to her own thoughts again. Yesterday seemed like a dream to her now, but she still felt a strange feeling in her heart, a numb feeling of worry and fear. She was still afraid to fall asleep when all of a sudden a quiet voice popped up next to her.
"Sarah..." Emily had somehow noiselessly snuck up next to the recliner she was snuggled in. "Hey Sarah!" Emily said a bit louder now.
"Wha?" Sarah mumbled, lost in her thoughts but now coming back to reality.
"I just wanted to thank you again for today. I was lost but you made me see what a jerk Joey was being. I was afraid to leave him. Afraid to be on my own." Sarah sat up in her chair, and Emily sat down on the arm of the chair facing away from Sarah. "Now I know that I can do this on my own, I can raise Forrest on my own. Because I won't really be on my own!" Emily swivel around on the arm of the recliner to face Sarah. "I have your mom. I have Jenn. Most of all, I have you." Emily reached out and hugged Sarah. Sarah put her arms around Emily. "Sarah you are the bestest. I love you!"
"Aww, I love you too Em." Sarah smiled. Emily let go of Sarah and got back off the arm of the chair. "We should go to sleep now though, we have work in the morning." Emily quietly snuck away back to the couch.
Sarah thought for awhile about what Emily said. She too, had been afraid of being alone. Now Sarah realized she didn't have to go through her own problems alone. She had the support of her friends. Together, maybe, they could all figure out what was going on. Sarah smiled, and fell asleep, and for the first time in her life, she had no dreams.
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