For as long as Sarah Pinkerton could remember, she had never dreamed. She wondered why that might be, but she didn't waste much time thinking about it. After all dreams were just something that went on in your head while you were sleeping. Sarah didn't mind not ever having them. The only thing that concerned her was a sinking feeling she had ever since she had woken up from her coma. A feeling that she was forgetting something important.
That coma had been one of the strangest experiences of her life. Sarah remembered going to sleep that night, with Emily by her side, and waking up the next day in the hospital. Despite her feeling just fine, they insisted she stay in the hospital another night just to make sure. When she went home the next day, she starred in wonder at the white winter world before her. It was like the world had become something else while she was asleep.
Some time had passed, and now it was December. Sarah had returned to work, and everything seemed to be getting back to normal. Emily insisted on sleeping in Sarah's bed every night, just to make sure she was alright. Sarah didn't mind, she knew that Emily was worried about her, and Sarah was worried for Emily as well. She knew how much stress the small girl had been through lately. Sarah started driving Emily to work every day now, Emily's stomach was getting too big for her to be able to drive by herself.
Emily lamented on the couch one day after work. "Ugh Forrest, we need to get your things from Joey's apartment." She sighed down at her stomach. "I don't want to go there though..."
"Well if you had some goons, they could go get the stuff for you!" Sarah laughed.
Jenn knocked on the door of Emily's former apartment. Sarah stood beside her nervously. She wasn't sure if this plan would work out, but she hoped it would.
Joey answered the door, looking angrily at the two girls. "We are here for Emily's things." Jenn said bravely.
"Ha! You and what army?" Joey laughed at them.
Jenn waved her arm behind her, and Joey opened the door wider to reveal nine athletic men behind her. Emily had called her friend from high school who was now on a college football team for a favor he owed her. He had agreed to take the team to go pick up Emily's things. Sarah didn't ask why he owed her a favor, and she knew better than to ask. Emily was just too random.
"I hope there won't be a problem." Said the lead football player gruffly. Joey stood to the side and let them in. He sneered as Sarah and Jenn went in, but didn't try anything. Soon the football players packed all of Emily's belongings into Jenn and Sarah's cars. They waved goodbye as the two girls thanked them profusely for their help.
Emily was excited to see all of her things again, especially the crib and baby things for Forrest. "YAY! Now we can set up the spare room into a nursery!" Emily exclaimed, as Sarah and Jenn started carrying everything up to the room. Emily directed the baby things into the spare room, but insisted they put her things into Sarah's room. Sarah didn't argue, she had gotten used to Emily sleeping with her.
After all the hard work, the girls ordered a pizza and watched a movie together. When Tina arrived home, Emily excitedly got up to greet her. "Mom mom! Guess what! Sarah and Jenn got all my stuff from Joey's house!"
"That's great dear!" Tina smiled down on the girl she now considered her adopted daughter. "Oh do I smell pizza?" Jenn offered her a slice, and she sat down amongst her daughter and friends. "Guess this means you can have your own bedroom now."
Emily gasped and clung to Sarah. "NEVER! It can be Forrest's room! I can't leave Sarah! What if something bad happens again?"
"I don't think anything will happen again." Sarah said, trying to reassure her friend.
"Yeah but they don't even know what happened in the first place!" Emily bounced about nervously.
"Don't worry dear, Sarah will be okay." Tina reassured.
Emily just pouted, but let go of Sarah. "Yeah but what ever happened to Jeff?"
"Who?" Sarah asked.
"Oh yeah you don't remember him..." Emily trailed off. She had tried to bring Jeff up in the hospital, but to no avail. The doctors had said that Sarah might have some memory loss, but Emily was still worried. When would Sarah remember everything again?
"Don't force it Emily." Tina said. "She'll remember when she remembers."
It was Sarah's turn to pout. She remembered them bringing Jeff up before now. She still couldn't remember ever knowing some one by that name. She didn't think they could be very important memories if she couldn't remember them anymore. The few days before she fell into the short coma all seemed fuzzy in her memory as well. Sarah tried not to dwell too much on the past though. So much was going on in the present.
That night, Emily snuggled up to Sarah as they prepared to go to sleep. "Hey Sarah?"
"What is it Em?"
"I kinda lied. I do like sleeping in your bed cause I'm worried about you, but also cause I'm lonely. I just can't sleep by myself. I still miss Joey sometimes."
"I know it's hard on you Em. We'll get through this together." Sarah squeezed Emily's shoulders. Sarah was happy to have Emily as a friend. Emily always seemed so strong, but when she was alone with Sarah she showed her weaker side off. Sarah was glad she could trust her with her weakness, it meant that she didn't have to keep it all bottled up inside herself.
For some reason, Sarah was reminded of the Dreamsight sitting on her desk. She couldn't remember why she had bought it anymore. Seemed silly, she never had any dreams to begin with. She remembered wearing it a lot before her coma, but now she didn't sleep with it on anymore. There didn't seem to be a point to it.
"Night Sarah..." Emily said, as she drifted off into sleep. Sarah soon followed her.
The next week at work was crazy. It wasn't as busy as that fateful Black Friday had been, but it was still busy. Every morning when they went into work, instead of just putting out the new clothes, they went down into receiving. Sarah had been scared at first to go into the dark basement, but she got over that fear pretty quickly. They spent about an hour helping the people who worked downstairs unbox items, put price tags on them, and put them on long clothing rods so they could be brought up stairs. Sometimes one of the clothing rods would be so overstuffed with new clothes it almost fell over. Sarah kinda liked working downstairs out of the sight of customers. It reminded her a lot of her days working in the factory. Those days seemed like a lifetime away sometimes though. She was glad for this job in many ways. If it wasn't for this job she never would've gotten over her shyness, and she never would've made such good friends in Emily and Jenn.
Emily started being a cashier full time, and was taken out of Sportsware. Sarah missed her sometimes, but she got to see her so much at home it didn't bother her that much. Sometimes Sarah had to ring on a register as well when the lines got too long. Sarah was glad that work was so busy lately, she was getting lots of overtime. She needed this extra money so she could buy her mother an extra special Christmas gift. She also wanted to buy Emily something special for Forrest, and Jenn something too. Sarah never had to buy so many Christmas gifts before. She was excited though, she wanted to make her friends and mother happy.
One day, the three girls met in Starbucks like usual. Jenn had some news to share. "They decided on a wedding date!"Jenn had almost started to get excited for her father. Jenn remembered the first time she met Marisol, her father's new girlfriend. She hadn't liked her at the time but after spending more time with her, she had really gotten to like her. She was happy that Marisol was making her estranged father so happy. Sometimes Jenn got the idea that it was Marisol who had coaxed her father into contacting his old family again. That made Jenn like her even more.
"Oh when?" Emily exclaimed.
"Oh pooh. I was hoping Forrest would be able to go." Emily patted her stomach gently.
Jenn giggled. "Well they want to have it soon, before Marisol starts really showing. It's only going to be a small thing. But the exciting part is, Marisol wants us to be her bridesmaids!"
"Us?" Sarah asked, "But she's never even met me or Emily."
"YAY!" Emily declared without a care in the world.
"She wants to meet my friends, I think she's doing this to try to help us all come together as a family." Jenn smiled. "I know it's kinda sudden, but she wants to spend Christmas Eve with you guys too."
"Can Ma come too?" Sarah asked.
"YAY!" Emily squealed again. The three girls all laughed together for some time.
The next day Sarah had off from work. She drove Emily in, and promised to come pick her up when she got out at four. Sarah then drove to the mall to get some Christmas shopping done. It was already the tenth of December, time seemed to be flying by with how busy she had been at work. Sarah avoided the Macy's where her mother worked, and instead went to the JC Penny's.
She wandered around the store, on the hunt for perfect gifts. She had added Marisol, and Jenn's father Tim, to the mental list of people she had to buy gifts for. She was at a lost as to what to buy them. She found a pretty candle for Marisol finally, and got Tim a tie. She thought they were pretty safe gifts, considering she had never met them before. Then she had the task of buying the gifts for her mother and two best friends. After over an hour of searching, she decided she had found the perfect gifts for all of them. She went to the register and paid.
As she was leaving, toting along her large bags, Sarah stopped for a second when she caught the eyes of a boy her own age. The boy was shopping with a person Sarah assumed was his father. There was something about his eyes...they seemed to be so familiar. Sarah shrugged it off as a random occurrence of deja vu.
Sarah drove home and quickly wrapped up the gifts she had bought, and put them under the tree. She realized how late it was getting, and went to pick up Emily from work. She noticed that it had started to snow again, the snow from late November had all melted already. Sarah was used to the snow coming down all the way from November to sometimes in April. It was just the way New England was. She cleaned off the little snow that had fallen on her car, and drove to Burlington Coat Factory to get Emily.
"YAY SNOW!" Emily screamed with delight as soon as she got outside the building. "We didn't get to play in it last time cause you were in a coma. But now we can! Let's make a fort, and a snowman, and have a snowball fight, and make snow angels!"
"I don't think it's deep enough for all that."
"Hmm. You'll see!"
Once they got home, Emily refused to go inside until they had at least built a snowman. With Sarah's help, Emily rolled up almost all the snow that had fallen in the front yard into a halfway decent snowman. "Oh Sarah take a picture of us together! I want to show Forrest his first winter someday!"
Sarah giggled, and took a picture with her phone. She smiled, thinking how similar the snowman and Emily were, both of them with rather large bellies. She ushered Emily inside for some hot chocolate after that. After both girls had warmed up, Sarah decided they should unpack the things for Forrest's nursery.
"OH YES! I had almost forget we've been so busy! YAY FORREST'S ROOM!" Emily skipped up the stairs happily.
Sarah had never been very good with tools, but with Emily reading off the directions and helping a bit, she managed to put the crib and the changing table together. She was proud of herself for being able to help her friend out. Emily's baby was rapidly becoming like her own baby. Sarah giggled to herself as she thought about how she was the daddy.
Tina had arrived home. Tina had been worried about Sarah ever since the coma, but her daughter seemed fine, she didn't even remember most of the things surrounding the coma. But Tina did. She still felt guilty for subjecting her daughter to a scientific study, but she tried not to torture herself too much about it. Sarah was fine now, and Dr. Durham said that there would be no further incidents. The study was being shut down now, after eighteen years. Tina couldn't have been more relieved to hear that.
She stuck her head into the spare room where she heard voice from. Cries of "MA!" and "MOM!" came from the room as the two girls spotted her. They showed her the work they had done for the nursery. Tina thought about how soon she'd have a baby in the house. She almost felt like she herself was becoming a grandma. It was a warm kind of feeling. "You girls did a good job setting this up! Without any help, I'm impressed."
"We still got a lot of work to do Ma. Forrest will be here before we know it."
"He's gonna have the BEST NURSERY EVER!"
Tina smiled. Everything seemed like it was back to normal.
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