The days seemed to turn into weeks before Sarah's eyes. She wasn't getting much sleep lately, and the dreams she did have were as dark as ever. Sarah continued to record them by habit, but she never looked over the contents of her dreams, just uploaded them to her computer. What would be the point of looking at them? The only thing they included was a inky blackness.
Work was starting to get busier for Sarah as well. It was almost Thanksgiving, and the customers were out in full force. Occasionally Sarah would be called to the front of the store to ring customers out because the lines were getting too long. Sarah was starting to get nervous for the day after Thanksgiving, Emily and Jenn told her stories of the year before, and just how busy they had been. Emily cried in terror "PEOPLE COULD DIE". Sarah almost laughed except for the dead serious looks on her friends faces. Jenn showed Sarah a news article from a few years ago on her phone. Apparently people did die. Sarah gulped and almost wanted to request that day off. Unfortunately when she looked at the schedule, there was a huge note saying that no one was permitted to take that day off. Sarah looked at that note for a long time and almost wanted to cry.
Before she knew it, Thanksgiving was here. Sarah awoke that morning and decided to just enjoy the day and not worry about the terrible Black Friday that would follow it. The store was closed for the day, and so was Tina's store. Sarah was glad for this. Thanksgiving was practically her favorite holiday. She got to eat so much good food. Sarah loved the delicious turkey, the mashed potatoes, the cranberry sauce, and most of all the stuffing. She was practically drooling already. Sarah had an odd taste for bread and all things bread related. Her mother had caught her daughter on more than one occasion eating an entire loaf of bread or snacking on a bag of croutons. Tina always made extra stuffing for her daughter, knowing that if she didn't she wouldn't get any stuffing for herself.
Sarah and her mom had spent the last few Thanksgiving in the company of themselves. Tina's parents had moved to Florida where Tina's brother and sister also lived. Tina missed her family, but she loved New England so much she refused to move anywhere else. Sarah and Tina flew down to visit them once, but after Sarah freaked out on the plane ride Tina hadn't really wanted to fly down there again. They could've taken a train or bus, but knowing how much her daughter hated to travel, Tina decided against it for now. Although seeing Sarah happier and with friends made Tina think that maybe she wouldn't freak out so much now.
Sarah was helping her mother in the kitchen the meal when suddenly a loud noise echoed through the house. Sarah jumped before she realized it was someone knocking loudly at their front door. "I'll get it," Sarah said.
She opened the door and was surprised to see a crying Emily standing on her front porch with a suitcase in her hand. "SARAH!" Emily cried dropping her suitcase and hugging Sarah as tight as she could with her ever swelling stomach in the way. Emily started crying hysterically and Sarah tried to comfort her. "I know it's Thanksgiving and all but..." Emily let out a wail of pain, and Tina came to the door to see what was going on.
"Come in Emily." Sarah said nervously. Emily went inside and sat sobbing on the Pinkerton's couch. Sarah carried Emily's suitcase in while her mother ran back into the kitchen. Sarah sat on the couch and tried to comfort Emily, and her mother emerged from the kitchen carried a couple cups of tea.
"What's wrong dear?" Tina said. Tina had met Emily a few times before, the energetic little girl had always been smiling those times. She was worried for her daughter's new friend.
"He...he...he said he HATED ME!!!!" Emily burst out her tears falling even more freely.
Eventually Emily calmed down enough to tell Sarah and her mother the whole story. She sipped on her tea and started. "I was complaining to Joey about how much my feet hurt and he was just playing his video games. We were going to go over to his parent's house for Thanksgiving soon and he just wouldn't pay attention to me. He was just all like 'Oh let me finish this one game and we'll get going', but it was taking him forever and I was tired of standing around. So I unplugged the game system and he just looked at me and told me he HATED ME!" Emily started crying again, but not as loudly as before.
Sarah put her arms around Emily, trying to be as comforting as possible. "I'm sure he didn't mean it Em."
"It doesn't matter if he meant it or not! There is no reason for someone who supposed to love you to say those things! I packed up my things and I came over here. I know it's Thanksgiving but I don't really have anywhere else to go. Jenn is having Thanksgiving with her father and I didn't want to bother her."
"No it's okay Emily, we don't mind, do we mom?" Sarah said looking up at her mother.
"Yes dear, it's fine, you can stay with us today. I'm sure you'll feel better once you've eaten a nice warm meal."
"Oh yes! Forrest has been kicking around in my belly yelling about how hungry he is for awhile now!" Emily looked down and patted her belly. "My son is already a trouble maker, aren't?" She smiled down at her stomach.
"Well then, Emily, why don't you help us make our Thanksgiving dinner?" Tina got up and started for the kitchen. Sarah helped Emily to her feet and they both went into the kitchen together.
"So you decided on a name for him?" Sarah asked quietly.
"Oh yeah! I didn't tell you yet. Well you know how much I love trees right? Well I decided to name him after a whole forest! So he's Forrest!" Emily smiled, seeming to be getting back to normal after all her crying. Still the normal glimmer of happiness that always seemed to be in her eyes was gone. Sarah hoped that Emily would be alright.
They finished up making dinner, Emily helping only slightly. It turned out that Emily wasn't very used to making food of any kind. Emily shyly said that she hadn't ever really cooked before. Tina let Emily mash the potatoes, which seemed to make Emily quite gleeful. She mashed the potatoes into practically a paste before Tina told her that was good enough.
Emily and Sarah sat down at the kitchen table while Tina took the turkey out of the oven. Emily looked quite excited at the size of the bird, mumbling to herself that she wanted at least half of it.
Tina sat down and said "Okay before we eat, let's all say what we are thankful for. I'm thankful for having the most wonderful daughter in the world." She patted Sarah on the arm as she said that.
"I'm thankful for having the best mom in the world!" Sarah said smiling. "And for having such good friends." Sarah looked over at Emily who was drooling a bit over all the food.
"Oh well I'm thankful for Forrest, and for trees and llamas and cats and of course all this FOOD!" Emily rambled out. "Let's eat!"
Thanksgiving dinner was a huge success. Sarah was happy that Emily was there. She was happy that her friend trusted her enough to come to her when she had such a huge problem. Sarah hoped that everything would turn out alright for Emily. She didn't know how she could help, but for now being there for Emily seemed enough. Sarah also thought of her other friend Jenn, who was spending Thanksgiving with her father and his new girlfriend. She was glad that Jenn had decided to give her father a chance, and hoped that everything was going alright. She decided to text her later on and see how everything went.
After dinner and they cleaned up and went into the living room to watch some television. The night passed by quickly, and Sarah was having a lot of fun spending the holiday with her friend, even if she was upset. Around ten Emily started rubbing her eyes and complaining about how sleepy she was. Tina and Sarah pulled out the couch into a bed and got some pillows and blankets for Emily. Knowing that tomorrow was going to be a huge hassle for all of them, Sarah and her mother decided it was best if they got to bed too. Sarah stayed by Emily's side as she got into her makeshift bed and seemed to fall asleep almost immediately. "Night Em, sleep well."
"Night Sarah." Emily yawned and said almost half asleep already. "Don't let the bed bugs bite."
Sarah headed up to her own bedroom. She realized it was probably too late to text Jenn, and decided she would ask her about her Thanksgiving the next day. Sarah lay in her bed awake for some time, her mind full of worries for her two friends, and for herself and how work would be the next day. She was finally just starting to fall asleep when a knock came at her door. She opened it and found Emily standing there, tears in her eyes again.
"Can we talk?"
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