Sarah opened the door for Emily and let her come in. "Of course we can talk." Sarah was still in a sleepy state of mind, her brain hadn't quite caught up with what she was doing yet. She sat down on her bed and Emily followed her.
"I'm sorry I know it's late, and I was trying to sleep I really was but I just couldn't." Emily frowned. "I'll just go."
Sarah woke up out of her daze a bit and grabbed Emily's arm before she could stand up. "No, please tell me what's on your mind." Sarah might not be the best at giving advice to her friends, but the least she could do was listen to their problems.
"Oh okay. I'm just so worried. I don't think I can do it on my own. I can't be a mommy by myself." Emily's tears started rolling down her face. "And now I'm alone. How am I going to manage this?"
Sarah stood up and got a box of tissues off her desk. She handed them to Emily and thought about how she could answer. "Emily you are strong. You can do anything I'm sure of it."
"But I don't want to!" Emily broke down. Sarah realized that there was probably a deeper issue here, and she let her friend explain herself. "I still love Joey so much. I was being so stupid and irrational and now he probably hates me forever. I was so impatient, we didn't have to leave right then and there but I just wanted to go. He could've finished his video game I didn't have to go and unplug it. Now I've lost Joey forever!"
"You weren't be stupid Em. He wasn't thinking of your feelings either." Sarah hoped she was saying the right things. "Maybe you should try talking to him?"
"But he hasn't even called or texted me once since I left! Does he even care that I'm gone? He probably is glad to have me out of his hair." Emily nervously took one of the tissues out of the box and started folding it into a tiny airplane. "I probably don't mean anything to him."
"Don't say that Emily. He's just being stubborn probably." Sarah thought of all the other times Emily and Joey had fought in the past, but Joey had always done something to make it up to Emily. Sarah didn't know how to phrase it properly, but she knew that Joey would do that again this time.
"Maybe..." Emily threw the tissue airplane towards the trash can Sarah kept by her desk. It wobbled in the air and made it about halfway across the room before crashing into the ground. "I'm just scared. I might have screwed everything up. I don't want to lose Joey. I can't lose him I love him so much."
"Em we'll both talk to Joey tomorrow after work. I know you two can work this out." Sarah tried to smile in a comforting way. She hugged Emily and hoped that she was helping. She didn't like seeing Emily in this much pain, it just wrenched at her heart.
"Okay. Hey Sarah?"
"Do you think I could stay with you tonight? I mean your bed is awfully big. I just...I just don't want to be alone right now." Emily frowned.
"Of course you can. Come on let's try to get some sleep." Sarah got up to turn off the light when Emily spotted the Dreamsight on her head.
"Oh what is that?"
"It's a Dreamsight, you use it to record your dreams." Sarah explained.
"Oh neat! Can I see them?" Emily sounded excited.
Sarah giggled slightly at her friend's abrupt mood change. She guessed that perhaps she had helped her friend a little bit if she was able to talk like this now. "Tomorrow! We gotta sleep now we have to be at work at six."
"Alright." Emily made herself comfortable on Sarah's bed, stealing most of the covers and blankets for herself. Sarah took the opposite side of the bed once she turned the lights off. Emily whispered one last thing before they both fell asleep, "Thank you."
Sarah woke up to her beeping alarm clock, not even remembering her dreams from the night before. She reached over to turn off her alarm clock and bumped into a still sleeping Emily. Sarah wondered how she could possibly still be sleeping when Emily muttered "Just five more minutes mom..."
"You better get up or we won't have time for breakfast!" Sarah giggled.
"OH MY GOSH!" Emily was awake and sitting up so suddenly she almost knocked Sarah off the bed. "Tell me we are having waffles."
"I don't think we really have time for that. We have to be at work soon." Sarah said in a depressed tone, the shadow of Black Friday was now upon them.
"Well do you at least have some good cereals? And by good I mean marshmallows."
The two girls made their way down to the kitchen to see what cereals they had. Tina was already sitting at the table drinking a cup of coffee and eating some toast. "Good morning MOM!" Emily cried out.
Tina giggled at this and said "Good morning girls."
Sarah pointed Emily towards where they kept the cereal, and she went to make herself some toast. Emily cried out with joy when she found the box of Lucky Charms. "Ohmygosh. These are the best cereal. I hear if you eat all the marshmallows and none of the cereal parts you can get magical powers. OooooOOooOoooO" Emily wriggled her fingers around as if she was casting a spell on all of them.
They all had a good laugh and quickly ate their breakfasts. Sarah was glad Emily was in a much better mood today. She hoped that she had helped Emily. She had done her best at least, and that's all she could really do.
Sarah decided she would drive Emily into work since they were working the same shift that day. When they went to leave Tina stopped them, her eyes wide, serious, almost fearful. "Good luck today girls. Be careful."
"We will be. Love ya Ma!" Sarah took her mother's warning to heart. If even her own mother seemed afraid of this day, Sarah didn't know how she'd make it through it. On the drive to work Emily hummed along with the radio and looked out the window. Sarah didn't know what to say, so she just let Emily be.
Suddenly Emily turned to Sarah and said, "If we don't make it out of there alive today, you can have my collection of spoons." Emily went back to humming and looking out the window after she said that, almost like she hadn't said it at all. Sarah felt a nervous twitch coming on in one of her eyes.
The parking lot at their store was already halfway full, and it wasn't quite six yet, the store wouldn't even be open until seven. A crowd was packed around the entrance way. Sarah glupped and wondered how they were even going to make it into the store. Emily of course just shoved people out of her way, Sarah just followed her. The security guard let the girls inside, but one of the customers grabbed Sarah's hand before they she could get all the way in the door. "WHY DO YOU GET TO GO IN NOW" the older woman bellowed out.
"I...I...I work here?" Sarah said feeling faint.
"No, not fair, I want to go in now. I NEED TO GO SHOPPING RIGHT NOW." The woman had a crazed look in her eye.
The security guard pulled Sarah inside away from woman. "Hmm it's going way better than last year." He mumbled to himself. Sarah gulped and went down to the employee break room. Down there she found half of the employees already in the break room. Most of them had depressed looks on their faces, but some of them looked like war hardened soldiers about to march off to war.
After a few more people arrived Debbie called attention to herself. "Okay quick store meeting before we get things ready." Debbie stood towards the front of the room. "Here's whats going to go down." Debbie started doling out orders like a general of an army. She kept throwing out lines like "We have to be smarter than them." "We must be organized, unified." and "Let's not have a repeat of last year's debacle." At last Debbie left them to go set up their departments.
Sarah, Emily, and Sam were all opening the Sportsware department together. They decided to let Emily run the fitting room, while Sam and Sarah did returns and what Sam called "control the masses" which Sarah took to mean help out the customers. Although the way Sam said it, it almost seemed like she didn't think of the customers as people anymore. It was almost seven when Sarah heard a loud banging noise at the front of the store. Since Sportsware was so near the front of the store, she could see several people banging to be let in. Sarah didn't think she was ready for this yet. Before she knew it though, she watched in fear as the Debbie and the security guard unlocked the front door. From somewhere in the store Sarah heard someone call out "PREPARE FOR IMPACT!" but it was too late.
Black Friday was upon them.
Sarah didn't have time to think. She didn't have time to do anything but run around the department making sure the whole thing didn't fall to pieces. There were mostly women in her department, and they were doing the most insane things. They were tearing through the racks of clothes, throwing items on the ground, and just generally making the hugest mess Sarah had ever seen. Sarah barely had time to run returns, she was too busy trying to make sure the rest of the clothes in Sportsware was still staying on hangers and not on the floor or flung over shelves.
Practically running down one of the aisles, Sarah found a woman trying on pants. In the middle of the aisle. Sarah gasped and wanted to run away. But she managed to loudly whisper at the woman "Umm you can't do that ma'am."
The woman looked at Sarah with disgust in her eyes. "FINE! I didn't want these pants anyway." She threw the pants in Sarah's direction, pulled her own pants back on, and stomped away. Sarah decided it was best for her own sanity if she pretended that never happened.
Sarah made a fatal mistake at this point. She wandered towards the outside racks, near the houseware department. She was trying to fix a small display of sweaters when a couple approached her. "We need your help!" The man said to Sarah.
"Okay, what can I help you with?" Sarah stopped what she was doing and smiled brightly at the pair.
"We need a painting on the top shelf. Can you get it down for us?" the man asked nicely.
"Oh, well I can get some one from housewares to help you." Sarah said, "Just one second let me page them."
"NO!" cried out the woman of the pair. "I need that painting now, you don't understand."
"Oh but just one...second..." Sarah said nervously. "I can get someone to help you..."
The woman put her face right in Sarah's face. Sarah tried to avoid eye contact, but at this close of range that was nearly impossible. "You are going to help us RIGHT NOW."
"Okay." Sarah was defeated, and went to get the ladder.
The woman pointed up at a painting on the top shelf. "That one!"
Sarah carefully climbed up the ladder. The woman below was already sounding irritated at how long she was taking. She complained to her husband about how kids these days have no respect. Sarah grabbed the painting, and was surprised at how heavy it was. The painting began to tilt backwards, and the force of gravity started to take Sarah with it. Sarah desperately tried to lean forward, a fall from this high would hurt. She managed to pull herself closer to the ladder while holding onto to the painting with one hand. She balanced the painting against the ladder while she regained her balance. Confident that she had a good hold on it, she made her way down.
"Alright, there you go Ma'am!" Sarah was slightly proud of her accomplishment.
The woman on the other hand, looked a bit like a bull about to charge. "No, no, no. I want that one." The woman pointed at the painting that had been behind this one. An exact duplicate of the one now in Sarah's hand. "Go fetch that one for me!"
"They are identical though." Sarah said, hoping the woman would see that and not send her back up the death trap ladder.
"No they are not. Get that one for me." Sarah felt like she was on the verge of tears as she got the woman the painting. She walked away with her husband without saying a word of thanks. All Sarah could think of was that this wasn't a store anymore. It was a war zone.
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