Emily had to head home. It was becoming late on Sunday evening. "Listen, you call me if you need to talk alright. I have class tomorrow morning. I will be home in the afternoon. I will make sure I come back down next weekend. I'm so sorry this happened."
I sighed and felt a tear slide down my cheek. She pulled me into a hug, resting her chin on my shoulder. "Emily I don't know what I did wrong."
She pulled back and looked at me, "Nothing. You did absolutely nothing wrong. Sam really threw away something great."
I nodded, "Have a safe trip home. I will talk to you later."
She smiled faintly got in her car and left. I sat down outside in one of the plastic lawn chairs we had.
My mom came out and wrapped a blanket around me. "How are you holding up? I know it's a stupid question."
I shrugged, "I don't understand what caused this sudden change. I know he still cares, but something's drastically different between us, I'm not sure what it is."
My mom rested her chin on top of my head, "That's love for you in a nutshell sweetie. Why don't you try and get some sleep. You have school in the morning."
I nodded, "Alright. Sweet dreams." She smiled and left me alone with my thoughts.
The school day passed, and I stayed quiet. My friends, Amanda, and Juliette sat there trying to get me to talk.
"I've never seen her so quiet in my life. It's kind of scary actually." Amanda whispered.
"I have to agree with you. Hey Leah want to go grab a bite to eat after school?" Juliette asked.
I quietly got up from the table, and left.
"I've never seen her like this before. Maybe we should tell her mom." Amanda suggested.
"Well they just broke up over the weekend. It's only Monday after all." Juliette said watching me leave.
"Let's give her a few weeks." Amanda said. Juliette nodded in agreement.
I walked home, wandering straight into my bedroom I dump my school bag by my desk. Nobody was home this afternoon. I left school early. I was only missing a study period so it wouldn't truly matter. If anyone asked, I would say I was sick. That they would buy, because I was never sick. So it wouldn't look suspicious. I pulled out my homework, and quietly worked on it. Darren came home, and flipped on the television in the living room. I just heard the dull sound of the voices coming from it. The phone rang and he answered it. He spoke for a few minutes then hung up. "Leah, mom wants you to turn the oven on to 375 at 5pm then put the lasagna in at 5:15pm. She said she'll be home to take it out. Got it?"
I didn't hear him at first. It took me a few minutes to put together what he'd said, "Yeah three whatever. Got it." I went back to my homework.
I'd just finished my homework when I saw the clock was reading 5:00pm. "Perfect timing." I put away my books and put the oven on. I set the table so I wouldn't have to do it later. I emptied the dishwasher waiting for the oven to heat up. I leaned against the counter waiting patiently. I looked over at the table and started to daydream. I would remember when Sam and I would sit there and do homework together. I remembered when we played cards together. The nights he came over for dinner. All the memories came flooding back. This choked sob escaped from my lips. I looked at the clock it read 5:13pm. I thought close enough. I put the lasagna in and went back to my room. I pulled out the picture of Sam and I. The last photo we took together. We were laughing, his arm was around me. We were happy. I sighed and shoved it away in my nightstand drawer. I hadn't the heart to throw it away, not yet.
The weeks had dragged. Neither Emily nor Sam had been around much. I couldn't complain. I just didn't have the energy to spend with Emily, or anyone. Not seeing Sam eased the pain of my reality. It was just easier to pretend he had faded away. The reality of it was he had faded away. He wasn't in school any longer. Allison had picked up his school work, and would drop off what he'd completed. The weeks were ticking by, life seemed to have no function for me. I would get up, shower, have something small for breakfast, then go to school. There I would just listen to the mundane lectures the teacher s gave. My grades never faltered. I continued with A's, and B's. I would return home, and dive into my homework and pick at my dinner, then go to bed. Within three weeks, I'd lost about fifteen pounds. My mom and dad had become quite alarmed.
"Harry what do we do? She's lost so much weight. She's so quiet. She doesn't go out with her friends."
My dad shrugged, "Sue I don't know. It's not like she's doing this on purpose. She's damaged."
Mom's jaw must have dropped, "HARRY CLEARWATER!"
My dad shrugged once more, "Sue its true and we both know it. This break up has really hurt her. She's not our daughter anymore. I've never seen her so lost. It's like a shell of her in front of us. It's hard to watch. I keep praying every day; she'll come back to us, when the time is right."
Mom just sighed, and got up and left the table. My dad sat there not sure what to say anymore.
It had been 6 weeks since Sam and I broke up. I had my friends trying to cheer me up still. I just couldn't grasp anything. It was like I had been a horrible accident, and was learning how to walk again. I know that sounds horrible, but that's what life was like. When something ends abruptly; you don't know how to move forward. You're unsure of where to start again. I came in the door after school one day. There was a letter addressed to me sitting on the coffee table. I picked it up and went to my room. I dropped my bag beside my desk, and sat down on my bed. I ripped open the envelope and read the note.
I shouldn't go about telling you in this manner, but you should know. I'm aware you and Sam broke up several weeks back. I'm sorry you've been hurt. I feel as though someone should be honest with you. Emily, your cousin, and Sam have been spending A LOT of time together. It's been for these past few weeks, I've noticed them along with others. I don't find it fair that you are left in the dark. I'm sorry you had to find out this way. Now you know. I hope you do find happiness one day.
I looked at the note, over and over. The handwriting was unfamiliar to me. I sat there in disbelief. I went through the reel of memories up until we broke up. I remembered at the cookout. Sam dropped my hand and started to walk over to Emily. He then caught himself and quickly left. The anger started to build quickly. He'd left me for Emily. My cousin pretended to feel bad for me, and she had taken him from me. I reached into the night stand drawer and yanked out the picture and tore it up. I felt so sick to my stomach. The bile crept up into the back of my throat. I ran for the bathroom, just making it. I was kneeling on the floor, with my head in the toilet vomiting. My mom just came home from work and heard the commotion, and came running in.
"Leah are you ok?" She squatted beside me rubbing her back. She'd just come home from work. I continued to vomit until there was nothing left in my stomach. Tears streamed down my cheeks. I held my sides which throbbed from the vigorous tormenting of my muscles.
I slowly sat back on my legs. My mom stepped over me grabbing a wash cloth, and ran it under the cold water. She once again squatted beside me, wiping the sweat, and tears off of my face.
"Let's get you out of these clothes and into some pajamas." She closed the toilet lid flushed it, then helped me to my feet. She kept an arm around my waist. She helped me back to my room. I must have been in a daze, because she helped me undress, and get into my pajamas.
"Lay down Leah. I will check on you in a little bit. Get some sleep."
I looked up at her, "I received that in the mail today. Read it."
My mom picked up the note and read it. "Oh Leah I'm so sorry. I don't understand why he'd do that. You and Emily are like sisters."
I looked at her and croaked out, "Were you mean."
She sighed, "Get some sleep. I will check on you in a bit." I rolled over turning my back to the door. She left quietly leaving the door open a crack.
Seth and my dad had come home from dinner.
"Guys keep it down please. Leah's asleep. She's had a rough afternoon." Seth headed to his room, and started on his homework.
My dad sat down beside my mom, "What happened?"
My mom set down her book, and handed my dad the note. He quietly read it, and looked up at her once he had finished, "Please tell me this is a joke."
She shook her head, "I called Emily's mother. She said it's completely true. I came home to find Leah throwing up. She's just a walking shell of tension and pain. I'm going to let her stay home from school tomorrow. She needs the rest. I'm off anyways. I will take care of her. She doesn't need this. I'm just am shocked about Emily and Sam. I understand."
My dad reached over, taking my mom's hand in his, "Sue we'll get her through this. It will take time, but she will heal."
My mom looked at my dad, "I hope you're right Harry. I can't lose her."
My dad squeezed her hand, "We won't."
I spent the day sleeping on and off.
My mom came in with soup, ginger ale, and juice. "I need you to eat something sweetie. I'm not trying to be over bearing, or over protective."
I looked up at her, "I know you're not. I'm just not very hungry anymore."
My mom sighed, "Leah you've lost a lot of weight and it's not healthy. Just have the soup at least." I looked at her, "Leah I'm not leaving until you eat something. It's your choice. I have all day."
I gave in and finally eat the bowl of soup. After burping I lay back down .
"Thank you. Now get some rest. If you need anything at all, just call for me." She kisses me on the forehead and leaves me alone again. I drift back off to sleep.
Saturday has rolled around. I was lying in bed reading quietly. I'd gotten out of bed, showered and dressed. I had no plans. The next thing I know, there was a frantic knock on the door. My mom rushed out of the house, and was gone until late evening.
Seth had gone off with his friends Colin, and Brady. My dad was off fishing with Charlie for the day. When she finally got home, she looked like someone had fought with her.
She looked exhausted. "Leah we need to talk." She sat down on my bed. I sat up and looked at her. "Listen, and listen with an open heart, and a clear mind, as clear as possible please." I was almost afraid to hear what she had to say. "Emily was attacked by a bear. She was in the woods near her house and a bear mauled her. She's in the hospital, and alive. She's pretty bad though. She'll never look the same. It ripped open the side of her face. She's scarred for life." I just sat there not having anything to say. "Leah?" My mom looked at me.
"What do you want me to say? I'm sorry she got hurt? I don't care, there's no sympathy for her or for what she did to me. I absolutely detest Sam and her. I hope she feels the pain, I feel. I would never hurt her, the way she's hurt me."
My mom looked at me and sat for a moment before speaking to me, "I understand what you're saying.”
“She couldn't even tell me herself about what was going on. I receive a note in the mail and find out that way. Do you know how betrayed I feel? No you don't, because nobody would be so cruel to you. So I have nothing else to say. If you send a get well card, sign my name. I want nothing to do with her. Now if that's all, I have things to do.”I get up and leave my room, I'm headed for the front door, almost slamming it behind me.