The months passed and Emily's face slowly healed. I tired to imagine what she looked like now. All I knew was that corner of her eye and lip were permanently pulled down. I felt horrible for Emily. I sat there fighting with myself whether or not I should call her. I sighed and grabbed the phone dialing Emily's number. The phone rang and rang and then the answering machine, "Hi you've reached Sam and Emily. We can't get to the phone right now. Please leave a message." I waited until the beep.
"Hey Emily. Um...yeah it's Leah. I...uh. I'll call back." I hung up the phone.
I decided to hang out around the house. My parents had gone out and Seth was hanging out with his friends Colin and Brady. I had nothing to do at the moment. I had the day off from my Aunt Lily's shop. Typically I worked weekends, but she was closed for the day. I decided to rummage through the bookcase in the living room. I was trying desperately to find a book to occupy my afternoon. Then it seemed to pop out, The Bell Jar. I remembered hearing something about the author Sylvia Plath in high school. I only knew that she was extremely depressed poet who committed suicide. I took the book and curled up in a chair in the corner and started reading.
I opened the book carefully. The front cover was falling apart. It had been taped on the binding. I liked that. It's what gave it character. I started reading and before I knew it I was on the second chapter. As I read the story this section spoke to me. I felt like I had gone through this myself. The character Esther Greenwood said, "The silence depressed me. It wasn't the silence of silence. It was my own silence. I knew perfectly well the cars were making noise, and the people in them and behind the lit windows of the buildings were making noise, and the river was making a noise, but I couldn't hear a thing."
I kept reading until the phone rang. I quickly got up and answered. "Hello."
Emily's same sweet voice answered. "Leah, you called. What's up?"
I smiled, "I was wondering how your doing? My mom told us what happened. Are you ok now?" I felt like such an idiot asking if she was ok. Clearly she wasn't ok, a bear attacked her. Her once beautiful face was now ruined.
"Leah you there?" She asked.
"Um...yeah sorry." I had zoned out.
"I'm doing better now. It still hurts but, I'm ok." She still sounded the same. I felt horrible.
"Leah I want to apologize for everything that happened." She said catching me off guard.
I had no idea what to say. "Emily don't worry about it. You and Sam are perfect for one another." I cringed saying that because, deep down I knew it was a lie. Emily let out a sigh. I wasn't sure if it was of relief or because she somehow knew how much it pained me they were together.
"Thanks. I need to get going. I will talk to you soon. Bye Leah." Emily hung up.
I sat back down and grabbed the book and curled up with it once again. I looked around the quiet living room and noticed it. Hanging on the wall was a collage of photos in a frame. I looked them over. There was just one of Same and I standing there holding our diplomas. It was graduation day and we were happy. A tear escaped and was sliding down my cheek. I decided I was done reading for the day and headed into my room and laid down on my bed. The last thing I saw was my clock which read 4:39pm.
I woke up and groaned rolling over and seeing my clock read 12:15pm. I jumped out of bed and quickly worked my way to the living room looking around. "Hello?"
My dad laughed. "Oh my. Sue, there's something that looks like our daughter here." He laughed.
"Leave me alone. I guess I fell asleep early last night."
My dad nodded. "Your mom and I came home around 6:00pm and you were out like a light." I yawned. "Leah, Emily and Sam are coming over for dinner this evening."
I stood frozen in my place. "Oh. Ok."
My dad looked at me and smiled. I went to my room and shut the door. I laid down and started reading again. I couldn't understand why they were coming over for dinner. Was there some sort of motive behind it? I decided to et up and take a shower. I stood there in the shower for and just let the water run.
My mom knocked on the door. "Leah you almost done?"
I shut off the water. "Yeah." I climbed out and dried off.
I quietly went back to my room and shut the door. I got dressed and sat there quietly waiting for dinner. I picked up the book and started reading. I let myself get lost in thought. I was trying to figure out why my cousin was attacked by a bear. I started thinking about the day she was attacked. I was on the beach with Sam when it happened. She was supposedly attacked on a fishing trip. I thought that was weird that she would have gone with out Sam. I wondered if Sam had something to do with the scars on her face. My wandering thoughts were interrupted by a knock on my door.
"Hey time to come out." Seth told me.
I rolled my eyes and tossed the book on my desk and left my room.
As I walked out into the living room I could hear the voices of Sam and my dad talking and laughing. Sam looked up seeing me and smiled faintly.
I smiled back to be polite. I quickly made my way to the kitchen.
"Hey honey." My mom smiled at me. "Leah how are you?"
Emily came over and hugged me. I hugged her back but, it felt so awkward.
I finally answered with a soft. "I'm good." I quietly took some dishes and silverware and set the table.
"Guys dinner is ready. Let's go." My mom called out. I took my usual seat. Seth sat beside me so Sam and Emily could sit together opposite us.
"Dig in." My dad said starting to put food on his plate.
I took some food and started to slowly eat. I kept my eyes on my plate as chatter filled the air surrounding me.
"So have you and Sam picked a date for your wedding?" My mom asked excitedly.
"No we're going to wait a little bit and take our time." Emily smiled and squeezed Sam's hand who also smiled.
While we were eating part of me ached and a quote from The Bell Jar came to mind. Esther Greenwood said, "There is something demoralizing about watching two people get more and more crazy about each other, especially when you are the only extra person in the room." I know technically wasn't alone in the rom. Watching them made me feel awkward. I wondered how Sam felt sitting across from me.
Dinner wrapped up and the my dad and Sam returned to the living room. Seth went to his room. I cleared the table and washed the dishes. I sat down quietly at the table with my mom and Emily. They were chatting and smiling. I didn't know where I belonged. Emily turned to look at me and smile and that's when I noticed the scar. I gasped rather loud. I felt the color drain from my face.
What had I just done. "I...I...uh..." That's all that came out of my mouth.
My mom turned to look at me. "Leah?"
I just stammered unable to speak. I stood up quickly. "I'm sorry about that. I need to excuse my self. It was nice seeing you." I ran to my room and shut the door locking it.
"Emily I'm so sorry hun. Leah didn't mean that. I think it took her by surprise." My mom smiled at Emily.
"I am not upset at all. I know it's a shock for anyone who knew how I looked before. Anyways what were we talking about?" Emily smiled and didn't seem phased.
I laid down on my bed and started to read. I must have fallen asleep reading because when I woke up my light was on and the clock read 1:13am. I shut off my light and tossed my book on the floor and went back to sleep.
(The two quotes Leah used as reference are from The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath.
Sections are from Chapter 2 pg 14 &15.)