Tori spread her blanket on the couch. Unlike Cat, she didn't need so many stuffed animals with her when she went to bed. All she needed was her Cuddly-Me Cathy doll and she was good. She looked up the stairs and saw Jade was coming down. Her eyes where red. When she got to the foot of the stairs, she stopped in front of Tori. It looked like she was going to say something, but she didn't. "So Jade, how was Cat?"
"She's Cat," said Jade. "She's looking forward to that game of cards."
"Well, I'll be up there in a moment," said Tori.
"I'm sure she'll enjoy that," said Jade.
Jade continued to stand in the middle of the Vega's living room, she bit her bottom lip. This was making Tori nervous. "So, I guess this is good-bye for now. Maybe you could come over tomorrow and hang out with Cat?"
"Yeah, I'll do that," said Jade.
"That'll be nice," said Tori.
"Look, I'm sorry," said Jade.
"Sorry for what?" said Tori.
"I'm sorry for yelling at you," said Jade. "I was just really frustrated. I'd hit a brick wall trying to contact Cat's family and I didn't think there was anything we could do. I shouldn't have taken it out on you."
"I understand," said Tori.
"And I'm sorry I didn't think you cared about Cat," said Jade.
"Wait, you thought I didn't care about Cat?" Tori raised an eyebrow.
Jade sighed. "I mean I didn't think you didn't care about Cat at all. But, I guess I thought you didn't care about her as much as the rest of us. I think it's because you're new to the group. Well, not new exactly. You've been going to Hollywood Arts for awhile. But you haven't known us as long as we've known each other. That's kind of why I thought you didn't care about Cat as much as the rest of us. Do you get what I'm saying?"
"Kind of," said Tori.
"Look I'm sorry," said Jade. "I shouldn't have doubted you."
"Well, apology accepted," said Tori.
"I've got to be honest," said Jade. "I probably wouldn't let Cat sleep in my bed."
"But you would let her stay in your house," said Tori.
"Yeah," said Jade.
"And you're trying to contact her family," said Tori. "So, you've kind of got the most important job out of all of us."
Jade nodded. "Bye Tori. I'll come back tomorrow morning, after I call Cat's family in Ohio. I'll let you guys know if they told me anything useful."
"Looking forward to it." Jade left the Vega house. Tori watched her as she got into her car. As Jade turned on her car and was about to pull out of driveway, she looked at Tori. Tori smiled at her. Jade smiled back and left. Once Jade's car had disappeared down the street, Tori went upstairs to play cards with Cat.
When Tori woke up, her neck was a bit sore. She was glad she was only sleeping on the couch for one more night. Then Andre would take Cat. Tori sat up on the couch and stretched her arms. She noticed her Cuddly-Me Cathy doll and fallen off the couch. She picked it up and inspected it to make sure it was okay. She went upstairs to her room. When she got there, she knocked on the door three times.
"Come in." This had been the signal to tell Cat the coast was clear. Tori opened the door and inspected her room. It mostly looked the same as it usually did, the only difference being the stuffed animals strewn on the floor. Cat was sitting on Tori's bed. "Good morning Tori."
"Morning Cat," said Tori. "Want to get breakfast?"
"Sure," said Cat. "But what about Trina? Won't she see us?"
"She usually goes on a long walk on Saturday morning," said Tori. "She thinks it'll keep her hot."
"Okay," said Cat.
"So, what do you want for breakfast?" said Tori.
"Pancakes!" said Cat.
"Sure," said Tori. The two made their way downstairs and to the kitchen. When they got to the kitchen, Tori looked around the cupboard.
"Whatcha looking for?" said Cat.
"Just that thing you need to make pancakes," said Tori. "You know what I'm talking about?"
"The batter?" said Cat.
"Yeah," said Tori. "And the measuring cup and the bowl where you mix the things together."
"Have you made pancakes before?" said Cat.
"No," said Tori. "But I've seen my Mom make pancakes. I'm sure I can remember how she did that."
"Well, we don't have to have pancakes," said Cat. "Is there something else you can cook?"
"Eggs," said Tori. "I can cook eggs."
"That sounds nice," said Cat.
"I'm on it." Tori went to the refrigerator to get a carton of eggs. However, as she was about to do so, she heard a knock at the door. Cat's face went pale and she quickly ducked under the kitchen table. Tori went to the door. Who could this be so early in the morning? Had Trina gotten home from her walk already? Was it her parents? They'd planned their trip to end on Sunday, but maybe something happened and they had to come home early. Tori peered out the peephole and then opened the door. "Jade?"
"Morning." Jade stood in the doorway to the Vega house. She held up a bag that had the logo of a donut shop on it. "I brought breakfast."
"Well we were going to have eggs," said Tori. "But donuts are fine."
"Yay Jade!" said Cat as she got up from under the table.
"Hey Cat," said Jade. "How was your night with Tori?"
"It was fun," said Cat. "We played cards all night."
"Well, don't get too used to it," said Jade. "I've found a place where you can stay."
"You have?" said Tori.
"You have?" said Cat.
"Yep." Jade put her bag on donuts on the kitchen table.
"Where?" said Cat. She reached into the sack and pulled out a jelly-filled donut, which she proceeded to devour.
"With your Nonna," said Jade. She plucked a donut with sprinkles on it from the sack.
"Wait, I thought she was in Italy?" said Tori. "Right?"
"Yeah." Cat nodded her head.
Jade rolled her eyes. "Nope. I called your family in Ohio. They told me your Nonna is in Venice-"
"Yeah," said Cat. "That's in Italy."
"No," said Jade. "Venice California."
"Oh," said Cat.
"Wait, she's been living in Venice this whole time?" said Tori. She reached into the bag on the table and picked out a chocolate donut.
"It appears so," said Jade. "I called Cat's Nonna and she's agreed to take Cat in."
Tori turned to Cat. "That's great news! We can drop you off at her house after breakfast."
"Yay!" said Cat.
Tori sat down and started eating her donut. "These are good. Where'd you get them?"
"There's a donut shop down the street from my home," said Jade.
"You'll have to show me sometime," said Tori.
"Sure," said Jade.
Soon the girls finished the donuts. They went to Tori's room and started packing Cat's things. It was difficult finding all of Cat's stuffed animals. They were literally everywhere. Many of them were under the bed. It took about half an hour to get all of them put away. Finally, all of Cat's things were packed up. The girls went downstairs to load Cat's bags into Jade's car. However, when they got downstairs, the door opened and Trina walked in. She looked at the three girls with a confused expression on her face. "What are you guys doing here?"
"Working on a school project," said Tori.
"You were working on a school project last night," said Trina.
"Yeah," said Tori. "It's a pretty big project."
"Oh, that makes sense." Trina continued to the kitchen. Tori sighed, seemingly having avoided Trina finding out the truth. However, Trina suddenly turned around. "Wait, why do you have those bags?"
"Well you see," said Jade. "Our project has to do with-"
"Jade, let me handle this," said Tori. She turned to Trina. "Here's the truth: Cat doesn't have a place to stay because her parents are out of state and they left her with some people who are super controlling. I told Cat she could stay at our house."
"Oh my god!" said Trina.
"She slept in my room last night," said Tori.
"Oh my god!" said Trina.
"Don't worry," said Tori. "We got in touch with her Nonna who lives in Venice and she's agreed to take her in."
"Wait," said Trina. "So Cat's going to live in Italy?"
"No," said Tori. "The other Venice. The one's that's over here."
"Oh," said Trina. "Sounds like you've got things figured out."
"Right," said Tori. "And by the way, don't tell Mom and Dad."
"Why not?" said Trina. "What's in it for me?"
"I won't tell Mom about how you used her credit card to order that face wash," said Tori.
Trina's faced turned pale. "I see you know how to play hardball. Fine, I won't tell them about Cat's little sleepover."
"Good," said Tori. "We're going to drop Cat off at her Nonna's house. Be back in a bit."
The three went to Jade's car and started loading Cat's bags into the trunk. Once they were done with that, Cat jumped into the car. She was practically bouncing up and down in her seat. Tori went to go into the car, but Jade stopped her. "Before we go, can I talk to you?"
"Why can't we talk in the car?" said Tori.
"I don't want Cat to hear," said Jade.
"Okay," said Tori.
"Great," said Jade. She reached inside her car and turned on the radio. Cat began bopping around to whatever song was playing. Jade then walked to Tori and pulled her away from the car. She glanced back at the car. Once she was convinced Cat couldn't hear them, Jade turned to Tori. "Look Tori last night I don't think I explained myself very well. I think I've found a better way to say it."
"Come on Jade," said Tori. "I understand what you meant."
"Well I'm sorry," said Jade. "I don't know how many times I have to say it, but I know it'll never be enough."
Tori sighed and placed a hand on Jade's shoulder. "You know, my Mom likes to say being friends means never having to say sorry."
Jade raised an eyebrow. "That's so dumb. Never saying sorry? That's like the opposite of being friends. What kind of friend never says sorry when they've done something wrong?"
"It's an expression," said Tori. "It means...I honestly don't know what it means. I guess what I'm trying to say is I know you're sorry and you were just worried about Cat's wellbeing. You already told me you were sorry last night. You don't need to say you're sorry again."
Jade sighed. "I don't know. It's just that I still feel guilty."
"Well don't," said Tori. "I've already forgiven you."
"Alright," said Jade.
Tori patted her on the shoulder. "Great. Now let's get going."
"Let's hit the road!" said Cat from the car. Tori and Jade got in the car. The three then took off down the street.