EPISODE 1 - AFTER
After the police finish questioning the survivors, they are taken to the hospital to have their wounds treated. Much to their dismay, Sam, Mike, Emily, Chris, and Ashley are put into separate rooms, while Jess and Matt are put in the same room upon Jess' request.
Sam lies in bed, haunted by the memories of Josh chasing her around the lodge as The Psycho and the Wendigos trying to kill her and her friends. She begins lightly sobbing, feeling incredibly saddened and betrayed by Josh's actions; she truly thought they were close and that there was mutual trust and respect. She so desperately wants to get some sleep, but every time she closes her eyes, all she can see are images of the previous night. Not only is she bothered by these horrifying images, but she also worries immensely about her friends and hopes that they are okay wherever they are in this hospital.
Mike lies in bed, staring at the ceiling in complete silence. While Josh and the Wendigos remain in the back of his mind, the image of Jessica lying on the elevator, all bloodied and bruised, remains in the forefront. He feels like a complete failure, not having been able to reach her in time before the elevator fell. All he can do is hope that she is alive and well.
Emily lies in bed, very worried about Matt. At the moment she doesn't even care about the Wendigos, all she cares about is Matt. She feels very remorseful for the way she'd been treating him since they started dating, especially how she treated him last night. She tries to clear her mind and rest, but every sound in the hospital reminds her of the previous night and prevents her from sleeping.
Chris lies in bed with a wrapped up broken ankle. While it was previously only sprained, it fully broke when police rushed him out of the interrogation room. Running through his mind are Josh and what he did to him and Ashley, as well as the Flamethrower Guy being decapitated right in front of him. Chris also worries immensely about Ashley and hopes that she is okay. As he thinks about her, he remembers how he finally got a kiss from her and it brings a tear of joy to his eye.
Ashley lies in bed, trying, but failing, not to think about all the trauma she just experienced. Instead, she tries to only think about Chris. She views Chris as not just a hero, but her hero. Everything he did to protect her and the group, especially risking his life by going out into the danger zone to find Josh, has made her fall in love with him even more. Her love for Chris, however, isn't enough to block out the haunting images of the previous night keeping her wide awake.
Jess lies in bed, her entire body in an immense amount of pain. Consuming her mind and causing her a great deal of emotional and mental torment is the memory of being attacked and dragged through the snow by the Wendigo. The only thing making the memory somewhat bearable is her remembering how Mike ran after her; she hopes very much that he is okay wherever he is. Jess also feels indebted to Matt for getting her out of the mines safely.
Matt sits in a chair placed next to Jess' bed instead of laying in his own bed as he was instructed to do by the staff. Since he isn't too badly injured, he feels he should stay by her side. He can tell she is struggling with just existing right now so he holds her hand in his own to comfort her and help her feel safe. In the back of his mind lies the crazy night he just endured; from being attacked by the mysterious Wendigo to his toxic relationship with Emily. His main priority right now though, is making sure Jess is okay.
The survivors spend the week in the hospital, healing up as much as they can. The nurse's don't even seem to be too bothered by the PTSD that the survivor's are showcasing, much to their annoyance. Their requests for some kind of help dealing with that specifically, are ignored.
During the week, Matt and Jess bond. Jess apologizes for the fight with Emily and insulting him during it. She also thanks him for getting her out of the mines, telling him how grateful she is and promises to repay him somehow. Matt tells her not to worry about the fight since Emily was the one who started it anyway. He also tells her that she doesn't need to repay him at all, but she insists so he lets it go. To distract themselves from thinking about the events at the mountain, the duo talk about other things and joke around with each other.
Everyone's parents visit them when they learn about what happened, including The Washington's. Bob and Melinda are devastated to hear from Mike that Josh was taken down by the Wendigos and mourn the loss of their last child. Jess' parents are very appreciative of Matt for saving their daughter and, just like Jess, insist on repaying him somehow. In the end, it is agreed upon by both sets of parents that the two families will get together sometime soon for dinner.
This morning, the survivors are released from the care of the hospital. They all head down to the lobby to wait for their parents to pick them up. Mike and Sam are the first two to arrive at the lobby and reunite with each other.
"Oh my gosh, Mike!" Sam exclaims as they hug each other. "It's so good to finally see you!" she adds, feeling relieved.
"Yeah, I'm glad you're okay." Mike says, his voice cracking.
Noticing the crack in his voice, Sam looks at him with a concerned expression. "Are you okay?" she asks.
Mike swallows hard and sighs before answering. "I will be once I see Jess."
Sam nods understandingly. "Yeah, it sucks they wouldn't let any of us see each other all week."
"Yeah, it's fucking bullshit!" Mike spouts, kicking a chair.
Sam puts a hand on his shoulder to calm him down, noticing the stares they are receiving. "Hey, it's gonna be okay," she says soothingly. "You'll see her. You'll be with her. Everything will be okay."
Sam's words do help Mike relax a little. He closes his eyes and nods. "You're right, I'm sorry."
"It's okay." Sam responds, giving him a calming smile.
They both sit down. Sam rubs Mike's back soothingly to keep him calm, which proves to be quite effective.
A few minutes later, Ashley enters the lobby. She spots her friends, who aren't paying attention, and excitedly hops over to them. "Mike! Sam!" she exclaims.
"Ashley! Oh my gosh!" Sam exclaims, standing up and hugging her tightly. "Thank goodness you're okay." she says quietly.
"You too!" Ashley says back, her voice full of happiness. They break and Ashley sits with them. "Have either of you seen Chris?" Ashley asks.
Sam shakes her head. "No, I'm sorry. I'm sure he's okay and that he'll be here soon."
"I hope so…" Ashley says.
Chris, now having to walk with crutches, exits his room. He attempts to make his way down the hall to the elevator, but due to being inexperienced with crutches, he loses his balance and falls to the floor, grunting in annoyance. He hears a giggle behind him and turns around to see Emily coming his way.
"What, did you forget how to walk?" she teases as she helps him up.
Chris scoffs, "Ha ha, very funny. I'm so glad my misfortune entertains you."
"Well, you have always been the joker of the group." she jokes.
Chris rolls his eyes. "Whatever…"
Emily guides Chris the rest of the way to the elevator and they head down to the lobby together. Once they get to the ground floor, Emily guides Chris down the hall to the lobby. Once they get to the lobby, they see Sam, Mike, and Ashley sitting down. Excited, Emily and Chris approach their friends.
Ashley's face instantly lights up when she looks up and sees the man of her dreams. "CHRIS!" she screams happily, jumping up and throwing her arms around him and attacking his face with kisses.
Retaining his grip on his crutches, Chris hugs her back. "H-hey, Ash!" he says with a chuckle.
"I've missed you so much!" she cries, looking at him with admiration.
He smiles back at her. "I've missed you too, Ash."
Sam and Emily look on with smiles on their faces. The two then look at each other and hug.
"I'm glad you're safe, Em." Sam says.
"I'm glad you're safe too," Emily says back. "Has anyone seen Matt?"
"No, he and Jess haven't turned up yet." Sam tells her, her voice sad. Sam looks at Ashley, who is still hugging Chris. With a light chuckle, she says, "Hey, Ash, why don't you let Chris down, he's looking a bit wobbly."
Ashley pulls away from Chris. "Oh, right, I'm sorry!" she says apologetically.
"It's okay." Chris says, taking a seat. Ashley sits down next to him and rests her head on his shoulder.
Sam sits back down and Emily takes a seat. She realizes Mike's been quiet the entire time. "Hey, Mike, are you okay?"
"No." Mike responds blankly.
"He's just worried about Jess." Sam tells Emily. Emily nods in understanding and leaves him alone.
About 5 minutes later, Matt and Jess enter the lobby, Matt rolling Jess in a wheelchair. Jess is floating in and out of consciousness. Matt sees the gang and goes over to them.
"JESS!" Mike exclaims upon seeing her. He jumps up and goes to hug her, but stops when Matt puts a hand out.
"Be careful, Mike, she's in a tremendous amount of pain," Matt tells him. "I would suggest not even touching her."
Mike is annoyed by this information, but listens. He kneels down to her level. "Hey, Jess, are you okay, babe?" he asks, concerned.
"No." Jess groans. Mike gives her a sympathetic look as Matt wheels past him to the chairs and takes a seat.
"Hey, Jess, hey, Matt, I'm so happy to see you two!" Sam says. She and Matt share a hug.
"I'm happy to see you too." Matt says, giving her a friendly smile.
"Hey, Matt." Emily says nervously.
"Hello." Matt responds coldly. Emily winces at the coldness in his voice and stays silent.
About a half an hour later, the first set of parents arrive; Sam's parents. She hugs everyone goodbye and leaves. One by one, the kids are picked up. When Jess' parents arrive, they thank Matt again for saving their daughter, Jess' dad even giving Matt a hug, something he's never given any male that knows his daughter.
Emily and Matt are the last two. Matt stands with his back to her, facing the door. Emily is tired of the cold shoulder so she stands up and cautiously approaches him. "Matt?" she calls out.
Matt sighs in annoyance. "What?" he asks coldly.
"I can tell you're upset, and I'm assuming it's with me and I completely understand," Emily says softly. "Can we please talk about it?"
"No, I don't want to talk to you." Matt snarls. Emily winces at Matt's tone.
Matt's ride arrives and he briskly exits the hospital. Now alone and even sadder than before, Emily sits back down and sulks.
Over the next few days, the survivors stay home from school to continue resting. Their parents have bought them all new phones so they can keep in touch with each other; Jess' parents not even flipping out over it like she feared they would. At the suggestion of Bob and Melinda, the kids will start seeing Dr. Hill once they return to school so that he can help them work through their newfound stress.
Chris finishes his breakfast. "Hey, Jake, can you put my bowl in the sink please?" he asks his younger brother.
Jake groans loudly. "Why can't you just do it yourself!"
Chris frowns in disappointment. "I've been doing it myself all week and it's extremely hard and painful doing the extra movement. This is the first time I've asked this of you too."
Jake scoffs. "So what? You've done it yourself all week and you're still alive. You're a big boy, you can do it yourself again."
"Come on, Jake, you really can't help a brother out?" Chris pleads.
Jake gives him a disgusted look. "No, do it yourself, I'm not your servant!" With that, Jake storms out of the kitchen.
Chris sighs. "Alright, well, here goes nothing."
Chris gets up and wobbles his way over to the sink and puts his bowl in it. He then wobbles out of the kitchen to the stairs. He looks upon the intimidating staircase that's given him trouble all week.
"Hey, Jake, can you at least help me get up the stairs?" Chris asks.
"No, I'm not your servant!" Jake shouts from the living room.
"Come on, bro, my ankle is really messed." Chris says.
"I don't care! Leave me alone!" Jake yells.
Chris sighs again. "I hope I don't die from this." he says to himself. Chris starts climbing up the stairs, being as careful as possible. It takes him a full 2 minutes to reach the top, but he does so without fault.
He goes to his room and sits on his bed, feeling very annoyed with this brother. He sits in silence, and eventually starts thinking about the night at the mountain again. He attempts to shake those thoughts away, but right now they're here to stay. He takes out his phone and starts texting Ashley which lifts his mood immediately.
Sam lies on her bed, having finished crying her eyes out. This has become a daily habit since being rescued. Even at the hospital she would cry until no more tears could come out. Talking with her friends in the group chat they made has helped her stay somewhat sane, but she is still suffering regardless.
As to not want to make everything about herself, she takes her phone out and sends a thoughtful, loving message in the group chat and puts her phone back down.
Sam's mother appears in her doorway, startling Sam. "Hello, honey, I just wanted to check on you again, are you okay?" she asks, aloof to startling her daughter.
"Yes, I'm okay." Sam answers, calming herself down.
"Alright, dear. I'm going to get started on lunch soon, I'll let you know when I finish."
"Okay." Sam responds. Mrs. Giddings disappears from view.
After a few minutes, Sam gets up and goes over to her desk. Under her desk is a small box. She slides the box out from under the desk and uncovers it. Inside the box are mementos she's been given over the years by her friends. She digs through them and finds a birthday card from Josh. She opens the card to find an SD card inside. She takes the SD card and inserts it into her laptop. In the card is a video file which Sam opens and starts watching.
"Sammy! You're 19 today! That's gotta be exciting, huh? I'm sorry I couldn't make it to your party, but I'm still here on the mountain, making sure everything is in order for our annual Blackwood Getaway next year. I know it's 6 months early, but the police moved a lot of things around when they were investigating, and left it all for me to put back. Trust me, I wish I could be there with you all, I love and miss you all so much, haha. But believe me, when you all come back to the mountain next year, we're gonna have a grand time! I have so many surprises in store for you all, it's gonna be amazing! Especially Chris and Ashley, we're gonna get those two together once and for all! But anyway, this is your day, Sammy, and no one else's. Well, I guess technically it's also whoever else was born on this day's day, but you know what I mean, ha ha. But yeah, live it up, Sammy, get white girl wasted! Alright, I love you, Sammy, see you soon."
Throughout the video message, tears fall down Sam's face. After Josh's message is complete the video ends with a montage of pictures of Josh, Sam, and the rest of the gang over the years. This fully breaks Sam, making her sob uncontrollably. Her legs go wobbly so she sits back down on her bed. As she cries, she starts feeling an intense pain in her chest.
"Josh…" she weeps, "How could you?"
After another week of resting, Mike is ready to finally see Jess in person again. He heads downstairs to the kitchen to let his parents know where he's going. He enters the kitchen to find his mom cooking and his dad sitting at the table reading a newspaper.
"Mom, Dad, I'm going to Jess' house." he tells them.
Mike's dad slams the newspaper on the table, making both Mike and his mother flinch. His dad glares at him. "I don't remember saying it was okay for you to do so." he says coldly.
Mike swallows hard, trying to keep his composure. "She's my girlfriend and she's in a lot of pain. I love her very much and I wanna be with her and comfort her."
"Honey, I think we should let him go." Mrs. Munroe says to her husband, smiling nervously at him.
"Jessica Riley is a no good for nothing whore." Mr. Munroe states.
Mike gets agitated by that comment, but stays calm, knowing better than to get snappy with his father. "Dad, she's not a whore. That was a stupid rumor spread around town that is just completely untrue. Believe it or not, she's still a virgin."
"Just because her pants haven't been busy doesn't mean that mouth hasn't." Mr. Munroe counters. "A rumor like that wouldn't be spread around for no reason."
"I can promise you it isn't true." Mike repeats.
"Babe, I really think we should let him go." Mrs. Munroe says again. "He's been stuck at home all week and hasn't seen any of his friends."
"I can't say I really care," Mr. Munroe counters. "You may go out tomorrow, but you are staying home today."
Mike sighs and looks down, defeated. "Well, at least tomorrow is Valentine's Day so we can do something special." he says, trying to make himself feel better. Mike leaves the kitchen.
"He needs to get his grades up before he can even think about leaving the house without permission." Mr. Munroe says.
"Remember, dear, he just experienced a traumatic event," Mrs. Munroe reminds him. "I think he deserves some fun right now." She goes back to making food.
Ignoring his wife, Mr. Munroe picks up the newspaper and continues reading.
Upstairs, Mike plops himself down on his bed and slams his fist down on it, upset that he can't see Jess. He texts her to let her know of the change in plans. When he puts his phone back down, he sees his little sister, Emilia, standing in his doorway, looking at him with her arms crossed and an eyebrow raised.
"What?" Mike asks.
"I thought you were going to Jess' house?" Emilia says, confused.
"Dad won't let me." Mike tells her.
Emilia puts her bottom lip out to make a sad face. "Aw, I'm sorry to hear that."
Mike shrugs. "He said I can see her tomorrow though, so there's that at least."
Emilia nods. "That's good."
"Well, you don't seem to be in the mood to talk so I'll leave you alone." Emilia says, starting to leave. She takes two steps before turning around and is met with the door slamming shut. She scoffs and goes back to her room.
Emily finds herself in her room, lying on her bed watching TV. Her older sister, Bridgette, stops by to check on her.
"Hey, Em, how are you doing?" Bridgette asks.
Emily mutes the TV and sits up. "I would lie and say I'm okay, but you'd probably see right through it."
Bridgette chuckles softly. "Yep, I definitely would." She enters the room and sits next to her sister. "What's wrong?"
"Oh, a number of things, where the hell do I even begin?" Emily asks rhetorically.
"Start wherever you need to, I'm all ears." Bridgette tells her.
"Well," Emily begins, "I was barely able to sleep last night as usual because of these stupid nightmares I keep having. Like every time I close my eyes, it's nothing but a nightmare. I probably look like shit right now…"
Bridgette frowns at that last part. "Girl, hush. You know damn well it's impossible for you to look like shit."
Emily smiles slightly at the compliment. Her smile then fades as she continues. "Well, even if I don't look like shit, I certainly feel like it. Matt still hasn't responded to any of my texts or returned any of my calls."
"Seriously?!" Bridgette says angrily. "What a douche."
Emily shakes her head. "No, he's not a douche. It's all on me, I've treated him so poorly during our relationship, and I guess the mountain was the final straw for him."
"I see," Bridgette says. "Well, hopefully everything works out, I'd hate to see you two break up. Matt's a good guy."
"I'd hate that too." Emily agrees. 'I think it's too late though,' she thinks to herself.
Bridgette looks at the time. "Welp, I wish I could stay and hang out with you longer, but unfortunately I gotta run to work. Know that you can always come talk to me whenever you need to. I'll be here for you no matter what. You can even text or call me at work and I'll do my best to respond as quickly as possible."
"Thanks, Bridge," Emily says. They share a hug.
"Love you, kid." Bridgette says, standing up and ruffling Emily's hair.
"Love you too." Emily says with a smile. Bridgette smiles back and heads off to work.
Chris and Ashley hang out in the former's room, snuggled up together on his bed watching TV. Ashley is on cloud 9 right now and wouldn't rather be anywhere else than right here with Chris. Chris on the other hand, feels bad that because of his ankle, he and Ashley can't go out and have a Valentine's day dinner.
"Ash, I'm so sorry we can't go out to celebrate." Chris says, wanting to get this off his chest.
Ashley looks at Chris, surprised by his apology. "Chris, you don't need to feel sorry about that!" she assures him.
"But you're special to me and I wanted to take you somewhere nice." Chris says.
Ashley smiles at him. "Chris, I'd much rather be laying here with you right now than go to a restaurant."
"Are you sure?" Chris asks, feeling doubt.
Ashley gives him a kiss on the cheek. "I'm sure."
"Okay." Chris stops worrying about it now that he knows Ashley isn't worried about it.
"Gosh, get a room you two!" Jake says in disgust from the doorway.
Startled, the duo look over at him, Chris now very annoyed. "Uh we are in a room, my room!" he snaps. "Go away!"
"Technically I'm not in your room," Jake points out. "Also, your door is open, therefore you're open to everyone."
Chris grimaces at him. "What kind of stupid logic is that? That literally makes no sense."
"Nah, it makes perfect sense! You're just too stupid to understand it." Jake retorts.
"Jake, go away!" Chris groans.
"Make me," Jake challenges. "Oh, that's right, you can't! Haha!"
Ashley giggles. "Jake, do you think you could give us some space and close the door please?" she asks sweetly, batting her eyes.
Jake looks as if he has become mesmerized. "Of course, Ashley, anything for you." He shoots Chris a raspberry and closes the door.
"Spaz." Chris mutters quietly.
Ashley giggles again. "Well, at least we know he'll listen to me." she jokes.
Chris scoffs. "Yeah, we'll have to use that to our advantage in the future if you don't mind."
Ashley shrugs. "Hey, if it'll get him to leave us alone, then I don't mind."
"Cool." Chris says with a side smile. They cuddle closer and go back to watching TV.
Finally able to see each other again, Mike and Jess hang out in the latter's room watching TV. Jess is lying in her bed, still in a lot of pain, while Mike sits at her desk to give her space. Because of her condition, they cannot go out which Mike doesn't care about, he just wants to be with her.
Mike strikes up a conversation, but gets frustrated that Jess is in too much pain to fully participate. While they converse, Jess starts going on her phone and texting someone, suppressing giggles every now and then. After a few minutes of this, Mike has had enough.
"What's got you laughing'?" Mike asks calmly, not wanting to be hostile.
"Just some memes." Jess tells him.
Mike nods. A few more minutes go by with this continuing, making Mike's blood boil. "Jess can you please get off the damn phone?" he asks in a frustrated tone.
Jess frowns, but doesn't look at him. "Not really, I'm texting Matt-"
Mike slams his hand on her desk, interrupting and startling her. "What?! You're texting that pushover when you're with me?! What the fuck kind of bullshit is that?!"
Jess looks at him with distaste. She slowly slides herself up so that she is sitting rather than lying down. "Okay, who the hell do you think you're talking to like that, Michael Munroe?"
Mike grimaces at her. "Don't you know how rude it is to text another guy when you're with your boyfriend?"
Jess scoffs and rolls her eyes at him. "I've been on my phone for a few minutes. My parents and I are having dinner with Matt and his family tonight so we're just trying to plan for that."
Mike looks hurt. "What? You're having dinner with them? Why can't you have dinner with me?"
Jess shrugs. "It was my dad's idea, not mine. We can still have dinner or something. It's really not that big of a deal."
"It is a big deal, it's fucking bullshit." Mike growls.
Jess rolls her eyes. "Then fucking leave, Michael. You're literally acting like a child, getting upset for no reason and I do not have the energy to deal with your nonsense. I'm in way too much pain, I don't need this right now."
"Fine, whatever." Mike grumbles, getting up. Without another word, he starts leaving.
"You're really gonna leave instead of calming down and hanging out with me?" Jess asks.
"Yep. Have fun with Matt tonight, Jessica." Mike storms out.
After a few minutes, Jess' mom comes to her room. "Are you okay, honey?" she asks.
"No." Jess answers.
"What happened?" her mom asks, concerned.
"I'd rather not talk about it." Jess replies, lying back down and turning over to face the wall.
Jess' mom looks at her daughter with a sad expression on her face. She lingers for a few more seconds before leaving.
Sam and Emily hang out in the former's room watching TV. Sam is happy to finally hang out with one of her friends again. Emily is happy too, but her stress about Matt greatly overshadows her happiness. Sam notices Emily sulking so she turns the TV volume down and talks to her.
"Em, are you okay?" she asks, concerned.
"Not really." Emily answers weakly.
Sam turns the TV off so it won't be a distraction and gives Emily her full attention. "Why, what's wrong?" she asks, growing more concerned.
Emily takes a moment before answering. "MATT FUCKING HATES ME!" she shouts, breaking down in tears.
Sam is taken aback by Emily's sudden shouting. "W-what do you mean he hates you?"
"When we were at the hospital, he was so cold towards me!" Emily cries, "And he hasn't responded to any of my texts or answered any of my calls!"
"Aw, I'm sorry to hear that," Sam says, giving her a sympathetic look and wrapping her arms around her.
"It's not even like I can be mad at him either because it's all my fucking fault!" Emily continues, sobbing harder. "I was such a bitch to him all the fucking time!"
Sam starts rubbing her back. "I gotta be honest, Em, I think you rushed into a relationship too soon after Mike broke up with you. I truly think you and Matt would've been a wonderful couple, but the timing was bad. If he breaks up with you, I can't say I'd be surprised."
Emily pulls away, frowning at Sam. Sam gives her an apologetic look in return. Emily then hugs Sam again, much to the latter's surprise.
"Thank you for being honest with me and not sugarcoating anything." Emily says.
"Y-you're welcome." Sam replies, rubbing her back again.
"I did get into a relationship too quickly," Emily agrees. "I wanted to make Mike jealous, but he was already over me and onto Jess. I wasted Matt's time and he didn't deserve that; he's such a nice person."
"You just have to make sure you learn from this so that it doesn't happen again, that is, if he breaks up with you." Sam says.
"I deserve it if he does, and he deserves so much better than me." Emily cries.
"Don't say that yet," Sam says. "Let's just hope for now that it's not too late for atonement. That you two can come back from this, and I think you can."
Emily sniffles. "I hope so…"
Matt and his parents visit Jess and her family for dinner. Matt's parents go into the kitchen and talk with Jess' parents while they prepare the food. While this is going on, Matt and Jess hang out in the latter's room.
"So, Jess, how've you been feeling?" Matt asks.
Jess, who is lying on her bed, looks at Matt. "Everything fucking hurts. I think Mike made it worse to be honest."
Matt gives her a sympathetic look. "I'm sorry."
Jess huffs. "There's nothing for you to be sorry about, Matty Boy, you didn't do anything."
"I know, but I feel bad that you're in so much pain," Matt says. "Are you even gonna be able to go back to school on Monday?"
Jess sighs. "I don't know. I'm gonna try cause I can't take another week of lying in bed."
"I hear that." Matt agrees.
Jess gives him a sad look. "I feel so bad that you wasted your time at the hospital sitting with me instead of taking care of yourself." she tells him.
Matt chuckles. "Don't feel bad about it, Jess. I wasn't banged up too bad and I feel completely fine now, physically anyway. And it definitely wasn't a waste of time." he assures her.
"I wanna return the favor," Jess says.
"W-what do you mean?" Matt asks, thrown off by the statement.
"Like I said at the hospital, I wanna like, pay you back somehow for saving me and taking care of me," Jess clarifies, slightly amused by the panic in Matt's face from her previous statement. "I'm gonna treat you to a nice dinner once I'm more mobile."
Matt chuckles nervously. "You don't need to, Jess."
"But I want to." she says.
"Jess, you really don't need to-"
"Matthew Taylor, I'm going to repay you and you're going to let me." she cuts him off, looking at him intently.
Matt lifts his arms in defeat. "Alright, alright, if you insist."
"Thank you," Jess says with a grin.
"You said before that you think Mike made you worse?" Matt asks.
"Yeah… he was here earlier, and he fucking flipped his shit because I was texting you about dinner." Jess tells him.
Matt's brows raise in surprise. "Oh. I'm sorry to hear that."
Jess rolls her eyes. "It's whatever, I don't have the energy to deal with it right now."
"Hey, kids, dinner is ready!" Mrs. Riley calls up to them after a few minutes.
"Thank you, Mrs. Riley, we'll be down in a minute." Matt calls back when he sees Jess struggle to respond. He then carefully helps Jess get up from her bed and braces her.
Jess grunts. "Ugh, if you keep helping me out, dinner won't be enough of a repayment!" she complains.
Matt chuckles nervously. "Trust me, Jess, dinner is more than enough." He and Jess head down to the kitchen.
The two families sit down at the dining table together and begin eating dinner.
"I must say, Jennifer, this food is fantastic!" Mrs. Taylor exclaims to Mrs. Riley.
"Oh, thank you, Susan, I certainly do my best!" she replies, touched.
"I keep telling her she should audition for one of those cooking shows." Mr. Riley says.
"She definitely should!" Susan agrees. Mr. Taylor nods in agreement.
"Susan, Will, I do want to say, you two have raised a wonderful young man." Mr. Riley says.
Susan and Will smile. "Thank you, Tom." Will says.
"You're welcome," Tom reponds. "He is definitely much more of a man than that chump, Michael Munroe." he adds, scoffing at the thought of her daughter's boyfriend.
"Babe, now probably isn't the time to talk about that." Jennifer says.
"Sorry, but that chump is such a tool."
"Dad, stop!" Jess complains, getting embarrassed.
"I'm serious though," Tom continues, "That kid is no good for you! You should be dating a real man like Matthew over here!"
Jess puts her head in her hands, very embarrassed now. "Dad, please stop!" she begs.
"Honestly, Tom, I do agree with you," Susan says. "Matthew should be dating a real, kind woman such as your daughter."
"Mom!" Matt exclaims, embarrassed.
"Well, dear, it's true, Emily is a no good, stuck up-"
"Okay, honey, let us continue eating shall we?" Will interrupts. Everyone goes silent and continues eating. Matt and Jess share embarrassed looks with each other.
After dinner, the parents talk again for a little bit while Matt and Jess go back up to the latter's room. Jess sits on her bed, holding her side while Matt sits at her desk. Matt is silent from embarrassment over what their parents said during dinner, but tries to make conversation.
"Hey, are you excited to go back to school on Monday?" she asks.
Matt shrugs. "I guess," he answers quietly, not looking at her.
Jess purses her lips. "Hopefully it won't be too hard to catch up on all our work." she adds.
"Like, hopefully our teachers will be understanding and not give us too much to do." she continues.
Jess frowns. "Matt, please don't be hung up over what our parents said."
"I'm not." Matt lies, not making eye contact with her.
"Matt, you clearly are," Jess argues. "Yes, it was embarrassing, but it's not the end of the world. Like, we've been through way too much now to let one embarrassing conversation come between us. So please stop being awkward."
Matt thinks for a moment before responding. "You're right, Jess, I'm sorry."
Jess lets out a sigh of relief. "Thank you. Now come give me a hug, you goosehead."
Matt chuckles softly as he crosses over to her bed and carefully gives her a hug.
Sam lounges on her bed, watching Mike pace back and forth.
"Mike, why don't you take a seat, you're kinda stressing me out." Sam suggests.
Mike stops walking and sits next to her on her bed "Sorry, I'm just so fucking pissed about what happened with Jess earlier today."
"Do you wanna talk about it?" Sam asks.
"No!" Mike snaps at her. Sam does a double take, making Mike feel guilty. "I'm sorry, Sam, I shouldn't have snapped at you like that."
"It's fine." Sam says, waving it off.
The duo sit in silence for a minute until Mike hears sniffling coming from Sam. He looks down at her and sees that she is crying. "Sam, are you okay?" he asks, wrapping his arms around her. He prays that him snapping at her isn't the reason that she's crying right now.
"Josh and I… we were so close," she mumbles through the crying. "I thought we had a special bond. And come to find out, none of it was probably even real. That night of horror we were subjected to… how could he?"
"I don't know." Mike responds, not knowing what to say. Silence follows again as Mike holds a crying Sam.
After a few minutes, Sam lies down and turns her TV on. Mike notices the time and gets up.
"Where are you going?" Sam asks, sensing that he's leaving.
"Welp, it's getting kind of late, so I gotta head home." Mike answers while stretching.
"Mike, it's like 6:30." Sam points out.
Mike darts his eyes a few times. "Yeah…"
Sam raises an eyebrow in amusement. "Omg, does the big, bad former class president Michael Munroe have a curfew?" she teases.
"No!" Mike protests. "I just… don't wanna overstay my welcome is all."
"You're not overstaying your welcome at all!" she reassures him. "As a matter of fact, I was kinda hoping you'd stay the night."
"Stay the night? You want me to stay the night?" Mike asks, surprised.
Sam gives him a hopeful smile. "Yeah, I could really use some company. It's been kind of scary being here all alone."
"I feel that." Mike says. "Trust me, I would love to stay the night, but like… my dad…"
Sam giggles. "So you do have a curfew?"
Mike rolls his eyes. "Ugh."
"Alright, well, at least give me a hug before you leave." Sam says, opening her arms out.
Mike gives her a hug. "We can like facetime tonight if you want." he offers.
"That'd be nice." Sam says. Mike nods and leaves.
"Do you have any idea how much trouble you're in, boy?" Mr. Munroe asks the second Mike enters his house.
"Why?" Mike asks, confused "It's not even 7:00 yet!"
"Don't you dare raise your voice to me again, boy." Mr. Munroe says sternly.
Mike looks down at the floor and sighs. "I'm sorry, Dad."
"You weren't with that slut all day were you?"
Mike looks up at his dad, offended. "Okay, Dad, please don't call her a slut, she isn't a slut. And no, I wasn't with her all day, only this morning."
"So where were you the rest of the day?"
"I was at the mall for the afternoon, then I hung out with Sam just now." Mike answers.
Mr. Munroe looks as if he doesn't fully believe his son, but doesn't press him anymore. "You better not be lying to me, boy."
"I'm not, Dad, I swear!" Mike says, starting to feel panicked.
"Go to your room, boy." Mr. Munroe orders.
Mike goes upstairs to his room and hops on his bed. He texts Jess, apologizing for his behavior this morning, and puts his phone down. He looks up and sees his little sister, Emilia, standing in the doorway.
"What do you want?" he asks, annoyed.
Emilia is taken aback by her brother's rudeness. "Well, damn, I just wanted to say hi and see how you were, you don't gotta be so rude."
Mike calms down and sighs. "Sorry, Emilia. And I'm fine, thanks."
Emilia isn't convinced. "You don't seem fine to me."
Mike knows he won't win this argument so he just gives up. "Alright, fine, I'm not fine, but I'd rather not talk about it right now."
Emilia nods. "Fair enough. If you do wanna talk, let me know."
"Okay, thank you." Mike responds. Emilia nods and leaves.
Mike lies back down and looks up at the ceiling. He feels very uncertain of the future, but hopes it turns out somewhat pleasant. Eventually, he drifts off, having nightmares as usual…
Joshua Washington (Video)