"What happened between us? We used to be best friends," Helen said sadly.
Julie didn't meet her gaze, instead looking down. "We used to be a lot of things, " she replied.
"I miss you," Helen said.
Julie chose to stare out the windshield instead of responding. Helen soon realized the feeling wasn't mutual, and got out of the car with a simple "Yeah…well."
Meanwhile, Julie's thoughts were racing. She wanted so much to get out of the car, call Helen back, and tell her that she was still her best friend. That she missed her too, and that more than anything, she wanted things to go back to how they used to be. But on the other hand, she knew that was impossible. And she also knew that being around her old friends made the pain of the incident last summer sting even more. With that final thought, she drove off.
Julie was just going to make some breakfast when the phone rang at about 10am the next morning. Answering it, she immediately registered Helen's shocked and scared voice. "Julie! He was here last night."
"What?!" Julie said, not wanting to believe it.
"He chopped my hair off!" Helen whimpered, sobbing.
"Oh my God," Julie said, hanging up the phone and running out the door to her car.
When Julie got to Helen's house, she rang the doorbell. Elsa let her in, with her trademark smirk. As usual, Julie wondered how it was possible that two sisters could be so different. Elsa seemed never to have a kind word or smile for anyone, but Helen was a sweetheart…with that thought, Julie rushed up the stairs to see her friend.
"Oh my God, Helen! Are you okay?" Julie said, bursting open the door and seeing Helen on the bed, still crying and holding her crown from the year before.
"Julie. Thanks for coming," Helen said. The lack of emotion in her voice startled Julie.
"Wh-when did this happen?" Julie stammered, knowing it was a stupid question but just wanting to say something.
"I don't know! During the night. I didn't wake up," Helen said. Julie was relieved to hear some emotion returning to her voice. Seeing her friend curled up on her bed looking so scared and helpless made Julie forget any notions she had about wanting to end her friendships with the others involved in the incident. She sat on the bed next to Helen, and tentatively put her arm around her.
"I'm so scared, Julie," Helen sobbed. "What are we going to do?"
Julie didn't know what to say, and was silent for several seconds. "Well," she started. "I guess we find Barry and Ray, and we make a plan. We need to stick together and beat him. We can't let him win."
Helen's only response was her continued sobbing. Julie embraced her, and Helen cried on her shoulder for awhile. When she finally pulled away, she seemed to have pulled herself together a bit.
"Look, Helen…about last night. I'm sorry I was so…cold," Julie said, for lack of a better word. "I just…coming back here, seeing all of you again…it's hard. It's brought back a lot of pain I'd spent this whole year trying to bury." She took a deep breath and continued. "But I've been thinking, and the four of us really do need to stick together and…fight whoever's doing this. And as much as I might have denied it during the past year, I've really missed you," she finished, giving her friend a weak smile.
"Really?," Helen said, brightening a little bit.
"Really," Julie said, leaning forward to give her best friend a hug, which Helen gladly returned. "You're still my best friend. I don't know how I've managed without your hair tips for so long."
"Julie?" Helen said.
"You haven't managed," Helen said. They both giggled.