It was a Tuesday when Sam and Emily first met. Leah walked in on them staring at each other, Sam lovingly and Emily horrified. Leah didn't know whether to scream or run away.

So she fainted.


She woke up on the couch, with Emily sitting at her feet and Sam nowhere to be found. Emily looked at her, and she looked back and all they did was stare for almost three minutes.

"My boyfriend is in love with you."

"I gave him my number."

Leah paused to think. The dim realization that Emily liked him back crashed over her. "When are you going home?"

Emily pursed her lips and continued to stare at Leah. After what seemed like forever, she said, "Leah, you're my best friend. I love you." Leah sat up straight on the couch. "I'm not going home any time soon."

Leah didn't know whether to scream or run away.

So she did both, and locked her bedroom door behind her.


For two days, Emily, Sue and even Seth stood outside Leah's door and begged her to come out. She refused talks, hugs, food and drink. She sat up in her bed for 56 hours straight and counted to one million and twenty-six, then lost her place and started over again.

On the third day Sam came by and sat with his back against her door. Leah did the same. She felt his heat radiating through the wood and pretended that they were actually touching.

He said, "I'm sorry."

Eight hundred thirty-two thousand five hundred twelve, eight hundred thirty-two thousand five hundred thirteen, eight hundred thirty-two thousand five hundred fourteen…

He said, "Please don't hate me."

Eight hundred thirty-two thousand five hundred fifteen, eight hundred thirty-two thousand five hundred sixteen…

He said, "This isn't the way I thought we would end."

Eight hundred… Eight hundred… Crap.

He said, "I want to work things out so badly."

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven…

He said, "But I think it's for the best that we break up before it gets worse."

One, two, three…

He said, "It was eight hundred thirty-two thousand five hundred seventeen that you were on." Then he left.


It's almost a year later, and the roles are reversed.

Sam walks to the Black house to ask Billy a question and finds Jacob and Leah sitting on the couch, giggling, with their legs intertwined.

Jacob jumps up and as far away from Leah as possible. Sam's jaw drops so fast and far that it actually hurts him. He quickly regains his composure, but the thought of Jacob and Leah makes him forget about Billy.

Leah is still sprawled on the couch, staring smugly at Sam, Jacob is standing ramrod straight and looking fearfully at him.

Sam thinks he is about to die so instead of saying anything, he runs out of the house as quickly as his body will allow.


It's just Sam and Jacob out in the forest now. Jacob can see himself and Leah on the couch, Sam can see Leah wearing just her jeans and a bra. They both feel extremely guilty.

Jacob says, "I never had sex with her."

Eight hundred thirty-two thousand five hundred seventeen, eight hundred thirty-two thousand five hundred eighteen…

Jacob says, "I will never have sex with her."

Eight hundred thirty- two thousand five hundred nineteen, eight hundred thirty-two thousand five hundred twenty…

Jacob thinks "I will have sex with her." And then he thinks of her naked, beautiful and glorious and warm and, Jesus Christ, so warm! And then Jacob thinks "Shit."

Eight hundred… Eight hundred…

Jacob says, "I don't love her."

And Sam says, "What do I care? She's not my stinkin' girlfriend."

Jacob says, "So, no hard feelings?"

And as a response, Sam thinks of Emily naked, lovely and dainty and naked. He knows she pales in comparison. "Whatever."

Jacob runs off a little ways and phases back.

Alone in his head, Sam counts to eight hundred thirty-three thousand. He phases back, and sits in the forest, naked, with his back against a tree trunk and thinks about holding hands with Leah.