It was an unseasonably warm Sunday afternoon, which served as inspiration for Hanna and Aria to treat themselves with ice cream just before heading over to Spencer's house. Aria was bubbling over with excitement from her weekend. It seemingly took all her strength and willpower to not tell Hanna everything right at that very moment. She wanted to wait so they could all hear the full deluge of stories from her weekend involving romance, chocolate and Ezra Fitz. However, by the time she ordered her chocolate milkshake she had already succumbed to the overpowering urge to let slip at least a few tidbits here and there for Hanna.
Amidst the giggles and excitement, they decided against trying to second guess Spencer's somewhat picky taste in movies. After all, as Hanna pointed out, it'd probably make more sense to just find one on the internet when they were all together. So, ice cream in hand, the pair headed straight to Spencer's.
Aria quietly finished her milkshake while she rang the doorbell. But despite the fact that Spencer's car was parked in the driveway and the lights were on, no one answered the door.
"That's strange." Aria mused before digging her phone out of her massive purse and dialing Spencer's number. After her call was left unanswered, she frowned. "She's not answering. Let me try Emily." She shook her head a moment later when Emily's voice mail picked up before deciding to ring the doorbell another time.
"Do you think everything is alright?" Hanna furrowed her brow slightly, taking a more aggressively impatient stance by both knocking and ringing the doorbell repeatedly. When not satisfied with the unresponsive result, she tried to push etiquette aside and simple open the door. Despite her persistence, however, the handle did not budge. "It's locked."
"I'm sure it's fine," Aria, still buzzed from her romantic weekend, was not willing to accept something that could possibly ruin her love bubble just yet. "Look, I'm sure they're upstairs and left their phones downstairs. The music's probably turned up or something. Let's give them a minute and try again."
Hanna shrugged before turning and walking off the porch. "You wait then."
"Hanna, where are you going?" Aria called off after her friend who was headed to the side of the Hastings House.
"I don't like that they're not answering. I'm going to see if they're okay," Hanna spoke as if she was stating something painfully obvious. "Come on, I know where they hide a spare in the back. Look, they're obviously here. So there has to be a reason why they're not answering."
"Hanna!" Aria protested but Hanna, armed with her melting ice cream cone, kept walking and so Aria, suddenly not enjoying the idea of waiting on the porch by herself, was forced to follow her.
When Hanna turned the corner around the Hasting House and the back porch came into full view, it became suddenly quite clear why neither Spencer nor Emily had answered their phones. In fact, it appeared to Hanna that the two girls had quite a compelling, if not entirely surprising and unforeseen, reason for ignoring the world around them. The fact was that the only thing Spencer seemed to be paying attention to was Emily's neck and this was with rapt attention. And Emily, with eyes closed, seemed entirely lost in the moment as she tucked her hand in Spencer's back pocket, drawing the brunette closer.
The first of Hanna's many reactions to unexpectedly witnessing two of her friends passionately making out with each other was to stare, mouth open. The second and third reaction, while consisting of some visual and emotional processing, still mostly consisted of staring with her mouth opened. Aria, not far behind and somewhat distracted by thoughts of Ezra, failed to notice that Hanna had suddenly stopped moving. So, at first, all Aria was shocked by was the cold sensation of walking straight into the blonde's ice cream cone.
"Oh my god Hanna!" Aria growled.
Suddenly overtaken with the irrational fear that Spencer and Emily might see them, Hanna whipped around quickly to cover Aria's mouth, dropping her ice cream cone in the process. Aria, completely stunned by this odd turn of events, was quickly dragged out of what Hanna took to be Spencer and Emily's line of vision. Not that any of her friends had noticed each other. Spencer and Emily were far too involved with each other and Aria, still catcingh up to what was happening, was more focused on how Hanna had nearly dropped the ice cream on her new shoes.
"What?" Aria whispered after Hanna, gesturing for Aria to be quiet, finally removed her hand covering the brunette's mouth.
Hanna motioned back towards where they came, lifting her eyebrows as she spoke. "Spencer and Emily. . ."
"Oh my god," Aria's eyes went wide as she finally turned her attention to the Hastings' back porch. "They're making out."
Hanna nodded sincerely, joining Aria in peering around the corner. "Hardcore."
"What do we do?"
For a moment, neither girl knew how to address this question beyond continuing to stare. An act that was growing increasingly awkward. Despite how tenderly and sweetly they seemed to be kissing each other, Emily's hand was starting to slip partway underneath Spencer's shirt. The prospect of watching their friend's hand going any higher acted as a bucket of cold water on the two unintentional voyeurs, and they took a few steps back out of seeing range.
"Well, I'm not interrupting them, that's for sure." Hanna stated simply.
"Yeah. I mean… They were kissing." Aria nodded blankly, still needing to state the obvious as she processed what they had just seen. "A lot."
"I don't know what you and Ezra do but that seemed like more than just kissing." Hanna paused, the image of Emily seemingly about to fondle Spencer's breast seemed to be clearly engraved into her mind. "We should do something," Hanna suggested, trying to get the image out of her head and not quite sure what the appropriate reaction was. "Do they have 'yay lesbians' presents? Or 'we accidentally saw you making out' hallmark cards?"
"What we should do is get me a new shirt," Aria pointed out grumpily, her cold, ice cream stained torso not forgotten.
"Whatever, with all those patterns on your shirt you can't even tell. I mean, how do they even get all those colors onto one shirt anyway? It's like your shirt's ADHD and took lots and lots of drugs," Hanna waved her hand. "But dude, Spencer and Emily were… are… I'm not gay or anything, but it was kind of hot. I mean, as far as these things go."
"How long do you think they've been…?" Aria wondered out loud, deciding, for now, to ignore Hanna's less than amusing description of her now soiled shirt.
"I mean, I didn't even know Spencer was… We should go or do something. It really doesn't feel okay to be here right now."
"And get me a new shirt." Aria gestured to her freezing, dripping torso. "It's starting to drip onto my pants."
"Maybe we should go and pick out a movie at the rental place. Give them time to, uh… you know, wrap things up?"
"Fine, but after I change. It does sort of explain all those coffees Spence has been bringing Emily," Aria pointed out thoughtfully.
"Hey, do you think those daisies were from Spencer? I mean, she did know what they meant. I just sort of took it for Spencer being, you know, Spencer. But maybe she knew all that because she picked them out."
"I don't know. What I want to know is why they haven't told us…"
When Hanna and Aria returned over an hour later, Aria was wearing an entirely different outfit and Hanna had several movie selections in her bag. The blonde was now seriously regretting her almost total lack of input at that movie selections. Far too overwhelmed by what she had just witnessed, Hanna had mostly followed silently behind Aria, who was verbally working through her frustrations that Spencer and Emily hadn't told them. Aria seemingly only paused to briefly examine the back of the movie, usually deeming the film unworthy and replacing it back on the shelf within seconds. Hanna, who was doing her own processing by avoiding thinking about it as much as possible, had essentially left Aria to make all the movie selections herself. Unfortunately she had forgotten about Aria's often less than subtle movie selections. Not to mention that the movie clerk had looked at the two of them strangely before smiling in a way that still made Hanna feel greatly in need of a shower.
This time when they returned to Spencer's house and Aria rang the doorbell, Spencer answered the door in a surprisingly rather timely fashion. In fact, with barely a hair out of place, Spencer did not look at all like she had been otherwise engaged. She did, though, seem a bit more bubblier than usual and gave both girls a huge hug before ushering them inside. Emily hung back a little giving both her friends a little wave and a sweet smile.
"Oh my god Aria, how was your weekend? And Hanna with your dad?" Spencer inquired, stepping aside to let her friends in. "There is so much to talk about!"
"It was good," Hanna responded as she walked into the kitchen. She tried to subtly watch Spencer and Emily for signs, to see if there were any clues of their previous make out session. They shared the couch and sat close together, but no different than how Hanna was currently sitting next to Aria. "He took me out to dinner, we ate fried food. He wants me to come visit his new family," Hanna frowned slightly and shrugged, rolling an apple she had liberated from the fruit bowl back and forth between her hands.
"But that's good right?" Spencer nodded, trying to take in all her friend's words despite her ever ever growing nervousness. Talking about coming out to her friends was one thing, actually being on the brink of doing it became a whole other matter entirely. "I mean, it's better than the alternative of him not wanting to share his new life with you."
"Yeah, it totally is," Aria responded in a tone that Spencer found to be strangely pointed. But pointed at what? Spencer tried to calm herself down. She was clearly being paranoid.
Hanna merely shrugged in response.
"So, how was your weekend with Mr. Fitz?" Spencer prodded Aria. "Come on, spill. I'm surprised you're not bubbling over with the details." If Aria wasn't, Spencer certainly felt that way. But she and Emily had decided to wait until after Aria told them about her weekend with Mr. Fitz first. It seemed only fair and polite some how.
"My weekend with Ezra was good." Aria shrugged, holding back the details to the best of her ability out of spite. "Wonderful, actually."
"Wonderful actually, that's all we get? You go on a romantic weekend with your illicit teacher boyfriend and you have, what, less than ten words to say about it?" Spencer looked surprised before frowning slightly with disappointment. "What's going on with you two? I feel like a parent grilling you about your day at school. Hanna, you haven't seen your dad in a long time, something had to have happened besides eating fried food that's worth mentioning. And Aria, I would hope in the very least two full sentences. What's going on here?"
Hanna shrugged, still eyeing the two girls suspiciously. "Hope you don't mind but we got the movies already. Well, Aria got them. I only carried them here because my bag's bigger." She took the movies out of her bag and slid them across the table, not impervious to Aria's glare. "What? It's true. You picked them out. I hadn't even heard of the kids one."
Spencer reached across the table, her eyes becoming wide as she read the titles, passing each to Emily after reading each loud. "The Black Swan? The Kids Are Alright?Disc one of The L Word? First of all, there is no way we can watch all these tonight and secondly am I the only one picking up on a theme here?"
As Spencer spoke, she turned her head in just the right way for Hanna to notice that small clue she had been searching for, evidence to prove that she and Aria had not just experienced a joint hallucination. "Spencer, is that a hickey on your neck?"
"What?" Spencer's eyes bug, her hand clamping down instantly on her neck. She shot an accusing look at Emily, who, after quickly examining Spencer's neck, made a slight facial shrug, part guilty part mischievous. It was so slight that if Hanna hadn't been looking for it, she might not have noticed it. "No it's not."
"Spence, it is. You have a hickey on your neck." Hanna insisted.
"It's also on the other side," Emily tapped her own neck to illustrate, "and a little lower."
"Nice one," Hanna rolled her eyes. "Real classy. What were you doing, Em, marking you territory?" Before either Spencer or Emily do anything but express their surprise with their facial expressions, Hanna continued on. "What? You don't need to be CSI Miami. You were together all weekend. So you either both have secret lovers in Bucks County, because Emily you have one too, or you're each other's secret lovers. Occult razor or whatever."
"It's Occam's Razor," Aria corrected. "Also we saw you two kissing early."
"We were going to tell you," Spencer started, her tone apologetic, imploring.
"Today actually." Emily joined in. "We just wanted to hear about your weekends first."
"So there's something to tell?" Aria's eyes widened. Some part of her had half tried to convince herself that it was this sexual experimentation that you always hear about girls having. That Spencer was curious or even questioning and Emily was just being a really good, understanding friend. The other option was too mind blowing to take all in suddenly.
Spencer nodded, reaching out to take Emily's hand. They had just witnessed them making out after all and did they really take Spencer to be that cruel as to be merely experimenting with Emily?
"You weren't the only one to have a romantic weekend," Emily added, enclosing her fingers around Spencer's.
"Oh my god, did you two…" Hanna raised her eyebrows insinuatingly.
"What, no!" Both girls turned beat red and denied.
"We just used the time to sort out our feelings for each other," Spencer explained. "And we wanted you to be the first to know that, well, we're not just friends anymore."
"So, while you were away did you… or has this been going on for awhile?" Hanna furrowed her brow. She hadn't expected them to be dating and she tried to look back in her memory to find any signs. "Like how does this work? You've been friends for years."
"No, I mean we had kissed before that. Or rather, I had kissed her, if we want to get technical." Spencer continued.
"I kissed back," Emily defended herself, deciding against bringing up kissing Spencer in the girl's bathroom at school. At least just yet.
"Spencer, I didn't even know you were gay." As Aria spoke, she realized she was most hurt by that.
"I'm not." Spencer replied simply. When both Aria and Hanna stared at her, she continued. "I'm bi."
"Why didn't you tell us that? I mean, after Emily, you had to know that it'd be fine to tell us… It's not like we care, but it's like you kept a secret from us and I don't know why." Aria continued.
"I suppose it never really came up before?" Spencer shrugged guiltily. And then defensively, she added. "Look, it wasn't like we received the memo of your relationship with Ezra in a timely fashion either, Aria. We all keep secrets for our own reasons. Emily and I, we just happened this week. My sexual preferences didn't really seem that important until now. And with A around, I guess I didn't want to give out any extra ammo to use against me. I guess, considering everything, I wanted to keep under the radar unless necessary."
As the conversation continued around her, Aria made a silent and slightly melodramatic realization that nothing would ever be same again. In some ways it was far more earth shattering than losing her virginity. While she didn't want to downplay the massive scale of the event, at the moment what happened on Saturday night really only affected her and Ezra. Two of her friends dating affected her entire friend circle, a friend circle that was her entire safety net as they were among the few people she could fully trust at the moment.
While the friendship between her, Hanna, Spencer and Emily was always growing, adjusting and changing, it was usually only in small, minute ways that one noticed as much as one noticed the hour hand slowing circling around the clock. However there were some changes that happened so loudly they couldn't be ignored. Alison's disappearance and death, more than a year later still haunted them. Plagued them. Stalked, harassed and tortured them. It was more than just suddenly and brutally losing a friend in a way that had yet to be satisfactorily explained. Deep down, they all knew that it would always be there, the loss of Alison, perhaps even more than just Alison herself. It transcended their drifting apart afterwards or their coming back together. The loss of Alison manifested in an all new, prolonged traumatization that showed no sign of stopping: A. Arguably perhaps the stalking, harassment and growing violence in their lives would never have started had it not been for Alison's murder.
While perhaps nowhere on the same level, Spencer and Emily dating had the possibility of forever altering the make up of their friends circle. From this point forward, the relationships between all four girls would be undeniably woven with this new string. Even if heaven forbid the two girls would break up—especially if they did. If they broke up, would they all still stay friends or would Hanna and Aria be forced to chose sides? And if all they stayed friends after, would there always be that awkwardness, that hesitation of that one time back in high school when they dated? Words, sentences and thoughts left unspoken but would linger awkwardly in the corner at dinner parties when they were all in their thirties? Whether or not they stayed together or broke up, would Spencer and Emily drift off into coupledom with Aria and Hanna orbiting further and further away?
This realization, this fear caused Aria to go silent. She smiled, happy for her friends if they were happy. But scared, perhaps selfishly, if they were only happy for now. She kept quiet on her thoughts. At least not for now. As the conversation continued around her, some part of her was already mentally writing and re-writing her latest journal entry.
Paige leaned awkwardly against the wall outside trying not to look or feel awkward. The music from inside seeped out onto the street as a dull drone of the bass yet signaling a liveliness indoors. Inviting as it was, she did not dare venture in by herself. Despite having purposefully shown up ten minutes late, she was still left waiting. To kill time, she played with her phone before slipping it back in her pocket, not wanting to look anxious about being possibly stood up. The thought crossed her mind more than once that she was going to be left standing here out of some form of twisted girl revenge. But no, Samara had texted her a few minutes ago that she was only a few minutes away. So where was she? While it had alluded her before, Paige now realized why people took up smoking. It had something to do with waiting, with time. It gave someone a reason to be standing alone outside like a fool. One was not waiting anxiously with a nervous pit growing in their stomach with the encroaching fear of being stood up. No, one was merely outside enjoying the evening with a nice, cancerous cigarette. Was there a non-carcinogentic form of cigarettes?
"Sorry I'm late, the traffic was awful," Samara smiled, coming up to Paige from behind and nearly causing the redhead to jump.
"It's okay," Paige forced a smile, only part of her nerves now gone that the blonde had finally arrived. "I was enjoying the weather."
"It's looks like it's going to rain and you're nearly shivering," Samara raised an eyebrow.
"It's refreshing," Paige shrugged defensively. Nervously.
"Okay, I'm going to try something here. I'm not late because of traffic. I'm late because I couldn't decide on what earrings to wear," Samara smiled warmly. "I'm still having second guesses about the pair I'm wearing now."
"Honestly?" Paige raised her eyebrows.
"I think your earrings are nice," Paige offered. "And I wasn't enjoying the weather. I was afraid you had stood me up and I didn't want to go in by myself."
"Good, now that we have that taken care of," Samara continued to smile at Paige as she hooked her arms into the other girl's and motioned towards the building with her head. "Shall we?"
Paige took a deep breath and nodded. "Yes."
"Are you sure?" Samara examined her closely. "I mean, you talked about wanting baby steps. This step is more like a toddler step I admit."
"No, I can do this," Paige spoke with resolve.
Samara led Paige up the few concrete steps and opened the door. "Welcome to the Bucks County Youth Center's monthly gay teen night. It's far enough away so you probably won't run into anyone you know and if you do, it's at a gay event so you'll probably be safe. Just don't claim that I'm your cousin and you're just here to support me." Paige arched her eyebrow up at hearing this, not sure whether to laugh or not. "It's happened to me before," Samara offered as a way of explanation. "It was not fun. I'm not out to repeat the experience."
Paige followed Samara inside despite her every urge to turn and bolt back to her car. Samara was right, it was far enough away and probably wouldn't hurt to see gay people her own age that didn't fall under the heading of Emily Fields and her girlfriends.
The music was playing loud, but seemingly not too loud for conversation, and the lights were only slightly dimmed. In a way it seemed like every other awkward high school dance Paige had previously forced herself to attend. There was a few small groups of people dancing on the mostly empty dance floor with crowds along the edge mingling with each other, sometimes kicking a few of the balloons around. The only real difference from a normal high school dance was that it was a room full of mostly gay people. What a thrilling idea! Knowing it was one thing but realizing and seeing it was another experience entirely. Every couple that was dancing was either two boys or two girls. They were walking around holding hands, kissing and finding dark corners. Needless to say, Paige just stood there staring while trying not to stare at the two girls in the nearby corner making out.
"Okay, maybe a bit of a culture shock," Samara observed, almost smiling to herself. "Here, you take a seat. I'll be back with sodas." Samara lead Paige to a few empty chairs before cutting over towards the punch bowl and concessions table. When she returned with two drinks in hand, Paige was still mostly staring.
"This is all so…" Paige noted as she accepted the cola offering from the blonde.
"It is, isn't it?" Samara claimed a chair next to Paige, trying to speak so her voice would carry over the music. "You know, I think it's really brave what you're doing here."
"What?" Paige furrowed her brow.
"I said," Samara spoke up louder before shaking her head and moving in closer. Her lips only inches from Paige's ear, she repeated herself, "I said it's really brave of you to come here and do this."
"Thanks," Paige looked at Samara in an almost self-defeating manner, but also surprised at how close Samara's face was to her and what it was doing to her. Teenage hormones. "But I'm not really doing anything."
"You're not running out the door for starters. Coming out can be scary and you're taking the first steps," Samara smiled, suddenly tucking a strand of hair behind Paige's ear. "It's good for you to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and a whole community waiting for you."
"It gets better?" Paige offered, quoting all the videos going around the internet. As she spoke the words more or less in the blonde's ear, she found her eyes meeting Samara's and holding the contact for a moment. However in the corner of her eye, she spotted a blonde head that she recognized. She quickly turned her head and averted her eyes. Confused, Samara turned around to try to see what Paige saw.
"See someone you know?"
"Yeah, a boy I went on a date with once. Pretty recently actually." Paige started, before she started to laugh. "I went on a date with him because I wanted to be, well because I wanted to seem straight."
"Which one is he?" Samara squinted into the crowd.
"Over there, by the punch bowl," Paige indicated with her head slightly, not wanting to do anything to would call attention.
"The one in the button up that looks like a pastor's son?"
"He is a minister's son actually I think," Paige nearly laughed at this.
"Oh." Samara's mouth made a circle and then smiled and giggled. "Well that explains it then. You going to say hi?"
Paige shook her head. "Baby steps. I don't think either of us want to run into people we know."
After the rest of the Hastings family returned home on Wednesday, Spencer found herself at the country club having dinner the following evening. Melissa waited until after the empty plates of appetizers had been cleared from the table before suggesting a game of high low, which was the last thing Spencer had been expecting. Melissa only suggested the game when she was convinced she would win and after Ian's death and the near miscarriage of their child, this seemed like the last game she would wish to play.
Melissa went first, as was custom, offering up that one of the papers she had written (before her incredibly short and tragic marriage) was not only being published in a highly respected business journal, but caught the eye of a upcoming boutique investment firm and they had offered her a position upon graduation. Both of Spencer's parents quickly followed with the normal achievements of landing a difficult client or winning yet another a landmark trial or high settlement case. Spencer barely paid attention as she desperately tried to come up with something. Normally before family dinners she had at least one or two things prepared, but now she was caught completely off guard and her entire family was looking at her expectantly, waiting.
"Spencer, if you don't have anything to add, you can pass," her father suggested in an almost kindly but altogether slightly patronizing tone.
"I fell in love," Spencer felt her heart pounding in her ears as she spoke the first thing that came to mind. "I started seeing someone and I'm in love. We're in love."
"You're in love?" Peter lifted his eyebrow up in disbelief, wondering how he had truly raised a child who thought an emotion was an adequate achievement for a game such as high low. Especially as a teenager. You didn't know what love was until you were married and it was too late as far as Peter Hastings was concerned.
"You just started seeing him and you're in love? Don't you think it's a bit soon?" Veronica questioned, trying to be motherly. Or maybe just debunking Spencer's entry. "Do we know him?"
"It's not another towel boy is it?" Melissa quipped.
"No. It's not another towel boy. It's Emily. I'm dating Emily."
Peter, who had been taking a sip of his Cabernet when Spencer starting speaking, placed his glass down quietly. Expecting him to say something, Spencer tensed up, preparing for the worst. She had run through the scenario hundreds of times to different results and she held her breath to see which one it would turn out to be. But her father just shook his head as he smirked, which is what he usually did when he felt like he had won a particular round of high low. It took Spencer a moment to realize that he was judging her comment merely as a submission to the game and had found it entirely inadequate.
"Is that why you kept messing with my boyfriends, to prove your straightness?" Melissa's eyes narrowed, as if preparing to move in for the kill.
"Spencer, whether you're gay or not is one thing, but it's not a valid submission for high low. You just have to find a way to compete with Melissa on your own grounds. If you don't have anything to add, you can just say pass." Veronica explained, hoping to avoid another replaying of how Spencer had ruined Melissa's first engagement.
"She's the one who started high low," Spencer protested, crossing her arms across her chest, suddenly very much like the child they were treating her to be. "Isn't love supposed to conquer all?"
"You know that's not how the game works. So I take it that you're taking a pass?" Melissa smiled.
Spencer sighed and reached for her drink, wishing it was alcoholic. "Fine. I made the high honor roll again and I'm a few points ahead of Max Price. If I keep this up, my spot as valedictorian is practically guaranteed. Are we all happy now? I'm still dating Emily."
Emily had just finished her problem sets for Chemistry and was about to go to bed when she received Spencer's text message. And even though Spencer had seen Emily a million times before in various pajamas, Emily still changed into a nicer pair. She toyed with the idea of getting dressed again, but she was afraid her mother might find that suspicious. Emily rarely ever changed back into clothes whenever a friend had visited so late. She had just finished running her hands through her hair when she heard Pam open the door for Spencer and greet her warmly and directing her upstairs to Emily's room.
Once upstairs, Spencer closed the door behind her and and moved in for a quick kiss. Keeping their faces together, Spencer smiled widely barely able to contain the smile on her features.
"I did it," she gently squeezed Emily as she spoke for emphasis. "I did it."
"That's great Spencer. What did you do?" Emily furrowed her brow slightly, confused.
"I told them, I told my parents about me, about us," Spencer smiled, ducking in for another quick kiss.
"That's a good thing, right? What'd they say?" Emily asked, nervous despite her girlfriend's elated mood. Girlfriend. Emily was still getting used to thinking of Spencer like that. And yet, she wasn't. It was only when she stopped and really thought about it did she actually notice how new and sparkly the title still was.
"Mostly they were annoyed because they thought I said we were dating so as to steal the attention away from Melissa," Spencer shrugged her face in subtle amusement. "But the important thing is that they were fine with it. They didn't condone it or anything. I mean, it wasn't a Hallmark family moment but as far as it goes with the House of Hastings, I believe it went fairly well."
"I'm so happy for you Spence," Emily beamed. But in the back of her mind, she became aware of the knot in her stomach. While the Hastings were not always the most proactive parents, it was now only a matter of time before her parents found out about her new relationship. It was up to Emily now to tell them first