"Sue?" Louise crept slowly from her room to the living room where her sister was watching the evening news. Samantha had left for Pam's several hours ago so Louise felt safe talking to Sue.
"Mmm?" Sue lifted her eyes from the television to Louise, noting the troubled look on her sibling's face. She swiftly muted the T.V. "Is something wrong?"
"I don't know." Louise took a seat at the opposite end of the couch from Sue, feeling awkward in a way she never had around her sister. Sam's reunion with Jake and her subsequent struggle to reunite with her past was changing a lot of feelings between everyone involved.
"You know you can talk to me." Sue shifted on the couch so that she was facing Louise. Sue was glad that Louise had come out to talk whether it was to chat about something serious or something light. She had missed talking to her sister, having idle chit-chat. She missed the relationship that was full of jokes and slight sibling rivalry rather than tensions.
"Do you remember, a few months back, when I said I was applying for a new job?"
Sue frowned in concentration. "I think so. Sometime in late June right? I thought you decided not to apply."
"Well I didn't," Louise looked sort of sheepish. "But I did apply to a different one. It sounded like everything I wanted but …" she hesitated, "I didn't think I was going to get it so I didn't say anything in case I jinxed it."
"I wish you would have told me but I guess I understand the reasons." Sue shrugged. "Why bring it up now?"
"I got the job." Louise broke out in a wide smile. "I am so excited! It is everything I want, I swear."
"Congratulations!" Sue grinned, pulling her sister into a hug. "I am so happy for you."
Louise pulled back abruptly. "I'm not done."
"Not done? You mean telling Sam? Louise, I doubt a simple job change is going to affect her that much. You and I have both changed jobs before without her ever noticing."
Louise shook her head. "It will affect her this time. It will affect you, her and me. This job is far enough away that we're going to have to move out."
"Move out?" Sue said slowly, trying to understand her feelings. She was upset, that was inevitable. Louise and Sam had been living here for years and she certainly didn't want to be here alone. She hated being alone. Also, if it was far enough away that Louise and Sam had to move, how often would she see them? Of course, things hadn't been great between her and Louise but tonight had showed that their bond was stronger than that. As for Sam, she couldn't see the teenager leaving. Sue knew that she would have to go with her mother but she couldn't visualize Sam not walking through that door every day. "If it's what you have to do," Sue whispered.
"It is. And I hope you support me –"
"I'm your sister, I will always support you." Sue interrupted, reaching over and taking Louise's hand – the same shape and size of her own – with her own.
"Will you help me with Sam?" Louise asked. "I know the move won't be easy on her but I need her with me. And maybe a new place will bring on a new attitude – in both of us."
Sue gave a soft smile. "That sounds good. But Lou?"
"You forgot to mention where this new job is."
"Oh," Louise looked down. "That's the really difficult part."
"I thought the difficult part was getting the job," Sue joked but on the inside she was panicking. If saying where the job was located was the difficult part just how far was her sister planning on going? If they went more than an hour away, Sue didn't know what she would do. She would miss her family terribly, more terribly than she had when Louise and Sam had lived in Nevada. When they were in Nevada Sue had forgotten what it felt like to have Louise so close, had never known what it felt like to have Sam so near. Now, she knew and couldn't bear to lose it.
"No it just took a while to happen." Louise met her sister's gaze for a moment before glancing away again. "Look, um, the job is in Calgary."
"Calgary?" Sue racked her brains. Where the hell was Calgary? Finally, she had to give up and ask. "What state is that in?"
"Alberta," Louise offered.
Again, Sue had to think. "I don't know where that is. Is it on the other side of the country? Like, New York area?"
Louise shook her head. "Sister, dear, it's in Canada."
"Canada!?" Sue shouted, forgetting her promise to be supportive. "You can't go to Canada! I'll never see you! I'll never see Sam! When you said moving I thought you meant like an hour away!"
"It's the best option." Louise struggled to keep her voice down. She was tired of fighting and yelling. She wanted make her last month or so with her sister as good as it could possibly be.
"I don't know what to say," Sue's eyes shone with tears. "When do you leave?"
"I am expected in Canada by the seventeenth of January."
"So soon?" A tear dripped down Sue's cheek.
"Hey, we'll have Christmas. And all this new technology that Sam talks about that I don't know anything about," Louise tried to smile at Sue but found it impossible because of Sue's sadness. "We won't ever stop being sister because I am not in the bedroom across from yours."
"I know." Sue sighed. "I just … it'll be hard."
"I know." Louise hugged her sister lightly. "I think we need some wine."
"Oh, honey," Sue was already standing. "I know we need some wine."
"You," Pam wiggled her toes in the direction of Sam, who wrinkled her nose and the appendages, "should do something for me."
"And why would I do something for you?" Sam teased.
"Because you love me." Pam grinned widely.
"Yes, says me. So, you gonna do it or not?"
"Do what?" Sam cocked her head to the side, studying her best friend. "I can't do it if I don't know what it is."
"Text Jake so that we can hang out with him and Darrell and Ryan."
"Why would I do that?" Sam was squinting at Pam suspiciously. "Look, if this is about Ryan, I thought we went over that."
"He has a girlfriend, blah blah blah. I'm not in love with him, blah blah blah. He's super cute, blah blah blah. Can you please just do it?" Pam smiled. "I'll love you forever!"
"You already love me forever," Sam pointed out.
"Well," Pam thought about it. "I'll love you forever and ever." Pam emphasized.
"I don't think it's a good idea," Sam shook her head. "You're going to want more from him than he'll want from you. That may sound mean but it's the truth. He has a girlfriend. There are plenty of good guys around that don't. What would be the point of seeing Ryan again?"
"I think you are making this into too big of a deal," Pam flipped onto her stomach, stretching across her bed. "I met him for just a few minutes. And you have to admit he was attractive. I just want to hang out with some boys. Maybe they'll introduce me to another cute friend of theirs."
"Why don't you just date Darrell?" Sam tossed the idea into the open.
"Uhm, ew?" Pam responded. "I need someone who is at least sort of decent looking among other things which Darrell is most definitely not."
"Not going to comment," Sam smiled. "I got the best of the bunch."
"Uh-huh." Pam shoved Sam's leg. "Pllllllleeeeeeaaassse? Text the boys for a night out?" Pam pouted as Sam began to shake her head. "You haven't done anything fun since Sarah's party in August."
"Considering what happened at Sarah's party, I'm not sure I want to deal with your kind of fun."
"Oh, come on!" Pam scoffed. "You had fun."
"If you say so," Sam muttered, keeping her thoughts about the party quiet.
"So, do it? Please."
"Won't your mom be mad we went out so late?" Sam tried another tactic. Not that it was late – not even nine. Still, Pam's mother had a strict rule about not leaving the house after 8:30.
"Mom is spending the night in the lab – some new experiment I don't quite understand. She won't even have to know if we're back here by noon tomorrow."
"Noon tomorrow?!" Sam spluttered. "What are you planning on doing?"
"That's the point." Pam grinned, "the unknown is fun. Now, go dig up some fun for us!"
"Sammy!" Pam whined. "Text!" She rolled, pulling Sam's phone off of the nightstand and placing it in Sam's hand.
"All right," Sam sighed, taking her phone. "I'll text Jake. But no promises. I'm not getting the impression that he is a partier."
"He's a college guy. It's a Friday night. What else would he be doing?"
Sam sighed, knowing that Pam didn't understand Jake. Not that she blamed Pam for not understanding Jake. Jake was very hard to understand. "Never mind."
"So, did he answer?"
"I haven't finished typing yet!" Sam giggled, pressing send.
"What's the message say?"
"He hasn't replied yet."
"You are so self-involved," Sam rolled her eyes.
"I'm involving you in my self-involvement so is that really a self-thing?"
"That sounded sexual."
"Get your mind out of the gutter!" Pam whacked Sam's side, feeling the vibration of Sam's phone as she did so. "Answer that!"
"Geez, calm down." Sam opened the message. "He said that we can hang out with them tonight. Darrell and Ryan are together now and were coming to get him when I texted him."
"Tell him where to pick us up!" Pam bounced off the bed. "And we need to pick out some rockin' outfits!"
"Outfits?" A giggle escaped Sam, despite herself. "What do you think we are going to be doing?"
"Something that involves a better outfit than sweatpants."
"I like my sweatpants." Sam defended her comfy blank sweatpants.
"Well, not for hanging out. Put this on."
"You aren't the boss of me."
"Wait – that's a skirt. When was the last time you shaved your legs?"
"Pam! You don't need to dress like you're going to a club. And, you were wrong. I am not making a big deal out of Ryan, you are making a big deal out of Ryan."
"Am not," Pam rolled her eyes. "What do you think of this outfit?"
"It makes you look like a prostitute."
"Look, I want to make a good impression and have fun. Is that so bad?" Pam turned on Sam with puppy dog eyes.
"Go more casual. And stop insulting sweatpants!"
"I have great fashion sense!" Pam pulled out a pair of leggings and a long shirt with a cropped jacket. "Better?"
"Much." Sam agreed, picking up her vibrating phone. "They'll be here in ten."
"So we need to find you something!" Pam screeched and dove for her closet. "Bedazzled jeans and long sleeved striped top sound good?"
"Doesn't sound like a prostitute." Sam giggled.
"Stop insulting my craft!" Pam stamped her foot, throwing the clothes at Sam. "Get changed you ungrateful swine."
"Bitch," Sam sat up, pulling on the clothes.
"Takes one to know one." Pam replied, running a brush through her hair. "Promise me something?"
"What do you want me to promise you this time?" Sam loved Pam, she really did, but her best friend could be pushy and over the top all of the time.
"That you won't be a killjoy."
"I am not a killjoy and I'm still not clear on what you think we're going to be doing tonight. It's not like we can get into a bar."
"I know, I know. I just want tonight to be different. Is that so bad?"
"No," Sam smiled. "I guess not."
"Good." Pam headed for the door. "Let's go!"