She had barely made it through the door. Shrugging off her red coat and tossing it on the coat hanging, Emma shuffled miserably into the kitchen and opened the fridge. Laurel was right behind her, the air still floating mercilessly with the name of her twin sister. She largely ignored Laurel; it hurt a little bit, ignoring her, but Emma couldn't find a way to verbalize even the simplest of sentences. Her brain was foggy. Memories of the days events flitted back and forth in her mind, little snippets of what happened making short appearances before moving on to something else: Rebecca denying everything, Alec being arrested, the look on Thayer's face... her stomach lurched and she turned nauseous. They really found the murder weapon, she thought miserably. He did it.
It wasn't as though Emma were surprised. She had known all along that Alec was hiding something. All this time she knew that, one day, this would come full circle and end up right at Ted's best friend's feet. But this? Murder? She shook her, pouring a glass of orange juice and sipping at it. Laurel was still standing in front of her, an incredulous look on her face. She snapped her fingers impatiently and called out again,
"Earth to Sutton."
"How's mom?" Emma finally said. Laurel's face went from shock to disbelief.
"You can't even be thinking we're going to talk about that right now when Alec just got arrested at his own wedding for murder,"
"Laurel," said Emma tiredly. "I want to go lay down.
Laurel stood in front of her defiantly. "Is that why you had to go to the wedding?" she accused. "You knew this was going to happen, didn't you?" Emma went to protest, but Laurel spoke again. "What aren't you tell me? Why is this entire damn family keeping secrets from each other? Honestly, I can't even believe this right now."
"Please," begged Emma.
"Dad had an affair," she snorted, continuing on in her tirade with not a single glance at Emma. "Dad had an affair. Mom is in there sobbing her eyes out," her arm waved directionless in the air. "-going through old photos and just staring at them like... like she knows it was all a lie, like something is wrong, something more than just dad cheating on her. Why is that? And then," she laughed again, her breathing becoming even more uneven. "-and then Alec, the man who we have known our entire life, somehow has something to do with this affair, because oh, I don't know, he married the woman who dad cheated with, and now he just got arrested for the murder of some kid at our high school that your boyfriend was arrested for. I mean, what the hell, Sutton?" She flung herself at her sister, long streaks of tears running down her face.
"Laurel," Emma whispered, pulling away. She couldn't look at her though. She walked around the island in the kitchen and sat on the same bar stool she had been sitting at these few months that she was pretending to be Sutton. It felt familiar. It felt safe. But as she looked up at Laurel, a girl who she had come to love as a sister, as the sister she never had, as the sister she would never have in Sutton, a tear fell down her cheek. "I didn't know he would be arrested today." she said hoarsely. There was a long pause and Laurel took a step forward, her arms clutching the sides of her old t-shirt. "But I did know." Emma finally said. "I knew," she corrected herself. "I knew there was a possibility..."
Laurel stumbled back, shaking her head. "Sutton..."
"Thayer, Mads and I," she paused. "-and Ethan. We've been... investigating."
"Should I start calling you Veronica Mars?" Laurel quipped.
"No but you should probably start calling me Emma." It came out before Emma could hold it in. Laurel's eyes flashed back and forth.
"Sorry am I missing the pop culture reference?"
"Can you sit down?"
"Yeah, sure, Emma."
Emma winced. Laurel took a seat at the bar stool next to her. "Ted and Kristine," she started out. "They aren't my parents."
"Oh not this again," Laurel rolled her eyes. "Look, Sutton, we get it. You're adopted. It's not like that changes anything. You came first, remember? You're the princess-"
"No, Laurel. You don't understand. Ted and Kristine aren't my parents, legally or biologically. My name," she took a deep breath. "My name is Emma Becker. I'm Sutton's twin sister." It was the longest silence Emma had ever endured. Laurel stared at her for a long time, her eyes traveling from where the cut should be on Emma's head and all the way down to the shoes she was wearing. When she came back up to meet her eyes, Laurel stood from the bar stool and backed away from Emma.
"This isn't funny, Sutton."
"Please listen," Emma pleaded. "My name is Emma. Sutton and I switched places. We found each other, she wanted to find our birth mom, she knew Ted and Kristine wouldn't allow it, so we switched. And now everything is really screwed up and Laurel I hate seeing you like this. I can't keep hiding this from you because I genuinely care about you. You, I..." she had gone through her explanation so quickly that she had run out of breath. "I know I'm not your sister. Honestly, I don't even think I'm Sutton's. Other than the twin thing that we have going on," she said sarcastically. "But I do think of you like a sister. I really do and you deserve to know the truth!"
Laurel waited for a few seconds before coming forward, her head slowly lifting from her side. She reached out and grabbed Emma's hand, pulling it forward and examining it. She ran her fingers over the hand carefully. "When we were kids mom and dad took us on a surprise trip to the lake." she smiled. "One day we decided that it would be a good idea to climb this collection of rocks. You have a scar here..." she pointed to Emma's hand. "Sutton had a scar here. You really aren't Sutton."
"I'm so sorry, Laurel."
"Where is my sister?"
"Probably hitting on Ethan somewhere."
"So you and Ethan..."
"He and Sutton were in a relationship. He figured out I wasn't Sutton."
It hurt. "We fell in love."
"Well it explains why you've been so nice to me. E-Emma..." she said slowly. "Where are your parents?"
"I was never adopted." she explained. "Foster kid. Trust me, not a whole lot of people miss me."
"And you've been here," Laurel waved her arms around the room. "You've been here the whole time pretending to be Sutton?" Emma nodded. "Where does Alec fit in to all of this?"
"I would like to know the same thing."
Both girls whipped around. Kristine stood in front of them, her eyes red and puffy from too many salty tears. Her cheeks were flushed and her hair was as unkempt as Emma had ever seen it. Emma looked at Laurel, who seemed to be as panicked as she was, and then back up at Kristine. She didn't look angry and she didn't look sad. For the first time in several days, Emma didn't know what it was that Kristine was feeling. "I'm so sorry." Emma said again.