A/N: Here's another chapter... the last one that I have written. Hopefully I'll have some free time during work, this weekend, or there will be useless staff meetings next week... :) Please review!
"How's the unpacking coming?"
"Slowly. I'm about half done."
"Sure," I said. Emily entered the room and plopped down on my bed.
"Cool books. Mind if I borrow them when you're done? They sound interesting," Emily said after reading the back covers.
"Sure!" I pulled my computer charger, mouse, phone charger and plastic bag of toiletries out of my suitcase.
"So, what sorts of things do you like to do?" Emily asked.
"I go shopping and hang out with my friends a lot. We're in the choir at school. I run and go horseback riding, and I like to read," I said. "How about you?"
"I like shopping too! My friends and I love to hang out at the pool, or better yet, the beach, and I always drag Dad to the amusement park at least once a summer."
"Cool! Sounds fun!" I said. I was sure it was… the beach and amusement parks sounded like fun places to go, even though I had never been to either.
"Yeah. There are a bunch of parties planned this summer too. I love parties and fashion, and animals."
"Do you have any pets?" I asked.
"No, unfortunately. You?"
"A bunny named Snowy, two dogs, Annie and Noah, and my favorite horse, Bronzetail." None of which we can really afford.
"That's really cool. I wish Dad would let me get a dog, but he doesn't want to have to take care of it while I'm at my mom's, and she's allergic."
"That sucks," I said, because it really did. But frankly, I would trade all my pets for relative financial security and an end to the fear and hurt and desperation at home.
Emily was trying so hard to sound like someone. I could see that this friendship, or whatever it would turn out to be, was important to her.
I hung up my shirts while we were talking, and I managed to unpack my suitcase completely by 5:45. Because since Emily started talking to me, it started to take a lot longer.
"So, what should I wear for dinner?" I asked Emily.
"Nothing too fancy," she said.
"Oh, so not this?" I joked, gesturing to my outfit.
"Lose the heels and the jacket, and change into jeans," Emily said.
"Will do, fashion expert," I said. Emily smiled.
"So, what do you want to do tomorrow?" she asked. "We could drive around DC or go shopping or we could just stay here and chill."
"Hm… well. How about we drive around for a while, give your dad a break, and then chill."
"Sounds great," Emily said. "We can watch TV or something, and go sightseeing and shopping some other weekend."
"Definitely." TV. Wow. She would have cable too, so I might finally be able to watch the shows I like. When I watch TV it's usually on my computer at a friend's house, because we don't even have an internet connection. When the conditions are right, I can get onto the neighbors network, but there's never any guarantee to that.
"I'll be in my room while you change. Come on in when you're done," Emily said, and she left.
I quickly made the suggested adjustments to my outfit and knocked on the door to Emily's room. She came right out and we went downstairs.
Emily knew I was her age, but she acted almost like I was older. She made suggestions hoping for approval, like all kids do.
We walked into the kitchen to the picture of Dr. Lightman leaning against the counter with a dishtowel in one hand, a ridiculous flowery apron on, and one arm wrapped around Dr. Foster's waist. Emily opened her mouth to announce our presence, and I tapped her shoulder and mouthed 'picture.' She got the hint, and pulled out her phone, snapping a picture of the pair, who were still oblivious to our presence.
"Oi, Dad, Gill, I live here too," Emily said loudly, causing Dr. Foster to step out of Dr. Lightman's reach and blush.
"Sorry Em. We were talking about work. Boring details about payroll." Emily didn't believe that and I could see it wasn't true. I could see the attraction between Dr. Lightman and Dr. Foster, and that neither of them would admit it to each other. They were afraid of what they might lose.
"This'll make great blackmail," Emily muttered. I laughed.
"Send it to me, yeah?"
"Here, put in your email," she said, handing me her phone.
"Dinner is served, ladies," Dr. Lightman announced, and we followed him into the dining room. After dinner Dr. Foster told me that she'd found a documentary.
"Did you want me to watch it with you?" she asked. I could see that she didn't really want to revisit that day, but I didn't really want to watch it by myself.
"Yes, please, if it's not too much trouble."
"You can come over to my place and we can watch it some time when Emily's at her mom's," she said. I guess she doesn't like Emily's mom.
"Okay." I got that Emily's parents were divorced most likely from fighting, not because of cheating. I wondered what my parents would do.
Dr. Foster left, and Emily went upstairs to go on Facebook. I put the last of my things away and turned on my computer. I typed in the Wi-Fi address and password, and logged into my Facebook. As I surfed my newsfeed, I called my parents. They didn't answer the phone; they were probably out in the barn doing chores.
I left a message saying I was safely in DC, that I was getting a tour of the city tomorrow, and I left them the Lightman's address so they could send me my box of stuff. Then I ended the call and hoped that they didn't call back. I didn't want to hear my mother's pain and my father's anger. I didn't need that fear, even though my father's wrath couldn't reach me here.
I updated my Facebook status to: DC, and smiled when my current location at the bottom of the post showed up as Washington DC. A notification popped up and I saw that it was a friend request from Emily Lightman. I clicked accept, and checked my email. I saved the goofy picture of my employers, and returned to Facebook, where Jay, Ashley, Lauren, Emily and several of my other friends had liked my status.
I updated some key information on my profile, now that it sounded somewhat interesting. Current city: Washington DC. Hometown: Canterville, VT. Job: Intern at The Lightman Group. Relationship status: Single. I uploaded the pictures I had taken today on my phone to my computer, and created the album, Travel.
Then, even though it was early, I was tired, and I went to bed. Travel was tiring.
A/N: Canterville is a fictional town in Vermont, in the middle of no where, about two hours from Burlington. Think tiny town that is almost all farmers, most of them financially unstable.