"I'm going to go straight to the point," Sarah began, "I've lied to you, multiple times and I'm not who you think I am. I'm not like anyone you know..."
What did she mean? I knew her! We had talked plenty during the time we had been together. How else would I have fallen so desperately in love with her?
"Are you like a secret agent or something?" I asked half-jokingly trying to relieve some of the tension.
"I don't have a house; I don't own any possessions,"
"You don't have a house?" I asked incredulously…then where had I taken her that time when I took her downtown?
"Let me finish!" she snapped, "Sorry," she quickly apologized
"It's alright," I offered…I was somewhat out of line cutting in like that.
Sarah went on to explain about how she had lived just before I came. About how she had been orphaned at a very young age and been taken in by a rough family and then later by her sister. My mind was spinning in circles as she talked about how she had been kicked out by her own sister and taken up living with a drug runner who was only fourteen…or somewhere around that age…How could she not have told me! Was this the whole reason she kept feeling guilty and leaving me? Did she think I cared about whether or not she had a house or a family? Eventually she finished off her story and looked at me sheepishly.
"Where do I come into it?" I asked curiously…she hadn’t gotten to that part, maybe sometime when I came in held the reason she had left.
"Then I met this new guy at school, last year, he couldn't keep away from me, it was like he was a magnet magnetized to me. He was nice to me, took me out places, gave me clothes and invited me round. But anytime I thought he would find out what a disgusting person I was, I would run away, I didn't want him finding out about my life, because I was sure he'd stop hanging around with me."
"Never!" I exclaimed, almost hurt that she would think I would leave because she led a life she hadn’t even chosen. ‘Oh Sarah,’ I wanted to say. I wanted to take her up in my arms and assure her that I would never leave her just because she was an orphan.
"So then I ran away, to San Diego and came back two months later and here I am now," Sarah smiled wryly as she wiped at her wet eyes, "and now I'm waiting in agony to see what you say, the ball's in your court."
I didn’t hesitate at all before wrapping my arms around her. “The only thing you’ve done wrong is not telling me sooner. Oh Sarah, am I so shallow that you think I wouldn’t be able to look past something you can’t even control?”
“No, no!” Sarah exclaimed, her voice muffled by my chest where her face was buried. “I’m so sorry!”
I hugged her the tighter, clutching her close. “I’m not letting you out of my sight ever again, you know that right?” I asked only half-joking.
Sarah nodded wordlessly.
“Ahem,” came an awkward cough from behind Sarah. I loosened my grip just enough to lower Sarah so that I could see who the annoying source of uncomfortable coughings was. It was a nurse carrying two trays of food on a trolley. “The doctors have declared that you will be allowed to go home today,” the nurse declared as she handed one tray to me and one to Sarah. I nodded and began to eat hungrily I was starved…literally…
When we had finished eating I carefully got up and began walking back and forth feeling the strength returning to my legs. I had already walked around a little today, and I was feeling much better than I had yesterday. Sarah followed me outside and after I paid the hospital bill I called us a taxi to get home.
When we pulled up to my house and got out Sarah hesitated. “Come on Sarah, it’s your new home…if you want it to be,” I encouraged her.
Sarah’s face brightened considerably and she threw her arms around me causing me to stumble a little before regaining my balance. “Whoa there, take it easy!” I said with a grin; happy to make Sarah happy. Sarah buried her head in my chest for the umpteenth time that day…it never gets old…and I wrapped my arms around her. After about half a minute I half-detached myself from her and we walked, arm in arm, up the driveway and into the house.
Mum gave Sarah the evils as we came in but a glare from me quickly remedied that. I had told mum that she was not to make Sarah feel bad. I even threatened to leave if she didn’t. I loved mum but I needed to show her that I also loved Sarah and no matter what mum did I wasn’t going to stop loving Sarah. As a matter of fact, even what Sarah did would have very little effect now...I was hopelessly love-stricken. And so, Sarah was now going to live, and live happily, among us…the idea set the butterflies in my stomach loose.
Five days later.
“Hey Josh, can I have a word with you?” Amber asked sweetly from across the school hallway. Sarah shied away from her and I looked at her in askance, but she didn’t seem to notice.
“Um, sure…” I replied, not quite sure as to how I should respond.
I walked over to where she was standing. “Did you know that…well…it’s quite common knowledge now so I thought you should know…Sarah has no parents…she lives on the street…are you sure that you should be hanging out with her so much? You know it effects your reputation…”
“Yes,” I replied firmly, “I know perfectly well that Sarah was homeless and that she has no parents.”
“You know, if you just need to someone else to get away from that,” Amber indicated Sarah maliciously, “you can ditch her…it’s not like she’ll care that much anyways. She already left you a bunch of times and I am so much better…”
I turned away and started to move back to Sarah.
“You know,” Amber called back to me, “it would really be a pity if the rumor that that girl new you a little more intimately than it seems started circulating…even more is the pity if your mom figured out about it. I hate to think about what she would do…”
I froze in my tracks. She wouldn’t dare. Mum was just starting to warm up to Sarah…