Dearest SandraMature

Stacey walked in, wiping her eyes.

"Hi," I said awkwardly.

"You are such a bitch!" she said, laughing and crying at the same time."

"I'm so sorry, Stacey."

"You know... I was thinking. I'm not forgiving you... there's nothing to be sorry for. I see the way he looks at you... damn. He really cares about you. It was wrong for me to come in the way. And, I'm sorry about the tape. I was just so angry. I don't know."

I hugged her.

"I found this in your pocket," she whispered.

Julia's neckalce. Anne Marie and Grace walked in.

"Holy crap," Grace said, " are you ok?"

I nodded.

"Good," Grace said.

Stacey showed her the necklace. And I explained everything. Anne Marie seemed distant.

"What's wrong?" Grace asked.

"I don't know if you guys realize this... but our best friend Julia... is dead. And Haley, we almost fucking lost you, too."

I didn't know what to say. And reality hit the rest of us. But, as soon as we were about to say something, my mom stormed in. Her eyes were rimmed in red, her face a mixture of sadness, worry, and anger. Shit.

"Hey there, Sandra," I said, waving.

But I wasn't smiling. She didn't even flinch when I called her by her first name.

"Your dad couldn't make it," she said, firmly.

"Ok," I said, "and? I don't give_"

"Young lady," she said, "you nearly killed yourself!"

And suddenly, instead of looking her normal and beautiful 35-year-old self, she seemed 50.

"Sorry?" I asked, in a tone she obviously did not appreciate.

"Sorry?!? Jesus Christ, Haley, you scared me to death!"

"Sandra!" I shouted back, "Could you calm down? I'm here! Ok? Could you please stay in the present?!?"

After ten minutes of fighting, my mom finally asked how I felt.

"Just freakin' dandy," I said.

She laughed, stroking my hair.

"Mrs. Dennison," Anne Marie said, "um, can the four of us talk about something important?"

She smiled and nodded, leaving the room for some coffee.

"Annie,"  I said, "sorry."

I pouted. She kissed the top of my head.

"Are we telling the police what actually happened?"

"We promised not to tell," Grace said.

"But Julia's dead!"

"But, she's still our friend."

I sighed, getting up.

"Can we not talk about this now? Please?"

They agreed.

The End

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