It was easier to remember things now, and Sarah felt things deeper, too. Sometimes she felt like she had to hold a hand to her heart to keep it all in.
Even the bad things.
“I just got a call from Mrs. Sutter. Did you…do something to Janie?”
Sarah blushed and lowered her head.
“Speak up, girl.”
She lifted her head in response to her father’s order and said, “I kissed her. Her momma caught us.”
Mr. Patterson’s eyes widened in surprise, then the corner of his lip twitched.
He turned his head away, but she still saw the way his shoulders shook.
“Well, her parents are coming over to talk to us. After that,” a snort of laughter escaped before he quickly suppressed it, “after that we’ll talk.”
Two girls stumbled out of the apartment with arms thrown over each other, obviously drunk.
“Hey, it’s Candy- and she brought Sarah.”
Candy was the nickname Sarah’s friend, Raidyn, had earned for heading up the club bake sales.
Sarah insinuated herself between the drunken pair and put her arms over their shoulders.
“So, how does it feel to be college graduates?”
There was a yell across the room and a drunken transgender girl with the school colors painted on her face shouted, “I gradu-dated!”
“I kind of feel cheated,” one of the girls, Saleema, said dryly, raising an eyebrow.
“Sarah looked back and winked at Raidyn, who had a crush on Saleema, nodding toward the older girl.
“Actually, I have two more years after this,” the other girl, Michelle, answered.
“Wow, don’t leave us anything to look forward to,” Sarah joked, “I’m going to find some fun people to hang out with.”
Saleema was the closest to Raidyn when Sarah took away her support and when she left Saleema was practically cuddling the blushing girl while Michelle leaned on the edge of a couch talking to herself.
She never would have believed that there were places like this back home.
“What’s all this?”
Sarah ran out of her room at the sound of her father’s raised voice and looked over the balcony at the top of the stairs.
“Is that her?” Two strange men looked up at her along with a third, familiar one- Mr. Sutter. They looked enough alike that she could tell the three were related.
“Yeah, that’s her,” Mr. Sutter answered.
“Daniel, what’s going on here?” Her father moved, at once blocking their entrance and their view of his daughter.
“We just want to talk to her,” there was an underlying meanness to his polite tone that made her skin crawl.
A flash of lightening blinded her for a moment, closely followed by a roar of thunder that sounded like the whole world falling down.
A pair of arms encircled Sarah’s waist and a chin rested on her shoulder. “I’m going to miss you, Princess.”
She patted one of the girl’s hands. “I’m going to miss you, too, crazy lady.”
They were all moving on, Sarah felt like she was moving on, too.
She had long since reconciled with her past, but now it was time to reconcile more recent events.
Sarah looked to a couple of women, one reclining on the sofa and the other perched on it’s arm looking down at her lovingly as they spoke.